Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

In love with a schizophrenic

We met over a year ago and grew close over that time. She fell for me in the beginning, when I finally realized I loved her, the symptoms had already started. She’s now in the middle of a cyclical shizo storm…it’ll be hours before she replies to my messages but we still find some of the most loving moments I’ve ever experienced together. When I opened up to her, I was unaware of her mental history. Learning someone has schizophrenia (I would’ve assumed) would make me run the other way, but between everything going on, nothing has moved me. She’s on my mind all day everyday, I’ve met plenty of people in my life but I never fell for anyone the way I did for her. We have amazing times then other times Its excruciating when my trust issues take hold when she goes MIA for hours. This is all new for me…I guess I have some questions?

-she goes through paranoid phases, I overpour my support to her and she’s beginning to open up. My question is, how individualized is a schizophrenics love for another? Does she love me because of who I am or is it part of her condition to switch back and forth between a love/paranoid mood with whomever is in that current role?

-do we have a chance? I want to spend my life with her, I know that but where do the issues of fidelity and long term commitment come into play in a long term relationship with a schizophrenic? I’ve fallen so hard for her, I’m scared for the answer.

-she’s very sexually adept…am I to follow her sexual cues or am I taking advantage of her filling an emotional void?

-my method of action has been to overbear her with my love…this is easy because it comes natural to me. I feel like we’re getting closer but there’s doubt in my head just because it’s been such an up and down road throughout the exacerbation of this cycle. She promised she’d never hurt me, can I take her word for it? What’s the healthiest method of making this relationship last? Despite everything, I’m constantly awed by her intelligence and maturity.

If someone without schizophrenia promised you they wouldn’t hurt you, could you take their word for it?

Loving a person who suffers from schizophrenia can be as good or as bad as loving anyone else. All you have to make sure is that you do not turn into her caregiver, in the sense where she doesn’t take a hold of her illness and relies on you to make up for her handicap.

By what you’re saying , she sounds like a great person and so do you. However, you cannot take someone’s word for it when they say they will never hurt you, simply because they might do it unknowingly. Just make sure to let her know when what she does or says is hurtful, and if she wants to have you near her, she will stop, or maybe explain.

Try not to judge a person from the standpoint of his/her illness. To answer your question, however, I am a schizophrenic and I love my neurotypical husband for what he is, not just because he is there. We are at that point where we got to the conclusion we could not love someone else instead, and if we were to separate the emptiness we would feel would be long-lasting and confusing.

The issues of fidelity and long-time commitment come into play in any relationship, most of the schizophrenic people I know are into stable relationships and not even thinking about cheating, some however do cheat, just as it happens in the general population.

If you try to not follow her sexual cues you might get her into a state of frustration, and you should make sure that everything else compensates for it. My husband, for example, has a lower appetite and/or sexual experience than I have, and does not wish to “use” neither my appetite nor my experience - he’s a very atypical man from that standpoint. It did frustrate me at first, but then I realized that our relationship has developed on other grounds than merely sexual, and that I don’t really need what they call a “healthy” (actually meaning, in the media, exaggerated) sexual activity to feel happy next to another person, next to him. Again, it’s a very fine line there, but the fact that we had common objectives and values made me not leave him during the times when I felt he did not value me sexually, and now I’m happy I didn’t.

ANyway, in conclusion: just love her as you would a normal person, and give her the space to fight her illness, it’s not your responsibility to overhelm her or fight her battles. She will appreciate being treated with love just as any normal person would. Her only issues might be in expressing that, due to the illness, or understanding some social cues, some facial expressions etc. But if you learn each other’s language, it’ll be okay. :smile:

I am married to a non sz man. When I stop functioning he has to take care of the kids, bills, laundry, shopping etc. I am barely capable of taking care of myself. When I was at my worst I did not eat unless someone put a fork in my hand.

I think love is great, but it can’t be on the terms of one. She has to take responsibility of her illness. Like taking meds, see a psychiatrist and maybe therapist. Be careful that you will not become the caregiver because then you’re stuck. It’s a hard work caring for someone with sz.

I was thinking family. You will propably want a family in the future. She can’t eat meds and be pregnant as far as I know. Also toddler years are hard work as is without one parent being sz. Chanses are she will relapse due to lack of sleep if you don’t take the “night shift” and let her sleep undisturbed. Sleep is very important.

I have two kids. One does not live at home. When I crash, I can’t take care of my son. Lucky me he is 10 now. He manages pretty good by himself.

I take meds while pregnant. I’ve seen other mommies doing it. I will let you know how it goes, but the kid seems jut fine so far. Risk is higher, but there is no “can’t” involved in this. It’s just a higher risk, but isn’t there a risk in every pregnancy?

Toddler years are indeed very difficult. I will have to agree with that.

Oh. I did not know. My doc said I had to go off my ADHD meds when I became pregnant. It’s great that you can do that! You need the stability while pregnant and with toddlers. :slight_smile:

The best place to start is getting educated about her illness. There will be good and bad times. As long as she takes meds and takes care of herself-it can certaintly be done. Sometimes, it can be a roller coaster ride.

You sound like me I also am in love with a sz I can tell you it’s the best and worst relationship I’ve ever had. The only difference is your a man.

My boyfriend did all the same things and now he is under a conservatorship as 3/6/15 and been off all his meds for a month or longer. And is in a downward spiral has dumped me and fled me nor his family has seen him or talked to him since Friday not his landlord.

So please be very careful its the most pain I’ve ever been in. Good luck.

There is a lot of stigma to mental illness. A person needs to remind themselves that they are dealing with a person with a mental illness. I think you have to live in every second you can with her. You take that time for what it is. Trying not to analyze or dissect everything, instead just be there and set rules and boundaries, be firm, use the inner parent and adult within you to have a life with a person with sz. I have sz and I have great kids and people who care.

Love… isn’t it schizophrenic in nature? my experience is… yes it is.

I think heightened sexuality can be a problem - i was unfaithful while psychotic but only because my bf tortured me by not giving me enough sex!!

Sorry to give you some kind of bad answer there, she might not have that problem that i did

I’m now married 5 years. and faithful completely.

if you can stick with her through an episode the self stigma will be lessened, if you leave during the episode you could hurt her a lot - i know you are not planning on it, but it means a lot when your self worth is poor for someone to stick by you .

I’m just assuming she’s like me

Sounds like you have something beautiful

I want to say I appreciate everyone’s feedback. I stumbled upon this site to try and increase my knowledge of schizophrenia and it’s obvious the message boards here offer seasoned insight to people who need it the most. Im sure I’ll be coming here more often in the future to deal with questions or concerns I have about this newfound most amazing/terrifying relationship. I don think Id trade what I have with this girl right now for anything else. Thank you everyone for the advice, hope and guideline parameters to keep in mind for a relationship such as this.