Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Permanent Manic Impulses

Hi again everyone.

I just really need to say this in a community that I know will understand.

Last night my Schizoaffective SO came home with a tattoo. A creepy tattoo… of a possessed looking skull with a broken tooth, glowing eyes, and its brain being abducted by a spaceship with the words “losing my mind” underneath. And it’s pretty large on her upper arm where I will always see it.
As an artist I’m relieved that the image itself is decent quality, but it’s so scary that i could seriously get nightmares if I see it before bed. I’m not big at all on tattoos (for a lot of personal reasons). She and I have talked about this for years and I always tell her if she’s getting one to make it sentimental at least.
This isn’t sentimental though, it’s only representing her disorder and I can see it making her more depressed from it not less.
I know there’s nothing I can do about it now, but has anyone else experienced this sort of thing with their partner? (Please don’t say it’s not as bad as other impulses because I can garuntee she’s done everything else there is to do).

Another impulse is her considering breaking up with me. I say impulse because yesterday she was confused why I was upset and acted like it never happened (not dissociation, I know how to tell when it’s that). This may all not matter anymore if she decides to go through with it.

Maybe she sees the tattoo as giving her strength & power over her disorder?
Maybe she’s giving an ugly face to an ugly problem?
Did you ask her why she picked that one & what it means to her?
I don’t have any tattoos, not because I don’t like them but because they went from being somewhat taboo to something everyone does, but I’ve considered getting one to remind me to always be strong in the face of my son’s illness. Maybe this is what she intended?

For the breaking up thing, when my son is really manic, he mind will flip from idea to idea on a second by second basis - that’s literal. And, his memory suffers, so he often doesn’t remember what he said even a minute ago. His emotions can easily run the scale from extremely angry (throwing things at people) to somewhat OK to crying (doesn’t know why) to something that appears to be happy all within a 5 or 10 minute period. It’s hard to watch, and I’m sure even harder to experience.

Maybe mention some of it to her doctor if you can - she could just be having a bad period like we all have, or maybe she needs a med adjustment or something?

I don’t know if this is the right thing or wrong thing to say, but i will say it

It doesn’t really matter what specifically they say or do, they are sick and need help. As parents or spouses/ partners, we need to look for ways to find them some help. That is the only important item on our lists. Getting them some help.

But what they do and say (other than getting their hands on the guns and knives) – it’s just the details. Of course, perhaps out of “normal” habit, we still try to make sense out of their words and actions, but what is the use. There is no sense in the psychosis.

I am really sorry about the tattoo. It does sound scary. Hopefully she gets help and her world starts looking better than that.