I have no idea what’s happening with my SO

Hi, I’m new here. I’ve been reading and trying to educate myself as best possible. I’ve known my SO roughly 11 years. I’ve been in a relationship with him the last year or so. We broke up in December.

He’s been paranoid our entire relationship. I chocked it up to a suspicious personality and let it go. After all my mom is that way and it is what it is. Within the past few weeks/month it’s rapidly progressed. He now thinks me and everyone he knows are engaged in some sort of conspiracy sending him on missions he needs to pass for his “collective conscious”. He keeps trying to figure out what all the “coincidences” are. He says he thinks the CIA or Elon Musk is sending him messages through the internet.

There were signs of this in the past but it was in passing and nothing so severe it caught my attention. He is on Ritalin and has been for 10-15+ years as he has severe ADHD. It seems the conspiracies, although always existing, emerge most often when his prescription is refilled. Does he abuse it? He has in the past. Is he currently abusing it? Is he sleeping? I don’t think he is abusing it. His sleep schedule appears erratic but has been that way for quite some time. I cannot confirm/deny any of those questions as we are no longer together. No other drugs are in question whatsoever. Overall he eats healthy. Does not drink excessively and works out 6x week. He is actually much healthier now than he was when we were together.

He says once he talks to me he feels better. That it’s a load off his mind. But then it comes back and he feels crazy again. His thoughts are mostly linear but sometimes trail off and don’t make sense or he forgets he said something he just said. I’ve called his mom and she’s dismissive. He said his friends laugh at him. I try to just listen to him but tell him that reality doesn’t exist for me currently. I don’t know what to do. I’m lost and scared and my heart is breaking. I want to help so badly. I love him dearly. I am just so out of my league here. I have a family with severe depression, and anxiety so I’m accustom to mental healthy issues but nothing like this.

Any guidance would be so helpful. He’s supposed to see a regular doctor tomorrow. But he doesn’t believe anything is wrong with him mentally. I’m afraid he won’t actually go even though I’ve offered to take him/drive him, etc.

From what you’ve described, it sounds like he’s experiencing escalating symptoms of paranoia and beginning to decompensate toward psychosis. These may be symptoms of conditions ranging from bipolar or schizoaffective disorder to schizophrenia or some other mental illnesses or disorders.

Sleep disruption is common in these disorders and often escalates prior to hospitalizations. Anasognosia, or lack of insight that anything is wrong mentally, is another common symptom.
Stressors often accompany such episodes, but I would not feel at all responsible for his condition which as you say was present throughout your relationship. Sometimes having social contacts can tend to moderate symptoms somewhat, but it seems as illness progresses it strains those relationships and leads to an escalating spiral.

My opinion is the best thing you can do for your former SO is communicate your observations to his medical staff confidentially with hopes that he’ll be referred to a psychiatrist. Since he is taking Ritalin, it’s likely he already had one. In my opinion physicians aren’t qualified to manage such prescriptions.

HIPAA laws in the US allow for one-way communication to doctors, but it doesn’t allow them to release information on a patient. Tell them you understand that, you are just trying to give them relevant information for his care and are not requesting any release or consultation on his behalf. Do not expect them to give you any information at all, even in general terms. You may want to visit a psychiatrist or other mental health professional on your own to help to navigate this situation.

Above all take care of yourself. You didn’t cause his illness, you can’t change or cure it. You may be able to help, but consider the cost to yourself in the process. You broke up with him in December for a reason, don’t lose sight of that. Good luck.


Hello @LT1990 , welcome to the forum, although I am sorry you need to be here. Many people with severe mental illness cannot see it in themselves. Many won’t accept help. Many don’t reach a stable new life with their medication or treatments. Some do. @Maggotbrane is very correct, you didn’t cause his illness, and you can’t change or cure it. Of course your heart is breaking, because you care. Do what you can by communicating to his doctors what is going on with him. You must manage your own heartbreak at breaking up until it eases up for you. Otherwise, since SMI is a lifelong illness, you must realize that you will most likely be in for a lifetime of pain and problems trying to help him if you don’t maintain the breakup.

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