Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

What should I expect from first time treatment?

My boyfriend has not been diagnosed yet, as far as I’m aware, but he has shown several severe symptoms of schizophrenia. A couple weeks ago, he started having these intrusive “daydreams” that were like an action movie that he was the star of. Very unrealistic, but he was convinced that they were memories. He kept getting more and more distracted by these, then a few days ago he started his first full on psychotic episode, that I’ve seen. He told me online that he had a panic attack and his dad called the police because he was acting out. He ended up just not saying anything with no warning, and I didn’t hear from him again for 14 hours, so I contacted his family. They told me that what actually happened is that my boyfriend was the one who called the police because he thought he saw a dead body, then locked himself in his room because he thought people were coming to hurt him. After he spoke to me, he had gone outside to sit in the garden and stayed there for 12 hours. His parents tried to get him to come inside all day, but he just kept saying he needed to sit there and think. They tried telling him I was worried and needed him to come in and call me, and that didn’t work either. His family had no idea he was even sick, before the incident with the police, so I told them everything I had witnessed. I was told that they were calling the doctor in the morning. They had to give up for the night and go to bed. He finally came inside and talked to me, but only for about an hour because he needed to sleep. He still was acting very strange and only partially in touch with reality.

The next morning, I told his family about the conversation we had the night before, and answered some more questions they had. Now they won’t tell me anything except that he’s “fine” and he’s too stuck in his head to contact me himself most of the time. I haven’t heard from him since 2 nights ago. I trust his family to get him help and make sure he’s safe, but I hate not knowing what exactly is going to happen. I’m thinking he must have been hospitalized and his family isn’t even going to tell me that. They just used me for information and don’t care that I cared enough to take note of everything, have done everything I can for him for months since he started getting sick, and cared enough to contact them once I realized he was no longer capable of going to the doctor on his own. It’s a long distance relationship, and this was my first time ever speaking to his family, so I understand if they don’t trust me. I don’t understand why they can’t at least give me some kind of general details, when my boyfriend obviously trusted me more than them, since I’m the one who had to tell them everything. He’s 22 years old.

I’m wondering if anyone could give me an idea of what he may be going through after seeing a doctor, based on his current psychotic episode. And how long it may be if he was hospitalized, what kind of progress he’d need to make to be discharged. This is in England, if it matters. I’m just worried sick. I have depression and anxiety myself. I was doing really well until my boyfriend started getting really sick, and I can’t stand not knowing what’s happening and being totally helpless. Thank you.

Dear Zea, all I can suggest for now is to be patient. Your boyfriend is with his parents and it sounds like they are very concerned and will help him.
Hopefully your boyfriend can call you soon. take care

This must be very difficult for you. It is for everybody, especially at the beginning when everything is so new and scary and confusing.

It sounds like his parents are on top of things. They have a lot to learn though, and this learning curve takes time. They’re also likely going to go into a period of grieving if their son does end up with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Try to respect that.

Read and learn here on this forum. Knowledge is the best thing.

If you have access to counseling services for yourself, this would be a really good time to use them.

He may have been hospitalized but probably not. They don’t hospitalize in the UK unless he’s s danger. Even when they do, they still let people have their phones etc. He has probably been assigned to an Early Intervention Team and they will start him on anti-psychotics as soon as possible. I’d say to be patient. His family are probably in terrible shock. It’s possible he doesn’t want to hear from you right now. Often people have delusions about exactly the people they are closest too. I know it’s hard. Maybe call his family weekly. Ask if you can visit or help in any way. And wait. That’s all you can do.