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Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: husband is like Dr Jekyl and Mr Hyde


 mathair4 - Tue Jun 30, 2009 7:52 pm

My husband is 43. I think he may be schizophrenic. He is rarely in a good mood. If he does try to remain calm and "normal" it can change in a matter of minutes. If he perceives that someone else has made the slightest error, such as missed one spot while doing chores he LITERALLY flies into something like a muderous rage! His moods every day are completely unpredictable and illogical, like he doesn't react to anything like a normal person would. For example we went out of town last week and he was in a great mood and got tired and asked me to drive for a while. He took a nap and when we got to our destination he woke up and first thing jumped out of the van, cursing and screaming right in front of our hotel that he didn't want to go on the trip, that he wanted to get back in the car and turn around and go home, and for the entire trip he wouldn't hardly speak to us. We went to a restaurant on this trip at his request, walked up to order our food and he turned around and walked out shouting obscenities and yelling that he wasn't going to eat any dinner! THIS KIND OF THING HAPPENS ALL THE TIME in public and it's so embarassing. Or another example, he'll come to the dinner table, scream that he hates the food I made and throw the dishes against the wall and smash them. His temper is frighteningly violent and he said if I ever leave him he'll kill us all and burn the house down. Another thing I noticed is that he holds entire conversations by himself after an argument with someone else i.e. he'll ask questions AND answer them to himself the way he perceives the other person is thinking. Like this: "Why didn't you take out the garbage today? Well, because I'm lazy and stupid, and I don't give a crap about anybody but myself that's why!" And he always takes things that other people say to him completely wrong when a normal person would have understood them fine. For example I'll say, "man, am I tired from work today." And he'll respond something like "so you're saying you don't want to have sex- you probably don't even want me around. You want a divorce? " I am not exagerrating at all!! What could be wrong with him? He has been a crack addict in the past but has been in recovery for five years. And I seriously doubt he is using. Could his brain be damaged? He is currently taking Xanax for anxiety but I think that may not be the problem. He also smokes pot. I don't know what to do- he doesn't think anything is wrong with him.
 Debbie Miller, RN - Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:59 pm

User avatar Hello,
There is no doubt your husband suffers from some kind of mental/behavioral disorder. An accurate diagnosis can take a little while because there are so many overlapping symptoms with various disorders. Using pot could definitely contribute to his mood and personality but I can't say if this is the case for him. Everyone is different.

In response to the drug use - yes, there could be damage. We do not know the full extent that might occur in the future from use of illicit substances.

These symptoms can also suggest other disorders such as Bipolar II, which often manifests in erratic behavior - markedly elevated or irritable mood he does not see as unusual. If he has something like this, treatment would be different than that for anxiety.

A complete physical and psychiatric workup would be indicated but how you would talk him into it is anyone's guess. He should have physical conditions such as thyroid disorder checked out first and if that is normal, the mental health evaluation would be recommended.

Most people in this situation do not recognize it in themselves. It is helpful for a psychiatrist to gather history and symptoms from family members; not just from the patient himself.

If your husband balks at any suggestion of mental health care, perhaps starting with an overall physical exam would work. You can let the doctor know in advance some of your concerns so he/she can watch for symptoms, but he/she will not be able to discuss with you the outcome and any details that he shares with the doctor without your husband's consent. He can gather information you volunteer, however.

You are correct that this behavior is not acceptable and if you decide leaving is your only option it would be good to discuss this with a crisis worker, perhaps at a shelter where you could plan intelligently to assure your safety.

Best wishes.
 MsLyxie - Mon Jul 06, 2009 5:24 am

Mathair4,

I would like to state right off the bat that I am not a doctor or nurse, nor do I have any expertise in the medical field.

I myself have Bipolar Disorder. I can be happy one second, very very angry the next. I threaten things I don't mean, like saying I'm going to leave my boyfriend or I'm going to kill myself so I'm not causing anyone anymore stress. I throw things when I get irritated, and I am quick to yell at anyone near me about anything that has pissed me off. My moods fluctuate so much that I can not remember the last time I've been completely happy for more than 10 minutes. I calm down, apologize, become happy for a while, and then it starts all over again.

I used to be hard in to drugs, specifically marijuana. I had to be "high" every second of the day or I would go crazy. I had a very major thing happen right before this, and I haven't been "normal" since.

I have been clean from marijuana and alcohol for almost 3 years, but I haven't stopped having horrible mood swings. My mental state has even gotten worse with time. Now I don't go anywhere because I have horrible anxiety attacks whenever I'm in public.

I do personally think that drugs are a cause for many people's mood swings, even after stopping. As an ex-user of drugs, I think it's because during the time you're "high", nothing in the world bothers you and you become in an almost permanent state of mind that makes you think you're always happy. When you quit these drugs, you realize more of the real world and no longer have the "get-away" you used to, so you become very moody.

Again, this is just my opinion. Not a medical diagnoses.

As for your husband being angry so often, I would be worried. If he doesn't get mental treatment for his anger, as well as his Bipolar Disorder, you may end up with serious consequences. My ex-boyfriend used to be the same way. He'd throw things and break things, get angry over the smallest of things, and pretty much was angry at anything that was involved in his life. I shrugged it off to hormones and stress.

What made me come to and leave is the fact that I drove him to our house one night after he'd been out drinking. He started screaming at me because I wasn't going fast enough. When we finally got home, he shoved me in to a wall. I let it be and he shoved me again. I told him to knock it off and he threw me in to the wall so hard I went through the one side of it. He then proceeded to rip my 5 month old daughter out of my arms and tried to run away with her. His friend stopped him and grabbed my daughter and took her to a neighbors. My ex got very mad, grabbed his rifle, and put it to my head. The cops were called by the neighbors, so he punched me in my face as hard as he could and ran outside to go after the neighbors with the rifle. He heard the cops come and attempted to kill them as well. He went to jail that night. I stayed until he got home. He said he was sorry and I acted like everything was fine for a week. I used that week to plan things out in my head for me and my daughter's safe escape. I used the time he was at work to organize (which I told him I was cleaning and re-organizing the house) so I could get away fast. The next week, as soon as he left for work, I packed me and my daughters things and left. I went to live with my dad for a few months to make sure I was safe.

As stated above, that's my opinion and own personal experience. I do not want to see the same thing happen to another person. I'm NOT saying this WILL happen with your husband. I'm just letting you see the bad side of what could happen.

I hope you do get away if you feel as though he's going to hurt you or someone else. There are many places that shelter women and children from abusive husbands, as well family members and friends who would be more than happy to protect you.
 Faye Lang, RN, MSW - Wed Jul 21, 2010 1:50 pm

Hello, MsLyxie,

Thank you for sharing your experience. You ensured the safety of your daughter and yourself, and broke out of an abusive and dangerous situation, and you are to be congratulated. For others who may read your post, there are often women's shelters available to live in while other arrangements are made, as well as legal services. The police should be called whenever abusive or physically violent behavior occurs.

I hope you are doing well.

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