Our partner

Husband's delusions/amnesia med mixing - help?

Brief Psychotic Disorder message board, open discussion, and online support group.

Husband's delusions/amnesia med mixing - help?

Postby scaredwife » Sun Feb 21, 2010 7:00 pm

I'm not sure where to post this, let me know if there is a better place for this.

My husband has been displaying some bizarre behavior lately. I believe it is due to him mixing his medications together in addition to alcohol. I believe this behavior would end if I could convince him he needs to change the way he is taking his pills and drinking.

He is 47 years old. He takes medication for his heart arrhythmia (toprol xl, atenenol and flecainide). He also has a crushed disk in his back and takes percocet 3-4x/day and lyrica. He takes adderal for ADD. He suffers from anxiety, he takes zoloft and ativan (prescribed to help him sleep). He also has lunesta with instructions NOT to take that if he takes his ativan. He takes allopurinol for gout. I *think* this is everything - it's a lot! He loves beer and picks up a 6 pack on his way home from work, then drinks the beer we have in the house. He will also drink wine (a bottle or two) a few nights a week.

Years ago we had problems with anger issues while drinking (before most of the medications for anxiety/insomnia/add) and he could quit drinking. The longest he's gone is a year... but then once he drinks again he can't seem to stop. It's all or nothing with him. Side note: he loves marijuana but doesn't smoke it because of drug testing at work. I know he would smoke it all the time if it were allowed. Yes, he has an addictive personality.

When he started Ativan (4 months ago or so) he was supposed to take it at bed time only, however he took it while at work. This caused him to fall asleep while typing, etc. This was the first time he had hallucinations or what seemed to be his dream world and reality colliding. He wouldn't make sense when talking and his speech was slurred. He ran the truck off the INTERSTATE, luckily not hurting anyone or himself. He wasn't angry or violent, but very irrational. It was impossible to have a conversation with him and even though he'd fall asleep while standing he would refuse to go to bed. I would have to stay up until I could get him in bed or he just wouldn't ever go. This behavior lasted about a week then stopped. I assumed because he stopped taking his Ativan during the day and only while sitting in bed before he laid down. He also told me during this time that he was hallucinating being somewhere else, or seeing things that he was almost certain were there... having conversations with people that aren't there, etc.

This week he refilled his Ativan, which he was out of for about a week or two. The bizarre behavior began again. He wouldn't make sense, speak of odd things, doesn't remember what he said/did 3 minutes after it happened and would argue with you about these events. He was refusing to go to bed again, even though at 9pm he said he would go to sleep because he was falling asleep standing again... he didn't actually get into bed until midnight and that was because I was being a serious nag/*itch about it. He was VERY angry with me but I didn't know what else to do other than keep telling him to go to bed. He's 6'5", there isn't a whole lot I can do with him.

The next night he seemed better although a little child-like (another one of the symptoms). He wasn't as irrational. I was exhausted from the night before, and at 11 I just couldn't stay up anymore. He was busy with building a PC so I felt OK going to bed. My 10 yr old was in bed and my 17 yr old daughter was out. No one else was home.

He woke me up around midnight to tell me he was seeing people in our house. He said he was also doing something with his mom and dad. He knew this was odd and was telling me, I guess, to ask for help. I didn't know what to do/say... my best response was for him to go to bed... sleep it off. He said he would soon.

I woke up again around 1:30am to the sound of the fire alarm. I got to the hallway to find my daughter (who looked extremely angry) and my husband. She said "Someone decided to cook something, then fell asleep... and I was locked out". There was a haze of smoke and my husband was arguing with her that there was no smoke. She went to the 3rd level to turn off the last fire alarm and I went downstairs to see what happened in the kitchen.

Luckily no damage, just smoke from the burned food in the pan. My daughter said she got home and was unable to get in. She banged on the door a while... then smelled smoke... then heard the fire alarm. She banged louder and at some point my 10 yr old came down and let her in. My husband was asleep sitting up. My daughter said she took the pan and put it in the sink and ran water in it. My husband was then up telling her not to do that, that he was going to eat that. She ignored him and started opening windows and turning off the fire alarms. It was then the 2nd story alarm went off and woke me up.

