Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Unsure how to help my boyfriend, he doesn't believe I love him

Hi, I just signed up because I’m at a loss.

I’m 21, and my boyfriend is 20. We’ve been dating for around 20 months. We spent quarantine last year together and have been inseparable, but since August we’ve had to become long distanced because I had to continue my university studies in person. I live 5 hours away. He’s come up to stay the weekend twice, and we call usually over an hour each day. We also watch shows over discord with each other on voice call, and have an online D&D campaign we’re both in. Between all this, we text throughout the day and know what each other are doing at all times. I try really hard to stay communicative.

Over the last two months, he’s become more and more paranoid and delusional. I don’t know what he has, but I feel it’s maybe a form of psychosis- he really does seem to believe his delusions. He gets upset and jealous of new friends I make, accusing me of cheating and that I enjoy spending time with them more. I end up having to leave the venue or restaurant of where me and a new friend meet up at to call him and calm him down - or I end up messaging him throughout my hang out with someone to reassure him. I end up not following through with further plans with people because I’m afraid to trigger him.

We also have a mutual friend that he’s paranoid about. Me and this friend dated for 3 months over 2 years ago, way before I knew my current boyfriend. It ended badly and with time and effort, we’ve remained friends and never bring it up. I’ve been open with my boyfriend about this past and reassured him that those feelings are gone on both sides. Still, he accuses me of secretly conspiring with our mutual friend to make a fool out of him.

He spirals constantly over seemingly small things, I don’t know what I’m doing wrong or how better to help him. I really do love him and I want a future with him.

I’ve suggested therapy and have connected him with a counselor, and he keeps dragging his knees to book an appointment. It’s at a reduced rate of $60 per session but he’s afraid of therapy or being put on medication, and he doesn’t feel safe to tell his family that he needs counseling. But I can’t help him on my own anymore though, I don’t know what else to do. I’ve tried almost everything and I don’t want to lose him.

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Diagnosis and medication if applicable, as soon as humanly possible.

If you want a chance to beat this thing you gotta start treating it early. You’re both so young, this is the usual timing for males who become diagnosed (usually young adulthood). As far as how to get them to agree to it, I can’t help you there. Currently have a similar situation with my brother who started showing symptoms several months ago.

Keep in mind not every schizophrenic hears voices.

I think that getting someone who is mentally ill to seek help is one of the hardest things to do if they can’t see that they need help. It can be done, but takes patience and small steps, unless they are so bad that a court order for meds can be gotten. (This is what saved my daughter from 3 years of psychosis.)

I suggest you buy and read I’m Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help by Dr. Amador. He tried for years to help his own brother and wrote this book and did TED talks to help others. I read it 3 times and it made sense enough to be quite usable to me in life. If you can go to a NAMI support meeting or family class that will help. And read here, as so much experience can be found on this site.

Good luck to you. This is a tough battle you are facing.