Includes Expert Content
dopamine agonists and delusional, accusatory husband
avatar
An_245982 posted:
My husband is 35 and has been suffering from Parkinson's symptoms for the past 10 years. He takes ropinerole and amantadine. For the past several months he has begun to think that various people are spying on him. This gradually turned to me. Now he is convinced that I'm having affairs. He calls people I work with, sends me crazy texts, checks the closets and windows (he says I'm sneaking people in). He has put out tape recorders and says that he sees stains on my clothes and threatens to send them to a lab?? He has now left and I'm not sure what is going on. I had to change all our bank info because he got a lot of money and bought a bunch of new clothes. It is like he is a different person. Could this be due to medication?
Reply
 
avatar
susiemargaret responded:
hello, A258 --

you need to call your husband's dr first thing on monday morning.

i don't want to scare you, but personality changes like this can signal all sorts of serious problems; they could be medication-related (see PS1, PS2, PS3), but they could also be caused by the onset of dementia or various types of injury to the brain. however, i am not a medical person and you need professional advice about this.

is your husband taking any meds other than the ropinirole and the amantadine?

i send caring thoughts to you and your husband and hope you will keep us posted on how the both of you are doing.

-- susie margaret

PS1 -- webMD info on ropinirole/requip is at http://www.webmd.com/drugs/mono-4041-ROPINIROLE - ORAL.aspx?drugid=4468&drugname=ropinirole Oral&source=2 . note that on the second page of the "side effects" tab, "mental disorder with loss of normal personality and reality" is listed as a rare side effect.

PS2 -- webMD info on amantadine//symadine/symmetrel is at http://www.webmd.com/drugs/drug-750-amantadine Oral.aspx?drugid=750&drugname=amantadine Oral&source=2 .

PS3 -- i checked various websites to see if your husband's two meds could be interacting to cause his behavior but found nothing that indicated any interaction effects.
what good is gold, or silver too, if your heart's not good and true -- hank williams, sr.
 
avatar
julibig17 replied to susiemargaret's response:
Thanks for your reply. This did happen briefly in 2008 and they determined that it was from the meds, but it is so severe this time, I that I just don't know what to think. He has left me and when I see him he looks like he is trying to be a teenager again. I am nearly 8 months pregnant, which makes this whole thing just nearly unbearable. We also have other young children. I have called the neurologists NUMEROUS times, who only tell me that I need to get him to the ER and have him admitted...sort of hard to do with a grown, delusional man who thinks that I am the devil. I hardly ever see him unless he gets the kids for a while, but even then he starts on me about my "affairs" and the stress is just too much. His physical appearance (how he has basically changed his identity) is just too weird for me to. I feel like my life is out of control and there is nothing that I can do. I've expressed the seriousness of the problem to the doctors, but without seeing him, they say there is nothing they can do.
 
avatar
susiemargaret replied to julibig17's response:
hello, J --

does your husband have any siblings or other immediate family whom you could enlist to help you talk him into going to a hosp?

other than that, i am afraid that your only recourse probably involves getting the help of a lawyer. even then, your options, i am guessing, are --

-- to petition a court for a power of attorney over your husband's finances and/or his health care decisions on the grounds that he is not thinking clearly enough to manage his own affairs in these respects;

-- if you want to have full control over the decisions your husband would otherwise make, you would petition for a conservatorship, which is similar to a guardianship except it is for adults rather than children;

-- to petition a court for an order requiring your husband to provide support for you and the children until the circumstances become less complicated; depending on your state's law, this kind of order may be called a "divorce from bed and board," a "partial divorce," or "separate maintenance" and is basically an agreement for a legal separation; you stay married to each other but do not live together; or

-- to petition a court for a divorce, also called an "absolute divorce" or a "divorce from the bonds of matrimony"; this type of divorce dissolves the marriage altogether.

no matter what resolution you anticipate or think you might want to consider, you need to see a lawyer now, meaning tomorrow morning before you do one single other thing. the second thing you should do tomorrow -- two minutes after you call a lawyer -- is to establish a separate bank acct from your husband. beyond that, you need professional advice on setting up money arrangements, temporary support for you while you cannot work because of the baby's arrival, a child custody agreement, and child support, including for the new baby, at the very least.

even if you do not want a divorce, you need legal advice on a multitude of issues, esp because children and a new baby are involved. you should get a lawyer who is an expert in divorce or family law. if no one you know can recommend an experienced lawyer, call the women's shelter and ask if they have a list of lawyers they suggest for consultation with their clients.

oral agreements between you and your husband might not be binding in your state. in order to be fully protected, you need to have a written court order that governs the details of how you separate your joint property, whether you and/or your children can still be covered under your husband's health insurance plan and/or pension benefits (with an absolute divorce, it is extremely unlikely that you can continue to be covered under your husband's health insurance, no matter what your husband or his lawyer or his employer says, altho your children may be eligible for continued coverage), and how you reach agreement on other provisions for day-to-day logistics.

with your children and your pregnancy, your situation is very complex; please do not try to manage it without the help of a lawyer. do not sign anything unless your lawyer looks at it first, and do not make any formal or informal statements or meet with your husband's lawyer unless your lawyer is with you, no matter how much your husband, his lawyer, or his employer insists that it is "just a formality," that it "doesn't matter in the long run," or that you "cannot get a divorce without it."

finally, i need to make one thing clear -- these are only my opinions. i don't know what state's law applies in your case, and obviously i don't know all of the applicable facts. you should not consider my statements to be "legal advice" in the sense that i could be held accountable for inaccuracies in what i've said.

i know this, tho -- you need to talk to a lawyer as soon as you possibly can.

i send you caring thoughts and hope that things will work out in a way that gives you peace of mind.

