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Wife Seems to Be Schizophrenic: How to Help?

Questioner

A

Reply Date

Jul 20, 2018

Question

For the last 19 years, I have been carrying lots of pain due to my Hindu wife with whom we have two children. Sometimes, I found it very difficult to even to talk to her in any matter.

Although she officially converted to Islam (for the sake of putting that title behind her name), but she does not follow any teachings. She always seems to be very suspicious without any reason. She used to come silently behind me to catch me red handed for some meaningless things. I discussed all these with two psychologists who suggested that she may be a victim of schizophrenia or some paranoid personal disorder.

Sometimes, for no reason she seems to be very violent or quarrelsome with me. Because of our two growing up children, I have been bearing her for more than 19 years, but I often feel helpless. It's almost unbearable to accept her as my wife. I pray 5 times a day, fast and also recite and memorize Quran. I am also making dua for her continuously to be a good Muslim wife, and I am trying to put myself as role model for them. But she seems to be in another world. No change at all in the last 19 years. She even often objects while I say or teach religious things to my two children. I had to secretly teach them Quran and hadith.

Please advice what to do. I see she has a critical mental condition. On many occasions, when my wife is in good mood, I requested her to go to a marriage counselor or psychologist, but she said that she was 100% fine and her behavior was normal. After all her previous behaviors, hysterical suspicion and jealousy incidents, I requested her, for sake of two children and our marriage, to visit a counselor or psychologist, but she says that if I insist more, she will go to the police and tell them that I am harassing her! It’s too difficult situation. I even tried NLP and other psychotherapy myself after reading Anthony Robbins and Richard Bandler’s books which I found on me and children very effective, but my wife has kept her away from such home therapy. She even gets angry whenever I use to recite Quran or stories from the Prophet’s life.

Counselor

Answer


Schizophrenic wife


In this counseling answer:

I urge you, in sha’ Allah, to speak with the psychologist about your options. Continue asking her to go for an evaluation and possibly offering a reward as recommended.


As-Salamu ‘Alaikum brother,

I am sorry to hear of your most difficult situation at home and with your wife. May Allah (swt) reward you for your patience, kindness, and dedication considering the circumstances. It sounds as if she does need to be evaluated by a clinician, however as you stated, she refuses.

From what you described, she seems paranoid at a time and is prone to angry outburst as well as she “seems to be in another world”. Brother, you may want to speak with one of the psychologists whom you consulted with previously and see if there is any way to get her into treatment by a medical order. I am not sure where you are living, but in the USA, if someone is a danger to themselves or others, they can be admitted against their will for evaluation.


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The Treatment Advocacy Center states “Some people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder refuse treatment. The main reason they do so is that they have no awareness of their illness and do not think that they are sick; this is called anosognosia. Some people who refuse treatment can be persuaded to accept it by patiently working with them or by offering them a reward if they do so.“ While I do not know if your wife is suffering from bipolar disorder or schizophrenia (only a clinician who assesses her can determine) you did say she feels there is nothing wrong and she does not need treatment. This is common in some mental disorders wherein there is a distortion of reality. If this is not the case, it could be that she does know something is wrong, yet she feels ashamed.

In any case brother, I urge you, in sha’ Allah, to speak with the psychologist about your options; continue asking her to go for an evaluation and possibly offering a reward as recommended. This is known as the reward system, which some people respond to favorably. Lastly dear brother, do take care of yourself, possibly join a support group for Spouses of the Mentally Ill; get out and socialize with friends; engage in a sport, hobby, as well as spending quality time with your children. The process of getting help for your wife may be tedious, and you and your children need a reprieve from the daily stress that comes from taking care of and dealing with someone who is mentally ill.

I would suggest taking the children to the mosque often in order to continue their Islamic ties both educationally as well as socially, and for yourself as well. Our brothers and sisters in Islam can be a great support. Make du’aa’ to Allah (swt) that He grants ease and mercy for your family, and He (swt) heals your wife from her condition.

Please let us know how you are doing brother. You are in our prayers.

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

Read more:

From Depression to Schizophrenia

Causes & Perceptions of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia: Do Qur’anic Verses Help?




About Aisha Mohammad-Swan

Aisha Mohammad-Swan received her PhD in psychology in 2000. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York with a focus on PTSD, OCD, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, and Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. She is currently studying for her certification in Islamic Chaplaincy, and takes Islamic courses at SHC. Aisha works at a Women's Daytime Drop in Center, and has her own part-time practice in which she integrates counseling and holistic health. Aisha also received an MA in Public Health/Community Development in 2009 and plans to open a community counseling/resource center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah.

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