Asked by californialivin'
My Ex Boyfriend Is A Paranoid Schizophrenic.
My ex boyfriend is a paranoid schizophrenic. He is 22 years old now, but we met when we were only 10 years old.
When we met he was a perfectly normal kid. We started liking eachother at sixth grade science camp and stayed together from then until our senior year of high school. Never saw any signs that he could be schizophrenic. Broke up for 4 years and kept in touch and this year we decided to try it again.
He had just gotten out of prison because he was violent toward his grandfather after his grandmother's death. His grandparents adopted him so they were like parents to him. I was not around when this happened but I guess this is when his schizophrenia started. So, i never saw how sick he got. No matter what; it never failed; I could always feel when something bad was happening to him, and I could never stop thinking about him. My love for him always took over rationality in my decisions to keep seeing him.
Recently, after we were together after a few weeks I couldnt handle how things were going. It was literally the most intense two weeks I have had in my life. I started thinking I was going crazy because the effect of his sickness took me away from reality. I had to break it off. I still kept in touch with him, and he started getting into trouble again. He broke his parole by leaving the county, and went back to prison.
Three days after he got out he came back up to the town I live in and stabbed his uncle. I saw helicopters looking for him when I got home from work and I got this gut feeling they were looking for him. He called me right after it happened and I didnt answer because I was trying to stay away from him because he would call all day and night. Later on that night when I found out what was going on I called him back and he admitted what he did .... he tried to tell me that the voices in his head were talking vulgarly to him and it made him snap.
He is now looking at a life sentence for attempted murder. I know it sounds crazy, but I still think I need to be there for him. I am the only person that he knows cares about him, and I think I can be a big help in his therapy. The problem is I am not sure if he is going to be able to have my help because he will be in prison for a long time, hopefully a mental health prison.
They have him on medication right now in jail and I went to visit him and told him I will always be here for him, and that I will always love him. I'm also afraid this will stop me from trying to move on and get a healthy relationship. My wish is that he could get better, but I dont think he will try if I'm not here for him along the way. The saddest thing for me to ever see would be for him to not get better. I would be devastated if he could never eventually be happy.
Eventhough he did what he did to his grandfather and his uncle, I can't keep my mind off him. I get all these random weird feelings all the time and im worried that something bad is going to happen again. The feelings are never wrong but this time I hope they are.
We were always eachother's everything. So, its heartbreaking.
Should I be still trying to help him?
Or is it a waste of time?
I can't give you advice only some ideas. A past history of violence in someone with SZ doesn't bode well for the future. If at all he returns to society after prison he will need to take his SZ medication for the rest of his life. The problem as you found out is that he wasn't taking the medication to begin with, so was actively psychotic and committed a crime.
Do not be swayed by the anti-psychiatry folk like MindFreedom who have no rational justification for why people with SZ should go untreated and be able to kill people. I never understood the logic in such a person not taking their medication and then committing a crime. Only the MindFreedom folk apparently believe even just one murder committed by an untreated SZ person is quite all right and they have no problem with this.
I do have a problem with people with SZ, who go untreated, committing crimes. They belong in a psychiatric hospital indefinitely and need to be court-ordered to take their medication.
Every day in my e-mail box alerts for the topic SZ I read of at least two murders committed by someone diagnosed with schizophrenia. This is EVERY DAY that I hear about these crimes. Should we just turn the other cheek when a person with SZ murders someone? Should we advocate they remain untreated and keep pretending it's OK for them to be psychotic?
I think not. I think anyone who tells you not to take SZ medication doesn't know what it's like to actually have SZ.
Your answer becomes: you don't have any kind of guarantee your ex-boyfriend will take his SZ meds for the rest of his life. You can be there for him, you can support him right now. Yet the fact remains you have no guarantee of his future behavior.
I applaud your compassion because I know you love this guy. Yet I feel that you are assuming quite a big risk. It's your choice whether you want to assume this risk. I can't tell you what to do. I can only support you in whatever choice you make.
You are brave. The world needs more people like you who care about people diagnosed with this illness. Too often, people with SZ are forgotten, ignored and stigmatized. I wish everyone had your level of concern and understanding for a guy like this.