Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

My girlfriend has paranoid schizophrenia and I want to learn more

Hi, maybe just looking for some insight, I’ve been with my girlfriend for three months and Im so in love with her! She has been very loving and affectionate but has become cold and distant the last week and says it’s just part of her condition, I’m trying to understand but it’s been hard to go from one extreme to the next, am I just worrying that she’s got fed up already or is this just par for the course? I’m not giving up on her without a fight

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What are your ages ?

Hi, I’m 43 and she is 46

So she is on meds for schizophrenia?

Yeah she was diagnosed 8 years ago and her meds work really well for her, she has that under control and knows how they work for her and when to take a bit more if she is flagging a bit

OK, then it is common to go from normal to this:

She doesn’t shout and sceam, she has just gone cold and distant and uncaring and quiet after 3 months of loving and affectionate and attentive, it’s just like she just can’t be bothered anymore

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GSSP: Respectfully I disagree. I think most people w sz get better as they get older. That happened to my loved one.


GSSP: I would also disagree. It seems you have had an extremely bad experience and I feel for you. We all on here have our own stories to tell of our experiences with our loved ones. Anyhow, here is something I found on the internet. This gives us hope that our loved ones won’t have a life of unending misery from this terrible illness:

Though schizophrenia is subjective, which means that each patient has a very unique course with different onsets, it has been seen to usually lesson over time. According to the casebook in abnormal psychology, third edition, Brown and Barlow state that, “When researchers have considered schiophrenia across the life span, most have presumed that the natural course of the disorder is associated with progressive deterioration through late adulthood. However, some evidence does suggest that this is not necessarily the case. For example, studies that have followed patients with schizophrenia into late life have generally found that older adults tended to display few positive symptoms (delusions or halluncinations) and perhaps more negative symptoms (speech difficulties).” As well, there was a study done at Vermont State Hospital for schizophrenia in the 1950’s that found that one-half to two-thirds had achieved considerable improvement or had recovered, as indicated by assessments that were then conducted in the 1980’s. So there is a great amount of evidence indicating that it does lessen over time (the positive symptoms, not the negative ones, though).

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She’s going to have good times and bad times just like everyone else.

And, maybe she can’t be bothered right now. At times, I think motivation suffers and it’s very hard for them to get through the day.

However, your relationship is new and almost anyone can sustain an act for 3 months before the real them comes out. Maybe this is her baseline?

Either way, I’d give it enough time to see if this is just her normal cycle and she returns to what you saw before in time, or if this is where she stays.

You might also be seeing a “flat effect” - it doesn’t means she doesn’t care on the inside, but it’s just not outwardly visible.

In my opinion, which means nothing, if she has SZ and her symptoms are controlled to the point the only problem is she seems cold & distant from time to time, she’s doing really well.

Either way, don’t put pressure on her in any way, on purpose or without meaning to, for her to do better than she’s capable of in the moment - stress & SZ don’t mix well, and even the smallest things can be stressful. If you’re asking her a lot of questions about why she seems to have changed lately, you could get the exact opposite response than the one you want.

She could also be having some symptoms that she doesn’t want you to know about - it could take all her energy just to keep that under control.

I know I was all over the place with that response, but it’s impossible to say. If it was me, I’d just go on as if nothing had changed and wait it out.

To quote John Forbes Nash, who in spite of being one of the greatest mathematicians this Century suffered from Paranoid Schizophrenia his whole life.
" I’ve made the most important discovery of my life. It’s only in the mysterious equation of love that any logical reasons are found."

Sometimes the voices and delusions go away by taking medication. And sometimes, Like Nash, you learn to live with them.

If you don’t have time to read the book. I suggest you what “A Beautiful Mind”. by Ron Howard. Starring Russel Crowe.

From my experience, you greatest teacher is in fact your girlfriend. If you can earn her trust and be prepared to take the rough with the smooth.
i.e. If she says that their are listening devices in the light bulbs. Then, there ARE listening devices in the light bulbs!

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Probably the negative symptoms of schizophrenia. I know I wanted to completely withdraw from everyone and everything and isolate myself in my bedroom all the time.

I’ve just recently started dating again, and I was very upfront with him about my illness so he knows what to expect, and he’s still interested in me, which does so much for my self esteem and being able to look at myself from another person’s perspective in a positive light.


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@Jan… What I see with my daughter is that she is much worse around the start of her menses cycle. I’m hoping as she gets older and goes through menopause that her condition will get much better and I’m hopeful and optimistic that it will.

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Yes, I’ve read that. Terrible isn’t it? Surely someday with the brilliant minds we have in science these days, someone will figure out how to stop this. And find medications that don’t have so many side effects that the patients don’t want to take them. It truly is a heartbreaking illness.

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Well she ended things this morning, saying she doesn’t have room in her head space to be thinking about me as well as herself! Totally gutted

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