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Sunday, September 20, 2009 Fairview, Community Member, asks

Q: My boyfriend is showing signs of schizophrenia

Since moving in with my boyfriend of six months, three months ago, I have begun to worry he might suffer from schizophrenia. Before we started dating his cousin, a good friend of mine, warned me they suspected he might be showing signs, as his uncle is diagnosed schizophrenic. I didn’t take them seriously, thinking they were picking on him for being anxious in public, but I’m not so sure anymore. Some behaviors I wonder about are;

-lack of desire to work (he was laid off over a year ago and has since lived off his parents, and unemployement, only he has no desire to work until he has to (unemployement ends).

-he smokes, and drinks for escape daily, and sometimes gets so high or drunk he shuts himself in a room, and will lay so still he looks dead, but is wide awake, or else think he is in a near death situation.

-he has told me several times he is destined for something great, has claimed to think he was jesus, and me mary. He also thinks he is a genius, and more intelligent then nearly everyone. He imagines being famous and rich, and rides the fantasy until he is able.

-he does this thing (word rapping of a sort) says all of these big words and string them together in very weird patterns that often don’t make sense. He sees this as a special philosophy, and sometimes when we are talking, he interrupts with it, and acts as though he didn’t hear me, or doesn’t seem to care he’s talking over me.

-he has a bucket, he has filled with energy, a magic so potent, he claims if others were to look in it, or take from it, it might overpower them with negativity for there actions against him. It’s filled with trinkets, like necklaces, and pony tail holders, hair, etc.

-he gets drunk or high immediately at parties, and never listens to a word anyone says to him. Then later, he talks about how cool he was, or how annoying someones energy was to him.

-he shuts up, and won’t talk to me in public places. And is afraid to speak. I get annoyed because I’ll try talking to him, and he’ll make a strange face at me and not answer, then I’ll call it on him later and he’ll shrug it off. Sometimes he’ll try to talk to other people while he’s ignoring me, but in very strange ways. For instance he will say something really loud in a neighbors direction, and smile like it was brillance, when it’s in fact very strange.

-he is very smart, but he has no motivation to go forward in life. Real sense is pepered in just enough, that sometimes I wonder wether it’s the drugs alone. (he smokes cigarettes – though pretends not to, and hides them in his car.)

-When socializing people are always getting annoyed with him because they have to repeat themselves several times before it registers with him.

-he has a very indirect way of communicating.

-he is paranoid his friends do things just to spite him

-he avoids facing any problems

-he was walking around late at night to randomn bars, he feels people should want to give him things for gracing them with his presence, and that the universe will align and people will happen for the best.

-he says the country is in recession because he is out of work, and that he simply needs a job that pays him handsomely and we shall all be restored.

- he jolts in his sleep

-he sleeps most of the day, at least 10-12 hours in the night, and at least one 1 hour nap in the day, sometimes more.

-he spends money without thinking, and over random things. Tonight he ordered 4 large pizzas, 4, 2 liter bottles of soda, buffalo wings, and two boxes of garlic sticks, because papa johns had a deal online. But we are the only people home, and we’ve already had dinner.

-he is paranoid others will influence me and take me away from him out of spike or lack of ability to see what a wonderful person he is. And thinks I am washed over with bad energy and he must work me back to normal, before we can function again.

-he was in a night class, but stopped going because he got paranoid. He said one day his class mate asked him a direct question and he did not answer her, and was anxious about having to see her again. Some days were like that others, he talked about how brilliant the things he said were, and how everyone was impressed with him.

 

I know his family has discussed these things with him, and that he is resistant in talking about them. He is especially resistant with me because I feel he sees me as a lone ally. Do these sound like serious symptoms? Or could these symptoms be related to something else?

 

For the best answers sake. He has been sexually molested, smokes marijuana, drinks alcohol, and uses klonopin regularly before bed for anxiety.

 

Thank you

 

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Answers (2)
Christina Bruni, Health Guide
9/20/09 8:27pm

Hello Fairview,

 

First of all, your boyfriend should not be smoking marijuana if it turns out he has schizoophrenia as marijuana can cause psychosis.  It is also possible he is "self-medicating" his emotional state with the alcohol and drugs.

 

Something is definitely going on.  A qualified psychiatrist is the only person to tell you and him whether or not he has schizophrenia.  And with the family history, it is quite possible he's headed down that road.

 

So he definitely needs to get help if this is the case.  Read a list of early warning signs of schizophrenia here.  The reality is, if he has schizophrenia, he will need to take medication every day for the rest of his life, and he will have to start taking the medication immediately to have the best chance of recovery.  The longer any symptoms persist, the worse the illness will progress.

