Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

SZ and Overlapping Disorders


Hi! This is my first time posting, so hello to everyone and thanks in advance for your feedback. :blush:

Does anyone’s loved one suffering with SZ also struggle with overlapping mental and/or personality disorders? I believe that my loved one is, but am not too sure if their earlier narcissistic symptoms were actual narcissistic personality disorder (as previously diagnosed) or were just the prodromal stage of SZ.

I’ve known my loved one my whole life, ever since I reached an age where I developed the ability to analyze another’s behavior, they have been manipulative, grandiose, paranoid, and depressed. They have recently been given the diagnosis of SZ after their first psychotic break.

It’s been extremly hard to be supportive, because while I feel terrible for them and want to be there to help in all ways possible, I can’t help but feel highly suspicious of their actions and comments and feel as if I am being manipulated. I know a person’s personality doesn’t necessarily change because of the SZ, and if they were funny or manipulative or selfish or artistic before the disease hit, they will remain as so, but I was hoping someone has experience in dealing with SZ and overlapping personality disorders.

A lot of what my loved one says sounds almost rehearsed, I still feel like I’m being mentally and emotionally toyed with for their personal gain. I truly want to be there for this individual as I do love them very much and they have always been an important figure in my life, but I’m scared of them. I know they need a supportive environment and I try my best to supply it, but I feel as if I’m being conned nearly 90% of the time. I’ve been living with tremendous amounts of guilt because of my suspicion.

Has anyone had any experience with NPD and SZ?

Thanks so much for reading, I’m so grateful I discovered this forum. It’ll really help to have some support with this new diagnosis.


Not NPD, but yes for ASD, SPD, and ODD. He’s definitely a tad egotistical, I must say.


I was married to someone who finally was diagnosed with a personality disorder. At that time I sought counseling. The counselor recommended this book, the instructions at the time was to read it and come back and report which types of abuse I had experienced resembled the scenarios from the book.

Another suggestion is to read about the autism spectrum disorders, as psychosis can occur comorbidly with other mental disorders, many fall under those autism spectrum disorders.


True, fiancé has Asperger’s!


@StrawberryMoon Yes indeed I have experienced overlapping disorders with my loved ones. Maybe not sz and npd together but a mixed and matched variety for sure. It is so HARD to process and cope with one MI let alone 2 or more. My step father was an alcoholic with npd, my mother Major depression, addiction and borderline personality disorder, My oldest son aspergers ,adhd and addiction, my sister schizo-affective disorder, ptsd, and addiction…and my youngest son that lives with me has sz, borderline personality disorder, addiction and is on the autism spectrum…so I do understand and welcome to this forum.


That sounds really hard.

With severe NPD, you’re never really going to exist to that person. A few people in my family of origin (not my family member with sz) have (or had) NPD to varying degrees. The sort of good news is, there is a narcissism spectrum and some people can learn to think about other people.

What I have learned is that the treating doctors and professionals will try to treat the Axis One diagnosis first, then anything else that’s going on. So, if you choose to, maybe focus on how to take care of yourself/ form good boundaries while supporting loved one’s recovery from sz.

Is your loved one able to work or go to school, and live independently?


Thanks! I’ll check out that book.


Thanks for the reply and welcome! I agree how hard it is to deal with one mental illness, let alone two or three combined. I’ve already dealt with the NPD diagnosis and struggled to accept it. This new SZ diagnosis has thrown me through a loop.


At the moment they are not working, they used to be fairly successful in their career, though always had suspicions of co-workers and bosses and seemed to never like anyone in their office, always thought they were the most qualified one in the company, but once the SZ kicked in, they up and quit and have been living at home, unemployed ever since.

Maybe I’ll be able to get a better handle on the situation once things are more balanced out with the schizophrenia, as they just started treatment.