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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: husband shows schizo behavior. will it worsen without help?

 smithmaryberry - Mon Mar 17, 2008 3:22 am

my husband was mentally and physically abused growing up, as well as severly neglected. in our four year marriage i have allowed him to keep me from spending much of any time with anyone other than myself. what started as mumbling under the breath nasty and hurtful things towards me, has evolved to him acting like a completely different person usually mean and borderline abusive with NO recollection of his words or actions later. I can tell him things 100 times and we have the same exact argument over and over like never discussing it before. recently he took 21- .5mg xanax pills and drank a 1/4 bottle of vodka. one minute he remembers and says he needs help the next he says he was just trying to relax!!! he has told me of "voices in his head" he has had since childhood that tell him to do and say things but no specifics. We have a 2 year old boy who is being traumitized by this whatever it is. I don't know what to do? will this get worse if left untreated. I am genuinely afraid of him most times lately and won't even let him watch our son alone.p;ease help???
 Dr. E. Seigle - Mon Mar 17, 2008 3:46 pm

Dear smithmaryberry,

This sounds like either a psychotic disorder, a dissociative disorder, a personality disorder, or some combination of these. The first is a largely genetic, though partially environmental (such as a virus during pregnancy) disorder, such as schizophrenia, notable for hallucinations, delusions and disordered thinking. The second is a disorder based on childhood experiences, in which parts of the personality, or even entire, separate personalities can be walled off (dissociated) when a child experiences severe trauma and abuse. The third is a disorder of a single personality in which someone develops deep insecurities, low self-esteem, and relationship problems, caused by repeated childhood emotional pain or abuse; usually family life is very dysfunctional. In all of these, drug abuse should be ruled-out.

These are all serious disorders needing time and several providers to treat; the good news is that they are treatable. A good place to get the package of treatments that your husband and family may need- medication, psychotherapy, family education, family therapy, case management should all be considered- is at your local county community mental health center. Good luck, you can all benefit by asking for help!

-Dr. Seigle

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