Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Living with my ill girlfriend and don't know what to do

My girlfriend of four years likely has schizophrenia (although I’m not sure, because she refuses to get treatment) and I am increasingly lost with what to do or how I should handle this.

This all began about a year ago when she moved to another city for work, where she developed the belief that her workplace (a major company) was conspiring against her and mocking her. This eventually grew to be that a whole city was stalking her, taking out billboards against her, tapping her phone/laptop, sending people to harass her, and that they’re all part of a ‘Satanic Brotherhood’. It has gotten to the point where she says she trusts no one and has cut off a lot of her friends. She only talks to me and two other friends. Anyone that questions her beliefs gets cut off from contact.

I moved her back to my city to be with me, because I hoped that I would be able to convince her to go to therapy. I never argue against her delusions or try to convince her otherwise, but I have tried to suggest she go to a therapist for CBT under the pretense that it would help her deal with the stress of this situation she is enduring. I was hoping this could open the door to some diagnosis or treatment, if I could at least get her to see some sort-of mental health professional. She was open to it at one point, but now has decided that she won’t go and refuses under any circumstance. She’s also figured out I don’t believe her, even though I’ve never challenged her beliefs, so it’s like she’s opposed to anything I say now and would probably cut me off if we weren’t living together.

Her mental state is so poor that she cannot really function and is in a constant state of stress. She is too stressed/depressed to work a full-time job in-person, because she thinks everyone is harassing her. I got her a remote job from home with my company thinking foolishly that it would give her a break but she is too stressed to do the work for that either. She is bad with money and needs a job to pay her debts, but she also refuses to change her behavior and also doesn’t like to accept money for help (although she does if she has to), so I just don’t see any good outcome from this.

I am also having a lot of trouble living with her, because she will rant and talk for hours about her delusions every day and it’s begun to just exhaust me. Every conversation circles back to how she’s being stalked, how this is ‘spiritual warfare’, etc, etc. She can talk for 1.5 to 2 hours straight without stopping about this stuff. I feel incredibly stressed and mentally exhausted dealing with this every day. I know some people here deal with worse but I have a hard time handling this. She also has begun to constantly allude to stuff about me without ever outright saying it, like suggesting I am cheating on her, questioning why I am doing things, raising the idea that I am a part of the conspiracy, and blaming me for not helping her enough. She’ll constantly say stuff “Well, you don’t have anything to worry about…if you haven’t done anything bad.”

Yesterday I lost my temper when she blamed me for not having enough hours for her job and I went off on her for constantly blaming me for things in her life that I have nothing to do with. Now I regret my reaction, because I know this is her delusions talking and I cannot take it personally, but I’m also so depressed and stressed now that I feel constantly on edge.

I guess I am looking for advice on how I can (a) best encourage her to get help, and (b) best support myself and my own mental health living with her. I have been thinking that maybe I need to just disengage and stop listening to her delusions, and let her come to the point where she decides to seek out help on her own, but I am afraid that day will never come and that her mental state is going to continue to get even worse.

You can call the police and have them take her to the hospital for an evaluation. I am diagnosed with schizophrenia and that’s what I would do for someone if I thought they were delusional. I’ve been sent to the psych ward. I hate it there but I’m not angry with anyone who sent me. She might get angry but if you’re sure none of it is real then she needs treatment

2 Likes

I live in an area where she would need to be a danger to herself or others to be forcibly hospitalized so that option is not on the table yet.

1 Like

Ok. Where I live, psychosis alone gets you in hospital. Sorry that’s not an option. That really sucks

I’m sorry you and your girlfriend are going through this. It sounds extremely stressful. No wonder you are depressed and constantly on edge.
Could you tell her that you are worried about her and how all these things that are happening to her are stressing her out and you would like her to get someone to help her figure out how to handle it so she can have some peace?

Do you know what she means by this? Is it a threat against you?
If so, maybe it would count as being a danger to others. She needs medical attention very desperately.

As for yourself, maybe a therapist or just calling the mental health crisis line would give you some resources. You can also reach out to your local Nami chapter for ideas and local resources.

3 Likes

Thank you, I really appreciate the advice. I have tried telling her that but it hasn’t worked. I tried to take the tact that I was worried about how stressed out she was and that a therapist could help her cope with what’s happening, but she isn’t interested and now seems to have figured out that I actually don’t believe her.

The comment she made was not really a threat that she will do something, I guess unfortunately in this case. She believes that God & karma will punish everyone doing wrong and that they will be sent to Hell, so when she says that stuff, she is implying that if I did do something wrong, then I will also be punished along with those other people.

Thank you for the suggestion on NAMI and a therapist. I am going to do that on Monday and see what they recommend.

1 Like

You probably can not handle this all by yourself. Try to assemble some kind of team of people who are her friends, or relatives and see if you can all get together with her and have a kind of intervention where you all tell her you are taking her you are all worried about her safety and you are taking her to a hospital for a diagnosis. See if a group can prevail on her and then do it right then. Don’t put it off until tomorrow or whatever she wants to do to stall. Take as many of the group with you as you can and go straight to the hospital emergency room.

2 Likes

@Hudoku How are things going? Were you able to get ahold of someone?

I really feel for you. (Virtual hugs)

If my experience has taught me anything and in listening to the support in this forum you need to help yourself first so you can best help your partner.

My suggestion would be to go and see someone you can talk to (therapist) and understand your care plan because there is no point in having two people who are not well.

Secondly (and in my experience) you could go to the local hospital and ask to talk to their acute care team and ask for advice, explain everything that is going on etc. they might be able to give you some guidance.

Where is her family in all this?

1 Like