I don't know what to do anymore. I love my boyfriend dearly, we have been together for 2 years now, and I don't want to break up with him. The story:
In the past he has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and had several psychosis. However, this was in a time when he was smoking a lot of pot. After he stopped smoking so much, he didn't experience psychotic symptoms anymore (hearing voices, thinking there are camera's spying on him, thinking his family are poisoning his food etc.). So, he is not on medication. I should also say he is functioning good in terms of caring for himself, family and work (although he hardly has any friends).
However, he is still showing behaviour that is a bit "strange" (very negative worldview, suspicious of other people, obsessed with aliens and the like) this however is not the problem for me. It's not always nice and sometimes embarrassing in company but it doesn’t immediately affect me. There is however a lot of behaviour that is affecting me.
He is extremely jealous and paranoid. Many times he accuses me of cheating (obvisouly I'm not). He can get extremely upset over (in my eyes) the smallest things. Me being a chaotic and not very structured person makes it worst. It would be ok if he expresses his suspicion in a normal, respectful way but he:
-assume things and accuses me (that I'm having sex with other people, that I don’t want him but actually want to be “free” etc.)
- is extremely angry and verbally violent (never physically)
- he is very manipulative and threatens me. If I don’t want to talk with him for some reason (for instance because I have other plans for the evening) he says he is going to have sex with someone else and won’t tell me.
- every other while he announces he doesn’t want to be with me anymore (mostly over a small thing), he then says I’m a bad and evil person and then he destroys all my pictures and removes everything that has to do with me out of his life. This is soooo hurtful.
I should say he is smoking pot and drinking as well. However I cant get him to stop this, even though I tried to explain him it’s not good at all. He says it’s his life. The same goes for taking medicine. He thinks nothing is wrong with him.
This all sounds very negative and if he wasn’t such a sweet, caring person I wouldn’t stay with him. But he is. And I love him very much that makes it so hard. Also, in his good periods, this behaviour doesn’t show, or in manageable ways.
My questions: Do you think he is SZ? Can anyone advice me how to deal with his threats of having sex with other women? We are in a long distance relationship. I am planning to live with him in the hope things will get better then. Do you think this will make things better?
I know I have to be strong and ignore his negative behaviour (right? or shouldn’t I?) but sometimes I can't and I end up doing things I really don't want to do, just to avoid the drama. I feel like I'm loosing myself right now. I have a problem with setting my boundaries in general, and in this case it’s even harder. I think he really doesn’t understand how much he hurts me every time.
I love him but I don’t know how to deal with him. Please can anyone advice me.
Only a psychiatrist could provide a specific diagnosis but some of what you say he is experiencing sounds like it could be schizophrenia but alcohol can worsen symptoms and marijuana can trigger the onset of schizophrenia and worsen it at all times. He might need a dual recovery group for a person with a psychiatric disability and substance abuse issue. However it would be best for him to go back to seeing a psychiatrist and the best way to approach him is in a supportive manner and encourage him that it will be helpful for his recovery. Relationship therapy can be of help. Also support groups such as the NAMI friend and family support groups can be of help as well.
I think the thought that he might have SZ and could get an psychosis again scares him so much and even might induce another one, that he chooses to think he doesn't have it. The ps he went to the last time said it was caused by his marihuana-use and he is strong enough to recovers. That also makes him believe he doesn't have it. I try to encourage him to see a ps but then he says nothing is wrong with him and I'm the one who is having issues.
What is exactly the relation between SZ and marihuana/alcohol? I know my boyfriend uses it sometimes to become more social or to get some rest in his head. I don't really want to take that away from him but I also don't really know the risks.
And what if he doesn't want to seek help, and doesn't want to stop using alcohol/mariguana? Will it get worst? I'm at the point now where I want to say: do something or I can't take it anymore, but wouldn't that take it the wrong way?
Thanks for the suggestion of these groups, I will have a look at it.
Does anyone have tips how to deal with the threats, angry behaviour and the ignorance for long periods (he just decided he never want to speak to me again bc I wasn't availbale to him)
Some people with schizophrenia are unable to realize they have it. He might not be in denial, just he might not be able to see he has it. Drugs just alter the chemical balance in our brains and schizophrenia is a chemical imbalance, as far as I know. Alcohol I was told flushes the medications out of the person's system and exacerbates symptoms and marijuana I was told due to its very nature just makes schizophrenia worse. It can potentially get worse if he continues along this path but all you can do is be supportive and encourage him to try to get help.
I personally dont think moving in is the best idea quite yet...could you just move to his town and see how things go? I think he needs to get sober before a good diagnosis is made. Sounds like medication or therapy or both may be what he needs? Remember to keep yourself healthy and focus on you, not all on him :) Good luck hope everything turns out well for you.
Thank you all so much for the advice. I still am going to live with him, and I hope he will trust me more then and hopefully he wants to get help in the end. It's hard to focus on myself, but I know it's essential that I try :) Thanks
I know exactly where you are coming from its easter today and my husband has schizophrenia and he just left 2 hours ago saying he needed a walk he hasnt had a drink for 8 months but today I assume why he has gone out is to have a drink again I told him if he drinks again I will never have him back I am sat here terrified of his return I would say to you dont move in at all otherwise the violence could turn on you my husband started smashing things up at first then the violence turned on me I think you should give it some time to see if he gets better cause there is nothing worse than being terrified of someone you love my husband lives with me and he is still paronoid that I am cheating on him when I am not seriously think about things x:-(
I am so sorry for your situation. Why is it that he can't use alcohol? Is it because it makes him violent? Is he using medication? I hope things get better for you and the situation on easter didn't turn out bad. I see what you mean, I still have the feeling I should try it though. But I should really watch my boundaries. Thanks for the advice.
I would recommend you don't move in with him. My husband, who i am seperated from and will be getting a divorce from suffered from Paranoid Schizophrenia. When i met him back in 2006 he was staying at a hostel and didc't inform me he had schizophrenia i found out from the staff. He used to drink alot and was at times smoking cannibis. He did get depot injections every two weeks. Then i had our first daughter in May 2008 and we moved into together. He then took a knife outside as he believed someone was at the door listening to what was going on in the house and spying on him. Social Services got involved and i was 6 months pregnant with our second daughter at the time. When our second daughter was born in September 2009 the Social Services became heavily involved with our family and my husband had to leave the home in November 2009 as we had a argument and the neighbours called the police. They Social Services went to court and said that i was neglectful to our daughters for having my husband live with us. They are now in foster care and waiting to be adopted. They are 3 and 2 years old and when they get adopted i won't be able to see them until they are 18. This was largely to do with my husband having Schizophrenia, so please don't make the same mistake and don't get pregnnant i would recommend you get out of this relationship as soon as possible. My husband alsso stopped taking his medication and is not stable from what i last heard.
Verbal or physical abuse that you are allowing is a sign that you yourself, need psychiatric help! Something is not right with your self esteem or way you think relationships should evolve is this is acceptable.
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