Boyfriend has schizophrenia I believe, but will not seek help


#1

Hello there!

So my boyfriend of 5 years started to dramatically change about a year ago. He constantly thinks everyone is working together to make his live hell. Sometime he even thinks we’re all working together to bring a change that we want within him. He thinks I’m fake a lot of the time. There’s tons more too. It kills me! I don’t know what to do. He won’t get help for it because he trusts no one. What do I do? Help!!!


#2

It sounds like it could be a disorder, but only a doctor with the appropriate credentials can make that diagnosis.
You have some choices to make for yourself.
You can try to help him see a doctor and get a diagnosis / treatment. But if he refuses your help, you won’t have any positive impact.
You could choose to part ways. There is nothing morally wrong with leaving a boyfriend who doesn’t treat you the way you feel you deserve to be treated.
You could try to get his family up to speed and engaged in seeking diagnosis and treatment. It’s up to them if they want to do all that, and you can’t force them to take action.
You could wait it out and hope the changes to stop or reverse. But from a relationship perspective, that almost never happens. Even if it isn’t a real psychological disorder.


#3

I go along with what @wreklus said. You may need to make some changes in your own life, as hard as that can be, but learning more about serious mental illness (even if there is not yet a diagnosis) can be helpful and certainly empowering. You might read some of the material on the NAMI.org website.


#4

If it is schizophrenia and he isn’t willing to see a doctor or take meds, you are in for a horrible long term emotional roller coaster ride. You may have to choose yourself and your own sanity over trying and failing to help him. As @wreklus said, you can choose to part ways. The more you learn about this illness, the more you will see what a curse it is for everyone involved.


#5

As someone with sza (schizoaffective bipolar) I am grateful for my husband sticking with me through this ride.

However, if I refused treatment I would (during my non-ill times) understand why he left of he would.

If your boyfriend refuses treatment, no matter how much you love him, you should come first to YOU. You cannot help an Unmedicated schizophrenic. You would end up going crazy trying to figure out the why’s of everything.


#6

Thank you all. Yes, it is a crazy coaster ride. He said he will at least see a Dr, although he still thinks there’s nothing wrong with him. I will try to keep you all posted. I pray he gets on medicine!


#7

That’s a good start.
It seems pretty common for someone with a disorder to ignore all the signs and symptoms and irrational behavior. Truely, a lot of people with any disorder, but especially Sz / SzA suffer from a symptom that causes a lack of rational insight into their actions and the real world cause and effect. Sequence of events, logical conclusions and rational decision making can be honestly challenging (particularly in the midst of psychological distress from hallucinations or delusions).
He may internally question whether there is anything wrong with his reasoning and behavior, or even emphatically deny it.
If you are determined to be there for him and help him, being emotionally consistent, providing even-tempered reason and logic and having the patience to endure some very upsetting lack of impulse control and good decision making are probably going to be key. Hopefully not forever, but probably for a while.

Keep insisting that he deserves peace of mind and some genuine contentment. Keep respectfully disagreeing with irrational logic. Keep recommending habits that promote good quality of life. Point out habits that detract from it.

If things get violent or abusive, don’t tolerate it. Take action.
If you feel like you’re making too many sacrifices, be honest about it. With him as well as with yourself.


#8

In regard to lack of insight, a must-read is “I Am Not Sick; I Don’t Need Help”. You can also learn more about the strategy detailed in this book at LEAPInstitute.org. The author, Dr. Amador, who had a brother with SZ, tells about how this strategy helped him (as well as many of his patients) become medication-compliant. The strategy also helps with ANYthing you want the person to do but they are resistant. It was especially helpful for me to read Dr. Amador’s description of what it is like for a person who lacks insight to be told that he is sick. There is nothing rational about SZ. But there ARE strategies to deal with it.