dating someone with schizophrenia - page 2

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... Read More

  1. Visit  shutthedoortwo profile page
    2
    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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  3. Visit  PMHNP10 profile page
    5
    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.
  4. Visit  Jules A profile page
    0
    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.
  5. Visit  lovemonkey2005 profile page
    2
    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.
  6. Visit  SilentfadesRPA profile page
    4
    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.
  7. Visit  Whispera profile page
    1
    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.
  8. Visit  Yosemite, RN profile page
    5
    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.
  9. Visit  lovemonkey2005 profile page
    0
    Thanks for all the replies. I'm really good friends with his cousin and they are pretty close is how I found out he was schizophrenic. I guess he gets a shot for his condition. I'm not sure how often or anything like that. As far as I can tell he seems pretty normal, but like I said it is very early on. He has never been violent towards other people or anything like that. As of now he lives with his sister, her boyfriend, and their 2 kids and they have not had any problems out of him. He has only had one episode in which he hurt himself. He told me that he thought he was having a heart attack and ended up stabbing himself because he thought he needed adrenalin or something like that. He has been very open about it with me. I guess because he only had that one episode he thinks he is better but he still gets his medicine. He lives a pretty normal life though, has a job, a car, is very optimistic and out going, loves to talk. Thank you all again for all of your help.
  10. Visit  mtdnk profile page
    0
    What have your family and friends said?
  11. Visit  lovemonkey2005 profile page
    0
    I haven't told my family yet. I have talked to my friends about it and they say I should really think it over, do a lot of research and talk to the guy about it. Tell him my concerns and such.
  12. Visit  Whispera profile page
    2
    I'd agree that you need to do alot of thinking, researching, and talking-to-the-guy about this. Since schizophrenia is usually forever, it's likely to raise its ugly head again, somewhere down the road. It usually starts when someone is late teenaged through twentysomething, but continues and can worsen over time. Medications sometimes don't work forever. The body gets used to them, different doses are needed, or different meds, and sometimes nothing works. Sometimes life-stress makes things happen. Sometimes physical illness does too.

    I wonder if he's minimizing when he tells you he's only had that one episode? Was it an episode that went on for awhile or just a sudden event? What made medical people decide it was schizophrenia rather than just being kind of asleep or even sleepwalking and misinterpreting things or the result of some physical illness that causes confusion? I don't think you have the whole story. It's logical that he wouldn't want to tell you everything. There's the huge stigma against mental illness in our society that makes people keep such things secret.

    Also, one big symptom of schizophrenia is the disbelief you have it or its symptoms.

    It sounds like you want to have a relationship with him. I'm not saying you shouldn't, since people with mental illness can live great lives. Just be sure you have all the information. Living with someone with active schizophrenia can be a hugely stressful situation.
    Davey Do and Meriwhen like this.
  13. Visit  iwanna profile page
    0
    I have a brother with severe schizophrenia. He is low functioning and in a personal care home. Many times, he has been in denial and says that he is better and does not need to take meds. That was a big problem with him going off his meds and having psychotic breaks.

    I would want to know more about his diagnosis. When did he get the diagnosis? I would believe that he must have had more than one episode to be diagnosed with shizophrenia.

    You are only 20. What is it about him that you are attracted to? One thing that I would like to warn you about is that my brother was stalking a girl that he was obsessed with. He was delusional about their relationship. She merely was friendly to him. He never hurt her, but was very delusional about a relationship that never existed. He is over that now. It is really a sad situation. Currently, he is in a personal care home, and we are assured that he gets his meds, everyday.

    OTOH, there are some high functioning schizophrenics. I believe the movie, "A Beautiful Mind" was a true story.

    Please educate yourself on schizophrenia. And ask yourself the questions, if you are okay with dating someone with this illness. Also, I would discuss this with your mother, if you have a good relationship. If you were my daughter, I would want you to make a fully informed decision. The fact that you are even asking shows that you have some reservations and are looking for some validation.

    Wishing you the best.
  14. Visit  E I Adeosun profile page
    0
    Hi i really felt for you . As far as the guy is taking his drugs , i dont see much problem . The man should be encouraged and you should stay with him.


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