Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

I'm so overwhelmed

Has anyone here who is the partner of someone diagnosed with Schizophrenia had trouble with that person’s family being toxic to them and actually making things worse?

My boyfriend’s brother is constantly telling him things to fill his paranoia, especially his delusions about me cheating… I love my boyfriend and I really want a future with him but I’m so tired and I just feel like there are so many things that are out of my control that are going to ruin our relationship.

Wow - that is really unhelpful and toxic to both his thinking processes and your relationship.

I have not been in the same situation but you are right, this is completely beyond your control.

Do what you can, share your true thoughts and feelings - but in this case the family may have a very large and negative impact on his thinking and you may have to move on.

The literature on sz is full of this going back (in depth) to the late 1940s that I know of. Theo Lidz, Stephen Fleck, Gregory Bateson, Don Jackson, Paul Watslawick, R. D. Laing, Aaron Esterson, Jules Henry. Seems to me that Freud or one of his contemporaries (maybe Kraepelin?) wrote about this, as well. So called “schizophrenogenic families.” Doesn’t always happen, but seems to happen pretty commonly.

My husband is schizophrenic, and his family is not helpful. They don’t accept his disease, and they say stupid stuff like, why don’t you ever have any cash on you? You’re the man of the household you should control your own money… It’s because he went into bankruptcy when he handled his own money, and he can’t make any amount of money last more than one day. But no amount of explaining gets through to them. Then there is his pot smoking brother who was constantly trying to bum money off of him. And his mom that wanted us to take him to a shaman to get the curse causing his illness removed.

Does the brother know about his illness? Is your boyfriend taking his meds?

If you are planning on staying in a relationship with him, you should know that his delusions about you will be his default setting every time he starts getting symptomatic. That’s just the way it goes, and it will eventually get harder, not easier. You’re the only one that can say if the good times are enough for it to be worth it, and if your bond is strong enough to get you guys through it. I love my husband and wouldn’t trade him in for anything.

Schizophrenia Is Not A Disease .

Oh yes, his brother and his entire family are aware of the disease. My boyfriend gets paranoid about the cheating bc his ex cheated on him. But I believe his brother has some undiagnosed diagnosis himself because he is so moody and one day he loves his brother and the next day he is putting him down. His brother is a user and he calls my boyfriend things like “schizo” and “worthless” ALL the time. But this is his brother and I just don’t know if my BF would ever cut ties with him even tho he knows his brother is toxic to him (besides, I can’t can’t and wouldn’t ask him to cut his ties with his brother, that’s his family). I guess I just want my BF to have boundaries with hia brother and when he’s stable he does, but when my BF gets symptomatic, his brother is his only friend in the world. His brother wants me out of the picture because his brother isn’t able to use my BF (his brother used to get my BF to buy him groceries and beer with his SSDI income before we got together) anymore. It’s awful how he gets treated by him.

So it sounds like we have something in common. The scuzzy mooching brother that I was talking about is actually his twin brother. I refer to him as the evil twin.

Wild… My BF’s brother is his twin brother!!! When we first started dating, everyone would tell me they refer to my BF as the ‘good twin’ bc his brother is known for being such an angry nasty person. And my BF is usually on the receiving end of his scummy ways…

Wow, that is crazy!!! A high school friend of my husband’s told me that when they first met, he was friends with both of them, but after a while he realized that my husband was nice, and his brother just pretended to be nice. I also think he has undiagnosed bipolar, but he is still functional for the time being.

In the beginning he tried to sabotage our relationship, inviting my husband, only, to go out to a rave party…. as in take up drugs again, and cheat on me. I told him, sure, go ahead, but you won’t have a wife when you come back. I took a very firm line with him from the beginning of our relationship. No alcohol, ever, no drugs, and no cigarettes. It took him 4 years to quit smoking though. He was diagnosed schizophrenic six months after our marriage, and after doing some research, I told him that I would never leave him because of his illness, but the minute he stopped taking his meds I was out of there.

Thats exactly what my BF’s brother does… He will ask my BF to go out drinking and stuff bc he knows my BF gets more symptomatic when he drinks and he tells my BF that he thinks I’m cheating on him to try and sabbatage our relationship. My BF is getting more insight about his brother the more he and I are together buts it’s awful that someone can be like this with their own family… And me and my BF mom also think that his twin is probably undiagnosed bipolar bc he has moments of nice behavior and decency and then out of no where he turns into a big butt… And it’s with more than my BF, it’s with everyone he knows…