I am sorry to hear about your difficult situation. It certainly sounds as if your husband is currently experiencing schizophrenia symptomsâ€”extreme paranoia, and so forthâ€”at this time. Since he is not able to recognize the need to take medications, which is not uncommon among people with schizophrenia, you will have to do your best to get him into the hospital. He is already at the point of breaking glass mirrors in your house in reference to a delusion/paranoia and this makes him a danger to others. This may be enough, coupled with his increasingly bizarre behavior, to have him involuntary committed to a psychiatric facility. To do this, you either have to call the police or call the local mental health crisis team to assist you in this procedure. You may think that these tactics sound harsh but unfortunately they are necessary. There is little else that you can do to get him into treatment at this time. If your husband is not willing to seek treatment you will have to seek it for him through an involuntary commitment.
With regard to your feelings of exhaustion because of his symptoms, it is understandable why you may be feeling this way. Schizophrenia is an extremely difficult disease; especially when the person with schizophrenia cannot recognize that they are ill and refuses to take their much needed medications. The disease tends to take a toll on the family. It can be thought of as a family disease in that the family spends much time and energy trying to care for or help access care for their ill loved one. It can be physically and emotionally draining. All too often, unfortunately, this family strain results in many family members abandoning their loved one with schizophrenia.
I tell you that the disease is difficult to treat not to frighten you but to encourage you to get support. You will undoubtedly need support. I strongly encourage you to inquire in the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI). NAMI is a family advocacy organization designed to assist other families in dealing with their loved ones with mental illness. Through their organization and resources, you will be able to learn more about the disease of schizophrenia and more importantly, how to navigate the mental health system. You will be glad that you made contact with NAMI. Write again if you have any more questions.
This article has been updated from the original version, which was originally published here on June 25, 2007.