I believe I can help you with your concern
I am so sorry that he has been exhibiting these symptoms, and it definitely appears that your husband has a disorder called Delusional Disorder Persecutory Type.
So the difficulty here is getting him treatment, and I will not lie to you here, but treatment for this disorder is usually intensive and long-term, so he would have to committed to it. Also most individuals with a Delusional Disorder are under-treated because they routinely do not seek therapy because they feel that the therapist would be out to get them, as you have recently found out from your personal experience.
Now involuntary treatment would not be recommended because it usually only lasts for 72 hours at most and he will just harbor more resentment towards you. One option you can try is to hold a small intervention for him, with people that he trusts, if there are any, that can help point out that is behavior is not objective or rational and that he needs therapy. The best kind of therapy for this is called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
CBT has a premise that your symptoms are caused by negative thoughts, so if we change your thought process to be more positive and objective as well, then your symptoms will lessen.
Unfortunately though because he is not a danger to himself, a danger to others, or gravely disabled at this time (e.g. cannot take care of his daily needs such as food, shelter, clothing, hygiene, etc...), then he cannot be compelled to get treatment according to the law. This would mean that he has fallen through a large crack in a broken system that we call the mental health care system. The biggest issue though is that his paranoia and persecutory beliefs will get stronger in time and he may respond with violence because he believes people are out to get him. Unfortunately most individuals with a Delusional Disorder are evaluated and diagnosed in a forensic setting because of a violent action they perceived as justified to a perceived threat.
I would like to recommend these resources may be able to help you. They can provide you with techniques that may help you get through to your husband. One book is specific on schizophrenia, but because a Delusional Disorder is a psychotic disorder like Schizophrenia the techniques will be relevant for him too
I see that you are online right now, so I will stop typing and allow you to ask me any questions you have, in fact I encourage it.
If he feels like you are attacking or judging him then yes it can backfire. Also make it small group of people and only ones that he trusts. Use the pronouns "we" and "us" a lot too to show that you are all a team and want to work with him as well.
Of course, even after you rate me you can ask me follow-up questions free of charge. I cannot imagine how difficult this is for you, I am so sorry that your husband is experiencing this.
I see that you are offline right now, but when you get back online I would be very interested in continuing this discussion with you and talking about anything further you would like to share regarding your concern, so if you respond in the chat box I will be able to get back to you as soon as possible.
Well I do not think he will respond to links on delusions, he will just say that these are real. Delusions are very difficult to prove to the individual that they are false beliefs. Usually I like to recommend that someone offer to go to therapy with him as a sign of support for him. Also threatening him will only backfire and it will just validate his concerns. I will not lie to you, this is a difficult disorder to treat and unless he is motivated to change, the odds of him being successfully treated are low.
Usually CBT therapy for 1-2 years is required to successfully treat this disorder. Sometimes the use of antipsychotic medications may help, but I would not recommend that in the beginning because most individuals with a Delusional Disorder feel that the medicine will be used to control or poison them.
Well this is not entirely his fault too, this is a very serious psychotic disorder that we do not understand fully, but we do know that there is a genetic component to it, so its not he is choosing to throw away his wonderful life with you and your children. CBT therapy will help come up with alternative thoughts and solutions to problems because right now he is focusing on the negative thoughts, but CBT will help him acknowledge the alternative thoughts and to focus on them and it will help him gain insight on his disorder and delusions. Here is an example of a CBT technique to help him focus on alternative thoughts and not the negative thoughts.
But CBT is a very gradual and long-term psychotherapy. The antipsychotic medication may help relive his delusions somewhat too, but only CBT can cure him of this disorder
Unfortunately if he does not seek help and appropriate treatment then he will not be able to trust your or really anyone else again. Even with treatment, like I said, the success rate is not entirely high because the delusions are very fixed and he will absolutely believe them to be true.
I know that you want to help him, but if he will not help himself then the options are limited for you, which pains me to say because I know that you love your husband so much
Those books I recommended to you may give you some good insight on how to approach him to get treatment, but it does appear to be an uphill battle because of his attitude and how strongly he believes his delusions
I think you should hold on for as long as you can to keep trying to get him treatment, but if your safety or children's safety is in jeopardy than you have to leave the situation. Right now you said he has not been violent, but this can change in the future and I want to warn you of that.
Yes do not admit to them that they exist, but admit they do cause him a lot of fear and panic. If you acknowledge his reactions to these delusions can help him feel like you care about him and want him to get help.
There are unfortunately no hard statistics on this because like I said individuals with a Delusional Disorder are usually under-reported as they do not often seek treatment. But I just wanted to warn you if his anger/frustration increases because his paranoia increases.
Most individuals with a Delusional Disorder are first diagnosed in a forensic setting after they have made an act or verbalized violence
You can take him to the local community mental health center or your local ER if you want to get this documented, but you are right that many psychiatrists or psychologists/therapists have long waiting lists
Usually though a psychologist or a therapist have less waiting list times and usually can see patients sooner than later.
Anytime, I am always happy to help. I understand how distressing this situation is for you
and I want to help you through it as best as I can
There are advantages and disadvantages between the two. Inpatient settings are usually very intensive, and professionals can monitor and adjust treatment by observing patients 24 hours a day, which is a luxury, and many patients respond well to the intensity of treatment. But because your husband has persecutory delusions he may feel that "they" locked him up and that he is trapped, this would be a disadvantage. Outpatient treatment usually takes longer and is not as intense. Outpatient treatment is usually once a week, so monitoring a patient is impossible. But an advantage is that the the person does not feel trapped and feels more involved with their treatment on a volunteer basis.
I usually like patients with this disorder to start out in an inpatient setting to get the right treatment basics down and right medication regimen too. Then they should start outpatient treatment with a trained psychologist and medication evaluations with a psychiatrist
Individuals with a Delusional Disorder do not usually have bizarre delusions actually. A trained psychologist with experience working with this type of disorder or similar disorders like Schizophrenia will be able to see through this and understand that they are delusions.
Yes, if he is willing to go then I think that is a step in the right direction for his treatment. Well you can ask for the therapist to give you updates if you like or at least ask if you can sit in on one session a month to see how progress is going
If you have more questions concerning this, you can ask me follow-up questions after you rate me. If you want to ask a new question, just put "For DoctorZ only" before writing the question
Anytime, I am always happy to help. I wish you and your husband all the best and I hope he responds well to treatment. My goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you ever have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime.
You are most welcome :)