Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Dating someone with SZ


#1

My gf and I have been dating almost 3 years now. She was very clear with her conditions when we first met, and I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. I am patient, compassionate, and very understanding. I thought that was enough.

There are times when she is perfectly fine. She’s extremely social. She lights up the room and everyone loves her. With that being said, she still feels very, very lonely. She fails to see how much people care about her, and believes that all her friendships are shallow. She feels very lonely inside.

She has positive symptoms. She hears whispers and sees shadows. There a few “people” that are constantly in her world. She is aware that they aren’t real, but they can be very rude to her which scares her.

Normally, she’s highly functional. She does a great job at identifying what’s real and what’s not. No one would have guessed that she suffers from SZ unless they were told.

She can be very mean, and cold when she’s under stress. While she display these negative symptoms, I try to be understanding, but I really don’t know how to help her cope. Lately, she’s been under great amount of stress. She doesn’t want to leave the house, because she sees “them”. She’s been very emotional and constantly crying alone. She hides this side of her and deals with it on her own, so I haven’t seen what she’s really like. I wouldn’t have known about this had she not tell me.

I guess my question is, how do I help her cope? I’ve convinced her to seek professional help, but I want to be able to do more than to tell her to “go see a therapist.” She’s so lonely and depressed, and she’s absorbing everything while putting on a fake mask to everyone including me. It really hurts me to see her this way. I want to help her so badly, but I don’t know how.

I apologize for my grammar and poorly written post. It’s 2am here and I’m just about asleep while typing all of this out.


#2

Hi,

Welcome to the forums. Having sz is really tough on everyone - but you’re taking the right approach of trying to understand things better. It sounds like she’s having a tough time - anything you can do to help her reduce her stress is always helpful. I recommend you also review this list of “first aid” for schizophrenia and psychosis:

http://www.schizophrenia.com/sznews/archives/005561.html

Here also is a good book - that you can actually download for free - just click on the title of the book, and then on “download” at the top of the page:

http://libgen.io/book/index.php?md5=1509BB62CFD582D34AB637ECB6BF11A2

I also recommend you print out this form before she does go to the next doctor appointment and make sure she discusses all the issues with her P-doc and therapist:

Two-Way Communication Checklist (2-COM)

We have details about this here:

http://www.schizophrenia.com/sznews/archives/002917.html

This European study used the Two-Way Communication Checklist (2-COM), which is a questionnaire that was developed with the aim of improving communication between patient (who suffers from mental illness) and professionals. The 2-COM is a simple list of 20 common problems, or areas of perceived need that might be experienced by those with severe mental illness. The list includes problems with housing, relationships, money, lack of activities, psychological distress, sexuality, symptoms and treatment side-effects. In the study, patients are provided with the 2-COM prior to seeing their doctor and given simple instructions to help with its completion, guided on indicating which of the 20 problems apply to them and highlighting things they would like to discuss with their doctor during their clinic appointment. The authors report that using a completed checklist to guide discussion during the clinical interview extends the appointment by an average of 13 min.

As such, the 2-COM is a simple tool that can help people discuss their needs so that there can be better communication and changes in clinical management.


#3

I’m struggling with the same things with my daughter. It’s hard to see a loved one suffering, and it feels very helpless when you can’t really help them. I’m just trying to be loving and offer a listening ear when she needs it. I do my best to help her avoid stress and support her in taking her medication. Other than that, I’m not sure what I can do. It’s hard. I completely understand how you feel.