-- susie margaret
what good is gold, or silver too, if your heart's not good and true -- hank williams, sr.
 
avatar
worn1 replied to susiemargaret's response:
susie margaret i totally agree with you. if his personnality has changed to this extent i worry about the saftey of the children and hers. Anon i am no expert but you really do need to see a lawyer. Maybe he can get the court to force your husband to go for an avaluation.

w
 
avatar
An_246177 responded:
Dear An,
My heart goes out to you. My husband did the same to me. Telling me "Bob" was calling him to say I was out with other men. Becoming inordinantly interested in things he shouldn't be... accusatory, depressed, and many other behavioural changes, including crying out at night, and nightmares in which he would attack me, until I woke him up and calmed him down. The first time this happened, I fought the divorce he said he wanted. I cried, begged, pleaded. I tried speaking with his neurologist who could not speak to me because of HIPA laws without his permission. She simply said take him to an emergency room, which as you said in your last, was impossible. I wrote to her begging her to take him off the Mirapex she had him on, and when she finally did, he became once again, the man I knew.

But then, a year and a half ago, out of the blue he demanded a divorce again and moved out. Again I wrote to the doctor, and she would not speak to me, but at least listened and asked him to come in. He denied everything. So, I was advised by therapists, family, and close dear friends to let him go, lest he do this again yet another time.

We are divorced now, and I am so very very sad, because of course I love him as I always did. The Parkinsons specialists I have contacted have confirmed that they see this quite often - the moving out and the pushing away of those who are, in reality, the caretakers, the ones who reallly love them. It is a shame that everyone concentrates on the physical manifestations of this horrible disease, but not the behaviour aspects which can destroy a family. Please seek help with doctors, therapists, and lawyers and move on with your life. This is one big beast that you cannot battle on your own. With much love to you.... gabrielle
 
avatar
worn1 responded:
Haylen could use an expert. Is Dr Stacy still with us? If not any one avialable to respond to this post. NEED AN EXPERT!!!!!

w
 
avatar
DUKE MEDICINE
Mark A Stacy, MD responded:
Dear An_245982
I am so sorry to have been late to respond. It seems my technology skills were thoroughly defeated with the requirement for email and password. Please know, I am back to help with some questions.

Your husband seems to have 2 things occurring at the moment. The delusion of infidelity is unfortunately, not uncommon in PD, and both embarrassing and hurtful to any spouse. That may be from a memory problem, but more likely his medications.

The change in spending is called Impulse Control Disorder, and is extremely likely to be better with a reduction in his ropinirole dosage. I would suggest you notify his doctor immediately about this, and hope it will improve quickly after a supervised taper of the drug.
 
avatar
julibig17 replied to Mark A Stacy, MD's response:
Dr. Stacy,
Thank you so much for your response. I am just curious if the delusions of infidelity will get any better once the meds are adjusted. I do NOT want a divorce and would give anything to have my family back to normal if that is possible. I worry about this not getting any better. His neurologist is willing to see him before his actual appointment which isn't until late August. They want me to show up at that appointment to explain all of this behavior due to the fact that he denies there is a problem with himself. Do you think that there is a chance for improvement? The paranoia and suspicions are really debilitating for the both of us and he seems to be getting worse the longer this "episode" goes on. He shows up at the house with his flashlight checking all the closets and windows and waits to catch someone "sneaking in". Nothing I say or do makes any difference, although there is no rational basis or evidence for his beliefs. I've never seen anything like this before. I desperately want to get him help. I am also afraid that he is going to be upset with me, as he already states that I'm trying to "throw him under the bus" because I've called drs and spoken with his family about his meds. He doesn't understand that I'm trying to get him help.
 
avatar
DUKE MEDICINE
Mark A Stacy, MD replied to julibig17's response:
Dear julibig17,
The delusions should get much better with a taper of the ropinirole. However, it will take some work to restore the balance in your marriage. If you have a relationship with his family, you may wish to let them know that you think that his medicines may be a problem, and that you are going to go to the doctor with him to see if that can be sorted out. Tell them that you hope it can, but try to avoid enlisting their support. Your husband has to have someone to trust, and if it is not you - for the time being, it will have to be them.

I do suggest you be fairly insistent with the neurologist, and expect a taper of the ropinirole and levodopa (Sinemet) added as a replacement.
 
avatar
susiemargaret replied to Mark A Stacy, MD's response:
hello, dr. stacy --

i've been thinking about your suggestion that J refrain from trying to enlist the active support or reinforcement of her husband's family in her efforts to persuade him to see his dr for a re-evaluation of his meds, the rationale being that he needs to have someone he feels he can trust while he and J are estranged. this consideration had never occurred to me!

i have to think about it some more. thanks for raising this issue.

-- susie margaret
what good is gold, or silver too, if your heart's not good and true -- hank williams, sr.
 
avatar
DUKE MEDICINE
Mark A Stacy, MD replied to susiemargaret's response:
Thanks, susiemargaret