Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Trying to understand him


#1

I recently met someone who is a veteran diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia. He and I get along great and have a great time together.
He told me part of his Schizophrenia has to do with his family neglecting him and he recently received a message from his brother on Facebook which brought on a lot of stress. He didn’t go into detail but he has since stopped talking to me. He won’t even respond to my messages or texts.
I care about him a lot. He is currently living in a home for veterans recovering from mental illness as he has only recently accepted his diagnosis and started taking medication.
I would just like to know if this is normal? What is he going through? Should I continue trying to contact him or leave him alone? I have been sending him encouraging messages and telling him I hope I hear from him soon.
Everything was fine. I don’t understand and I don’t know what to do.
Will he come back or is it normal for people with this illness to just stop talking to people forever?
Any advise and education would be greatly appreciated.
I am very confused and stressed out about this.

Thank you!


#2

@Confused22 Unfortunately, it can definitely happen that way, and not just with schizophrenia but with other serious mental illnesses as well. First I would say don’t take it personally and I wouldn’t attempt to predict how long this silence will last. . Chances are whatever is going on in his head is so consuming for him at this time that he has had to just mentally set you aside for now, probably not intentionally.

If you are serious about continuing your relationship with this person, I would read all you can on his condition, arm yourself with knowledge. Relationships (in general) are challenging even without mental illness as a factor, but more so when it is a part of the picture.

You mentioned he is newly diagnosed and only recently began medication. He is at the beginning of a long road to recovery. It takes time to adjust and readjust meds and sometimes meds have to change and then once they are correct it can take up to a year or more to achieve solid stability. It is a difficult process and he probably could use positive support and may not have a clue how to ask for it.

Stress is a negative trigger and can create instability for a schizophrenic.
What is “stressful” greatly varies from person to person. Stress is not always from a bad source. It might be a combination of several things (and maybe has nothing to do with you at all)

I hope your friend is getting good treatment and taking it seriously and that you and he can find a way to make a good relationship with each other if that is what you both want, it can happen, it takes work, patience and understanding.

As for breaking his “silence” I would write him a letter and mail it to him (snail mail) if you can. Simply worded and upbeat explaining how you feel and maybe seeing if a future visit is possible. That is a good start. (or “restart”)

Something about a letter I find works better because if they don’t or can’t read it right away for whatever reason-- it is there present with them to see again–a reminder, a tangible thing, Hopefully if you get a positive and supportive message to him he will contact you again and you can take it from there.

Wishing you (and he) all the luck in the world! Here is a good resource for learning more about his condition.
https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Schizophrenia


#3

Thank you, Catherine!
He is taking his recovery very seriously…
I wish he would tell me to leave him alone or not. I’m wondering if he could possibly have been hospitalized. I will wait a little bit and maybe try a letter. I am constantly feeling as though I am bothering him.
All I can do is assume he still feels the same way he did prior to this episode.
I’m very scared his feelings will change.
I don’t know if that can happen but being in the dark is causing me a lot of stress and anxiety.
I will be reading as much as I can. I just have to hope I hear from him again. It is pure torture. I just wish I knew how he is feeling and what he is going through.
Thanks again!


#4

You are welcomed! I am so glad to hear he is taking things very seriously, that is half the battle. I know how hard it can be to wait on someone else to meet expectations (communication, interactions, etc…) and not know if they ever will. I have situations like that in my life too, different yet similar. It is frustrating. Just don’t lose sight of who you were, or who you were trying to be before you met this man. Take it from a someone who has been a full time caretaker of a mentally ill loved one for many years, it is easy to lose sight of yourself and who you are authentically and separately, when your sole focus is the welfare of someone else. As hard as it is try to seek balance and self care where ever you can. I hope you hear from him soon. Keep us posted! :slight_smile:


#5

The fact that he is taking his recovery so seriously is why I wanted to wait, but it has been almost 2 weeks since I’ve heard from him. I’m feeling very discouraged and also like a fool.
I’m wondering if I should just move on at this point. My sanity and feelings matter too!


#6

If moving on feels right for you then that is what you should do and just remember the good times you had when you were together and don’t feel foolish, chances are there was no ill intent on his part, given his mental health condition. You deserve peace of mind.