Boyfriend going through diagnosis...can barely hold on anymore


#1

my “boyfriend” is currently in the final stages of diagnosing schizophrenia. I put boyfriend in quotations because for the past year he has been everything but that. I will explain.

I met this man and he was a dream come true. he brought out the best in me. he treated me wonderfully. I was ready to spend the rest of my life with him. he was perfect in every way. we moved in together, we had a ring picked out, we got a puppy, we started our life.

soon after moving in he completely changed. he went from showering me with love and affection to ignoring me. we didn’t even sit on the same side of the couch. no sex. no kisses. no affection. and I would say “you don’t show me you care anymore” “do you not want to be with me” so on trying to discuss the issue. and it would turn into a fight of him saying “I haven’t changed” “I treat you exactly the same” and turned into constantly fighting. we would fight all day. all night. I would come home from work, pay the bills, make him dinner, clean his clothes, and he’d just sit there and watch TV and fight with me. he wouldn’t let me leave, if I locked myself in the bedroom to calm down hed pick the lock. and after a month of this I told him to leave. I walked outside, calmed down and came back inside to apologize and ask him not to go and he had 7 people in my apartment moving him out completely that night.

he told me he loved me. he told me we’d work this out. and he said he just needs to shock me and that I need help. and I believed him. I went through therapy for months. and I was told I’m perfectly sane and healthy. he would show up and tell me how much he loves me, then ignore me and do whatever he wanted to do. he told the story of our break up to make it look like I was insane, so all of his family and all of his friends hate me. he would say the most hurtful things, then a week later come crying saying he misses me. this went on for 9 months.

I couldn’t understand what was happening. I was so good to him. he constantly blew up at me. he caused our break up. blamed it on me. but seemed so genuine when he’d show up in tears. after that 9 months I was so depressed and sick from the stress of chasing him and the emotional rollar coaster, I went off. and he stopped talking to me. I started finding my life again and started healing but I still couldn’t make sense of what happened to the man I loved so much.

after about a month or so, he asked to meet and talk. so i did, and I put my foot down. I told him if he wanted to be with me he was going to be with me. no staying broken up but coming to me crying. he was to go to therapy (as I suggested before and he refused). and he is to stand up to his friends and family and stop keeping me a secret. so he did.

I figured he’d attend therapy to let go of some baggage and help with anger issues. and after 2 months she mentioned she thought he was schizophrenic. and she was right. he has attended 2 case studys, he is going to the final one tonight and they are 99% sure of diagnosis. come to find out the stress from moving in caused his symptoms which were just starting to sky rocket. and now the stress of the studies and finding this out about himself has caused him to be even worse.

he is so abusive. he yells. he screams. he gets aggressive. he makes very inappropriate comments. he thinks fights occur differently then they did. he blames me. and then he has clarity and is so unable to express his emotions that the most he can say is “sorry love you”

so I guess what I need is advice on what to do.

I know deep down he does love me. he needs me. I can see by how destroyed he is when I’m ready to give up. and I do love him. but I have put up with 13 months of abuse from this. and I don’t know what to expect from here. I try to be here for love and support, and that he cant help it but it’s killing me.

what should I expect? will he be put on medication and be the man I once adored again? is a few more weeks of hell worth seeing him on medication? will it always be this bad? how will the medication change him?

thank you for reading and the help.


#2

Hi Bre~
If you decide to stay with him, you are going to need a lot of support-so will he. I can`t answer if he will ever be the same again. This will be a hard road for both of you. He may even want to get himself through some of this on his own.
I would educate yourself on his illness-do some research online-if he has doctors, see if you can talk with them. This forum is also very good to come back to. You can also see if there is a local NAMI support group in your area. It would be great to get as many people on board with this as possible.
Good luck


#3

Hi,
I agree with @bridgecomet, you can’t carry it all yourself. I was in an unhealthy relationship a few years ago with a guy who was not schizophrenic, but was not well. He would not get help and it broke me and eventually I left. I think, in your case, the (if anything) positive thing is that he is getting help, it is a start.
It sounds like you really love him and want to be there for him, but I think you should also help yourself. Talk to someone, maybe his family, your own or a professional. Read some quality material about the illness, that might help you to “understand” his behavior or at least recognize some symptoms - then maybe you can say to yourself: this is not him, it might be x symptom.
I don’t know how he is feeling of course, but I know from myself that I have a hard time expressing my feelings and needs, expressing anything really, this might be really frustrating for him, apathy, depression. On top of that there is the symptoms - maybe voices, hallucinations, just millions of thoughts - chaos. The meds might help within a few weeks, but sometimes it takes time finding the right meds. But I have to say that it is not an immediate cure and there are side effects.
So I guess what I am saying is that it is not going to be easy. They always tell me that there is no cure, but many recover and live good lives, but it will take time and the illness will properly always be there one way or another. The odds are good when you are young.
So don’t be alone in this, support him as much as you can (don’t get stuck in hell) and remember yourself!