 

You have only known this guy six months and moved in with him three months ago so I feel the need to tell you that the road ahead will be difficult if it turns out he has schizophrenia and does not get into treatment immediately.  You will need to prepare yourself for more of his same behavior if he does not commit to his recovery.  From what you've said, the signs are not good.

 

So even if it turned out he did not have schizophrenia, that doesn't matter.

 

Something has to change.  And fast.  Otherwise it is a no-win situation.

 

Regards,

Christina

Reply
Flour Bluff, TX, Community Member
10/ 2/11 5:16pm

Hello Fairview,

 

I've just gone through a similar experience.  I've known Thomas for 6 months.  Met him while training my dog at the beach.  There were a lot of wonderful things about him, thus my reasoning he could move in w/me.  I don't judge people on income and he was on social security disability and one beat up rv away from being homeless.

 

I am an alcoholic.  I've been battling that on and off for years.  But I never had anything like what has happened in the last 3 weeks. Turns out, so was his Mom, and if he found out I'd had beers, he'd snap.  He also smoked pot - some but not a lot, had a prescription for morphine and trazodone.  He would sleep for 10 - 12 hours too.  Spend waaaay too much money at the grocery store.  He couldn't ever seem to focus on anything and then move on to what's next.  He did fold laundry a lot better than I do, I must say. 

 

Long story short...I finally couldn't deal with his behaviour any more.  He'd rage incessantly about the government.  Tried to isolate me from everyone including my family.  He stole my cell phone while I was sleeping and called my 86 year old aunt ranting.  Mom had to block his number from her house phone.

 

The last fateful night he put a chef's knife to my throat and said "if I'm going down you're going down". 

 

I am so heartbroken, because I saw the good person in there.  But when you live with someone you start noticing things.  I've never dealt with anything like that in my life, but I'm telling you, if your boyfriend doesn't get help, you could very well end up seriously injured or worse.  I had to get a protective order.  While cleaning up some stuff he left in the closet I found a hospital record where the diagnosis was 'dystonic reaction to Haldol'.

 

I had to look it up.  It's for schizophrenia.  He never told me about that medication, and I never saw it in the medicine cabinet.  He's been through a lot in his life.  Near death experience after motorcycle accident.  But as much as I wanted to help him, and I truly believe he wanted to help me to stop drinking too, this is way out of our expertise.  I don't have insurance so the $125/hr counseling sessions weren't an option when we were together.  Well, I managed 2 of them.  But I sure couldn't afford to go 1 - 2 times a week. 

 

If you want to stay with this man, you must get professional help.  And I'd say it would be a really good idea not to live together as painful as that may be.  It stinks, because there are a lot of things I miss about Thomas.  My heart aches for him, but all I can do is pray he'll get the right kind of help.  I'm not willing to die over it.

 

Now on top of my alcoholism I've got to figure out how to heal from all this past drama/chaos/turmoil.

Reply
Sctdpib10, Community Member
7/ 2/14 2:27pm
I dealt with the exact same thing and I was able to leave! He was my boyfriend for two years and I lived with him for this past year of our relationship. He just told me on the phone that he IS Jesus, and that The Lord speaks to him. He smokes marihuana and is probably going through withdrawal because he hasn't had any in awhile,. Since I left, he's thrown tantrums, destroyed the apartment. He keeps saying that he and I are prophets, or the two witnesses. He always gets angry for hours when people disrespect him or are not nice. He too threatened my life with scissors, and said he was speaking in the name of Jesus when he did so. Keep in mind he's been smoking this leaf since he was 14 and he is 21 now. If I even mention schizophrenia or getting medical help, he gets angry that I don't believe him and he SWEARS he is Jesus. He recklessly spends money, and if I give him money to live on, he gives it away to the needy and poor. Don't et me wrong, everyone deserves help, but he needs to help himself before trying to help others! He has no desire to work, he says if he was meant to be working, The Lord would give him a job. He rants to me about people and situations that bother him, sometimes for hours, sometimes he gets my phone in the middle of the night and texts or calls my mother, his mother, my sister, saying things like "Repent or you will die, you're going to Gehenna". If I didn't do things just right, he'd get upset. More recently he had started getting very angry because I would stay quiet and not talk to him, saying. Other guys don't worship The Lord and their girls still talk to them, things like that. But every time I would say something, he would always have a problem with it one way or another, so why would I want to talk at all? I am currently living with my family, and it was hard walking out on him, because I'm all he has. I paid for everything, I did it all. Now he will probably be on the streets or worse. I had to get out while I could but at this point I have to think of what's best. How do you get help for someone who doesn't want it? He also throws away physical things because he claims he was told to or felt like he should. Please give me some pointers on how to keep him off the street but still get help! Reply
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By Fairview, Community Member— Last Modified: 07/02/14, First Published: 09/20/09