Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Need advice, boyfriend's paranoia is giving me an identity crisis


#1

I’m not really sure how to start this. I feel like no matter what I write, it doesn’t quite encompass how troubled I feel about this. Sorry if my words are all over the place.

My boyfriend had a breakdown at the end of August. To cut out all of the gorey deails, I suspected it was schizophrenia and it seems like his psychiatrist agrees…he was taken off adderall and put on seroquel. I should note that I don’t think it was solely stimulant related psychosis, as he has a long history of paranoia.

So between september to now, my boyfriend has accused me of being a transgendered female, (he actually got me pregnant around this time and accused me of doing it intentionally to torture him with an abortion. That hurt.) a secret agent sent to spy on him, a reality show host, an android, a cheating whore. The usual stuff. He gets this false information from social media or movies. He refers to them as channelings. He also thought the person that introduced us (an ex mutual friend) and I were the same person at one point.

I’ve accepted that he is not at fault for hurting me, mainly because he has to literally live through perceiving all of these things to be true.
I guess the main issue now is: How do I stop feeling so self conscious?

I spend the majority of my time worrying/anxious about if he’s drawing parallels from anything and everything I say. I have so much anxiety that I had a psychotic episode where I believed he believed I was a government agent lol, and he was actually fine during that time. Fear is contagious.
I worry if I look manly, if I hold my phone the wrong way he’ll think I’m recording him, if I say something in a tone that sets off his suspicion, if I look at him in a way that makes him uncomfortable.
It’s hard to be myself around him, and I’ve found that it’s made me incredibly doubtful of myself as a person. It’s as if his off and on identity crisis is causing me to have one as well.

So what do I do? How do I make him feel more comfortable? I know there is no single “right” piece of advice. But how do I become a better listener? It took me up until recently to stop losing my shit when he accuses me of asinine things. Which is unfortunate because my negative reactions only garnered more suspicion. So I’ve learned to keep calm and hear him out as much as I can. But how do I make him feel more comfortable? What is a decent response to personal accusations that isn’t hostile or dismissive?
God I’m so sorry that this is so long. I’d be surprised if anyone reads this…let alone replies to it. It honestly feels relieving to write even a bit of this, seeing as I have nobody to confide in at the moment.

TL;DR: I can discuss my boyfriend’s beliefs all day, but how do I respond when they’re about me? How can I be a better listener? Is there any tips for comforting someones delusions when they’re about you?


#2

Practice

We all do the same…

OMG, not good, 50% chance your child will have SZ…

By understanding that nothing here is real, your reactions to his insanity can be altered by practicing self awareness, remaining calm and simply blow it off. Its not easy to blow it off but it is the ONLY way to make it with him. From everything you describe, he is SZ…

He have family near? If I were you and assuming you are a young woman, I would walk and start over.

This is how I do it:


#3

At times you may be able to talk about things in the same way you once did. For example, if you used to discuss things using logic and examples, you will still be able to. Or if it was through emotion you may be able to reach him that way. Not always though. This isn’t an absolute solution, as you said that doesn’t exist, but I’ve found reminding him of who I am, what we’ve shared, how I’ve acted in many situations and his understanding of who I am helps a little. As does remembering that this is real to him. Hard and hurtful to you, but real to him. Denying what he says as pure fantasy won’t help if he’s in/near psychosis; talk like it’s real. Others may not agree, I’m not saying indulge the delusions, just remember he believes them. It’s like being accused of something you didn’t do by someone convinced you did, but they’re harder to convince.


#4

It’s a bit more complicated than just simply leaving. I don’t want to leave. We are engaged, we just moved and he is starting a new job. We have a life together. And yes, his father is supportive which helps. He also just started meds and wants to seek therapy in January. Not to mention, he treated me well for 2 years before shit hit the fan. And when he’s stable, he still treats me with the utmost kindness. He’s my best friend.

I appreciate the reply, though. I know sometimes leaving is the only viable option for certain situations. I love him with every fiber of my being. Which is why if it got to the point where things were not fixable, I’d leave for the sake of both of us.

However hurtful the things he said were, they weren’t said in a sane state of mind, nor is he regularly emotionally abusive. He has tried to end things out of pure guilt for what he has said and done during his psychosis.

If this were any other person (in touch with reality) with the same type of accusations being hurled at me, I’d have been gone a long time ago. So I’m sure you can understand my position.
Its just very hard to let go of the emotional damage from the last few months. I know it’s been utter hell for him too, because while his accusations might be ridiculous, he’s still living the emotions in the moment as if they’re true. And that pains me even more that I am essentially a helpless bystander during his episodes, even the ones that aren’t directed towards me.

Overall, it’s motivated me to work on myself more so than ever, simply for the fact that I have to be prepared for the future, with or without him. Its just painful to balance feeling persecuted with maintaining patience and empathy. The wounds are still fresh for us both. BTW this reply was meant for @GSSP.

@Sanatorium23 : I don’t have much to say other than thank you for the reminder of keeping a realistic perspective when confronted with delusional outbursts. It really does help to remember that my reactions can avoid a full blown episode.


#5

I’m glad it helped a bit. It’s hard to keep perspective as this is happening to you too and even if you know it’s not really about you, it’s directed at you, so it’s impossible to not react to it. I appreciate what you said about staying with him. I have no intention of leaving my partner either. We love each other and his illness is part of the many things we cope with and live with.


#6

Definitely agree with the last thing you said. Not everything is always so cut and dry. There are so many issues I will have to face in my life whether or not he is ill. And we are a team, most importantly. Handling the illness as a partnership in itself is therapeutic for him.
I would not leave my partner for having a physical disability that requires rehabilitation, so its almost not even a sensible option in my mind to leave when he’s genuinely willing to seek treatment and maintain open communication.

Aaaand since I don’t have anyone to share with that would understand my excitement, may as well post it here. He had a very hard night last night, but was very lucid after we talked things out for few hours. He expressed to me that he likes seroquel and wanted to increase the dose!!! :hugs:
So I texted our psych (yes we share the same psychologist…lol) and she approved and told him to take 200mg tonight. As opposed to the 50mg a day which is not even a therapeutic dose for bpd/sz…so it made him feel better for like, 2 days haha

I am SO happy. Like, this is the happiest I’ve been in awhile. Just because it was on his own accord, and not because I persuaded him to do so. And he’s actually excited about it too, which is what makes me the happiest; that he’s hopeful for himself.
I’m not expecting miracles, but it took about 4 months since his initial episode (with a lot of psychosis after) for him to want to go on medication. Ugh I’m rambling, lol. But yeah. Small victories.


#7

Just checking to see how things are going. Hope the change in meds has been positive.


#8

The meds are doing wonders. I appreciate you checking back. He’s happier and delusions are no longer an issue so far. I’m a lot happier. We will see how things progress.