Now, this is when my husband told me he did NOT cook anything. He said someone was trying to set him up. I would ask who did it and he would get angry and say he didn't know but it wasn't him. He even called his oldest son at 2am to see if he had come to the house and started to cook. Nothing he was doing was making sense. Again he refused to go to bed. He was angry with me because I wanting him to go to bed and that I was saying he had to have made the food that burned. BTW he was in a room that is open to the kitchen, so if someone else came in our house to cook he would have seen them. He then started to say I was going to tell his work and tell his mom and whomever else. I assured him I would NOT. This is embarrassing to me too and of course I wouldn't tell his work in fear of him losing his job!

I finally got him to bed at 4am. This is completely out of control. The next day he still denied that any of that happened, that someone else did it. I was concerned because I had plans that night with my daughter and other people and I didn't want to leave my 10 yr old alone in fear something like this would happen again. I couldn't get my husband to understand WHY this was a concern. He was extremely angry with me. I finally prepared my 10 yr old with a cell phone and instructions and since my husband wasn't taking anything I thought it would be OK to leave for a while.

Everything was fine, although when I got home my husband was irrational again and slurring a little. I noticed he had been drinking beer again. The only thing to report from this night was he accused me of "spiking" his Ativan (how/why would I do that?!) and then later in bed told me about the people/things he sees again, but added that when he sees them again he will let me know so I can see them too. I told him that's impossible and that he would normally NEVER say anything like this. He doesn't believe in supernatural things, etc so normally he wouldn't ever try to convince me there are things "out there" that other people can't see. I guess I should also note that when he is like this he is NOT "my husband". It is a completely different person, I don't know this person and I do NOT like him. If I believed people could become possessed then that is the best way to describe how he is behaving.

I don't know what to do. I don't know who to call or how to even begin to get help. I am angry. I am scared. He is a danger to himself and to others... but is telling me that I am just trying to make him crazy so I can't get him to even try to stop drinking or stop taking Ativan, at least unless he is IN bed.

Please help.
scaredwife
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Feb 21, 2010 5:39 pm
Local time: Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:37 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)


ADVERTISEMENT

Re: Husband's delusions/amnesia med mixing - help?

Postby FrayedEndOfSanity » Mon Feb 22, 2010 8:59 pm

Hi SW,

First, I would also recommend posting in the grief forum, because you've (hopefully, only temporarily) lost the person who is your husband. I would also recommend that you and your kids get face-to-face counseling, because this is NOT going to be easy for you.

Second: there may be a way for him to get help and return to work without losing his job. I'm sure you've heard of the Family and Medical Leave Act. Here's the FAQ:
http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/finalrule/N ... ryFAQs.pdf

If he's going to be away from work for more than his sick days will allow...DO NOT "not tell his work because it's embarrassing." That's probably the worst thing you can do. Try to establish a line of communication with his supervisor. Find out if his workplace has an EAP, Employee Assistance Program. If you do nothing, he's likely to lose his job. Obviously, don't disclose everything, but they're going to need to know that he is having a health problem for which he will need treatment. They will need to know that he is actively working towards recovery. This will increase the chances of him keeping his job.

Here's how to get started on treatment:
http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/find_therapy
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline's 24 hour toll-free crisis hotline, 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) can put you into contact with your local crisis center that can tell you where to seek immediate help in your area.

I think that your situation qualifies as a crisis. Your husband is a danger to himself and others. He may have to be hospitalized or go to a detox center.

CALL. CALL EVERYWHERE. Call your doctor, ask him for a psychiatrist referral. Ask him what to do. Compare what the doctor says with what the folks at NSPL say. If you don't like your shrink, switch shrinks. Ask questions. Find a patient advocate, they're usually around any large hospital. Those folks are trained to work as translators/interpreters between you/your husband and doctors.

