Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Please help. I need advice - Girlfriend might have Schizophrenia


#1

I am under a lot stress right now and just don’t know what to do. I believe my girlfriend of 8 years might be Schizophrenic. What seem to have started as crazy conspiracy theories and weird ideas have turned into her being convinced she is being watched and followed and her getting very mad that no one is taking her serious. She is in school and so close to being finished after so many years and we are just wanting to make it these last few months. It’s getting so bad that I am extremely worried that she is not going to be able to finished. I don’t know how to react to her stories, what to do, what to say or what not say. I would really like to talk to someone but I don’t know where to go. I don’t see any support groups for this in my town (Knoxville, TN) online so I came here.

Please let me know if have any advice or know where I can go to for advice.


#2

Don’t say " I think you might have schizophrenia" - you might instead try to say something like “you seem to be having some difficulties and maybe we could go talk to a psychologist about getting some help”… try to focus on some issue that she might agree with you on - like maybe she hasn’t been sleeping well, or is extra stressed, etc…

Places to go:

Be aware that many people think that nothing is wrong with them and they don’t need help - watch these videos if you sense this might be an issue with her:

and


#3

@Larry_Allen - Is she doing any drugs that you know of?


#4

Thank you so much for you feedback.

@SzAdmin Regarding a psychologist, I think one of her teachers suspects this as well because she told me last night that she thinks the psychologist from her school has been trying to call her but “they” are deleting the message from her phone. She had me go by her a flip phone with no wifi. Of course she wrote this on paper so “they” couldn’t hear. I messed up and said the word phone and she got extremely mad and slammed the door on my when I handed her the phone. I will look into the references you listed in your post and watch the videos as well.

@DianeR Regarding drugs. I don’t think she is doing any drugs. She has lost a lot of weight over the last couple months so she might be taking phentermine but I just don’t know. I just know she has mention that in the past.


#5

@Larry_Allen - Definitely watch those videos. They are short and very helpful.

This is extremely good advice from Szadmin -

Don’t say " I think you might have schizophrenia" - you might instead try to say something like “you seem to be having some difficulties and maybe we could go talk to a psychologist about getting some help”… try to focus on some issue that she might agree with you on - like maybe she hasn’t been sleeping well, or is extra stressed, etc…

Ths phone thing is so common. My son used to only write things for me to read them because - “they were listening”. Glad she is not doing drugs - I ask because I just figured out my son was smoking K2/Spice - (fake pot) which can cause symptoms that are like schizophrenia.

This forum is a great place for support/advice - Sorry you are here but welcome.


#6

Sorry - didn’t intentionally make that bold : )


#7

Just the fact that you 2 have replied has be such relief. I have literally teared up just reading your replies and I don’t know why. Thank you.


#8

@Larry_Allen - Me too! Now you have support. We are here and this thread will likely end up going for a while. You may also want to poke around at other threads (older ones here) as you will learn a lot. There are many people on here with GFs, wives, husbands, kids etc. that are going through this. Glad we can be here for you. Hang in there and try to learn as much as you can. I’ve been getting some sarcosine in my son - which they say can help. It’s an amino acid. I put it in his smoothies. Also, they say gluten-free can help - and of course meds - which can be difficult to get them to comply.

They say the part of the brain with sz (that’s how we abbreviate schizophrenia here) is the same part that allows self analysis - hence they don’t think anything is wrong with them. That is called lack of insight.


#9

Do they have any NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) meetings in your area? Sometimes they have support groups that can help you brainstorm or even just vent to. It’s nice to have friends that understand what you’re going through. Unfortunately there is a lot of stigma and misinformation surrounding schizophrenia and it can be difficult to find sympathetic listeners.

Does your girlfriend have any other friends or family in the area that she trusts and that can help encourage her to seek treatment? I would Not recommend ganging up on her and you definitely have to tread carefully when you’re dealing with paranoia, but it’s always nice to find other people that can help.