Take care!


#4

It’s not easy being a caregiver to someone fighting this. It’s confusing and it is a rollercoaster between hope and heartbreak. I would never dream of not sticking by my oldest brother who’s been battling this for so much of his life. I love my brother dearly and I will always do what I can for him. I am very grateful in that; with the right meds, the right therapy, and the right mindset, my brother has been working to come back to us and fight this.

I can only imagine how much harder it is for a new relationship developing during onset.

The biggest tools in my families toolbox are resources and knowledge and support. These three things have helped my family navigate the illness a bit.

Even with these three things it’s no easy task, watching someone you love suffer through this. But with these three things, there’s a fighting chance.

First, knowing what is the disease and how it affects your loved one can demystify some of the confusion.

The accusations could be panic from positive symptoms while the cold and distant flatness of emotion could be negative symptoms.
First I would suggest learning what you can about this.

http://schizophrenia.com/diag.php# - symptoms

http://schizophrenia.com/ami/index.html - over view

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/schizophrenia/index.shtml

Second, knowing what help is available; knowing something about how this illness is treated will also help you support your loved one.

http://schizophrenia.com/sztreat.html - how it’s treated

Third would be support. Finding a support group for yourself as well will help you find others who completely understand what’s happening in your life. Plus if you need a sympathetic ear, a good hug, a good cry, or some up to date answers, a support group is just the place.

www.nami.org - support, information and resources all in one.

good luck and I hope you find the strength and answers you need.

Thank you for letting me post


#5

Welcome to the forum @bre

When my son is not stable or not doing very well his mood is easily triggered into a negative/aggressive one. He has little control over it at the time. Coming to terms with a schizophrenia diagnoses is not easy. How is he feeling about the diagnoses? Does he understand or agree with it?

Some of these links may help:

http://www.leapinstitute.org/ - under resources are free videos on using LEAP
LEAP is a way of communicating to build trust. Listen-Empathize-Agree-Partner.
http://dramador.com/ - Dr. Xavier Amador is a clinical psychologist whose brother had schizophrenia. He is the founder of the LEAP Institute. Wrote the book: I’m Not Sick I Don’t Need Help! Can buy from his website.
Search Xavier Amador and LEAP on youtube.com and you should find some long videos
http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/index.php - under problems you will see anosognosia
Anosognosia looks like denial but is different.
http://lesswrong.com/lw/e25/bayes_for_schizophrenics_reasoning_in_delusional/ - helped my understand delusions
http://www.nami.org/ - National Alliance on Mental Illness.
http://www.schizophrenia.ca/ - Schizophrenia Society of Canada

Can also find some very useful information here:
http://www.schizophrenia.com/

I would recommend if you can getting him into an early treatment program as they seem to help the person and their family come to terms and can pave the way for better treatment compliancy.

Early Psychosis Treatment center information in these two links
http://www.schizophrenia.com/earlypsychosis.htm
http://www.raiseetp.org/sites/

Psychiatric Treatment Centers affiliated with Medical Schools in the USA
http://www.schizophrenia.com/psychcenters.htm

It sounds like he has a therapist with experience in schizophrenia which is good. Does he have a psychiatrist?

This link may help you find a psychiatrist in your area
http://psychiatrists.psychologytoday.com/rms/prof_search.php

The only thing I can tell anyone in any relationship is that it is up to you to decide if the relationship is worth it or not and how long you are willing to deal with it. Mental illness comes with it’s own sets of issues on top of ‘normal’ relationship issues of building a life together. We all watch our children or loved ones grow and change and expecting him to be the same person that he was before all this may not be in the cards however he can recover and he can be stable giving the right set of circumstance. It’s not an easy road as you have already discovered.

I would recommend spending some time reading through the family section and even the diagnosed section as it can help to give some insight into what your boyfriend is feeling and experiencing.