My partner has delusions that I want him harmed or killed and I don’t know what to do

I’ve been with my partner for 11 months. He has shown signs of a possible mental illness over the last few months and now thinks I want him harmed or killed. When he’s in the delusion he swears I’m giving someone the order to shoot him or kill him. He even heard someone answer back. Even when it’s impossible for me to talk he hears the words in my breath or hears me having conversations with someone in running water or when a fan is on. I’ve researched as much as I can. After several hours and some sleep he seems rational again and even apologizes. He also checks under the bed, the closet, the backyard, his car, for people that aren’t there and in places a person couldn’t be. He sees guns pointed at him in flower arrangements and shadows. He hasn’t been diagnosed because he hasn’t seen a doctor about this. He swears it’s witchcraft or demons at work. He also won’t believe me when I tell him it’s not me. He promises to see a doctor but he hasn’t yet. I’m at my wits end and don’t know how to proceed. I love him and don’t want to give up on him or abandon him. We aren’t able to be intimate because he hears his sisters and his ex crying or telling each other what we’re doing. I think he might have schizophrenia with paranoid and persecutory delusions. I can’t make him go to the doctor and he hasn’t threatened to harm himself or anyone else. I’m beginning to think he might be incapable of trusting anyone and that a relationship with him is impossible. Please help. Any advice would be appreciated.

The book I Am Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help! How to Help Someone Accept Treatment should help. If you are living with him, and you think he has “paranoid and persecutory delusions” about you “giving someone the order to shoot him or kill him” I would have questions about your safety – as in maybe you should move out until he sees a psychiatrist and is on the road to recovery.

I’m sorry to read this. However, I am of the opinion that you should open your eyes as soon as possible. Your love won’t heal him, he needs medicine. Give him an ultimatum. Start treatment or leave him. You deserve a peaceful marriage. Look in the mirror, you are a strong woman, do not tolerate threats

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Caregiver1, Thank you for your reply. We don’t live together. Probably a blessing. I have told him he has to seek help from a mental health professional. At times he is quite lucid and apologizes for the things he’s said and done. He’ll be very loving and affectionate. Until the voices start again. He says he thinks someone is using witchcraft against him or it’s somethng super natural. I wish I could do a better job of not taking things so personally.

Lucija88, thank you for your words of encouragement. We are a same sex couple. I think hia lkw self eateem and internalized homophobia has some blame in this delusion as he just recently came out to his family at 45 years old. I did give him an ultimatum. I told him I can’t see him until he seeks medical help. I told him I’ll be happy to go with him if he wants me to. All I can do now is hope he follows through. I hope i do also.

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Oh Im Sorry to hear that. Would your partner accept medication and therapy? It is very hurtful and stressful for you to hear such things. But it is also very painful. I have schizophrenia and have resently had similar delicious about my boyfriend.

Hi, this happened to me after 2 years of domestic partnership. My partner stopped going to appointments, stopped trusting his family, stopped trusting his doctors and finally me. He began saying violent things I knew he didn’t mean and thought I was the exception since they switch so quickly. I went to gave him a hug and he hugged me back and as I backed out he tried to snap my neck. The hardest and most important truth is that if your partner will not get help, you CANNOT help him. Only medication and/or long term care can. If you continue to protect him from his symptoms he will never understand why he needs help and you will put yourself in danger. Not to mention, you have your own mental health to keep in check as that is extremely taxing. Take space and clearly tell him why. It’s so hard but frankly all options are and this one doesn’t put your life and mental health in further risk. Unfortunately you cannot heal this for him.

This sounds like a very difficult situation. I’m sorry you are dealing with this and that you partner is ill.

Do you know if these symptoms are new for him or has he had them in the past? Schizophrenia can first show symptoms at 45 but it’s not very common to show up this late. There are other causes of psychosis including drugs here.

Does he have any health concerns, physical or mental? If yes, perhaps he would be willing to see a primary care physician about his concerns and you could come or communicate about the psychotic symptoms to that doctor.
While a doctor can’t give you info if he doesn’t give permission, doctors can accept collateral information.

Hoping things improve for both of you.

Helping a person with a Serious Mental Illness like schizophrenia is usually very challenging, especially if becoming med-compliant is currently a problem. Usually it is the family that is willing to do the hard work to help the person. I suggest getting the family involved if possible. Otherwise, or in addition to, commit to learning all YOU can about the illness. NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) offers Family Support Groups and a Family-to-Family Class for family members which includes significant others or close friends. These things can help to give you the information you need to move forward. Do a search for NAMI in your state.