How My Husband Helps Me Through Psychosis and Anxiety
Psychosis (the presence of hallucinations and/or delusions) and anxiety can be difficult to deal with in relationships. Many symptoms can be confusing, frustrating, and challenging to those looking from the outside. When I have had breaks from reality (psychotic episodes), I have always treated my family and my spouse with suspicion due to paranoia. The paranoia often causes me to think that I am in danger around those who are the most supportive of me.
Each time I have been psychotic, I have left my home by car or foot and have often stayed away for days without letting anyone know where I am or how I am doing. In the past, my husband was clever enough to track me down by my credit card use. Having a loved one experience psychosis and be out in the world on their own can be terrifying for those who care about the person who is ill.
I Experience Anxiety and Psychosis Symptoms Often
Thankfully, I am not always psychotic. I rarely experience a complete break from reality. I do have anxiety and schizophrenia symptoms every day, though, and I find it extremely helpful to communicate as much as I am able with my husband about my symptoms and what I am going through. I don't want our whole lives to revolve around schizophrenia and my anxiety disorder. Still, I want my husband to have as much information as possible so that he can understand the things that come up that are difficult and have the potential to cause tension in our relationship.
So, to help ensure that I can continue my relationships in the healthiest and most enjoyable way possible, I work on myself by journaling, attending support groups, and going to therapy. (I don't do all of these things all of the time.) By learning about what triggers symptoms of psychosis and anxiety and about my stressors, I can share helpful and insightful information with those closest to me. I see it as a gift that I give myself (being better understood) and a gift that I give to my loved ones.
Anxiety and Psychosis Symptoms Knowledge Helps
An example of how we have taken knowledge about my symptoms of anxiety and psychosis and used it to help situations not turn from bad to worse is my fairly consistent olfactory (smells) hallucinations. If I tell my husband, "I smell smoke." He doesn't just say, "There is no smoke." He has learned from my sharing that even though he doesn't smell smoke, I need reassurance that there is no fire. We often check our condo together, open the door and check the hallway. In this way, he recognizes that I am genuinely fearful, that there is a way to overcome the fear, and that his actions and words make a big difference.
The olfactory hallucinations and how we deal with them are examples of avoiding hurt feelings or frustration in our relationship. There are many other anxiety and psychosis symptoms that I have explained in detail to my husband that have helped him to understand and respond to me in a way that keeps us connected instead of causing a misunderstanding. Because of open communication, we are doing many things that work. I hope that some of the tools we have developed together will benefit us if I become psychotic again.
Chamaa, R. (2023, February 8). How My Husband Helps Me Through Psychosis and Anxiety, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, February 22 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/creativeschizophrenia/2023/2/how-my-husband-helps-me-through-psychosis-and-anxiety
Author: Rebecca Chamaa
Thank you for this insight it may help me with my son who suffers with hallucinations .
Thank you for your comment. I hope the tips help with your son! My best to you both.