Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Hello, first post here. I need some advice and guidance!

Thank you in advance for reading this. I am trying to think of a way to keep things vague so as to protect privacy, but I desperately need d advice.

I am a 24f dating a 33m. He has a diagnosis and has been hospitalized previously but that happened prior to me meeting him. He currently has not been taking his medication for at least a year (I watched him flush it down the sink once). He self medicated with pot and I’m not sure if that makes his symptoms worse care deeply about him and want to see a future for us together but at the moment our relationship is not an equal partnership, he doesn’t leave his apartment much due to paranoia and doesn’t have a job.

His family I hesitate greatly to speak on because I do not know what they have endured, I only met them very recently. His rent is paid for by family and the remote job he has, when he chooses to do it, was given to him by a close family member.

I have read up on LEAP and have tried desperately to find support in my area through NAMI but at present there are no offices near me.
I have lost my patience several times because I am his biggest point of contact with the outside world at this point in time- he has no friends other than xbox and sees his family on his schedule. What spurred me to come on here after lurking for so long is his mother asked us to leave her home last night on Christmas Eve after he began getting agitated and made a few remarks that were rude and threatening toward her. It was my first time at her home and I didn’t know how to diffuse the situation as she cried and told him he needed medication. (I agree that he does need medication but I know from my own experience with him that her approach did nothing except rile him and put him on the defensive. )
I also tried distancing myself a few weeks ago, because he thought I was a secret agent and smashed my phone. But he knows where I live and has come by my house and workplaces to find me. I don’t say this to alarm anyone about my safety but to give context to how his paranoia has driven away those in his life (as soon as he smashed my phone, he felt remorse and has repeatedly apologized). He isn’t well and I don’t want to walk away felt someone who has the potential to be a wonderful life partner, but I did receive advice from several people that I should walk away from this because it could become increasingly unsafe.

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Welcome Wantto…

You are still young and your relationship has not progressed to the point where you are living together, have children or where he is solely dependent on you.

Ask yourself these important questions now: Am I willing to put everything in my life aside to take care of this man if his family stops supporting him? Do I have the funds to do this? Am I willing to be subjected to more anger and paranoia? How much am I willing to sacrifice in my life to be with this man?

I have been through this myself in a marriage. If someone had given me advice early in the relationship, I would have chosen to remain friends with the man and help him however I could but would not have become as involved. My husband is also unmedicated, uses street drugs/alcohol to cope and only got worse in the years after he quit medication. Trying to maintain the relationship with him has been the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life.

If you still want to help him, please focus on yourself first. Work on your life, your career and your future. If you are doing well, you will also be in a good place to help him if you want to do that. Just don’t let him drag you down. I hope this advice helps.

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don’t walk, run, forget you ever met…

that will never happen…

you sure as hell dont want a kid with him, 50-50 kid will be sick…

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GGSP is right.

Sorry to be blunt.

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I’m sorry but I agree with GSSP as well. My husband’s symptoms developed well after marriage, he took meds for several years and then stopped.

Our lives were increasingly miserable for the year and a half before he started medication and our lives have been a living misery for the last 8 of the 11 months he has not been on medication.

This is not something anyone should have to go through. We love each other dearly, but love is not enough.

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I have to agree with the other posters here. Walk away. You can offer encouragement and support, as a friend. I was married to a man who was the love of my life, but the sz eventually ended the marriage. You are too young to be burdened w this disease. Think of the scene you had Christmas Eve. Now imagine that every family gathering you attend in the future to be like that. Because that is what life will be for you if you stay w him.

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And ask him to buy you a new phone!

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I understand ‘the heart wants what the heart wants’ but from what you have described and if it were me I would leave the relationship completely- knowing what I know now about this disease and especially about those that cannot bring themselves to stay with consistent treatment and medication.

You are young enough to find a healthy, balanced and safe relationship, not that there is a cut off age because I don’t think there is. This man’s family it seems is doing what they can whether it’s enough or not, like you said, who knows?

I would strongly advise that if it is at all possible that you seek counseling for yourself only to get a deeper clarity on what the attraction is to this man and to hear another unbiased view on the situation.

Some women, myself included have a history of entering long term relationships that require so much more care taking and sacrifice from us rather than from the person we have tried to have the relationship with.

Those relationships will invariably leave us sad, discouraged and depleted in the long term and as for bringing potential children into the mix (if that is a consideration) you would literally be a single parent parenting a child and an adult and worrying about the safety of the child if and when you were not always present.

In addition to that there are studies that suggest that some mental illness has a hereditary component so there is that to think about.

Please try to look at your situation not just through the lens of an irrational heart but in this case with just your rational mind, because it will serve you well to do so. Don’t bank on a relationship based on unreliable potential, that is a house of cards that is guaranteed to crumble. Best wishes.

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FWIW, I agree with others that it would be best for you to separate yourself from this person.

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I have to agree as well. From my perspective it seems he doesn’t want or isn’t capable of a relationship at present.

