Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

When to call it quits

Recently my relationship with my partner has gotten to the point where I no longer feel safe around him. We’ve had 4 years together when we were younger (before the illness), and now 6 years back together, along with having 2 children. We don’t live together, haven’t actually ever lived together due to certain things. When we got back together the relationship wasn’t perfect, but I accepted things for what they were and tried to be the kind of partner he needed. Fast forward to now, and the relationship is incredibly toxic due to his anger and his beliefs about me. Along the way I’ve said some things that have caused him to have paranoid thoughts about me, more so than the ones he already has. These things he can’t let go, and its just a circular topic we can never move away from. I wont let him come around to see me or the kids, and I’ve been pushing him to go to the hospital for help. My question is will this actually help? He’s been taking his meds, so he says, but isn’t always honest about it,and mostly hasn’t taken them. What he’s taking doesn’t ever really seem to change his behavior or reduce his symptoms,so my hope was the hospital could try something different. I’m not looking for his illness to be cured, but was wondering if a stay in the hospital could help with his paranoia and delusions.

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First, no I don’t think pushing him to go a hospital will help if he’s already getting treatment. It’s rare to self-admit without some intervention of mental health professionals or law enforcement. Second, I’m not sure of the necessity of hospitalization in this case. While it can be a safer environment to try out different medications, he could do the same in an outpatient environment so long as he’s not a threat to himself and others.

While you say you find his paranoia unsafe, you seem able to restrict his access to yourself and your children. It’s unclear that you have sufficient grounds or the will to have him committed, in certain states court-assisted mental health treatment may direct treatment as a diversion from incarceration. Long lasting injectable medications are often used to ensure med compliance. In my case my mother signed commitment papers, but I signed in voluntarily in a hearing. Until that hearing, I don’t recall anyone asking me if I would admit myself voluntarily, or even recommending hospitalization even though I was seeing a therapist twice a week at the time.

What specifically do you think hospitalization will do for your partner? What are your expectations of how it might improve his mental health? I feel you may have naive or fanciful expectations about hospitalization. In my experience the chief benefits of hospitalization are protecting the patient and society from the stresses each pose to the other, and providing a safe structured environment for treatment to progress. Because it is costly and restrictive, the vast majority of mental health treatment is outpatient.

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Thank you for your reply. Specifically, I was hoping hospitalization would make him try something different. To be put in a situation where he would have to do it. Currently, he’s too afraid to try a different doctor, even though he agrees that she doesn’t really listen to his concerns, or that he feels his medication isn’t helping. She just tells him to keep taking it. I dont particularly feel right about having him forced to do something, but if the outcome is good, I feel like it would be a good choice regardless. Better for him, better for his kids, better for the people around him. He also hasn’t been 100 percent honest with her either. He doesn’t tell her that the voices he hears are violent, or that he constantly thinks of suicide. He never told her about the drug addiction he had that he finally overcame in the past year. But maybe that’s the norm with this illness? He has paranoid schizophrenia. I felt coming here and asking people first hand that have either gone through being in the hospital, or have had someone put in the hospital would be the best choice. I mean, once someone finds a medication that works, how well does it really help things? I know that not everyone fits into the same box and I realize that. He doesn’t really see the bigger picture with things. For example, he wakes me up on the middle of the night to spend time with him. He doesn’t work, but I do. I also do most of caring for the kids, who are both young. I explain that I’m tired and would like to sleep. He then gets upset and sometimes aggressive. He just can’t see that waking me at 3 a.m. is pretty selfish and tells me that I lack empathy for the situation. I do love him and have explained that, and also that how the relationship is currently isn’t good for any of us and it’s better that we arent together if things are going to continue to be this way. The issue with that has been hes become very suicidal over it. Which brings me to where I am now. Him getting help, and maybe if the hospital isn’t the right choice a different dr might be worth a try.

Thanks for this clarification. What I’m hearing is you think hospitalization will somehow force these decisions on him. This isn’t always the case, while court assisted treatment coerces compliance by offering a stark choice of medication compliance versus jail, patients have the right of refusal of medication. Once admitted voluntarily or no, there is a degree of pragmatically going along with treatment to get yourself out sooner, but in my experience this is unlikely to be lasting.

There has to be a motivating factor and some tangible benefits to try something new and stick with it. This may be a carrot or stick or both. In my case, I came to the realization that I would likely lose my job if I didn’t at least try medication. After that motivating factors for switching to different medications were largely on promises of less onerous side-effects. Anxiety at medication transitions is normal, there’s a degree of “the devil you know…” mentality. I’d consider access to you and your children as a possible motivator. If you are unfamiliar with the LEAP method, consider researching the forum or getting a copy of Dr. Amador’s book, “I Am Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help!” for consensus building strategies for improving relationships with those with serious mental illness. NAMI’s Family To Family training is reportedly also a good resource.

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Thank you again for your response. Its been helpful and insightful. I’m definitely going to research the LEAP method.

i guess having forum back is ok but its like old times again living with a skz is certainly frustrating but im now 80 so hopefully my tirn will be over before too long and best of luck to whoever my follow

Im pregnant with my first child (my boyfriend’s first too) and my boyfriend recently was hospitalized and diagnosed with a delusional disorder. He is taking risperidone and anti alcohol meds so i felt safe to give things a try again. I can see that it is hard for his body to adjust to the meds (theres 4 others including for depression and alcohol abuse). Its been about a month. Tonight I am so frustrated and on the verge of giving up so i came here, and reading your post seems like a glimpse into my future. Things have been good after the hospital reset, except for one weekend almost 2 weeks where he stopped his meds and went on a vodka binger, doing all the old things (accusing me of cheating, disrespectful names, referring to himself as a god who knows secrets and has people working for him/telling him things). He is always triggered by an insecurity revolving around me and the thought of someone else, though i give him no reason, i am so loyal. Drinking messes up his body so badly that he cant last a couple days doing this without needing to take a week of recovery. So after giving him space that weekend i involved myself again, this time requiring a more active role in his recovery if he wanted me to stick around. He agreed and I helped him get back on his meds and allowed myself to forget about how shitty it feels to go through it when he gets in this mode. Then tonight out of nowhere he started the rants and accusations again, after many perfectly lovely days full of affection, this time taking the name of a random guy paid to water a friends greenhouse that we both house sat for (short version, someone i dont even know but a name that has entered his head). This is how it always happens. If any new person even enters his thoughts or crosses my path in life he turns that into the belief that its someone ive cheated on him with. Im so angry. I know that he took at least last night off or maybe has missed 2-3 of his last doses bc he is dealing with horrible stomach pain. I am guessing this is what i can expect as a result. This time he didnt drink, and all this is happening anyway. So here i am, venting and relating to you. Thanks for hearing me out Ctina. Maggotbrane, thanks for taking the time to give advice and responses on here, your insight and growth in managing this is appreciated.

You did the right thing. At some point we all have to accept that we cannot solve all the problems of our loved ones with a serious mental illness. There is nothing else you can say or do. Stop talking abt the hospital and treatment. You have said enough about that and he already knows. It is on his court now. Maybe this could be a motivation to seek better treatment. I still think he should be able to see the kids supervised, in open spaces. That could be an incentive for him. You may be able to explain to the children the situation in ways they can start to understand.