Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Partner in need of advice


#1

I am really hoping to get some help from those whose partners are sz. I have been with my partner, who was dianogised sz two(ish) years ago, for three years and I am completely in love with him. There have been a lot of highs and lows in our relationship as with any, but things have been getting worse lately and the physics breaks are getting longer and he is harder to talk to. He is an incredible partner and human who has been there for me through everything and I want him to be the one I spent the rest of my life with. But our relationship has become very stressful and difficult lately due to his thinking that I am part of some bigger plan that is manipulating him and trying to kill him or get him to kill himself. He has accused me of drugging him, of only dating him because someone is paying me, of organizing the robbery of his house, of constantly talking in code with our friends about him and laughing at him, and I am feeling really sad and tired lately. He is my best friend and I can’t turn to him about this, and all of my other friends tell me that I am being stupid not to leave him, that it’s more stress and anxiety than a relationship is worth. But no part of me wants to be without him. So please, to anyone who is in a relationship where they are constantly having to (unsuccessfully) convince their partner that they are not trying to hurt them, how do you keep doing it, or do something better that is more efficient in letting someone with sz know that you are there for them and not trying to hurt them? It is to the point now where I question most of what he tells me and I’m so anxious when I talk to him as I don’t know what is going to trigger his paranoia.


#2

It’s going to require a ton of patience on your part. You have to endure each & every psychological error he postulates with a grain of salt. If something he says doesn’t add up, try and adjust his thinking on the matter with some encouraging words. I didn’t have a “partner” with SZ, but I have it & I had a younger sister that had it (she took her life in 2014).

I found that sitting within close proximity & trying to talk with her through her mental rants was a form of therapy for us both. You essentially have to become a full-time psychotherapist - feelings precede thoughts, so just be patient and speak only when something legitimately encouraging or inviting comes to mind. I’ve learned through my family that timing is so pertinent in helping someone, especially timing with words. Also keep a calm tone, as the voices he deals with are exhausting, try to reformulate your voice into a compassionate one for him.

These are just a few things I can think of off the top of my head.


#3
  1. Get a copy of this book and read it. Have your family read it, too.
    http://www.amazon.com/Surviving-Schizophrenia-6th-Edition-Family/dp/0062268856

  2. If she/he needs a professional intervention, tell me where you live, and I will get back to you with leads to those services.

  3. Get properly diagnosed by a board-certified psychopharmacologist who specializes in the psychotic disorders. One can find them at…
    https://psychiatrists.psychologytoday.com/rms/

  4. Work with that p-doc to develop a medication formula that stabilizes your symptoms sufficiently so that you can tackle the psychotherapy that will disentangle your thinking. The best of the therapies for that currently include…
    DBT – http://behavioraltech.org/resources/whatisdbt.cfm
    MBSR – http://www.mindfullivingprograms.com/whatMBSR.php
    ACT – https://contextualscience.org/act
    10 StEP – http://pairadocks.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-10-steps-of-emotion-processing.html

  5. the even newer somatic psychotherapies like…
    MBBT – https://www.newharbinger.com/blog/introduction-mind-body-bridging-i-system
    SEPT – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somatic_Experiencing
    SMPT – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensorimotor_psychotherapy

  6. or standard CBTs, like…
    REBT – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rational_emotive_behavior_therapy
    Schematherapy – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schema_Therapy
    Learned Optimism – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learned_optimism
    Standard CBT – http://www.beckinstitute.org/what-is-cognitive-behavioral-therapy/About-CBT/252/


#4

Hey, I’m sorry to hear about this. Is he on medication? Does he have any insight on the illness whatsoever, enough maybe so you can tell him it’s the illness making him think like that?


#5

You can`t argue him out of it. Did he go off his medication? Is he unusually stressed?
If he is not on his meds, tell him that he has to stay on them so you can continue to stay with him.
I wish you luck!


#6

Maybe you can take a breaking give him some space to work things out for himself. It’s true you can’t argue him out of it. Also give yourself some space to figure things out, and take the Nami family to family class if you haven’t already done so.


#7

Worth checking into for sure:

http://www2.nami.org/namiland09/F2Fpptchartsrevised.pdf

cc: @Tea42


#8

Please look at these sites:
http://www.leapinstitute.org/5 - under resources are free videos on using LEAP
LEAP is a way of communicating to build trust. Listen-Empathize-Agree-Partner.
http://dramador.com/1 - Dr. Xavier Amador is a clinical psychologist whose brother had schizophrenia. He is the founder of the LEAP Institute. Wrote the book: I’m Not Sick I Don’t Need Help! Can buy from his website.
Search Xavier Amador and LEAP on youtube.com and you should find some long videos
http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/index.php - under problems you will see anosognosia
Anosognosia looks like denial but is different.
http://lesswrong.com/lw/e25/bayes_for_schizophrenics_reasoning_in_delusional/1 - helped my understand delusions
http://www.nami.org/ - National Alliance on Mental Illness.
http://www.schizophrenia.ca/ - Schizophrenia Society of Canada
Can also find some very useful information here:
http://schizophrenia.com/

(from BarbieBF)