Husband Has Multiple Diagnoses

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

My husband has been dianosed with Schizoaffective Disorder with depression and paranoid traits, PTSD, Antisocial Personality Disorder, and extreme Anxiety Disorder, I have done tons of research on all of these seperately. I am not sure what I can do for him besides making sure there is someone to sit with him when I have to leave, hiding his pills in his food and keeping documentation of what he does on a daily. Is there any more information about these diagnosis combined that can help me?

A: This must be very, very hard on both of you. I’m concerned that hiding his pills in his food and keeping documentation may feed your husband’s paranoia. I’m also very concerned about the toll this is taking on you and on your marriage.

Your best resource is the psychiatrist who is treating your husband. The research you have done has probably overwhelmed you with information – some of which is not relevant to his case. Ask for a family consultation to clarify what the diagnoses mean for your husband as an individual and how you can best be part of the treatment team. You need to know as much as possible about his condition, how best to keep him stable, and what signs to look for that say he needs to be in hospital. Ask the psychiatrist if there is a caregiver support group locally. NAMI (The National Alliance on Mental Illness) may also provide you with important information and support. There is a chapter in your city.

Severe mental illness can be successfully treated. With counseling and medication your husband will stabilize. Then the two of you will need to work together to decide how to best manage his illness and your relationship.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 1 Apr 2012

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2012). Husband Has Multiple Diagnoses. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/04/01/husband-has-multiple-diagnoses/