Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

My ex boyfriend is having hallucinations about me

I can’t stop thinking of my ex boyfriend. We broke up because I wasn’t able to handle his illness. He is diagnosed with schizophrenia. Since we started dating he has been suffering from hallucinations about me. First he heard my voice calling for him, when he was in fact alone. Then he started seeing me around the city (sometimes in the company of another man) when I wasn’t really there. Lately he imagined me to have a love affair with his brother in law. He went so jealous and angry that I literaly fled his appartement in the middle of the night.
I don’t know what to do. Since I left he has been sending me angry texts telling me that he knows I’m cheating on him (which I’m not)
He is seeing a therapist and according to him she is also worried and says that he needs medication. But my ex refuses claiming that his experiences is quite normal for a person in love.

Sounds like it could turn into a legal issue where you might have to get a restraining order. Not sure what the rules are about this. I’m sure if the texts had any threatening aspects to them it would warrant a call to the police and maybe they’d know what to do next.

Edit: I just looked this up: https://www.wisemantriallaw.com/blog/2019/december/is-it-illegal-to-send-threatening-messages-via-t/

Making a written threat via text is not only prohibited by state law but also by federal statutes. Under 18 U.S.C. § 875 transmitting through any type of communication a threat to injure a person is illegal.

Somewhere else it said to immediately contact the police.

He is not threatening me. He just writes that he knows I’m seeing other men, and that he doesn’t trust me at all and that I have always been cheating and stuff like that. I’m not afraid of him. I’m just wondering if I Will ever be able to be with him again if he doesn’t get help.

Given this framework you should ask yourself what must happen for you to handle his illness. Either your acceptance and coping mechanisms and/or his symptoms need to improve to a point you can handle them.

Possible, but fairly unlikely. For a small subset of people with schizophrenia, some improve without treatment, but this is in large part a chronic disease with no cure.

You need to ask yourself if you are willing to invest years or possibly decades or a lifetime to this endeavor hoping he may get better while resigning to yourself it may never happen, or increase your tolerance of his behavior and attempt to guide him toward treatments which I’m sad to say are rarely fully successful, to the point the person is the “same” as before the illness.

This is coming from a person with SZA who most people would say has fully recovered. While I’m in awe of people who are so bonded that they’re willing to consider such sacrifices for people they love, I see few people here, married or otherwise, who say it’s all worth it. While there’s a confirmation bias to this, since people who have happy outcomes and satisfying relationships with people with a diagnosis usually don’t visit this forum; I think such outcomes are rare. Just as it’s rare for me to meet or hear of people who, like me, recover and move on with their lives.

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You said most people would say you are fully recovered. How do you fully recover from schizophrenia?

You don’t. I take medication and have semi-regular psychotherapy sessions (my psychiatrist also indulges my predilection for psychotherapy). It’s better to say it’s controlled, but I haven’t had even minor positive symptoms for about 5 years or hospitalization for over 30 years. Negative symptoms are more subjective and some of these may be inherent to my personality type, but are manageable.

I lead an independent life, own my own home and vehicles, have friends and long term relationships, a degree, a career, hobbies and so on, and unless I disclose I may appear slightly introverted and eccentric, but otherwise “normal” or even “gifted”. So by these measures most people would say I’m recovered.

My recovery regime was a combination of antipsychotic medications, Jungian and other psychotherapies, psychosocial therapy and employment. I invite you to search my post history for further details.

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So you’ve had no symptoms for 5 years. And you are normal/gifted?

Controlled schizophrenia is not something I’ve ever heard of or read about.

Are you sure you ever actually had schizophrenia? Serious question. Maybe you were misdiagnosed?

@susan031367

I refer you to the stories of Elyn Saks and Eleanor Longden, two women with schizophrenia far more accomplished than me.

Elyn Saks won a McArthur Fellowship “genius” grant for her accomplishments including her memoir, “The Center Can Not Hold”. With this grant she funded a study of “highly functioning” people with schizophrenia in the greater Los Angeles area. People with schizophrenia who function well tend not to disclose their illness because stigma can limit their social and vocational standing, but these attitudes are slowly changing.

Her book was groundbreaking for me at least, because it demonstrates that some people with schizophrenia live productive “normal” lives. Like me she has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder by different doctors. Her symptoms and mine more closely resembled schizophrenia and she identifies as such. I feel people are too tied up with splitting hairs about diagnoses, and my present psychiatrist agrees with me that the schizoaffective disorder DX is a garbage bag diagnosis for rarer cases that psychiatrists don’t know what to make of.

There’s also a certain percentage of folks who improve on their own even without medication, so-called spontaneous remitters. John Nash of “A Beautiful Mind” fame was said to be one of them. He returned to Princeton to do some meaningful mathematical work, albeit not at the same level as before his illness. He reconciled with his estranged wife, before their death in a taxicab accident.

Here are videos of Elyn Saks’ and Eleanor Longden‘s TED talks:

Why do you come to this board if you are recovered? What are you seeking help for on this board? Serious question.

To help others by offering insight into people under their care that aren’t able or willing to articulate aspects of the illness, and because my brother has bipolar disorder that predates my illness.

I was thrust into a caregiver role for him at 17 when my parents were on an extended vacation during an episode that eventually led to his hospitalization. I share caregiving duties with my sister, as my parents are quite aged and are unable to fully care for him. He copes with his illness considerably less well than I do.

Again, I invite you to search my posting history for further details into my story.

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@susan031367, @Maggotbrane does offer some very useful and cogent insights. I’m glad that he participates here and offers opinions from the perspective of one who has been diagnosed with SZ.

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I appreciate the perspectives shared by maggothead- and I think that our frustration in our own lives need not translate to hostility here.