Do research on your own. Look up the medications your husband is mixing on a site such as this one:
http://www.rxlist.com/script/main/hp.asp
Also try http://www.mayoclinic.com/

Make a list of ALL the substances that your husband is using, including food, alcohol, etc. You can also call the manufacturers of the medications. Different meds are made under different names and sometimes by different manufacturers. You can call your pharmacy and ask them who manufactures the medications. You can then call that manufacturer and ask for information.

Doctors and psychiatrists don't always know all the possible interactions of meds. And your husband is on QUITE the cocktail. You might want to consult a medical attorney. Don't file a false claim out of anger; that will just come back to bite you in the ass. But if your doctor knowingly prescribed medication that has dangerous effects when taken with other meds, then you might at least be able to get enough money to pay for your husband's care--if it comes to that. Of course, there's the issue of your husband's alcoholism...so the case may or may not hold up. It depends on the lawyer. You might also be able to settle with the doctor/pharmaceutical company out of court.

Again, this is an extreme scenario, but I want you to know that it's there. Once again, don't immediately scapegoat the doc.

Face the fact that your husband is an alcoholic. Find support, such as the forum here. Read this:
http://www.alcoholism-solutions.com/wiv ... olics.html
This is a small forum for wives of alcoholics:
http://www.dailystrength.org/groups/wives-of-alcoholics

You have a computer and a phone. Use them. Use Google. Get information. Get support.

Be there for your kids. Don't act like nothing happened. Lead by example: talk to them in a way that they can understand. Most importantly, listen to them. Don't push it if they're not ready.

And always, always feel welcome here. This is rough. You're gonna need someone to listen to you. That's what the forums are for.

Good luck.

--Frayed
Do not take my advice or anyone else's before talking to your doctor/counselor/other professional. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find free, confidential care. Most importantly, sometimes your shrink can be wrong. Get a second opinion.
If I don't respond to a thread and there's an issue--PM me.
User avatar
FrayedEndOfSanity
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 1678
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:26 am
Local time: Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:37 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Husband's delusions/amnesia med mixing - help?

Postby scaredwife » Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:02 am

Thank you for the great reply and resources.

The problem is he doesn't want help. So what do I do? He is back to himself already, but doesn't believe what he did while he wasn't himself, even though there is more than just me as a witness. He thinks I'm exaggerating or making it up. He's still drinking beer (although not near as much) and as far as I know still taking Ativan, but only just before he gets in bed.

I am so glad to have him back, but I honestly have no idea how to convince him to get help. He just gets mad at me and won't talk about it.
scaredwife
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Feb 21, 2010 5:39 pm
Local time: Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:37 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Husband's delusions/amnesia med mixing - help?

Postby FrayedEndOfSanity » Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:19 pm

He either truly doesn't believe or simply refuses to admit it because he's so embarrassed.

If he makes significant changes on his own, you might be able to let this go and improve by itself. The question is, can you guarantee that this doesn't happen again? He's got quite the track record of endangering himself and others...

It's very possible that he's learned to self-medicate with alcohol...so a counselor would have to know what to replace it with...how he would cope with stress without the alcohol...

Here are some additional links for you, even one from Dr. Phil. (I'm not a fan, personally.)

http://community.discovery.com/eve/foru ... 8291937178

http://www.411intervention.com/faq4.htm

http://drphil.com/articles/article/199

http://bipolarworld.net/Family&SOS/getting_help.htm

It's up to you to gauge the situation. I think it would help you to at least talk to a counselor by yourself to see what you can do about this. If you take the step to intervene, don't go halfway and then back off. It would have to be a committed effort.

Good luck to ya. Let me know what happens.

--Frayed
Do not take my advice or anyone else's before talking to your doctor/counselor/other professional. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find free, confidential care. Most importantly, sometimes your shrink can be wrong. Get a second opinion.
If I don't respond to a thread and there's an issue--PM me.
User avatar
FrayedEndOfSanity
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 1678
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:26 am
Local time: Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:37 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)


Return to Brief Psychotic Disorder

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron