How can I help my Schizophrenic wife?

Hi, I am living with a Schizophrenic wife who is a Paranoid Schizophrenic and Bipolar. My situation is a little unique as my wife is Japanese from Japan whom i brought over here to the USA 2 years ago.

When i started dating her in Japan about 4 years ago, she had told me she has a "mind sickness". I asked her what that meant and she told me that it was a form of depression. I didn't consider that to be too big of a deal, so i was fine with it. The entire time we lived in Japan, i never saw her show any signs of depression, so i figured that it was a mis-diagnosis.

She had mentioned that it started a couple years previous when her boyfriend abandoned her when she told him that she was pregnant. This caused her to have a mental breakdown where she became violent and had to be hospitalized and given medication. She was also recommended in her frenzied state to abort the baby because it would grow up fatherless and the meds they put her on tend to cause birth defects. She agreed and lost her unborn child at that time.

She seemed like she had all that behind her, though, so we got married in Japan and i was working on getting her a marriage visa to the states and eventually a green card, but then the 9.0 earthquake happened. Luckily, we were far enough away from the ocean that it did not affect us or her family, but the company that i worked for flipped out and closed their Japan branch in fear of fallout and radioactive contamination. I then had to come to the USA with her and live with my parents until i found a job. That is when her psychotic episodes started.

The USA does not have subsidized medicine like Japan and the cost of her meds that she was on was extremely high (like $600/month), so i asked her to go off of them until i find a job and get health insurance. She started having mental breakdowns which she was able to hide from my parents, but i felt the full onslaught of. 6 months later i was finally able to get a decent paying job, but it was out in the middle of nowhere. I figured safety and low cost of living would be advantageous to us, so i accepted the job.

She said she loved the area at first, but the fact that we lived in Tokyo before where she could go out anytime and there was plenty of things to do and she suddenly gets taken here where there is a Walmart and Walgreen and that is it in this town. She started to resent me for that.

We moved into a fairly cheap apartment so i could save up money for a down payment on a house, but the neighbors are extremely noisy and really stresses her out. Eventually, she had a mental breakdown and asked to be taken to a hospital, so i took her to one, but they would not accept her as an inpatient because she was not suicidal. I ended up driving 2 hours to the next one as a result and telling them that she was suicidal and they finally took her in. She stayed for a week, and was released all better and happy again and i had a $2500 bill (after insurance paid their part) which took away all my savings to that point. I was able to get her back onto her meds at this point due to my insurance and job able to pay for it as well as start seeing a therapist. It was also at this time that it came out that she actually had Schizophrenia, not JUST depression.

A couple months later she was back having another episode due to a coworker's wife seemingly disrespecting her (culture differences, completely unintentional). I ended up buying her a plane ticket back to Japan to stay with her parents for a few weeks until she felt better. It was cheaper than another hospital stay.

About every month she would have another episode where she would have to lock herself into another room for a few days to cool off and lower her stress. One time, though, it got WAY out of hand. She came out and started yelling and screaming at me saying that i don't love her and how she wants a divorce. I tried to cheer her up by taking some old letters we wrote each other and showing them to her to prove that i was sentimental and love her and everything, and she grabbed them from me and ripped them up. These letters were very important to me so i got some tape and started trying to tape them back up, but then she grabbed the pieced and started going toward the toilet to flush them, so i started wrestling them from her. She then started biting, hitting, kicking, scratching, and everything else that she could to try to destroy these letters.

I ended up calling the police and telling them the situation so that they could calm her down. They ended up cuffing her, though, and taking her to jail. I called her therapist and explained everything to her and she was able to get her put into a state mental hospital "insane asylum" instead of prison. She stayed there for 2 weeks until she was finally released and she hated me for calling the police ever since then. In order to save our marriage, I promised her at that point i would never send her to another hospital again.

It has been a year since then and she has gone through many, many more episodes, though none as violent at that one. The verbal abuse has been getting worse and worse every episode, though. She always talks about how she wants to divorce me and go back to Japan to escape this horrible life here that she has to live where she is bored every day and stressed out about having to speak English all the time and interact with American who are too blunt, loud, and direct and eat really unhealthy food all the time because there is nothing else around this area. I have offered to quit my job here and try to find another in Japan, but she says that just living with an American stresses her out. She also has started saying that I stress her out more than anything, and it would be better if she goes back to Japan forever. As soon as she recovers from her episode, she is nice and happy and loving again and usually apologizes for everything that she said.

Anyway, she is having a pretty bad episode right now and has been for the last 4 days, so I am looking for some advice on how to handle the situation.

Thanks in advance,

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View 7 More Comments's picture
Jul 24, 2013

That's a very good I told you before my son has the same issue and it took about a month for them to find the right meds for him. I wish you all the luck in the world my friend. Patience is a good thing. Involve yourself in all sessions and gods speed to you

Jul 30, 2013

Hi hoss,

I am an affective-schizo and it is hard for a partner or husband to deal with the symptoms. But with us schizos there is nothing you can do to "save her or make her happy", until she truly understands her condition and learns how to make herself happy, you will live in total unhappiness. This is not giving up on your wife! This is releasing her to understand her condition and helping yourself to live. My ex did everything to make me happy and enjoy life for seven years and all I did was blame-shift for seven years, creating a miserable life him and myself. If you really love her, let her go.

Be blessed my friend,

~~~schizo understanding


hoss's picture
Aug 20, 2013

Hey, I was able to finally get her a case manager that seems able to get her out of the house when she want to leave and take her to a group therapy, but we have hit a snag. She doesn't like the case manager or the group just due to the fact that they all speak english and she doesnt feel comfortable speaking english to strangers. She met with her only once and cancelled her followup appointment. She has also started having another episode (they seem to be happening every 3 weeks or so) and kicked me out of the house. Just seeing me and talking with me gets her spun up and she starts spiralling out of control. I ended up staying at a hotel last night just to keep her calm at home and will continue to do so until she feels better.


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