I'm In A Relationship With A Young Man With Schizophrenia--need Advice!!
*Hello, I'm attempting to rewrite this message because the first time i was in a hurry.*
Where to begin... I'm in a relationship with a schizophrenic individual. I've been dating him for nearly two years. These past two years have been somewhat of a struggle, but I've indured due to hope and the love that I have for him. He didn't inform me that he had schizophrenia until he called me from the hospital. He hid it because he didn't want me to think he was "crazy". It supported him and visited him everyday until he was discharged about 3 weeks later. Nurses come everyday to deliver his meds to him and to make sure that he takes them (because he's known to skip a few days or so). He has always had a thing for sustance abuse. He smokes marijuana and drinks ocassionally.
Only until resently has his usage become very abusive. We moved in together for a brief second only for me to move right back out after his drug obsession became too great for me to handle. The drugs have become his main focus at that moment, so much that i couldn't sway him even with my love and tears. He almost seems emotionless. The drugs are primary to him at this point. I've found that schizophrenia and substance abuse can every likely go hand in hand with each other. Why???--I'm unsure. He says it's calms THE VOICES he hears in his head. Most of the time, these VOICES come in the form of famous celebrities who insult him, me, friends , etc and tell him to do evil things. He always seems so embarassed to talk about them because he says he doesn't talk about them often (only with doctors and me, as of recently). He doens't let on with ANYONE that he has schizophrenia.I'm looking for many answers to this individual that perplexes me. I love him and I want to make this work.
On the other hand--with the drugs--he will do just about anything to get them, he has many 'fake friends' currently of whom I've tried to ward off, but in the end it is up to him to ward them off, because it is he who allows them to exist in his life. Currently, for the past few days, he hasn't been talking to them (so he says), but, up until then, he's let them run me out of my home, they moved in with him and coaxed him with drugs (marijuana, maybe more) and alcohol--so he seems blindsided by the drugs that he doesn't even see the ripping his life apart. I warned him that he'd get evicted with them around, living in his house as they please, and he didn't listen. He did get evicted though just last week. He tells me that the voices tell him that it's okay to be around those people, despite what they are doing to his life. When he was homeless for a couple of days, his "fake friends" did not help him. He called me for help, and I called his social worker and make sure he had a place to sleep for the nights ahead until he could get a new place to live. I helped him get section 8 (housing) and social security too. So, he just signed a lease to his new place and moves in late next month--but in the SAME neighborhood! ***?! I'm getting way too fed up with this and these people. They are very disrespectful and I can't believe that he keeps on chosing that life over one with me... I know, it's not really me he's trying to hurt, he's just caught up. But, it's difficult to realize who he is forreal sometimes because there's a thin line between his schizophrenic behavior, and his possible selfishness. He's insulted me plenty of times for his drug habit and even stole from me once. He says the voices tell him to do those things and with them talking and me talking, he gets frustrated and confused on what to do. I'm trying to help him. I set him up with a theropist recently and he said he wanted to go, but then no-showed.
He's has had a very difficult life. As a child, he was sent from foster home to foster home because his mother was periodically unable to care for him and his 4 other siblings. During those years, he was sexually abused and raped by 2 older foster teens when he was still very young. He was physicallly abused by his blood relatives (uncle, grandfather), and was diagnosed with "A.D.D." after concerns from his birth mother. He was then put on some kinds of medication that he cannot remember the name. She also sent him to many psych wards around the age of 14-15 years. He later on moved out around 15 years and was housed by several homeless shelters until around 17, he was brutally beaten in the head (with a metal bat) by on of his friends whose gf claimed that he had raped her. He bled from the head severly and was then hospitalized with a near death encounter. One year later, he started hearing voices and the rest is history. He's had several hospitalizations since then. I've been through on with him (last year). Could such a hard life lead someone towards the realm of having schizophrenia? Could the combination of hard living and trama lead to schizophrenia itself???
I've done a bit of studying up on schizophrenia and I've looked to my bf for positive symptoms, because I don't want to be angry or frustrated and mistake his symptoms for him just being an a/hole. He's always had a lack of attention symptom, where it seems like he doesn't pay me any mind, when in fact, he's trying to. It makes me frustrated because I feel like he doesn't care enough to pay me the attention I feel I need. I realized that he isn't going to be that guy--the knight in shining armor--that I've dreamed of or watched in romance flicks. I've realized that there will be many struggles and trips to the hospital. There WILL be relaspes whether I like it or not.
Can someone explain this for me. I need to know if this is common behavior for a person with schizophrenia and struggling with it. thank you and I appreciate you taking the time out the read such a long post.
Re: I'm In A Relationship With A Young Man With Schizophrenia--need Advice!!
Hello and welcome to the board.
Yes, sadly, this is common behaviour. A lot of people with SZ 'self medicate' with drugs. My son does it too...he tells me it lets him escape for at least a few hours from the thoughts etc etc. The thing is, the drugs, especially cannabis, can cause psychosis all on their own, so they are doing nothing to help.
As far as his mood, the anti psychotic drugs have a tendency to make you feel less, as my son put it, it makes him feel flat, not interested in anything at all. Sadly, so does SZ itself. That is another reason for drug usage I think, at least they feel something when taking them.
BUT...he still has a responsibility...no one can really help him except himself. You don't have to put up with his drug usage and him using the SZ as an excuse, you really don't. He needs to see that he will lose everything if he doesn't stop. I know how hard it must be to back away from someone you love and really mean it, but perhaps that is what you might want to do.
Make him realize you will help him in anyway you can, but only if he stops using and not before..even demand drug testing.
Re: I'm In A Relationship With A Young Man With Schizophrenia--need Advice!!
thank you for your reply, Xant. It's really helped. I have moved out of the apartment I stayed in with him and after that (alomst 2 months ago), he called me, we met up and he cried and asked me to come back. he says when he's alone, the voices get louder. All I could do was suggest that tell his nurses and that he should start taking his meds correctly and EVERYDAY! didn't/couldn't turn back, and he cried more. It hurt me to see that, but at that point there was nothing I could do. I suggested that we live in separate housing situation from here on out until he choses to really try and get better. That's kind of where we're at right now. He wants to move in with me, but I keep telling him to get his own place, even helped him find a few potential homes, etc. He hasn't be using for a few days now (So he says--since last week), so I'm keeping a close eye on him, while also keeping my distance from him. I only see him now, like once a week--the rest is phone conversations until he really choses to try and get better. This has been really hard for me, but I'm doing this to try and turn things around possibly. I hope it does. I hope that I'm doing the right thing. I'm putting all my love into this. Thank you again for your reply.
Last edited by brightside85; 08-24-2007 at 12:35 PM.