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Schizophrenic danger a of dating mmm

Reply Mon 23 Apr, 2007 01:16 pm

I don't need to be told about schizophrenia, I've done all the research. The guy I'm seeing is "normal" 80% of the time, but when stressed or if lack of sleep or poor nutrition is introduced it can set off an episode of what _I_ (not a psychiatrist) would label "mild paranoid schizophrenia". He has some control over the onset of this, but once he's set off he is out of control and does not know that it is happening until he "comes down" hours later and realizes that the whole world isn't a threat. It manifests as angry tirades against whatever is around, and a paranoia that the government is unhappy with his behavior.

Specifically - I want advice on what to do during the outbreaks. I am trying to get him help when he's sane enough to respond to that. But during the outbreaks he inevitably gets mad at me for some small thing that to him seems like I've just betrayed him deeply (he accused me of drinking his water and hallucinated me doing it). I haven't found a way to be during this, I can't disconnect, I can't argue back, I can't leave... I can't bring him down.

I also don't need to be told to just leave him or that I'm a good person for putting up with it. I just want specific advice on behaviors that will help me cope with the height of the mental illness.

 

wheatchaff- I know this is not what you wanted to hear, but I am going to say it anyway. Most schzophrenics are not dangerous.........................the exception are paranoid schizophrenics. If you happen to get caught up in your boyfriend's delusional system, he may just lash out at you. In his mind he will be protecting himself against some perceived harm that you represent.

Unless this man is your husband or your child, I would suggest that you lose him..........fast.

FYI- I worked with all manner of schozophrenics for many years.

Excellent post, Noddy.

I was married to a paranoid and manic schizophrenic for about two years.

Looking back, I suppose that was more due to a "helper syndrome" paired with blind love.

She wasn't dangerous at all - besides to herself. We spend more time in the psychiatric hospital (I as visitor resp. working there - she as patiennt) than at home.

I finally managed to kick myself in the a*** and get divirced.

My ex died a couple of weeks ago (15 years after our divirce) due to lung cancer: she was "eating" cigarettes and didn't want to stop but wanted to die from it.

bookmark

I just wonder if he is indeed paranoid schizophrenic? Has he been diagnosed, receiving treatment, all that jazz?

I only ask because you made it clear that it is you who is terming his 'episodes' as mild paranoid schizophrenia.

Also, because, I was once engaged to a man who was much as you describe your partner to be - normal most of the time, with occasional episodes that featured paranoid delusions and such.
I won't go into the entire history here, but just to say - he had been to untold amounts of doctors (on my insistence before I would engage him) - and it turned out not to be schizophrenia at all.
It was a brain tumor.

As far as how to deal with the episodes, I never did find a way. I relied on my family and support system a lot - sometimes to bring him to the hospital, or to bring sense back to ME about what would be best to do. I had the phone number of his doctors and psychiatrist, and was always aware of what meds he had taken or not.
The night I called the police was one of the most painful moments of my life.

This doesn't help you much, I suppose, but the reality is it there are no easy answers.
If there were, there would be no 'episodes'.

I just urge you to make sure that a proper diagnosis of what is causing his episodes, since you clearly are determined to stick by his side, is made.

In my country, and probably elsewhere, there are groups to support those with schizophrenia - along with their family and friends and partners and children.
If you are dealing with schizophrenia, I highly recommend you connect with one. There you can talk with people who are dealing with it on an ongoing basis, lots of information there.

take care, good luck.

Wheatchaff--

Is your lover under care of a psychiatrist? Is he taking his meds. Schizophrenia--even mild schizophrenia--is not a do-it-yourself disease.
It cannot be brought under control with good nutrition and sufficient rest.

I know a young man who wasted 10 years of his life--and ten years of his parents' lives--by refusing to accept the diagnosis, refusing to take his meds, and treating himself with vitamins.

He was in his late teens when diagnosed. He's in his mid-thirties now, but since he didn't do much growing and maturing while he was denying his demons (and frequently hospitalized), he is ill-prepared for life and conspicuously immature.

Repeat: Schizophrenia is not a do-it-yourself disease.

A paranoid schizophrenic relative of mine died recently. His wife suffered almost as much as he for at least fifty years. She was such a good soldier on his behalf, but he was incapable of appreciating her sacrifice. I'm SO happy for her that she is now free. I'm so glad that Walter freed himself and I hope that Wheatchaff liberates herself. It's a terrible disease. Listen to Phoenix; she knows.

When I hired new staff, who were usually right out of college, the same question arose, over and over again. The young people could not understand why, in many cases, the families of the schizophrenics had truly abandoned their relatives who suffered from the disease.

What they finally learned, with experience, is that living with a schizophrenic is so all encompassing, and emotionally wrenching, that often families, for their own survival, will simply walk away from that person.

Wheatchaff - The first thing that struck me about your post is that you refer to this guy as someone you're "seeing." You're not married to him, and you don't mention the word 'love.'
I bring that up because if you don't feel strongly for this guy, then why put yourself through all this hell.... unless you enjoy being a martyr?

He may be ok 80% of the time....but is that worth the other 20%?


jmo

shewolfnm - <sigh> and now after V.Tech shootings everyone is asking why? how could this happen?? and didn't anyone see this coming??
Even when you do see trouble coming down the road, it's nearly impossible to get help sometimes.

I don't think I'm sane but reading the posts here I'm glad at least that my brain allows me to 'get along'. PS is no-ones fault, least of all the sufferer, but being put in the position of having to walk away from family to survive makes me feel like the kid I once was watching 'Lifeboat' (I think, maybe it was 'A Night To Remember') where the people in the boat were pushing people out so the boat wouldn't sink - you never want to be in the position to have to make that choice.

Your brain is such a fragile jumble of cells and chemicals....

 

Type: Discussion • Score: 5 • Views: 13,773 • Replies: 25

Quote:

...I_ (not a psychiatrist) would label "mild paranoid schizophrenia"



And how would a mental health care professional diagnose this
behavior?
http://www.healthology.com/schizophrenia/schizophrenia-information/article3729.htm?pg=3


Quote:

Because they have delusions of being persecuted or plotted against, patients with paranoid schizophrenia may be more prone to suicide. They may also be more prone to violent behavior because patients sometimes experience anger in addition to delusions. If a patient with paranoid schizophrenia commits an act of violence, it is usually directed at a family member and takes place at home.



The DSM IV has specific criteria that are used by mental health professionals in diagnosing paranoid schizophrenia.
Wheatchaff--

Welcome to A2K.

Essentially, what you're asking is "How can I bring a paranoid schizophrenic back in touch with reality?"

Mental Health professionals would love to have the answer for this.

Of course what works for one patient--and I use that word advisedly--would have little or no effect on another patient.

You want to blend the roles of Loving Companion and Therapist. Personally, I don't think this is a good idea, even if it were possible. Doctors--including shrinks--do not treat their own families.

Dealing with several people on the fringes of my husband's family I've learned to remain absolutely calm; to listen, but not to discuss--and certainly not to drag in logical reason when the patient is raving.

I have had occasions when the family member has been so out of control that I've called 911 because "he" has obviously been a clear and present danger to himself or to others.

Quote:

I haven't found a way to be during this, I can't disconnect, I can't argue back, I can't leave... I can't bring him down.



These episodes aren't about you. These episodes are not about reality. You can't "bring him down" because you didn't wind him up in the first place.

Mental Illness is helpless country. You'll have to learn to live with being helpless.

Good luck.
Noddy24 wrote:

Mental Illness is helpless country. You'll have to learn to live with being helpless.

Good luck.



Being helpless AND at risk.

My husband left his first wife, a paranoid schizophrenic who had dreams of being attacked, once he discovered the knife she had hidden under her pillow in the bed they shared.
Noddy24 wrote:

Mental Illness is helpless country. You'll have to learn to live with being helpless.



Well, not really, but certainly if done "homemade".
Phoenix32890 wrote:

When I hired new staff, who were usually right out of college, the same question arose, over and over again. The young people could not understand why, in many cases, the families of the schizophrenics had truly abandoned their relatives who suffered from the disease.

What they finally learned, with experience, is that living with a schizophrenic is so all encompassing, and emotionally wrenching, that often families, for their own survival, will simply walk away from that person.



My mother is doing this now as we speak.

My younger brother who is 20 has a serious case of P.S.
He is always yelling at people she doesn't see, to shut up, get away from him, leave his brain alone and go away.
He is found at any hour of the day outside shaking his fists at the helicopters that are hiding in the clouds trying to learn what he knows.
He has lurked over her bed at night sometimes thinking she is part of the conspiracy.

My mother just moved from New Mexico to be closer to her family up north.

In New Mexico, nobody could help my brother because he was also taking drugs. Since NM is such a 'poor' state, everything he could have gotten into would have been on insurance which he didn't have, and since he wasn't going to school, my mom couldn't give.
All of the state run facilities were kicking him out with in a few hours of letting him in because he had drugs in his system

Now that she is in a state where benefits outweigh job availability, she is... quite truly... waiting for another episiode.
All so she can call police, bring attention to what he has and keep herself safe.
My brother has said some real cryptic things about hurting people and my mom and I both wonder how true it is.
Since my mom sees him most, she thinks he is more then capable of doing the things he talks about to other people and to her.

We both love him dearly, but he is a danger, and you can not do anything else with your life but watch him.
Encompassing?
I would say that is an understatement.

Engulfing? Smothering? Scary? ...
shewolfnm wrote:

He has lurked over her bed at night sometimes thinking she is part of the conspiracy.



I am so sorry for the plight that you mother is in. I know how difficult it must be for her.

I quoted your sentence to illustrate why paranoid schizophrenics can sometimes be very dangerous. If their disease is very severe, they will sometimes get what is called, "command hallucinations". In these kinds of hallucinations, the voices in their heads tell them to do something.

If the voices tell them that someone is out to hurt them, the voices could well be telling them to destroy those who want to do them harm. Often that person is a close relative or friend.
Phoenix32890 wrote:

Often that person is a close relative or friend. [/color][/b]



Certainly. And quite as often the voice tells them to make suicide or do burn the room or ...

A decent therapy combined with professional help can at least get that control.
In the two supportied housing groups [12 disabled persons] I headed, half of the residents were schizophrenics.
They went to work regularily, had partners (two married during that time) and .... took their medication regularily, visited the doctor ...

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