dating someone with schizophrenia - page 2

by dipsett08 45,645 Views | 40 Comments

My boyfriend has schizophrenia. he was very open and honest with me from the first day of our relationship that he had it. i really had strong feelings for him regardless of it. i haven't seen him in very severe episodes but i... Read More


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    One thing to be mindful of....there are different acuity levels of Schizophrenia and functioning. Many folks with Schizophrenia are highly functional...go to work, go to school/college, and have minimal impairment/relapses. The other extreme is what most folks believe Schizophrenia to be...and yes, many folks do suffer at that level and relapse often because they do not function very well and need fairly close supervision. However, many folks fall between the two extremes. Not all folks with Schizophrenia suffer the same or function the same. Something to consider. Depending upon the level of acuity, baseline functioning, personality traits and coping skills related to stress, and cluster of symptoms, the person with Schizophrenia will either adapt or not adapt well. If on medication, medication and medication compliance are often key in this illness in improved functioning. A person with Schizophrenia also has a lower than normal threshold to stress and adaptation...so learning and using adequate coping skills, having supports, and having a daily routine are often important for many. The use of alcohol or substances most often leads to poor functioning...so this needs to be not part of the picture. Folks with Schizophrenia are people just like everyone else...so in this regard, dating is not out of the question. A mate/partner who understands the illness for what it is and has the ability to be functional themselves is just as important. Interpersonal relationships are one of the most stressful events in a person's life...in any one's life. So, if a partner is high strung or is needy him/herself, this person would not be a good match at all for a person with Schizophrenia...in fact, it may even exacerbate symptoms (the person with Schizophrenia). Partners who tend to be highly emotionally expressive tend to be the worst partners...research tends to support this.

    I hope you found this helpful.

    Peace.
    lymiria, Davey Do, elizabethgrad09, and 1 other like this.
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    I agree with Wolfie...I have both extremes in my clinic...some of my patients are able to function well in society, go to college, work full-time, etc...and some live in foster homes and are barely stable on huge doses of meds.

    You will have to seriously ask yourself what you are willing to commit, because schizophrenia is individual for each person who experiences it, and it does take quite a toll on the families of the people it affects. If he takes his meds, goes to his doc., etc., he could do very well, but be prepared for periods of decompensation as well.

    I wish you luck in whatever path life takes you!
    lymiria, Davey Do, Thunderwolf, and 1 other like this.
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    My mother had schizophrenia. She was lucky in that it was very episodic; knowing what I do now I think it's possible that she was actually bi-polar, but who knows. The whole thing with schizophrenia, or any other mental illness, is that there is no normal presentation. I worked in a psychiatric rehab before I started nursing school, and I worked with people in their 40s and 50s who you would not pick out as having schizophrenia when they were doing well, if they had been lucky enough to escape TD. I have also seen people their 20s who have such severe schizophrenia that, even at their best, they were living in a world apart from this one. I don't know about severity and heredity, but we definitely know that heredity is far from the whole picture with schizophrenia from twin studies since less than half of identical twins of people with schizophrenia have schizophrenia. I would guess, and this is purely a guess, that those with less severe schizophrenia would pass on less severe schizophrenia to their off-spring (or maybe even have a lower chance of passing on schizophrenia altogether).
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    I am a mental health nurse with more than 25 years experience. My son has schizophrenia and he is wonderful , intelligent person . Good luck to both of you. Don't let anyone try to scare you off with concerns about long term prognosis. Check out Patricia Deegan for a realistic outlook on recovery.
    Hygiene Queen and Davey Do like this.
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    Quote from dipsett08
    My boyfriend has schizophrenia. he was very open and honest with me from the first day of our relationship that he had it. i really had strong feelings for him regardless of it. i haven't seen him in very severe episodes but i have witnessed him talking to himself. he says very off the wall stuff to me and all i do is just listen. one day he asked me do i hear the voice that he hears. i told him no. it is very heartbreaking. there has been times that he end up in the hospital one day and the next day he'll come to me like nothing ever happen and we are happy again.
    If he has a problem or wants someone to talk to, he'll immediately call me. he says i bring him some sort of comfort because i am sincere with this mental disease. he knows im going to nursing school and believes ill make a good nurse because im so good to him.
    He lives by himself so every now and then i go over there to check on him to see if he takes his medicine.
    I know if i committ myself to him, then i committ myself to his illness. even though he is dealing with something very serious, is it possible to have a normal and happy relationship with him?
    Quote from Thunderwolf
    One thing to be mindful of....there are different acuity levels of Schizophrenia and functioning. Many folks with Schizophrenia are highly functional...go to work, go to school/college, and have minimal impairment/relapses. The other extreme is what most folks believe Schizophrenia to be...and yes, many folks do suffer at that level and relapse often because they do not function very well and need fairly close supervision. However, many folks fall between the two extremes. Not all folks with Schizophrenia suffer the same or function the same. Something to consider. Depending upon the level of acuity, baseline functioning, personality traits and coping skills related to stress, and cluster of symptoms, the person with Schizophrenia will either adapt or not adapt well. If on medication, medication and medication compliance are often key in this illness in improved functioning. A person with Schizophrenia also has a lower than normal threshold to stress and adaptation...so learning and using adequate coping skills, having supports, and having a daily routine are often important for many. The use of alcohol or substances most often leads to poor functioning...so this needs to be not part of the picture. Folks with Schizophrenia are people just like everyone else...so in this regard, dating is not out of the question. A mate/partner who understands the illness for what it is and has the ability to be functional themselves is just as important. Interpersonal relationships are one of the most stressful events in a person's life...in any one's life. So, if a partner is high strung or is needy him/herself, this person would not be a good match at all for a person with Schizophrenia...in fact, it may even exacerbate symptoms (the person with Schizophrenia). Partners who tend to be highly emotionally expressive tend to be the worst partners...research tends to support this.

    I hope you found this helpful.

    Peace.
    I think many have been saying to procede with caution and that there are different levels of disease progression/categories. I'll add just a bit more.

    According to your profile, you are 20. If your bf is similarly aged, and has been Dx'd schizophrenic for quite some time, research indicates that the course of the disease is more severe, with a poorer prognosis the younger the person was when they first started experiencing symptoms. There is no cure for schizophrenia, and will likely never be one, once a person has the Dx (I hold out more hope for genetic engineering/stem cells preventing the onset of the disease, but not in the real near future)

    I definitely reiterate caution about having children (as others have) because there is a definite genetic link.

    Not an easy decision at all, but at 20 y/o, are you sure you want to put such a huge burden on your shoulders?
    Davey Do, Meriwhen, CCL RN, and 2 others like this.
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    Quote from PsychRN03
    I think many have been saying to procede with caution and that there are different levels of disease progression/categories. I'll add just a bit more.

    According to your profile, you are 20. If your bf is similarly aged, and has been Dx'd schizophrenic for quite some time, research indicates that the course of the disease is more severe, with a poorer prognosis the younger the person was when they first started experiencing symptoms. There is no cure for schizophrenia, and will likely never be one, once a person has the Dx (I hold out more hope for genetic engineering/stem cells preventing the onset of the disease, but not in the real near future)

    I definitely reiterate caution about having children (as others have) because there is a definite genetic link.

    Not an easy decision at all, but at 20 y/o, are you sure you want to put such a huge burden on your shoulders?
    Sadly while this might not be warm and fuzzy or politically correct I'd say he is spot on with the advice. Wishing you and your BF the best with whatever path you decide to take.
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    I have recently started talking to a guy that has schizophrenia. I really like him, he really likes me. I am seriously considering dating him. As far as I can tell it doesn't really affect him. I am not exactly sure what kind of medicine he is on, but I do know that all he gets is a shot every so often. I can see myself dating him and his cousin is my best friend and she said as far as she knows he has only ever had one episode. If you ask him about it he doesn't think he has it anymore but still gets his shot for it. I have a 2 year old daughter and would like to start seeing this guy, but I don't really know much about this disease. Would dating him put my daughter in danger? Do you think he would ever harm a child? Someone please help me with this. I am not usually one to take advice very well but I am in dire need of some advice on this!!
    Miniangel2 and Davey Do like this.
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    You have a boy friend who is diagnosed with a significant illness who is being treated for this illness and yet he denies that he has this illness.

    No one can predict the outcome or his prognosis nor the effect this would have on your child or if this would endanger her.

    However - if I had a child I would not be seeking an relationship with a person who was sick (any illlness) who denied that they were ill.
    This is very much a MAJOR PROBLEM.

    Suppose his denial goes on when he is symptomatic and having delusion or hearing voices and he refuses his medication?

    Read up on this disease - there is a lot of information out there.
    Know that the earlier the diagnosisas the patient gets older, the prognosis
    is often not good. It sounds as his diagnosis was young in his teen years.

    A two year old needs safety and stability and as a mom that is for you to provide at any cost.

    You decide and I wish you well and wisdom in your decision.

    Marc
    Last edit by SilentfadesRPA on Jan 28, '11
    Nurse Maru, Davey Do, Nurselacey, and 1 other like this.
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    I'd be concerned. He thinks he doesn't have schizophrenia anymore. Is this wishful thinking or denial or trying to not scare you? Schizophrenia is usually forever. What happens if he decides that since he's well, he doesn't need his medication anymore?

    How'd you find out he has schizophrenia? That's not something people usually bring up on early acquaintance. What symptoms did he have in the past? What makes him think he's well?

    The advice others gave in this thread is very realistic. Do all you can to avoid setting yourself and your daughter up for unhappiness. People with schizophrenia can lead lives that are pretty normal, as long as they take their medications and as long as the medications continue working. Please be careful.
    Davey Do likes this.
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    Lots of advice from well meaning people, the best though is to NOT HAVE CHILDREN with this person. Having worked adolescent psych, kids have enough on their plate with reasonably coping parents; 'nuff said on that subject.

    The other bit of advice I would have is to do some DEEP soul searching on why THIS particular person with their disability. With any such important decision, the real question is why SHOULD you have the realtionship rather than why SHOULDN'T you.
    Nurse Maru, Davey Do, CCL RN, and 2 others like this.


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