Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Just found out that my BF has Sz..So many questions!

Hey guys.

I’ve been dating a guy for a year and a half. He’s 30(a year older than me!), very sweet, attentive, undeniable chemistry (both sexually and emotionally), we are both pretty introverted and laid back(happy staying in with music for date nights, but switch it up, by going out, occasionally)…
He’s pretty quiet, but talks to me. It took awhile for him to open up, but is always honest if I ask him anything! And very smart!

However, recently, a week ago, I went to his house to ask him about something personal, and his mom came out, and told me that he’s not doing well, he’s withdrawn and not eating, that she’s putting him the hospital again, and that he’s Schizophrenic (a shock to me!). I asked to see him through tears, told her that I love him, and just want to see him…but she said no. So I tried calling him and he answered and said he’s coming out. He came out, hugged me, and I told him we need to go get food. So we went for food, he ate, and started telling me that he is eating, just not what his mom makes him, and he’s withdrawn because he doesn’t like being around her, but that he’s going to check into the hospital(and that’s where he was when I thought he was ignoring me partially, over the Summer…but was diagnosed several years ago, just after college) … But then he brought up people hearing us, and that he is darkness, and he’s getting people, like his ex GF to be a part of his alliance, and that he wants me in with her and other women as well. When we got to my house we talked a bit more, but nothing else about that. The next day, he texted and said we were going out Friday. So he took me to meet up with his best friend and hang out, it was fun and normal as usual. He told me he’d see me the next day. The next day, no text or reply all day. At the last minute before I went to bed, he texted saying he’d be over in 30 minutes, he shows, but right away I notice a difference in demeanor, he’s calm and quiet (as usual), but something is off and I sense it. So finally he says “You want to know what’s in my mind?” And tells me “movies”… And talks about Alice in Wonderland. But stops, looks at me and points and says, “I don’t think you’re lost.” … I tried touching him(we are both very touchy, affectionate) … But its different. Then during sex, I make him stop, because it still doesn’t feel right…overly aggressive… When he started to leave, and looked at me for a second with his usual eyes, and looked sorry… And walked out.

Yesterday I sent him pics of a few journal entries from last year with him… Love letter and poems about my feelings(I had no clue of any mental disorder) …
A few hours later his mom texted me from his number and said he just went to the hospital and she needed to meet me for his insurance card that I had. I met with her today and asked how he’s doing, told her that I’ll be there for him. She said she’d make sure he had my number.

But over this past week, I’ve been searching schizophrenia, demon possessions, and everything to try to understand something. (My younger sister is Schizophrenic, but has chosen not to take meds, so I see her paranoia and hear her stories…But I’ve been with my BF for over a year with no indicator, except odd/semi mean behaviors twice(both the day after of opening up to me, telling me about his feelings, but I assumed he was just being an ass and didn’t want a relationship, but then he’d ask to see me as usual, and apologized) …

I love him. And I’m not afraid of mental disorders and believe everyone deserves love and friendship. I believe love shouldn’t have conditions (healthy boundaries, of course)… I love to give, not to receive… As did Christ.

But now, I’m just left in confusion… Because after reading so much on Schizophrenia, and seeing my sister for 5 years suffer, things just seem different…

Any helpful advice would be very helpful!!! Thank you so much for reading!!


Love is a wonderful thing, but it will be tried to its limits over and over with a partner with schizophrenia. Think hard about what you want for your life beside the love.


Hopefully this is a period of relapse which will be followed by recovery. Nobody can predict the course of his illness just as we cannot predict the course of any other diseases or accidents that can occur. I would encourage you to be patient, talk to his family to learn about his relapse history and what signs to look for that he may be relapsing. He may or may not be able to give you the emotional and physical relationship that you’ve had previously but only time will tell you that. Please don’t take his lack of communication as lack of concern…its just part of the illness. I wish you both well, together or not💖


Your boyfriend is one of the people who suffers from schizophrenia AND has a mother who cares about him and takes care of him, so much so, she even has him living with her. How truly wonderful of her. So many of the people who suffer from schizophrenia don’t have any sort of a family support system.

If you want to continue in this relationship you will need to realize that you and his mom will be on the same team. She may appear discouraging to you, don’t think badly of her, as much as she wants normal things in her son’s life, she realizes the relationship you want with him, may not be possible, and may just complicate her burden in life even more so. We parents carry a heavy load with this illness even when our adult children don’t live with us.

If someone were to be involved with my son, I would be glad for him on one hand and worried about everything on the other. One part of me might rejoice that a loving, giving person wants to take my son into their life and home and take over my current role.

If you were my daughter, I would suggest you make sure you don’t make the current support structure weaker. And I would want you to know that schizophrenia is different in different people. When my son is having normal moments - and as he gets older there are less of these- he is wonderful. While some of our loved ones have similar symptoms, they are also have different symptoms, no two seem to be totally alike.

When my husband and I took Family to Family, I was totally shocked that there were husbands and wives dealing with spouses who had mental illness. I can be such an idiot at times. I thought everyone would have “returned” their spouses with mental illness to the parents. I wanted to ask them why they stayed, their daily lives were so difficult, many had young children they were raising.

I never did ask. If a person did show up wanting to love my son, I would probably advise them to try to find a better chance for a relationship. I have found that life will probably have enough bad turns to try to avoid some of them if you can.


Since everyone with the illness is so different and has a unique course of illness, I would make any decision about dating or partnering with someone with sz based on what we as a couple are actually experiencing, along with my personal goals and needs.

Schizophrenia is not the person. Sometimes symptoms cause people to lose control of their speech and behavior to the point of abusiveness. That’s when I would be out, if the person became abusive, from whatever cause (not blaming them, just preserving my own boundaries).

