When my husband was so clingy and wanted to kiss all the time, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. Was this a part of getting accustomed to retirement? I was busy with the final details of our move into our completely renovated house. There were several trips to the house with smaller item.
The first time I realized there was really something serious going on was when my husband asked me if the family knew me while on our way to a family reunion. I assured him that the family had known me for several years. That was reassuring enough. As we talked, I realized he thought I was just a driver.
When we got home, we went to the doctor. I had never heard of Capgras syndrome, a form of dementia that includes delusions of those you love being replaced with identical copies. My instructions? Don’t try to argue him out of the delusions, it will only upset him.
My husband has told my copies how much he loves and misses me. He is upset that after working a lifetime to give us a good life, and now being retired, that I am now gone all the time. We are supposed to be traveling together, and enjoying the good life. He expresses concern that I don’t trust him enough to let him help me with whatever is causing me to go away.
I have assured him I will make sure there is always someone here to help him out when I can’t be with him. He is worried about all the strangers in the house, and wonders why we moved here. Worried about others in the house using his towel, he always gets a fresh one out of the linen closet before he showers. At dinner, he wonders where the others are.
My husband will call me, when my copy is with him. He got very upset when my phone rang at home during one of these calls, so now I turn the ringer down. He also send text messages so I can call him back.
There is hope. There are drugs and behavioral approaches to treat this syndrom. The main goal is to make him as happy as I can, for as long as I can.
Note: This is a fictionalized account. I do have a friend who was recently dianosed with Capgrass. I had never hear of this condition.