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1029439 tn?1265665405

How to handle a boyfriend with paranoid schizophrenia

My boyfriend just told me that he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.I knrw that he had something but i couldn't figure it out. I don't know much about the condition but i have researched and found that anger is a part of it. Now I've been with him over a year and he has always been jealous. I would like to know how likely is it that he'll become abusive? He also doesn't take his meds because he doesn't like how they make him feel, can he lead a functioning life without them? He also wants to know what are the chances that his daughter and our future kids will have it? Should I be concerned, and is there anyway to "handle" (for lack of a better word) him when he gets in his angry moods. And how should i respond when he talks about his delusions. He tells me so i can understand and I feel really bad because all I do is sit there quietly because I don't know what to say and I truthfully don't understand because I don't experience them. I love him and want to stand by his side. So what are any tips you can give me on being with someone with this conditions. Are there things i should avoid talking about? I just wanna be supportive for him.
30 Responses
Avatar universal
Um it depends on the person really, not everyone with it will be abusive or violent, especially when on treatment but it's hard telling.  If he starts being abusive you need to nip it in the bud immediately before it gets out of hand.  I don't know if he can lead a functioning life or not, John Forbes Nash Jr. stopped taking all meds and has been diagnosed with the same disease and he is doing just fine today while someone like me after having to go through cold turkey withdrawal and my body readjusted to a non-medicated state, I relapsed but I'm so violent while not medicated I fall asleep while walking.  Sarcasm aside in that last sentence, I'm not violent at all.  I think the chances of a person developing it with one parent are either 5 or 10%, I can't remember and can't find the page on www.schizophrenia.com but even people with no genetic history of it still have a 1% chance of developing it since 1 out of every 100 people have it.  He can try taking his anger out in non-harmful ways like screaming into a pillow or punching it or if his meds make him not as angry he should consider taking them, he can always try switching to another antipsychotic if he doesn't like the one he's on, there are quite a few options in that category.  It's best not to argue with a person's delusions, it usually gets you nowhere.  It would depend on the content of the delusion as to what you should say if you just want to talk with him through them.  Best to avoid talking about things which are triggers for him if possible.
585414 tn?1288944902
I would say as a person who has made a basic recovery from schizoaffective disorder (read through my posts) to think of him in most ways like anyone else but as a person with a psychiatric disability. What is important is to understand normal emotional difficulties in a relationship such as jealousy and irrational feelings he has that may vary and should be mitagated by treatment such as paranoia. As well you should discuss with him any emotional trigger points he has so you can work around them and set up accomodations. You should understand when treatment works his perception of the world may be very much the same as yours but when it doesn't his reality testing may begin to drop. I could make some general suggestions but it all depends on how functional he is and how he responds to treatment but specific symptoms aside you should think of him as to who he is a person first, symptoms aside as I always found that I encountered this problem before I responded to treatment and could not express myself as well.
Avatar universal
When someone wants to discuss what they're experiencing it's a sign that they need to get it out and I would try as hard as I can to really put yourself in his shoes.
He apparently wants you to try and understand what he's feeling and experiencing.
Some don't want to discuss what's going on especially with doctors or therapists, but when they want to; really try to be supportive and understanding because this is very important to him; he wants you to somehow know and you can continue to be supportive and empathize.
I will say that as far as meds go to discuss this with him in time because many do function after learning coping strategies which can be done and has been done by many.
Violence is not acceptable though so do keep a close eye on this and I hope you are sure about a very involved relationship with him because this isn't something that get's solved over night; it's on going.
Listen to him, believe him, understand and support him.
Again, most don't want to discuss because it seems to make people feel worse, but i think it's a good sign that he wants to discuss it with you; he can also perhaps in the future discuss all with a therapist or caring professional...
Meds can make one feel very strange and weird to say the least, but they can't be ruled out either; there are so many types of meds to treat the symptoms he's expereincing and keep this in mind also.
Good Luck To You Both and Best Wishes....
675718 tn?1530036633
that's good that you want to support him......shows you love him
1029439 tn?1265665405
Thank you all for your great advice. I do love him very much and we've been at it for over a year but he just recently, this week, told me about this. I'm excited to say that he's so open with me about it now. Don't get me wrong its not always the topic of discussion but he tells me how he's feeling now and I think him opening up to me has brought us closer then close. Today he did have a bad moment that I kinda drew a blank with. Apparently some people made him mad and it happened really quickly. (He told me over the phone.) All i could tell him was to try not to let other steal his joy and upset him so easily. He said that he didn't know how to control it. So I suggested that he get an iPod so he can go into another world of music and ignore the outside world. He wasn't sure if e could do it. This is a method that I personally use to calm me. Do you guys think that was a good suggestion? does anyone know anyways that he can calm himself down?
