My 28 year old boyfriend has not been diagnosed with Schizophrenia but I’m positive he has it. He refuses to see a doctor. He used to realize that he was not well but now he says he is fine. He told me when I met him 2.5 years ago that he was slow to understand when people speak to him and that he was depressed. He would also say strange things that made no sense or didn’t go along with the conversation. He wants to fly, not a plane but like Superman. He does not drive because he says it is too stressful for his mind. He calls himself sensitive to stimuli. Well, 5 months ago, he changed. He became severely depressed and suicidal. He stopped doing all things he used to like to do. He stopped working out. All he wanted to do was lay on the floor for hours and think of childhood memories or sleep. He has become more and more withdrawn. He said that he feels nothing now, like an empty shell. Even no love for me or his family. It hurts bad. He has been doing so badly at work with mistakes and not completing things on time that his employer demoted him and lessened his workload. But the worst thing of all are his paranoid delusions. He thinks people are spying on him constantly, even while in the bathroom. He thinks that I have sent people to kill him. I have pleaded and begged for him to believe that I would never do such a terrible thing. I begged him to remember who I am because he knows (or used to) that I do everything I can to help others in need. He used to love me for my kind heart. Even my friends have reminded him what I am really like and that I would never do something like that. He has no friends of his own, except the imaginary ones in his head who say I’m evil. He doesn’t believe anyone. He says we are all in the plot together. He comes up with all kinds of sickening delusional plots in his mind. He has withdrawn from me even more. Sometimes I see the old him peek out for a moment but then he turns around and starts with the delusions again. I’ve begged him to tell a doctor these things, that he needs help. He just twists it around and says that I’m the crazy one. How can I convince him to seek treatment? What can I do? Will he always have these horrible delusions against me? Have any of you had someone you love do this with you and what did you do? I love this man so much and I want him to get better. He is getting worse and I’m so worried for him.
Having a loved one with mental illness is a real emotional ringer. Work to convince him that he needs help. Pry and probe to see if you can break through his wall. The key is getting him to admit that he needs help.
Hi Kasia; yep, I had an ex with SZ. After about a year, I finally convinced him…maybe because he was finally ready. I printed some stuff off the internet - it including someone’s story (the delusions were very similar to his). He did seek help, connected with doctors, psychiatrist and a mental health centre. But to say it was all a bed of roses after that…would be a lie. He was permanently changed - even medicated he believed he was sent to save the world. He quit his job, sold all his possessions and joined the Occupy movement which was going on at the time in our city. He slept in tents and protested all over the country. The voices and hallucinations went away so that was good, and he does seem more grounded and realistic now.
Dealing with a partner with SZ requires a lot of strength, patience and the ability to not absorb some of the nastier stuff said to you while they are unwell. Unfortunately, you can’t force them to do anything they are not willing to do…sometimes it’s a patience game. Gentle reminders, information, reassurances don’t go astray but that ‘light bulb’ moment needs to come from them.
Much like your boyfriend, I refused to see a doctor, so my parents called the ambulance on me and they took me to the hospital. I’m in Canada, so maybe you could try calling the ambulance to come get him?
I was escorted by police too. But it didn’t help, as I ran away from the hospital and ended up in this womans house a few hours later then eventually arrested and sent to the detention center.
Thanks to everyone who has replied. I have tried to show him things on Schizophrenia but he won’t even look at them. He says that I’m in a plot to have him locked up and that I’m the crazy one. I’m trying to be patient but it’s so hard to listen to bizarre accusations against myself. I’m American and he is Polish. I asked my Polish police officer friend what I could do and he said that the only way he could be involuntarily treated is if it could be proven that he is a danger to himself or others. But I feel that if I did that, then it would reinforce some of his delusions, which I certainly don’t want to do. Anyone who tries to help me, he says is in the plot to lock him up, harm him, or kill him. He says that he thinks I have special powers to get others to go along with me. He keeps saying that my friends and I are trying to kill him. I asked him to give me names of these friends who are plotting this. He couldn’t. So I told him that he can’t give names because these people do not exist, that no one is trying to kill him. Then he got angry and said that I just won’t take responsibility. I told him that I refuse to lie to make his delusions more real for him. I am constantly defending myself. He has also accused me of gathering information about him for my government. If he does eventually get treatment, will he continue to have these horrible delusions against me and hate me for things that I haven’t done?
I have been hanging on by remembering the wonderful and amazing guy that I used to know. I know he is still in there and I hope that one day I will see that part of him again.
He needs to be on medication to lessen the symptoms.
What about his family? Can you talk to them?
Check out your area for a local NAMI support group. They may be able to give you some advice also-along with a good support network…you will need that.
Good luck! Let us know how it goes.
It doesn’t necessarily mean schizophrenia or anything like that, it could be manic depression or bpd or psychotic depression. Those are all similar. Autism is on a spectrum unless it is severe, but mostly it’s not severe enough to diagnose. Whatever it is, it sounds like he’s fighting it and hiding his emotions, that can be a painful experience.
Thank you for your replies. He doesn’t have mania symptoms, nor Autism. He has been on a downward spiral for 5 months. The only time he shows emotion is when I refuse to believe his delusions. Other than that, no emotions. He has had no sexual drive for 5 months and says it is evil. He is getting worse and worse. His parents only speak Polish and I’m not good enough in it yet. I do have a friend translating a letter to them for me. He was quirky when I met him but he was able to function. His relationship with me and his ability to function at work have greatly declined over these 5 months. Everything was fine until one day when he just completely lost it. He learned something about the Bible that day and lost it. He has been in a downward spiral ever since. He says everything is evil, especially me. It’s so sad to see this man who used to be so beautiful become this empty shell who thinks everyone is trying to harm him.