This illness affects every individual differently. Some people are able to get medicated and stabilized enough to finish school and have a job. It might take a little longer, but there’s always hope!


#10

@calicakes Thank you for your message. I went to the NAMI site and sent an email to see if there is a meeting in my city I could go to. As far as friend go she has basically ostracized herself from all her friends. I think a lot of it is her arguing over her conspiracy theories and such. She has an daughter in her 20s that I have talked to but I think she is having a difficult time dealing with it. There is so much more to all of this that it is hard to put in a short message lol. Thank you for suggesting NAMI.


#11

Losing friends as a result of the behavior is also pretty common.

The stress of finishing her school work may be increasing her stress, resulting in increased problems.

The behaviors you describe definitely describe paranoia, which may be caused by schizophrenia, but could result from other things.


#12

@calicakes I ended up calling the NAMI number for Knoxville because the email was returned. I spoke with someone who gave a list of NAMI meetings in my area. I am going to go to one in a couple weeks. One thing she mentioned was that it is very rare for someone in their 40s to be diagnosis that late in life with Schizophrenia so that gives me pause but their are so many signs to me that she has it. I have not suggested my thoughts on this to her at all. I just want her to see a professional and let them decide what is going on.

@Vallpen I agree with the thought that the stress of finishing Nursing school is a major factor. Especially since this is her 2nd and last chance to do this after many years of trying to get this. The only reason I have been thinking schizophrenia is because she has mentioned many things over the years where I now believe she may have been hallucinating. She has told me many times she has seen ghosts of people she knew or specific details of people she didn’t know. She recent mentioned seeing a man in class and that she knew he did not belong there and then actually seeing “them” follow her. Also she mentioned recently a car in our driveway playing loud music and wouldn’t leave until she deleted her twitter posts and that she can believe I didn’t hear the car. She is hearing people walking in the house spying on her. She showed me a list of notes she has taken and screenshots of online messages and spoke like she was using it to document everything but she isn’t making since at all when she is explaining it to me. I just act really concerned (because I am) but I try not agree with anything specific. It’s so stressful. Anyway I think that gives an idea why I was thinking maybe schizophrenia. In any case I know something is seriously wrong whatever it is.


#13

@Larry_Allen - I can’t stress enough to learn about reflective listening in the videos. This will help you reach her easier. I blew on this as I was not aware of how to approach the person. You can also get the book I’m not sick, I don’t need help. It’s the same doctor. He finally figured out a good way to approach his brother and got him to agree to take medication. The doctor had tried the confronting way for years which did not work.

Her symptoms sound like sz to me - there are different kinds and bi-polar people can hallucinate as well. Leave the diagnosing for the docs (certainly not me : ). It sounds like she needs your help and it is some kind of psychosis.

Here is the link to the book.


#14

@DianeR I Went ahead and ordered the book it’s download now and I have also started watching the video. This is exactly why I am here. Thank you so much.


#15

@Larry_Allen - We’re rooting for you! : ) These is always someone here - usually things slow down a bit in the evenings (I’m in US).


#16

BUT…not with women, and this does not indicate at what age treatment was sought.

Women dx later in life, especially with the genetic component. Some sources refer to a time gap of ten years between genders.

Another point? Psychosis can appear for many different reasons…not all are the result of scz.

(I am a woman of a multi-generational scz family.)

I too, was in school later in life…and had psych issues around that time. Mostly, the pressure built to a breaking point. I eventually was hospitalized (voluntarily) and was able to get help.

NOT scz for me…but for a bit there, I was worried.

While it may be dx later in life…it doesn’t meant that the signs weren’t there. My mom wasn’t formally dx until after her 40’s.

My brother was dx at 18.
Son at 7/8.
Uncle at 18.
Grandmother after 40.

Just my experience…doesn’t mean it’s right or wrong…just what happened with us.

Aside: my husband was my greatest strength during my crisis period. Thank you for being there.


#17

I also have a female relative that developed sz around age 50. Not out of the realm of possibility


#18

Just to confirm and post this image so you can see it more easily: