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Thursday, August 27, 2009 Schizophrenelle, Community Member, asks

Q: I think someone I love is Schizophrenic...

Alright, I have been with this person for about a year now. We are very close. But the moment I met him, I thought he had something wrong. When I first met him, he had pressures speech and would sometimes ask me to repeat myself when we were talking. He sees a therapist and started a drug habit at about 19. He has tried to kill himself a couple times too. But when we were first together, i noticed that he would sometimes make blank faces, almost like in a trance, but I did not want to believe that its what I thought it was. After a drug relapse, he was put into dual diagnosis rehab, where he was simply diagnosed with depression and extreme anxiety. But oddly enough, he was put on a medication that was used to treat many illnesses, including Schizophrenia. I have to say, after this, some of his symptoms I had been noticing that past year lessens, but not completely.

 

There were times when we'd argue because he would ofter not respond to me. We'd continue to be in a fight because it was as if he wasn't listening to me. As if he couldn't...HEAR me...

 

But there was one night, that his mother (who is kind of crazy and aggressive AND controlling) accusing him of using, when he had been clean since rehab. I knew he was sober because I was with him the whole time, and I always know if he's on something, and he had been clean for a good 4 months. But he continued to try and convince his mother that he was totally sober. He was. But he mother ofter does this, she is paranoid about it. But the more she stress him about it, the more peculiar he'd act. He would do that "frozen" look on his face, and would take FOREVER to respond to questions. He would not remember things that were just said, it seems. Then, suddenly, he went into the kitchen and threaten his mother with a knife sayings things like, "stay away!" and such. The person is not violent. I had never seen this before. He was calmed down, but the whole rest of the night, I knew he was totally sober...I truly believed he was having an episode.

 

It came to a time where he could no longer afford his medications. It wasn't until recently that he finally confessed to me that he had been hearing voices sense he was 17. It first began when his father figure--his granpa--died. He has a strong history of Schizophrenia in his family, he never told anyone about the voices, not even his therapist. He had been lying to them all along. One doctor suspected he was hearing voices, which is why he was perscribed certain medications for schizophrenia.

 

He hears voices mostly in crowds or when he's stressing or when his mother argues with him. He gets extremely paranoid.

 

He later told me the night he got the knife pulled out, voices were telling him to kill his mother.

 

He told me he's only had violent voices about her. No one else.

 

Recently, voices were beckoning him to kill himself.

 

When he was 17, he had a button he carried around with him that would talk to him.

 

His sleeping patterns go from insomnia, to too much sleep.

 

He smokes alot.

 

Many times he goes to do something but forget what he's doing, like walks that lead no where.

 

Many times, his answers are SO delayed, I become very frustrated.

 

Now although he had a drug past, he had all these symptoms two years prior when he was totally sober. He got clean and is clean but the symptoms are completely worse. Its to the point where he can't eat dinner with his family without voices convincing him that his family is trying to hurt him and plot to kill him.

 

Recently he was kick off an airplane because he had an episode where voices were telling him the plan was going to crash. Apparently he was yelling back at the voices and it was scaring people. The strangest thing is, Neil does not have recollection of what happened, he only remember what the voices said and he found himself in a ambulance.

 

 

The worst part is, he's only told the doctors recently. The doctors do not know that this first began when he was 17, totally sober. They don't think its anything major. They think its just a reaction to stopping his old medications. They tried to say it was his drugs past.

 

There are SOO many other symptoms that the doctors don't know. In fact, I haven't even mention all of them. There are countless things.

 

I know this can't be right. They aren't diagnosing him correctly. They do not think its schiz, but they do not know everything. They only have a piece to the puzzle. I know drugs worsen these things, but it didn not CAUSE this.

 

Someone, please help me. I'm not nonsense. I really think he's schizophrenic and no one is helping him. And its worsening. Please, i need some input.

 

ps. other symptoms i just remembered:

Violent twitching of the limbs mostly arms

sudden anger at times, he easily feels I'm often accusing him of something when I'm not.

He often decribes that things look "too bright", he sees things brighter than they are.

He often has a feeling that he has to be walking around, and won't just sit down

He has SEVERE anxiety, but I mentioned that.

He mentioned to me he simply wanted to isolate himself from people to "keep himself safe"

He has RACING THOUGHTS!!!

He can't seem to concentrate on simple things such as just having a conversation, and he is becoming more and more forgetful...

 

 

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Answers (1)
Christina Bruni, Health Guide
8/27/09 8:49am

Hello,

 

You want the best for your boyfriend and I understand that becuase you love him very much.  I'm going to be honest with you because to not do so would do you and him a disservice.

 

Your boyfriend needs to be in treatment, take his meds as prescribed every day, and stay in treatment for the long-term.  There are mental health clinics that charge a fee on a sliding scale for people who can't afford payment.  Many pharmacies like Wal-Mart and Rite Aid now how cheap or cheaper prescription costs, so shop around.

 

I cannot treat or diagnose schizophrenia as I am not a doctor.  However, I can tell you he most likely needs to be on medication for the rest of his life if he has schizophrenia.  Neil has to be totally honest with the doctors.  The fact that he's heard voices since he was 17 and there was a delay in treating the voices is not a good sign.

 

Right now, for him to recover to the best of his ability he needs to see a psychiatrist and take medication.  There is a loss of brain functioning observed in people who do not get treatment within the first year of symptoms.  You have found this out the hard way.  He hears what is called "command voices" telling him to kill his mother or himself and that is the sign that he needs medication right now without delay.

 

Like I said treatment is often available on a sliding fee scale.  If he cannot work, he should apply for government disability benefits so he can try to get Medicaid or Medicare to cover his treatment.

 

With the history of schizophrenia in his family now is not the time to quibble over what the diagnosis could possibly be.  He has something going om that "acts and quacks like a duck" in terms of a mental illness.  There is no doubt he needs treatment.  If it turns out his doesn't have schizophrenia, that is not the point either, he needs to get help either way and be totally honest with the doctor he sees.

 

Unfortunately, as you've seen, family members aren't always supportive of their sons or daughters who have a mental illness, and that is compounded when the mother or father has issues of their own.  You can be his rock and do things with him, like go to the movies, go to restaurants, etc. away from his mother.

 

He would also benefit from seeing a therapist who is trained to treat MICA [mental illness chemical abuse] clients.  He may have been using drugs to self-medicate when he was not taking the schizophrenia medication.

 

I wish only the best for you and your boyfriend, as I wish this for everyone who writes in like you do with these kinds of problem.

 

The road ahead will not be easy.  Recovery isn't quick.  Yet if your boyfriend commits to taking the medication it is possible he can have some measure of relief from his symptoms.   The longer he delays in taking the medication the harder it will be for him to achieve recovery.

 

Regards,

Christina

Reply
Schizophrenelle, Community Member
8/27/09 9:59am

Thank you for your reply. I just don't know what to do because his doctors and his mom think I'm all nonsense. But if they only knew the things that I knew! So his mom and his doctors encourage neil not to listen to me.  I have no control over his situation. But...I will try I suppose. I just wanted to know if I was all nonsense or if I actually have good reason to think he's schizophrenic.

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By Schizophrenelle, Community Member— Last Modified: 11/05/13, First Published: 08/27/09