Boyfriend of 7Mo has Schizophrenia


#1

Hi everyone, I am hoping someone out there has some insight for me.
Quick background: I myself have been diagnosed with a mental disorder, but I also have been in a relationship for 6 months now with a guy who has just been diagnosed with schizophrenia. The diagnosis mainly came from his PTSD-like symptoms, minor paranoia/anxiety, and sensory issues.

I have been doing all the research I can because I admit that the news is a bit scary when I don’t know much about the disorder. I always knew he had past issues with depression and anxiety (he experienced a traumatic event in the past) and had PTSD issues.

I guess I am just looking for advice, knowledge, or insight from anyone in a relationship with someone diagnosed similarly or from someone who is diagnosed and in a relationship.

He and I have been able to slowly but successfully talk openly about the situation. He has even offered to let me sit in on one of his Psychiatrist sessions. He speaks to mental health professionals, takes medicine, has a supportive family, and even takes amazing care of a beautiful little girl (from his past marriage). He is considered extremely high functioning and his family has described one of his “fits” as him not being able to perceive time and get anxious about obligations.

I can do all the research I want but would benefit from advice from people in similar situations. Thanks!


#2

It sounds like your boyfriend is handling his sz responsibly. If he wasn’t, I would tell you to think seriously about letting him go. Being in a relationship with someone who is sz can be very demanding. I’m sz, and I can be very wounding at times. Personally, I have decided it is best for me not to be in a relationship. But from what you tell me about your boyfriend it sounds like he is a good catch, and he is worth working for. He probably doesn’t have the anger issues I have.


#3

I commend you for seeking understanding, you must care a lot about him. I have schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia with depression, and my boyfriend of four months is bipolar with psychotic features. There are two key aspects to our continued well being as a couple; communication and medication compliance. If either one of us were to slip on either component I believe we would not last. I tell my boyfriend everything, and when I’m struggling I call him and he tells me funny stories. I love him with my whole heart and he tells me the same. Sometimes thoughts will slip in that he is actually leading me on only to laugh at me when I tell him I love him. Sometimes I feel so happy, with not just how well the relationship is going but I’m doing well in school and everything in my life is awesome, that I fear I am actually dreaming and will wake up in a hell of life. Mental illness definitely throws a cog in the works so prepare for a bumpy ride, but it’s worth it. Keep posting, and I wish you both the best! :sunny:


#4

Welcome to the forum @TheAnxiousOne

It sounds like you are both doing all the right things. Good for him on opening up to you about his diagnoses and taking steps to include you in his treatment. The main website to this forum has a lot of great information. Hopefully it doesn’t happen however you may find yourself in a situation of needing to know how to deal with crisis situations and the link First Aid for Schizophrenia is worth looking at as well as the other links (If you haven’t already)
http://schizophrenia.com/

My son is diagnosed and I have found the below links to be very useful.
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

Remember to take care of yourself.


#5

Thanks for the thoughts. No, he doesn’t have anger issues. He and his family have been very open about his symptoms and triggers and I truly believe that if his symptoms were something for me to be truly worried about his family would step in and let me know. Most of his issues are about anxiety and paranoia but he is still able to remain calm and logical. I really like him and as we haven’t been dating very long I just want to get all possible information so that I can understand what I might get into. I have been diagnosed with panic disorder and obsessive anxiety and usually can understand at least a bit of what he goes through (on a much lower level) and can easily tell when he is stressed or anxious.


#6

I too have a relationship with a man diagnosed with SZ. You are “lucky” in the sense of being able to openly talk about the situation… At least there will be improvement in the near future. My bf is often in denial, always a battle about the meds. I wish I was “as far” as you were…


#7

It’s great that he has insight in his illness. But remember, that can change if he gets worse. Insight is something that will vanish when a psychotic episode knocks on the door. He might think he doesn’t need medication because he is not ill. Take that as a sign he is getting worse.

I have sz too. I have not told my husband everything. I don’t want to make him worried. He is easily worried about small things. I’m glad you have such an open relationship. Go woth him on an appointment and ask his pdoc what you want answers to.