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Norman M.
Norman M., Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2497
Experience:  ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.
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My wife and I are getting a divorce. She has been diagnosed

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My wife and I are getting a divorce. She has been diagnosed with bpd back in 2007 , which I didn't know about when we got together, and more recently paranoid schizophrenia. She has delusions of persecution. She has accused me and just about everyone around me of some really outlandish stuff. Everything is a conspiracy. It didn't start off like that though. She was perfect. Presented herself as all I've ever wanted it needed in a companion. Anyway, fast forward: she has assaulted me twice and pulled a knife on me three times. Threats that she was going to kill me. She has been convicted of DV and us out of jail now. We gave a two year old son together. All I can think about is her and how much I still love her. I have a great sense of loss and actually miss her. She wants to come back home desperately. With my first wife I did not experience this extreme sense of loss. What the hell us wrong with me? I've even had to start taking anxiety meds! I can't sleep at night and wake up several times throughout.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Norman M. replied 7 months ago.

Norman M. :

Hello there, I´m Norman. How can I help you?

Expert:  Norman M. replied 7 months ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

What happens now?

If you haven’t already done so, please rate your answer above. Or, you can reply to me using the box below.
Expert:  Norman M. replied 7 months ago.
There are a few things I need to know so that I can give you a proper answer.

Can you please tell me:

Who initiated the divorce?
Do you want the divorce?
What medication are you taking, and how much?

People with BPD and schizophrenia can function very well indeed if they stay compliant with their medication routine. Do you think your wife could do that?

Thanks in advance,
Norman.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I initiated the divorce because I thought that she was a danger to the kids. She started thinking that my 2 boys from a previous marriage were poisoning her. Xanax .5 mg, cymbalta 60mg. She is unwilling to admit that she has anything wrong with her and that all of her problems come from 3years of emotional, psychological, and physical abuse (all dreamed up).
Expert:  Norman M. replied 7 months ago.
I´d like to clarify two things:

I understand that your wife is not likely to comply with her treatment regime, given her inability to accept that there is anything wrong. Is that about right?

Secondly, how long have you been on your medication?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Yes. About a month.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I just don't understand why I have this strong sense of loss. I'm a mess daily.
Expert:  Norman M. replied 7 months ago.

Thank you for the information.


You did not say why your first wife and yourself parted company, but I do note that it was not such a wrenching process as you are going through just now. I suspect that what is happening here is that you love your current wife very much, and find it difficult to comprehend how she can have changed so much.. However, she has changed, and if in fact she will not accept her problems and co-operate with her care team, her situation is liable to get worse instead of better, with the consequent higher risk to you and the children.

I wonder if it is worth your while putting the divorce on hold for a while, and telling her that if she is to be able to come back, she has to demonstrate her commitment by staying compliant with her meds and treatment for at least six months.

If she cannot, or will not, then sadly, it seems that divorce is the most realistic option for you. Remember, you cannot just turn off the strong, loving feelings that you had just like flicking a switch. What you are going through right now is a form of grief, and it is going to take a long time to work through it.

As to your own medical situation, one month is too short a time to expect a really effective result from the Cymbalta. You need to give it at least another month. Your anxiety, frequent waking and inability to sleep are symptomatic of depression, and the Cymbalta will really help once it kicks in. It might be worthwhile asking your Doc if you should increase the dose of Xanax over the short time.

In situations like this, though, medication is only a partial answer, and for that reason I’m going to suggest that you would benefit from some Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as well. The combination of CBT and medication is extremely effective.

CBT is based on the fact that what we think in any given situation generates beliefs about, and reactions to that situation, and also causes the behaviour and feelings which flow from those beliefs and reactions.

Thank you for the information.


You did not say why your first wife and yourself parted company, but I do note that it was not such a wrenching process as you are going through just now. I suspect that what is happening here is that you love your current wife very much, and find it difficult to comprehend how she can have changed so much.. However, she has changed, and if in fact she will not accept her problems and co-operate with her care tem, her situation is liable to get worse instead of better, with the consequent higher risk to you and the children.

I wonder if it is worth your while putting the divorce on hold for a while, and telling her that if she is to be able to come back, she has to demonstrate her commitment by staying compliant with her meds and treatment for at least six months.

If she cannot, or will not, then sadly, it seems that divorce is the most realistic option for you. Remember, you cannot just turn off the strong, loving feelings that you had just like flicking a switch. What you are going through right now is a form of grief, and it is going to take a long time to work through it.

As to your own medical situation, one month is too short a time to expect a really effective result from the Cymbalta. You need to give it at least another month. Your anxiety, frequent waking and inability to sleep are symptomatic of depression, and the Cymbalta will really help once it kicks in. It might be worthwhile asking your Doc if you should increase the dose of Xanax over the short time.

In situations like this, though, medication is only a partial answer, and for that reason I’m going to suggest that

These ‘automatic thoughts’ are so fast that generally, we are unaware that we have even had them. We call them ANTS (automatic negative thoughts) for short.

If the pattern of thinking we use, or our beliefs about our situation are even slightly distorted,

the resulting emotions and actions that flow from them can be extremely negative and unhelpful. The object of CBT is to identify these ‘automatic thoughts’ then to re-adjust our thoughts and beliefs so that they are entirely realistic and correspond to the realities of our lives, and that therefore, the resulting emotions, feelings and actions we have will be more useful and helpful.

Cognitive therapists do not usually interpret or seek for unconscious motivations but bring cognitions and beliefs into the current focus of attention and through guided discovery encourage clients to gently re-evaluate their thinking.

Therapy is not seen as something “done to” the client. CBT is not about trying to prove a client wrong and the therapist right, or getting into unhelpful debates. Through collaboration, questioning and re-evaluating their views, clients come to see for themselves that there are alternatives and that they can change.

Clients try things out in between therapy sessions, putting what has been learned into practice, learning how therapy translates into real life improvement.

Please visit this website for much more detailed information on CBT:

http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mentalhealthinfoforall/treatments/cbt.aspx

If you cannot afford to see a therapist, there are good free CBT based self-help resources here:

http://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/cbtstep1.htm

Also, there is a book called ”Feeling good - the new mood therapy” by Dr. David Burns. It has a hand book which gives you practical exercises to work through and further instructions on how to better use CBT. I really do recommend it.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Workbook for Dummies By Rhena Branch, Rob Willson is also pretty good.

Best wishes, NormanM

Norman M., Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2497
Experience: ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.
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