Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

How can I understand my partner's illness?

It is saddening to not be able to touch him or have long conversations with him like in the previous times. He has been such an amazing partner outside of his illness and it is heart breaking to feel this way for both him and myself. There are times when suddenly he starts to accuse me of doing a gesture (moving my hand in a certain way or scratching my head, which he thinks I am doing to harm him), even associations with words and numbers seem to affect him. We were about to get married…I love him so much…

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Is he taking any medication?

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We’ve been together sixteen years now. This stuff really tests how much you love your partner.

The most often recommended book is “I am not sick, I don’t need help” by Dr Amador.

Whatever your partner says that is not in keeping with his personality, find a way to not take it personally. If his sz type behaviors can have emotional control over you then it is not a healthy situation.

Never_to_become Not yet. We recently communicated to his parents regarding this. Since he also had symptoms of body pain, he has started with physiotherapy recently, but not any psychiatric help yet. We are also concerned about the side effects of medication. Any suggestion?

engineerguy Exactly! That is what has happened in the past few years. I have felt emotionally drained, confused, hurt, saddened and we have fought so much. I have gradually stopped taking his actions and comments personally but what else can be done to avoid such situations? Thanks for referring the book.

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It is easy to guess from your original post that he hasnt and you are in the beginning of your journey.

From my personal experience with 3 (three!) family members (my mom, my brother and my daughter): one definitely will not get better without medication and will only get worse.
So, i vote for getting professional help and medication, even if involuntarily.
(My daughter was REALLY mad at me for the 2 court orders for hospitalization, but i never had any regrets as it did help her)

Look up anosognosia
Anosognosia gets in the way big time and prevents the patients from getting the insight and taking medication. This is not simply a denial. Anosognosia is important for the family to understand, because patients cannot.

Take notes and have a detailed history handy at any time, good or bad

Don’t argue or use logic with a person who is having a psychoses. It is plain useless and will only make things worse. Look up LEAP or better yet read “i am not sick. I don’t need help”

Not from personal experience, but from what i read:

the right medication and dosage are not easy to match and/or stop working suddenly. So even though at the moment my daughter is doing really well, i am prepared to go through relapses in the future.

Because of anosognosia or side effects of medication, patients do stop taking them and relapse. It is not an easy straightforward journey, there will be ups and downs.

Get actively educated about sz and the system (hospital, support and financial assistance) so you wont have to learn by trial and error.

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I can relate with the little things I do if listeninging to music and tapping my foot, she thinks I am sending out Morse code to her enemies. Or if I’m using my fingers and tapping the desk. She acts like I’m scratching a blackboard with my nails.
Get him on meds that’s the first step. Then the right medication cocktail that works for him.

I am sorry to hear that. What has been helpful in my relationship is just listening to my partner and I am trying to not take things personally, even though it is very difficult at times. We are both trying to understand what we can do. Thanks so much for writing in.

Thank you for your insightful suggestions. I am definitely going to keep them in my mind. I am sorry to hear about your story but I am also encouraged by your words. Thank you for standing strong for your family.

Make an appointment for the psychiatrist. Tell him to accompany you, say it’s for you or that you have to pick up a medication from a doctor’s office. If he decides to run and get aggressive, they can call the police to hospitalize him. Also if he says anything about suicide or homcide, even slightly hurting someone, try to record it and call the police while explaining the symptoms he’s having and stats that you think he should be taking to a mental
hospital to be evaluated.