Is my husband's self and doctor manipulated harm intentional or just the result of rigid thinking and severe OCD?
My retired husband for ten years now seems to have reached the point of doctor manipulated self harm on top of his own self harm. A year into our relationship he seemed to suffer from ulcerative colitis and yet not stop severely overeating. A colonoscopy validated his UC. He has admitted to his overeating problem, but his consequent weight loss seems to have come only out of his chronic diarrhea, not the lifestyle changes he claimed to make.
Early on I made the mistake of showing him how to use health forums because his obsessive conversation about his UC was too burdening for me. Within a matter of weeks he was using all the UC lingo words, flare for attack, pred short for prednisone, etc.
For the next few years he saw some doctors, always argued with and fired them, moved on to new doctors, had severe flares and never really seemed to completely heal. His online time gradually increased to about twelve hours a day, reading bad news, talking on health forums, and posting contentious comments on high profile news articles. This was not good for his eyes or gut, but he could not change his routine. I would gently protest, but he insisted I respect his personal space. Because I had to impress upon him not to cross certain boundaries with me, it seemed only fair to give him more space.
Recently he claimed to be experiencing the symptoms of retinal detachment, so he ended up getting a couple surgeries to repair it. He got online and read about all the side effects of the silicone oil procedure he had, so he found a doctor elsewhere in the state to remove it only a couple months later, against the first doctor's orders. Of course they found a cataract so he had that surgery too. They put him on prednisone drops, a drug he has always feared and refused to take. Within a matter of weeks he claimed to have side effects so the doctor took him off the drops. Then he claimed he had developed macular edema so the doctor verified that condition and put him back on the drops.
My husband has sought four surgeries on the same eye in a span of six months. Losing eyesight is scary, but excessive surgery might not be helping matters...and ever since the first surgery his diarrhea has been so bad, we are talking over six months now, that he is the thinnest he has been since decades ago. Yet he takes all these mystery supplements to heal his eye, that seem to be part of the cause of the diarrhea. He will not take a break from those and he will not stop overeating and he will not stop all the online comiserating.
And what suddenly made me look into Munchausens is what a big deal in front of me he makes out of having to put scary drops in his eyes four times a day and eat disgusting psyllium three times a day and drink a half cup of fish oil a day and weigh himself at the gym to see how much weight he has lost each week. I did remind him that fish oil can be laxative but he insisted his eye needed it.
I have always suspected some kind of OCD in him. He has many exaggerared fears about bugs and germs and he can't unplug from media for more than 20 minutes before he breaks out in a sweat.
I was very sick with migraine when we married, but when we got our genetic profiles I found my cure and I am back to the old hyperfunctional self I was before he met me. I sometimes wonder if his sickness is in reaction to my health.
I have never shared my suspicions with him about factitious disorder. We did talk about autism and Aspergers but that was easy because my own possible Aspergers quickly became our focus. He is a bit willing to consider he has OCD because his genetic profile pointed so strongly to it.
He is my sweety, kind, generous, bright, just not so happy with himself. Is there anything I can do?