I’ve had potential relationships slip away because I was very honest about my situation including my illness. I gave her a copy of ‘The Center Cannot Hold’ and said my experience was similar to Elyn Saks’. Her response was it was ‘a lot’ and given other aspects of our relationship, a relationship wasn’t possible. We are friends to this day and still text occasionally.

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Sorry to hear about your BF, recovery is possible but he needs to have self discipline, self control and give up the pot.

I’ve had a history of severe mental illness but managed to get better and no longer take any medication, work part time 2 jobs and actually enjoy my life with my girlfriend and look forward to the future. If your BF would like some ideas on how to get better here’s a link to my short essay

Link: http://media.yoism.org.s3.amazonaws.com/CakeTheory.pdf

Also I have a YouTube Channel where I air my views. Good Luck>

.https://www.youtube.com/user/caketheory

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“24 and dating”…this should be a wonderful, fun time for you in life. Now is not the time to take on something so serious when you dont have to.
The investment is huge and the return is very unpredictable.
Your safty and well being should be top priority

I hope you take everyones good advice on this form… they gave you a lot .

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Hi, just wanted to thank everyone for their advice so far. I’ve been reading it and mulling it over. I’m already quite burnt out when it comes to my boyfriend’s bad days, but I’ve tried to tell myself that with patience and understanding he might improve. I’ve allowed myself to fall into the position of his only friend/caregiver/girlfriend/whatever you want to call it out of my own loneliness. I’m definitely aware of my own need for therapy, as one poster suggested, and need to find a way to deal with my feelings toward this relationship in a more healthy way.
Yesterday he called the police to perform a welfare check on me because I chose not to answer my apartment door, which he stopped by to bang on at least 5 times in 2 days. He said he thought I died because I didn’t answer the door. Which perhaps isn’t a completely illogical conclusion for most people but given his predisposition to paranoia, I think it was moreso an overreaction on his part. I guess I’m not sure how to talk about this because it’s embarrassing and I feel foolish but yesterday was too much for me. I can’t handle someone needing my constant attention or else they think the absolute worst (in which he doesn’t believe anything i say anyway).
I hope I can talk to my apartment complex about locking the door because I’m tired of “trying” to extricate myself from him. I think at this point I’ve done as much as I could possibly do and I’m in over my head.

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Dont count on it…

You need to file a restraining order and have him arrested when it happens again and start looking for a new place to live…

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I agree with the posters. I commend you for wanting to stick with him to help, and you perhaps should as a friend, but you are in store for a world of misery if you want a deeper relationship. It is very concerning that he is not on any meds, this condition doesn’t just clear up, it only gets worse, a lot worse, without therapy and meds. Unless you already have a strong history of deep love together, please think twice about staying in a relationship.

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You got that right, my wife served hard time with the criminally insane, 3 months, for trying to kill two cops… aggravated assault and battery…

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You can’t save someone who doesn’t want to be saved!

For the last 35 years my brother has been trying to save himself from schizophrenia, but he can’t.

You can’t save someone who can’t even save themself.

I could be wrong, but the fact that you feel you can help a person with so much baggage means you have your own issues to deal with, so SAVE yourself first!!!

Find a way to really love yourself, meaning take care of yourself mentally and physically in all ways you can. If you can get help from friends and family then get it.

Sorry to be blunt.

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I agree 100% with Chuong_Ha. If he won’t get help and it seems he lacks insight, which means his illness does not allow him to “know” that he is ill, there is nothing you can do. Keep yoursefl safe and investigate, perhaps with a therapist, why you are willing to put yourself in harms way for “a potential life partner.” Is there something telling you that this is the best you can do? Love yourself enough to leave AND if necessary, get an order of protection if you feel threatened. Praying for you both…but LEAVE. Be greatful he only smashed your phone. It is a vicious illness. He might be better on a long injection instead of pills. Has anyone suggested this to him?

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It’s hard for me to relate sometimes in hearing that they can’t be helped until they want it. Being the fact that it is an illness. There’s not always clarity from our loved ones to realize or accept. Are they really to blame ? I have been fortunate to not have dealt with the violent rages aside from 1 or 2, which were manageable for me and my family. But I feel that we as the caregivers and family need to make the necessary and rational decisions whether it be for them or ourselves we are the ones with the clarity for the most part. And be sure to not lose sight of that and need to make the decisions that are safest and healthiest for ourselves and them.
Giving your bf or partner or family member the suggestions best for them and then following through for what’s safest and best for us. We can’t expect a rational decision or response from an irrational person.
We need to be the constant and the calmness I feel for them and ourselves

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@Kristin04 I think there’s a big difference between dating someone for an indeterminate time and caregiving for a child, a spouse, a parent or a sibling, and advice given reflects that.

When someone without binding ties asks, “should I move on?” That alone indicates they should. They’re mostly looking for reassurance and support for a tough and emotional decision.

There’s a bridge between caregiver and partner, and it begins with accepting and receiving help, and with luck and perseverance moving on to self sufficiency. When deciding to accept the call to be a caregiver, it’s important to know you may be that bridge for a lifetime. And if a potential burden doesn’t appear ready to accept help, it’s a good indicator that you’ll be stuck on that bridge for an indeterminate time— so maybe you should move on.

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