Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

New boyfriend is abusive and schizophrenic, especially when he drinks

We’ve been involved since December. He has a severe drinking problem and seems to come from a troublesome home with quite a mean and racist father (now dead). They are also Pentescostal Evangical, Southern, and faith seems to be the only thing he has.
However, when he drinks he will resort to spiritual abuse, the worst name-calling you can imagine, disgusting racism, accusatory, and straight up delusion (UFOs, channels, etc.).

The alcohol calms his torment for the first couple of beer but he cannot stop, sometimes drinking straight through two days. Then I will receive the most sorrowful, sad voicemails like a little boy breaking. He does cry, but I don’t know if it’s real crying. Am I being manipulated? I don’t know. He said he got straight As as a kid so he is not mentally challlenged and when sober sounds totally normal. Seems when the symptoms hit he was late teens and he got stuck in that age. But he is 45.

Abuse is a deal-breaker but is the kind thing to do, to switch the friendship, help him pray, etc.?
He’s been to jail for assault and has had girlfriend because he is very goodlooking in part and very sweet sometimes but he’s definitely on the downward drift, has maybe two friends (his pot dealer and pill popping friend).

Hi athi. If you’re interested in learning about schizophrenia as a disease I highly recommend doing as much research as you can on the subject, and read as much as you can throughout this site through old threads if you’d like to understand better what life with a loved one with the disease is like. Then you may want to consider how much negative you are able or strong enough to take on in your own life. Consider your own safety first, your own dreams for your own future, and what you really want out of a meaningful relationship. This may not be the one, and as much as I believe in the power of prayer, prayer can’t touch this disease. There is no cure. There is only treatment, and if you spend a good amount of time reading through this forum, treatment in itself can be tragic and extremely difficult.
Best of thoughts. Take care of yourself.

I’m sorry you are going through this. I went through something similar starting about this time last year. It almost destroyed me, and my loved one. When a person you love is having psychosis or any kind of mental instability, it can feel contagious, and it’s hard to think clearly. Be kind to your person and don’t take the abuse personally, but DO NOT put up with it. He will just get louder and louder until he is hospitalized or jailed. If I could do things differently, I would have insisted on going to the ER with him early on, when the name-calling and rage and religiosity first started to amp up, and if he refused (which he would have), I would say: I love you so very much, and you are sounding really frightening to me right now. This has happened before and it’s really destructive to you, your life and your relationships. If you want to talk to someone or get some help, I’m here with you and will stay with you, but if you are just going to rage at me and hurt us and yourself, I’m removing myself. Call me when you are ready to feel better. Then REMOVE yourself. Make a vow to yourself that you will not allow yourself to be abused, finance risky/dangerous behavior or drug-use, or allow this anywhere near your family. It may be his illness talking, but it’s still scary and traumatizing and you don’t have to take it. In our society he has to consent to treatment. The only way you can really help is to try to get him into the system (via the ER, or, sadly, calling 911) which will eventually happen anyway if he’s left to his own devices (as happened before), or set up a doctor to see him when he’s ready, then remove yourself and your wallet and your other loved ones until he asks for you to help him. I say this because this is what I will do myself if my loved one has another psychotic episode. He lost 7 months and his whole life and reputation to his illness. I wish I had been stronger, but I kept thinking he’d even out and get better, but he didn’t. He just got worse, and then started drinking, using pot and hallucinogens to keep it going. It was a nightmare. You are just one person. Your love can support him, but it can’t rescue him. He has to do that for himself.


100% spot on Gennyg. 100%.

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You should stop this relationship. Sounds simple, but sometimes the best solution is the simplest one, the one that is right there in your face. Do not feel guilty.You can support him as a friend.


I agree with the above posts. At most, being a supportive friend would work. Before that, try to make sure you have some distance and can find safe boundaries. Best wishes. It’s a tough situation for sure.

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Get out and run; don’t look back.

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It all sounds so familiar minus the drinking. Stages, screaming at the top of his lungs. I wish that he would get laryngitis. Music is constantly on and very loud all hours and my neighbors are elderly but have known me for years and they haven’t complained as of yet. I try so very hard to not listen to all of the filthy nasty things he says but all day is a lot. I have to leave to get any peace. I have called 911 and they talk to him, he calms down a little then the next day it starts again. The psych emergency departments in my area can’t keep them for more than 25 - 48 hours or medicate because of COVID. I am at my waist end. Right now hes not capable of taking care of himself!

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Thank you . Right now I am doing NC in part because he started losing it on me after going 4 days sober and then lashing out and it was terrifying. Not he is sober again but he’s only gone 4 days in the past and on his voicemails, he says he wants to go for two weeks. But I’m realizing that the schizophrenia, the abuse and the alcoholism are separate issues. It’s been easier for me to try to stop justifying his behaviour. He is also extremely religious, which I don’t think helps his schizophrenia ,and he is also very racist.