dating someone with schizophrenia

  1. 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?
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    About dipsett08

    Joined: May '08; Posts: 24; Likes: 7


  3. by   HeartsOpenWide
    Happy, probably, but normal? I am guessing not, but what is normal anyway? Good for you for seeing past his illness. I am sure I am just selfish, but I could never put myself in your situation intentionally (of course if my husband developed schizophrenia I would have to deal with it)
  4. by   Atheos
    You must be a great person!

    Geez, I say Bipolar and people disappear like it's the plague. :chuckle:chuckle:chuckle
  5. by   lunden
    wow, that is something. as long as he takes his meds everyday he should be fine
  6. by   Jules A
    Quote from lunden
    wow, that is something. as long as he takes his meds everyday he should be fine
    Schizophrenia can be a really difficult disease to manage, imo. I was very particular about who I dated and wouldn't have been willing to start a relationship with someone that I knew had this, many other diseases, addictions, an ex-wife or bad credit for that matter. I would stick by my husband if he contracted it now but that is because we have a history. I guess if I were looking for a partner now that I'm in my 40's I wouldn't be able to be so particular. This this might sound harsh and I know that no one is perfect but relationships can be very hard under the best of circumstances and I think not starting with a near clean slate is like poking a stick in the tiger's cage.
  7. by   kiwipsychnurse
    Hi Dipsett08. Before I can judge your relationship there would be so much more I would need to know. From my 10 years experience, Schizophrenia affects people in many ways. Just be aware of the early warning signs. They are the best indicator if someone is becoming unwell. I would also suggest networking with a schizophrenia support group. I'm sure there are others in a similar situation. My own view is that I could not be in a relationship with a person with schizophrenia, but that is only because of having worked in mental health. Again call me selfish but marriage is hard enough without having a life long mental illness to deal with aswell.
  8. by   Spidey's mom
    I appreciate the remarks so far about committing yourself to a person with schizophrenia.

    I would add that I wouldn't bring children into the marriage - maybe get my tubes tied because kids deserve, not perfect parents as there are none, but parents who are mentally stable.

    Being a parent (and a marriage partner to boot) takes an incredible amount of hard work.

    If the focus will be on taking care of your partner, that leaves kids in the cold.

    I would tread cautiously.

    And Stan - Bipolar is different than schizophrenia. I wouldn't disappear.

  9. by   kiwipsychnurse
    Agree with above post. Bi-polar is very different. If I was married to a person withbi-polar my number priority would be to block access to the joint bank account. Wow that bi-polar illness can do some serious damage to bank accounts.
  10. by   Jules A
    Quote from Spidey's mom
    I would add that I wouldn't bring children into the marriage - maybe get my tubes tied because kids deserve, not perfect parents as there are none, but parents who are mentally stable.
    My big concern along these lines is also that schizophrenia like many other mental illnesses is largely familial. I know it isn't politically correct to acknowledge these kind of things 'now a days' but imo it is very important to at least consider.
  11. by   Nickytoto
    I definitely don't want to scare you, but the RNs who I have spoken to about schizophrenic patients have mentioned that it is often seems "progressive" and the person eventually needs full-time care because of medication side effects and the mental illness itself. We're talking about intimate care like helping with showering.

    Schizophrenic people seem often quite quirky and like unusual things... Watch out for signs that he could harm himself or others. The voices could be telling him to lay himself on train tracks, or he could want to lay on train tracks to escape the voices, for example. And keep him on the meds, the side effects may want him to stop. Make sure he keeps up with regular visits with a health professional, as the meds may not always work for him and may need reviewing.

    I can't look into your future and tell you if your relationship will work out, that's something only you two can end up knowing
  12. by   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 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 this needs to be not part of the picture. Folks with Schizophrenia are people just like everyone 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 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 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.

  13. by   EarthChild1130
    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!
  14. by   vernonleon
    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).