A possible nervous breakdown

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Please help. My cousin, in his early forties, is possibly having another nervous breakdown. What do you think about the symptoms? He didn’t sleep for 28h hours at one point. He stopped eating regularly. When he eats, he doesn’t notice what’s in the plate (he could be chewing cardboard). He’s not using any drugs, but he’s bursting with energy. For now. I’m afraid that there’s a deep fall lurking ahead. Like the last time. He had his first nervous breakdown a couple of weeks after his child was born.  He never wanted a child with the woman he was with, but has always been a loving and responsible father.

 Most importantly, he sees signs everywhere. Everything has a special meaning. Not only does he see signs, but he’s always on the look for them. Those signs are not religious in nature, but mystical. I did show him only partially how worried I am, because I don’t won’t him to cut me off as he had already done with his parents and sister. He mentioned that for a period of three hours he contemplated jumping of a roof (which means that he climbed the roof of a building!).

The only good thing that came out of it is that he left a horrible 25-year long relationship/marriage. But he did it because of another sign - he met a woman online, ten days ago, and she is off course the love of his life. She’s got two kids and no place to stay (her husband left her and yes that’s a sign too). They’re moving in together.

He hasn’t had a job for three years now. The only obligation he had, which he always fulfilled, was taking care of his daughter.  Otherwise he lived like a teenager. He has no structure whatsoever and I’m really worried about him.

Apart from the one breakdown 5 years ago, I’m not aware of any mental problems he may have had. He has never had "highs&lows".  Where he sees signs I see symptoms. Thank you for your opinion!  

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    he needs to get to the doctors before he does something he will later regret, unfortunately you can't force him to do this, these signs that he's looking for, sounds a bit like paranoid delusions, the trouble is when you're in a relationship that you're not happy with it can send you a bit that way !! i would suggest seeing how he is after leaving this relationship and try and get him to see someone :-)

     

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    • Posted

      Dear Gingemac,

      thank you for your reply! He's already left her. Last night we moved his stuff. He's open to the idea of asking for a professional help. But it stays an idea. 

      I found that paranoid disorder is now called the delusional disorder. I know that the cases are very rare, maybe due to the fact that the patients are otherwise rational and functional and don't think that they need help. 

      A part from the delusions concerning the signs he sees everywhere (mostly about his love life, new partner etc.), he seems rational. That's why he thinks that his delusions aren't delusions...

       

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    • Posted

      well maybe this has all been caused by him being so unhappy in the relationship he's left behind and perhaps this new one might make him better.  i was once in a relationship where i ended up with terrible anxiety because of that person and it made me really ill, nothing in comparison to your cousin but it's good that he's got you to look out for him. so are we talking like road signs and billboard advertising on buses and places like that? he sees these and thinks that they are signs personally for him??

       

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    • Posted

      That too! The worst thing is that all those commercial messages use the words like "free yourself", "live your life", "be who you are" etc. He somehow believes that even though they were not put up there for him, they are signs because he happened to see them in the right moment. 

      He's worried if he knows  what he's doing, where he's headed etc. A strangers comes up and asks him for directions and he sees at as a sign that he does know what he's at etc.

      I'm sorry to hear that you had a similar experience. I'm sure he'll realize that this system of belief he reated was just a cruch for him to get out of a bad relationship, but in the meantime I'm affraid he'll make some life changing decisions he may later regret (liek moving in with a woman and her two children after meeting her online and knowing her for a few weeks).

       

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  • Posted

    Don't all guys in their 40s go a bit loopy? it's a midlife crisis ha ha. No joking aside, it sounds like the poor chap needs to get some help and fast. If he has had a bfreakdown then he is susceptible to mental health issues & should see a doctor. Is he willing to get some professional help? I can understand how difficult it must be to get a loved one help when they are being diffcult or refusing. 
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    • Posted

      smile Before actually talking to him I thought so too. Now I only wished he bought a car he cannot afford and went crusing with a blond half his age (I apologze for these unsensitive remarque).

      I'll try to help him get in contact with a centre where they offer free help to patients who can shose to remain anonymous. I hope he won't cut me off.

       

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    • Posted

      that's good if you have places like that. Nothing like there where I live, they all statistics to sell on to whoever & discharge you when feeling sucidal!! 
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  • Posted

    Your cousin definately has some mental health issues, but obviously I am not a doctor or a therapist.  I have been under the mental health team for many years now due to eating disorder, depression and now have been diagnosed as Borderline personality disorder.  

    Did he spend time in hospital during his last nervous breakdown?  I ask because if he is, it's probable that has a care coordinator or mental health nurse.  Could you ask if he has heard from them recently.  If you don't feel you can get him to see a doctor but that his health/life is at risk, you can make an appointment on his behalf but I think you need to make it clear when booking is that the appointment isn't for yourself.  He may just need to go on medication or have any medication he currently takes if any re-evaluated.  It is very hard to get help for somebody who doesn't know they need it and it is a big weight on your shoulders to carry alone.  If he tries or threatens to jump off the roof again or similar, then the correct people need to be called, probably the police because they too have a duty of care and if necessary can detain him under a certain section until he is assessed properly by a mental health team.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your kind words. Unfortunately, there's no one who is assigned to his case, even though he spent some time at the hospital and kept taking antidepressants for quite a long time.

      I think there may be a chance that he's aware that all of this is a construct to help him cope with the guilt he feels for leaving his wife. He needs it still and doesn't want anybody to blow up the bubble.

      I threading slowly, I don't want to be cut off. 

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    • Posted

      Do you think your cousin would be open to a visit from his GP or social services?  If so, it's worth a try.  He doesn't need to know that you contacted them.  In any case, I hope things work out well for you both.  There is support for carers that might be worth a try, you would at least know you aren't alone in this difficult time and there would be tips on what helps and what doesn't. 
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    • Posted

      Thanx, I'll look it up.

      He only engages in conversation if you go along with his ideas and do not rock the boat. I'll try again in a few days. 

      The fact that he isolated himself from his family and some of the friends worries me.

      I hope it's just a phase on his way to getting better.

       

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  • Posted

    Good luck, hope things go well for you both.  Remember to look after yourself too, being exhausted isn't going to help things.
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  • Posted

    Sounds like only a professional can now decide what is best for him as he's clearly not well.

    Perhaps get some advise from Mind by giving the m a call or contact your local NHS mental health team for advise.

    if your concerned he's unable to make rational decisions for himself or is showing signs of delusional thinking then you may have to make certain decisions for him without his concent.

    The professional help will be sensitive enough not to suggest your worried or instigated anything but you also need to get  professional advise as to what to do if anything of course.

    Neil 

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  • Posted

    You could notify his GP, at least its on the radar. If they think there is a risk then they can either high recommend a visit or if they think he needs some help a short stay in hospital. Its not nice I know but his safety is paramount. Wish you all the best
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