I guess ideally everyone on earth would be super healthy, but that is not the case. Marrying someone with a severe illness is going to bring more challenges and responsibilities whether the illness is cancer or SMI.

I really like @bluehengrad’s advice to sit down and think about what you want for your own life. This is great advice to anyone in a relationship, regardless of whether or not their partner has an illness. List out your life goals and priorities. Will this relationship be fulfilling and sustaining to you? Will you be able to live a good life with this person? Questions any parent would hope their child would ask when making a large life decision.

If I chose to move forward with the relationship and it were alright with my partner, I would ask for a conversation with him and his mom, all three of you. Try to get more out in the open in an honest way that all three of you feel comfortable with. Listen to both patiently and carefully consider what is communicated.


If you have a sister with sz and you dated your bf for a year without realising it, then it seems his symptoms are not terribly severe. My son was diagnosed three years ago. He has been in hospital once for ten days but he is stable. His only real symptoms are some social withdrawal and low motivation (not no motivation - he does quite a lot but he’s not working). I don’t see why my son shouldn’t get married eventually. I don’t see why you shouldn’t continue to have a successful relationship with your bf. There are lots of people with sz who marry and have children. You can look on the Diagnosed board. Your bf obviously has a good character. He may have episodes sometimes. But you could leave him and find someone more ‘successful’ but with worse character or who doesn’t have sz but dies prematurely of heart disease. It’s your choice to stay or go. But people with sz can have satisfying relationships.


Thanks for replying. You are absolutely right. And like I said, I love him. I know its going to be a journey. I want him in my life, regardless. I just need to become more aware and educated.

He got out of the hospital after 5 days of stabilization and they have him on Ambilify.
He came over to see me last night. From what I have seen over the past two weeks of relapse, including last night, it’s like he’s aware of two different realities, still able to communicate with me like always, but able to see a different reality (luckily, none causing him to be paranoid, as of yet)… But, last night, he said that he wants to take me into his jungle with him and asked if i have I been able to walk through walls… How do I respond?

Oh, and like I said, I just found out 2 weeks ago… Usually on our dates prior, we go out for drinks and whatnot, but now that I’m aware, I want to make sure he makes wise decisions… I know alcohol can effect this medicine… But at the same time, be his girlfriend without trying to be his mother. At the same time, his health and well being does matter to me.


It is wonderful you want to try, but please understand the comments he made about his mom, he will make about you someday. I really can’t describe the bond between the schizophrenia patient and the care giver because it changes based on the course of the illness. Sometimes they trust you and other times, while I think deep down they still do, they say they don’t and can be terribly hurtful…if you try to deal with them on an emotional level. Are you strong enough to set emotions aside during a crisis? Because in order for you to stay sane you will have to do so.
The comments about his mom sound like you and she are not close. If you stay, you will need to be. Do not assume you can handle this better than her…she has been handling it a lot longer and has seen many more of his dark days than you have seen. This is a chronic life changing illness and it will consume your life.


My son asks about being able to read minds & predict the future.

I tell him I can’t do that.
I would respond the same way.

He’s in active psychosis. When my son is in the hospital, they watch for that to stop - they refer to it as either hearing voices or responding to an inner dialog. They watch closely for that to stop or decrease before they’ll decide if the meds or working or if he’s getting close to a release date.

I’d find something else to do - there’s lots of things that don’t have to involve alcohol. That’s being a friend, not his mother.


If you intend to continue with him, then probably you should read a few books about these type of questions, not just learn question by question, but so you feel a bit prepared. One of the best things I learned is ‘Don’t argue with a delusion.’ In fact, I have (finally!) learned not to argue at all. I wish i had learned that years ago. In any conflict, whether if emotion or intellect, seek agreement, seek common ground. So, with delusions, ask open questions, be open to his idea but be honest. So, on walking through walls, ‘Yes, sure. How do you do that? When do you want to do it?’ You’ll be surprised how often agreement allows HIM to challenge his own delusions.’ Of course, if he says ‘Let’s fly off the top of a building together’, you can say, 'Let’s start with a three-inch high wall and work our way up. You may be able to do that but I have no experience of it.'
I did this with my son, ‘I am sure you can see x or y. I believe you but I am not seeing it.’ He started 'reality testing for himself and as far as I know has no more visions or visual delusions these days. But I never argued with him about ‘reality’. A dog can hear and smell things better than me. A bird can see better than me. I am not the boss of what is ‘real’ and what is not. All I can say I what I can see, hear, smell and feel. And then by discussion human beings decide what everyone can see, hear, smell etc and what is necessary to know to survive. That’s the approach I took with my son and he is well now and doesn’t feel small or weird or unacceptable.


I only met his mother once, in the first few months of dating him, then the second time was over a year later(2 weeks ago) and her telling me of his disorder. I didn’t know of the disorder and she didn’t know we were still seeing each other(I suppose that was his way of me not finding out). I met up with her after he checked into the hospital last week to give her his insurance cards that I had. I told her that I’m there for both of them if they need anything. I’m sure she’s exhausted going this all on her on(there is not really any other family). So I’m trying the best I can. Thanks for the input. :slight_smile:


My son is married and has children so we have experienced first hand how hard this is on marriage and children. The more people in the family there are that accept this illness and work together the better because it will drain everyone who loves the schizophrenia patient. His mom will need you as much as you need her. Best wishes for all of you.


Mine grandson sz but very well controlled with meds. He is funny smart and is working but has no friends I would love to see him in a relationship if only he could make friends.he hasn’t been hospitalized in 5 years and people who meet him now never would know he has this