My husband was hospitalized for three (3) years in a psychiatric hospital. He was an alcoholic for many, many years. He decided to quit “cold turkey!” I watched him for six (6) months “going downhill!” And “going downhill” is a gross understatement! He wouldn’t eat. I, also, had to force feed him. I bought him Ensure to drink and the doctors at the hospital told me that I kept him alive re: the Ensure.
I didn’t know what to do at first. Then, I came home from work one day, and he had a cocked handgun laying next to him on the floor. I called my Brother and he proceeded to tell me “GET HIM HELP!” The next day, I called an attorney for guidance. I didn’t know what attorney to call. I had remembered an attorney I had used once before. When I called the attorney’s office, I was so very lucky to get a man who was instrumental re the steps I had to take to get help for my husband. One of the first things I knew I had to do, was get a “Power of Attorney!”
I called the crisis center in my area. They, in turn, called the police, and then an ambulance was dispatched to my house. I left work and followed the ambulance. Needless to say, my husband was admitted to the psychiatric unit. He was there for thirty (30) days. Since he didn’t get any better or cooperate, he was then transferred to a long-term care facility. I was completely devastated and devastated is another gross understatement! I truly believed that he would never come home.
He came home after a few months for a trial visit. He told me to take him back to the hospital, which I did. I was working at the time and cried every day. I worked a four (4) day work week. I had my own breakdown! I was on temporary disability for six (6) months. Then I returned to work in another position with the company, which was a “God-Send!” The other position I held, which I created, was so very stressful. When I was home on temporary disability, they hired someone to sit in my office. What I mean about that statement is this. The gal was in my office, but did not do what I had to do to keep my job! Like I said, after all, I created this position!
I worked for (2) years after I returned to work. December, 2005 my boss called me in to his office and gave me (2) options. I could stay until June, 2006 when he retired. The position would have been receptionist. The second option was that he would let me collect unemployment for (6) months and pay my hospital insurance for (6) months. I opted to “exit” the company. I was there for (23) years! My so-called exit from the company was a “Blessing in Disguise!” I called my husband at the hospital to tell him what happened. In May, 2006 I received a phone call from my husband and he then proceeded to tell me he wanted to come home!
The moral of my story is this! Miracles do happen! His diagnosis was “major depressive disorder, severe, with psychosis.” My diagnosis is “major depressive disorder, severe without psychosis. My husband, I am sure, is probably an isolated case. Having hope and faith are two (2) of the keys re mental illness. At least, in my case!
One last note. I grew up with mental illness. My Mother is bi-polar and a rapid cycler. She was in and out of mental institutions for years. I was only twelve years old when she was first institutionalized. My husband was in the same psychiatric hospital, where my Mother was institutionalized. And back then, she had many shock treatments,which were barbaric at the time! Having grown up with mental illness, helped me cope. In order to understand mental illness, you have to experience it first hand! I hope my story gets published on this site! Remember, once again, “MIRACLES DO HAPPEN!”