Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Conversations with the doctor


#1

I’m new to the forum but have been reading a lot. I am learning a lot and really appreciate everyone on here. Now it’s time for my question. My significant other (BF) has an undiagnosed mental illness. The undiagnosed part is likely because he is not honest with his doctors about certain positive symptoms of psychosis. I know he isn’t because he tells me. As a GF, I am not sure where I should draw the line. Tell his family, tell his doctor?

What have others done in a similar situation? I don’t want to lose his trust because I love him. I also need him to get the help he deserves because I love him.


#2

If his symptoms are not severe, he can handle it without putting him or anyone in danger than you will love him more than he starts medication treatment.


#3

I have not been in similar situation so I am not in the position to give advice.
Your love for him is needless to say.


#4

You are in a difficult position and I am sorry. I can only imagine how difficult it must be trying to balance his trust in you and his safety. But in my opinion his safety comes first. In order to be safe he needs proper treatment.

Many schizophrenics, myself included, feel reluctance to talk about their symptoms. I am even reluctant to talk to my doctor about certain things. Doctors are used to this and some are very good at gleaning useful information despite patient’s reticence.

However, if you think he is in serious jeopardy and his doctor is unaware, that is different. I would say you have to consider the worst possible outcomes. If you talk to his doctor, he finds out, and he feels betrayed it might end your relationship. However if he doesn’t get the proper diagnosis it could end up far worse. I’m sorry that you are in such dire straits. I hope it works out.


#5

Thank you all for responding. It means a lot to me especially during this trying time. His health is definitely the most important concern of mine. I am confident and hopeful that he will be able to see that one day. Thankful that he has promised me he will be honest and anxious myself for his therapy to begin. I appreciate you all more than I can express right now.


#6

Do you mind if I ask what his symptoms are? If they are having in impact on him, your relationship or his ability to cope and live then yes someone needs to know.


#7

I’m not trying to pry, but I am med compliant, I do still have some voices and some tactile and visual hallucinations… I also get into some panic modes thinking I’m being followed by kidnappers. But I do have some support of people on my side who help me out of this loop.

I do have symptoms… but I do have a job… I am in my own place… I do get out and make it to work on time. If your BF can still make it through his day… just be there for him, listen and don’t kill the trust.

Telling his family can be humiliating if he hasn’t told them himself. Plus… just listening and being there for him is a huge help. My kid sis and my girlfriend can’t actually DO anything when I’m having a rough night but they can listen, talk me down and just be a friend.

Again, my symptoms are there, but I can function around them.


#8

Thanks for the replies. He isn’t yet diagnosed, can’t work and at this point can’t care for himself. I’m not sure I want to share details here even though this is anonymous but I will say, he has delusions and hallucinations that he thinks are fully real and afflicting physical harm on him. This is preventing him from even going to a grocery store, remembering to bath, talking at some points, walking without gate issues, carrying on concentration, etc. He doesn’t have social services like SSI. He has no income or doctor/treatment plan or even a diagnosis. I am enabling this behavior and taking care of him. I’ve been ignoring the delusion because it’s very specific. Otherwise he is the most logical and intelligent person I know. He’s been going to specialist for help with the physical symptoms without telling them about the psychological. He said he would be honest with the doctors but after 3+ specialist (not in realm of mental health) he omitted the psychological aspects of his illness because he thinks they can’t help. This is very real and scary for him as I don’t need to explain here. He has gotten progressively worse in the almost 3 years we’ve been together. I have recently informed him that I can’t support him any longer and that he needs help. I am still going to be a support but I need to work on myself as the last couple of years has taken a toll on me. I’m not breaking up with him, just forcing him into treatment which feels awful.

I just am torn. I have told his mother and she is fairly convinced his issues are drug related (we live together and I’m not convinced… As far as I know he has not done drugs in some time (year) although I am not naive and know there is always a possibility). I want to make sure a psychiatrist can evaluate with all known information. I’m just not sure he or his mom will get that information to his doctor. He has agreed to go see someone for me but not because he thinks it will help. I am so very proud of him and know that he can, with lots of work, get the support he needs. It will be a long road but all of that hinges on his honesty with the doctors.

I’m just broken up about this, I have written down a history of his issues related or even not related which he has actually helped me create. I think I’m going to just print and try and convince him to just give the paper to the doctor himself. I know that is asking a lot of him. But I also am hopeful that he can then get properly diagnosed, SS assistance, medications or treatment plans, etc.


#9

You are very brave, and I think you are doing the right thing.
It does sound like he really needs help. I wonder if you could tell him how you feel-see if he will let you go with him to the doctor. If he will not go, you may have to tell someone ( maybe his regular doctor? ) It might help for you to get some support for yourself with a local NAMI group in your area. They may also have some good ideas.
You sound pretty solid-and doing what you need to do. Maybe he will let you go to the doctor with him?
Good luck…I think your on the right path…


#10

Do you know who his pdoc is? If so, I suggest you send your clinical observations to the doctor, either by fax, mail or hand deliver it. Because of HIPAA privacy laws, the doctor probably won’t call you or discuss anything with you, but he will read your comments. On the envelope write “Personal and Confidential” above the doctor’s name to ensure he gets it. You should also mention in your comments whether or not you want your boyfriend to know you sent it. The pdoc will be discreet if you request it.

I have done that a couple of times when son would not sign a HIPAA form for me. Your observations would be very helpful to the pdoc in making his diagnosis and prescribing appropriate meds.

Best of luck to you both.