P.S he wasn't angry long after being on the phone a while and i made him laugh. so I'm happy that I can help him get thru it.
Avatar universal
Was a good suggestion with the music thing.  I find I have to actually listen to like sad music if I feel sad to get it all out so to speak rather than listening to like happy music, that just gets on my nerves is all it accomplishes but everyone is different and this might not be true for him.  I have problems with anger and if I have something I'm particularly angry about I write a rant on my website or in a journal entry on here, sometimes a post if I get to rambling, so I don't take it out on anyone in full force specifically and it's still there so people can "listen" and can be entertaining to them anyway with how I make it all sound fanciful or break my own writing at least on my webpage.  Like the other people said, you wanting to keep supporting him even with how difficult this can be shows how much you love him and is good, he is lucky to have you.
1029439 tn?1265665405
Do you think I should get him a journal to write his emotions in? I'm thinking about getting him one and telling him to write how he feels when it feels like to much and maybe burn the paper as a way to release it. ??? I would try to suggest a blog but he doesn't have a computer at home so that wouldn't really do anything. I think I'm just going to get him one and hopefully he'll at least try it. I think he will though. And thank you so much. I'm lucky to have him too truthfully!!
Avatar universal
Would be a good idea I suppose, I use the journal on here to record my mental illness symptoms so I can know when periods were better or worse for me and also so people can see if they read the entries what mental illness can do to a person just so they can learn or whatever, otherwise I would keep them all private.  This one person on here said their therapist or whatever recommended they write a letter to their mental illness and it's supposed to help out.  I haven't tried it yet but plan to.
Avatar universal
And yeah I can understand you are lucky to have him too.  Most people with mental illness are good natured people who just are having problems.
1029439 tn?1265665405
ok so my boyfriend has been experiencing some BAD episodes. I think because he's stressed. He's been talking about committing suicide alot. And all i really know to tell him is i don't think its a good idea, and that i love him and wouldn't know what to do if that ever happened. I also told him that I'd be angry with him for leaving me and that i wouldn't go to his funeral because it was his choice to leave me here (i only said that because he asked if i would go.) And i feel like he's starting to get suspicious of me because he thinks I'm TOO PERFECT. (In HIS eyes, thats what he sees) Some bad thing happened to him and I still don't know what they are because that he won't talk about. But he called me at 3 in the morning and said certain things that stuck out to me, like "I think you working with them", then attempted to ask me where i was which obviously i didn't say because he didn't sound right. He was really scaring me. Something in his voice told me that something wasn't right. Then he started rambling on and on but talking low so i couldn't understand him. Then he hung up on me. Couple hours later he called me back, still sounding odd, all i could say to him is that he was scaring me, he responded "naw I'm good." In that same weird voice. So I told him I loved him, and he chuckled like he didn't believe me, and said "you, say that to me?" (We have been going thru alot so I haven't been as affectionate with him lately) Like it was so hard to believe. but of coarse i told him yes, and tried to reassure him. Then he said something, but i don't remember what and hung up again. THEN he called me again! and we talked, and talked until he sounded like my baby again and he started telling me how much he loves me and I could tell that he had calmed down alot during the phone call. I can say i do know how to calm him. But its sooo hard man to hear him talk about killing hisself and then telling me how he would do it, and that he just doesn't want it to hurt and all that. i cried and cried because I hate it. soooo much. But what should I do when he starts with this? How can I take away as many of the doubts that he has in his mind about me?
Sometimes I just don't know what to say and that hurts me too soo bad because i wanna help him through this but i don't know. I just told him to pray and try to relax. But sometimes I just don't know. Any suggestions?
Avatar universal
Stress can worsen symptoms and even make a person relapse.  I relapsed fully the 23rd of December because of an anxiety attack for example.  If he is talking about suicide and thinking about it he needs to talk to his doctor about it.  It sounds like he needs to talk to his psychiatrist about this behavior in general that he is experiencing.  He needs to be encouraged somehow to try to speak to his doctor about this but you have to be careful because telling someone to their face that they are psychotic doesn't go well if they aren't entirely open to people's judgments like this and even me being open to that, I still sometimes don't believe people, but only occasionally.
1029439 tn?1265665405
I AM SOOO HAPPY TO ANNOUNCE THAT MY BOYFRIEND HAS NOW TAKING HIS MEDICATION AND IS SHOWING VERY NOTICEABLE IMPROVEMENT WITH HIS EPISODES! HE'S BEING MORE LIKE THE PERSON I FELL IN LOVE WITH! I REALLY ENJOYING THIS, I REALLY HOPE IT LAST!!
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