Wife Has Unfounded Fear And Wide Mood Swings

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I

have 34-year old wife and 2 kids (daughter 9 year old and son 5 year old). I love my wife and kids.

I’m married for almost 11 years now. Although, I’ve seen my wife’s mood swings immediately after marriage, thought that would fade away after few more years. And, that too I was travelling and staying in USA, Japan, India, because of these frequent change in residence – for the first 5-6 years, didn’t really think she had a big problem in these mood swings.

But, then when we decided to settle down in Bangalore in 2005, things started changing after 2006 (May) after my son was born. Of late, its become unbearable and she has initiated divorce and want to take away the kids. My daughter is so attached to me, but my wife is adamant in taking her also along with her. In India, the divorce law works different for different religion and me being a Hindu, in most probability both the kids would go to her.

Leaving aside the legality, I’m determined to find a solution to my wife’s problems. I’ve read about Schizophrenia and Bi-Polar, but not able to decide to what category my wife falls into. Here are few things, which I can tell about her anxieties, etc:

1) MAIN THINGS RELATED TO HER BEHAVIOUR:
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Main thing that can be highlighted – her sexual aversion (dislike). All her thinkings and imaginations were revolving around that:
a)Her accusations for 5 years that I’ve some extra-martial relations (which has no truth)
b)Her accusations always related to sexual stuff – something like sister-brother sexual relationship; sexual relationship with immediate family members
c)She even told my daughter 2 days back in her screaming voice that even after divorce we all won’t let them live peacefully and I would push my daughter to prostitution
d)Someone called her lesbian. In fact, just 2 days back before she being called a lesbian, she told that, she had told her sister what lesbian means and immediately she got this idea that someone called her lesbian. In fact, I was witness to some call her friend made talking for almost an hour about some vulgar stuff
e)About a year ago, a spiritual leader she trusted misbehaved with her. Her sisters say that this might be a lie.

Was there any sexual assault which she had early in her childhood, which is not known to anyone, because of which she starts thinking negative on this?

2)Her wild imaginations – mostly compounded by unfounded fear. Some examples:
a)The swimming pool where she used to take my daughter for 3-4 years; she thought her sister is telling some confidential information to some people who used to come to the pool. She suspected me also that I used to supply information. She had altercations there always with almost everyone
b)When we went to North India trip last year, she was constantly telling me that, her sisters were calling up the driver and was inquiring about her – the dress she was wearing (was it tight or not.. etc..)
c)The music class where she took my daughter – she had more severe problem that my friend’s wife told something to the music tutor and everyone there out was trying to harm her and my daughter. She insisted me to go and check with the tutor. I with lot of reluctance asked the tutor- she told that its all her imaginations. Even my friend’s wife came and told the same thing.
d)She told me that she observed me talking to some call-girl in the night time (this argument went on for years again). We all used to sleep in the same room, but still my wife contents that I was speaking
e)She accused me again that I used to discuss the sexual problems with her sisters (Oh man.. this was too much of imagination)
f)I had given my cell phone to her for 3 months; she didn’t find any such calls and later told that I used to call from my office; I told that I can bring a printout of what calls I made or received; she then told that I used a public booth
g)Pestering my daughter that someone called to her school telling something. Her school does not encourage that
h)She has told many times that her phone is being tapped
I or sister or someone has sent someone to spy on her

3) Socialization problems:

a)She had big socialization problem; never used to mix with anyone or trust anyone. Sometimes she used trust someone and later used to tell they are bitches. Used to quarrel with most of the people. I had to change the residence; the situation became even worse and we almost had street fight on a daily basis with neighbors and had to go the residents association. Later got an anonymous letter from someone (we suspect it was the neighbor) addressed to me telling all about her extra-marital affairs with someone she used to roam around when I was in office. I didn’t go to verify and just ignored it. I supported her in her fight against this letter. This letter is very nasty. If it was true, then its very ugly
b)I had told many times not to go to pool or classes or anywhere, because, she used to fight with almost everyone. She then used to tell me that I was discouraging my daughter.
She surely has a perception problem and gives opinion for others – something like I don’t care for the kids. Her expression of love and affection is something she accepted as standard.

4) Incidents which might have influenced her behavior:

a)Losing both the parents in teen and she herself claims that she was the favorite kid for both of them
Searching for father-like figure even with husband?
5-months after marriage she had to come back from USA and stay alone being pregnant in sister’s house. I had traveled back to USA
b)Mother-in-law’s (my mom) insistence of staying with us and her (my mom) suicide within 15 days after 2nd child’s birth
c)Father-in-law (my dad) moving to our house and his constant pressure (my wife was also part of it)

She has a big suicidal tendency. She has tried to commit suicide many times. Even 2 days back, she was trying to. This time it is more dangerous, where she want to take the kids also along with her. Looks like she’s suffocated with something mentally.

She refuses to visit a doctor and thinks that she has no issues at all. I’ve contacted many counselors – they all accept this, but say that she has to go there.

Do you see any problems with my wife? Based on the descriptions, what is the ailment which she has? Depression or Mania or Schizophrenia?

A. Despite the many details you have provided, I am unable to give a diagnosis over the Internet. Having said that, I can make suggestions for how to approach this problem.

The three biggest concerns about this situation are: (1) that your wife has a history of suicide attempts; (2) she is currently considering suicide again; and (3) she has threatened to kill your children. Those are major red flags. Take her threats seriously. Your wife is not thinking clearly. She is paranoid and delusional. I am not familiar with the mental health laws in India. Nor am I familiar with your country’s legal system but it is important that you consult with both legal and mental health professionals. They can help you to determine what legal options you have and how to protect your children. The children should not be in your wife’s sole care. They would likely be in danger.

You stated that you have contacted many counselors. Have you informed them about her suicidal threats, her suicidal history and her threats to kill the children? If not, then report that information immediately. In the United States, if an individual makes suicidal or homicidal threats, they could be forcibly hospitalized for their own protection and for the protection of others. Speak to the counselors again and ask them if similar commitment laws exist in your country. Forcing her into treatment against her will might be the only way to ensure that she receives the proper help and that your children are safe in her presence.

In addition, you stated that your wife has been pursuing a divorce and that in India, she would likely be granted full custody of the children. It is important that you inform the court about her suicidal history and her current homicidal threats against the children. The judge would likely not grant custody of the children to your wife if he or she was aware of her mental instability.

Accusations of extramarital affairs, convinced that people are spying on her and attempting to harm her, are all signs of paranoia and delusional thinking. Those symptoms are commonly associated with psychotic disorders, which may include schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, and several others.

If possible, surround yourself with friends, family and other supportive individuals. Your wife is unable to recognize that she needs help. Unfortunately, this puts you in a very difficult position of possibly having to force her into treatment. The reality is, however, that even despite her obvious need for help, the laws in your country might prevent you from getting her the treatment that she needs. Explore your legal options with the appropriate professionals. The Nodal Alliance Of Mental Illness of India may be able to assist you. Here is a link to their website.

If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to write again. I wish you and your family the best of luck.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 28 Aug 2011

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2011). Wife Has Unfounded Fear And Wide Mood Swings. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/08/28/wife-has-unfounded-fear-and-wide-mood-swings/