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Monday, April 19, 2010 Bianca, Community Member, asks

Q: Long term schizophrenia and serious relationship issues.

I'm 32, single and have had a diagnosis of schizophrnia for the past twelve years. I would like to marry and have kids but am concerned about the effects of medication I'm taking would have on an unborn baby and therefore tend to shy away from intimacy. I would like children but find it extremely difficult to meet the right bloke, partly because some blokes seek people with better credentials and qualifications, with fewer health issues and better job prospects and my performance in this area is poor because I have mainly relied on a Disability Support Pension and other forms of social security over the last nine years and findi it difficult explaining my situation to potential partners without bring up mental illness. I go on Facebook and find myself resentiing others my age who have kids and who are married, because I feel I am strongly disadvantaged in this area due to my history and illlness. Does any anyone have any advice on how to deal with this problem and help me to live the normal life I wish to lead?

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Answers (1)
Christina Bruni, Health Guide
4/20/10 4:26pm

Hello bianca,

 

I understand your concern.

 

I'm a 45-year old woman diagnosed with schizophrenia and I too am aware that most guys would consider me damaged goods.

 

In your situation I would join a support group for people with mental illnesses.  You might just find a guy who understands.  Also see if where you live there is a friendship networking service.  I've been lucky to use the services of the Friendship Network in the U.S. to meet a great guy with the same diagnosis.

 

An alternative you would use with good judgment is NoLongerLonely, a dating and friendship web site for people with mental illnesses.

 

You are not limited to meeting partners who have mental illnesses of course.  Though I do know people who went on Match.com and met their great love only to later on find out they both had mental illnesses.

 

At this point I would suggest you get involved in activities like volunteer work or adult education courses, where you can meet people who see you first as a passionate, compassionate person doing the things she enjoys.  When you are actively engaged in an activity that brings you joy your good humor will rub off on other people.

 

You are young and I would possibly start this way: by doing volunteer work.  The link will take you to idealist.org where you can search on volunteer positions, in your chosen area of interest, in your city or town.

 

I would not give up the hope that you can find a partner who lets you be you and adores you as a beautiful human being.

 

Sometimes it takes longer.  Continue to be hopeful.

 

Regards,

Christina

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Bianca, Community Member
4/21/10 6:58am

Thank you Christina for your feedback and concern. As a follow sufferer of schizophrenia I appreciate your sympathetic ear and advice.

 

Part of my problem with finding the right man is that in some ways I want someone who lacks a mental illness because I know what having a mental illness can mean for both people in the relationship and I want to try and reduce the odds of my kids having to deal with their own mental illnesses given the genetic odds go up when both partners suffer from schizophrenia and so forth. I realize the higher I set my expectations though the harder I'm making it in finding someone.

 

I have done volunteer work before and worked casual paid hours over the years, but haven't really met anyone through that around my age group where the appeal works both ways. I'm not doing either at the moment so maybe that means I'm sort of closed off from meeting new people.

 

I will take in mind some of your other advice and hopefully things will work out for me in the end!

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Bianca.

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lucystjohn, Community Member
7/ 1/10 3:19pm

thanks for answering that so well, Christina, it was a question i had been worrying about, i feel better now x

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By Bianca, Community Member— Last Modified: 10/26/11, First Published: 04/19/10