Schizophrenia and Relationships: What You Need to Know

Tuesday, July 18 2017 Guest Author

It can be difficult to be in a relationship with someone with schizophrenia. Read tips on having a successful relationship with one with schizophrenia.Relationships with schizophrenia are complicated. When I was diagnosed with schizophrenia, a lot of things suddenly made sense and a lot of things were instantly out of place. For instance, my relationship with friends and family got complicated. As first, I didn't know if I should tell them. I was afraid of how they might react. The same was true for meeting new people. When do I tell them? Should I tell them? What if I scare them away? The word "schizophrenia" carries a stigma after all. Stacked on top of this was the fact that I have always been more of an introvert by nature. Being told I was schizophrenic didn't help. Instead, it became a justification for me to withdraw and refrain from being social. My relationships have been altered by my schizophrenia.

I'm better about it now.

Understanding what's happening and why and having the unconditional love and support of my family, really gave me the courage to get over everything and be really open about it. As it turns out, I am not alone. If you have been diagnosed, or know someone who is schizophrenic, the following might help helpful.

Studying the Facts About Relationships and Schizophrenia

You see, I happen to be one of 2.2 million adults who suffer with this brain disorder. That means I am one part of a large number of people who at times experience these schizophrenia symptoms:

  • Cannot easily distinguish what's real from what is fantasy
  • Have trouble managing their emotions
  • Find it hard to make decisions
  • Have a hard time thinking clearly
  • Find it generally difficult to relate to people

And yes, while it can be debilitating, schizophrenia is treatable. I have found that I can manage schizophrenia best with the support of my doctor, friends and family. Nurture relieves the pressure and stigma attached to the disorder.

At the time of my diagnosis of schizophrenia, I was also in a relationship. My girlfriend at the time didn’t understand what was happening to me. So, this encouraged me to find out more about how schizophrenia generally affects relationships and actually write about it.

My girlfriend didn’t understand why I seemed to become more and more antisocial.

Social Skills Relationships and Schizophrenia

The first thing you must understand is that schizophrenia drastically affects our social skills.

  • We become introverted to the point where we would rather not speak to anyone.
  • We could notice extreme changes in our behavior. (For instance, we might have trouble with everyday tasks like bathing and dressing.)
  • We can be very irritable at times.
  • We lack motivation with no reason attached.
  • Sometimes we experience hallucinations or delusions

While my relationship ended after a while – probably because I was too young at the time – the fact that she stayed around helped a lot. I cannot really imagine what it must feel like to be the partner in a relationship with a schizophrenic.

However, if you are that person, then you need to understand what helped me and probably my girlfriend, too, was to communicate openly, to share and express our feelings and to make sure our mental health was as balanced as possible.

While it can be challenging to be in a relationship with someone who is very unpredictable, and, at times, unstable, many schizophrenics, such as the brilliant Elyn Saks, have held loving long-term relationships.

Relationships with Schizophrenia Are Possible

Don't let schizophrenia wilt your existing relationships or keep you from pursuing new ones. It doesn't have to. There are many examples and great resources available to help you on your journey. So long as you are willing to put in the work and accept help when offered, you have nothing to fear.

This post was written by:

Mike Jones is a blogger and healthy living promoter. His own struggles have ignited the spark to move past negative diagnostics, stigma, and rejection and focus on natural remedies and a great fitness routine. To learn more about the condition affecting not only his mental health but each and every relationship he had, Mike put together SchizLife.com. Find Mike on Twitter.

To be a guest author on the Your Mental Health Blog, go here.

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Schizophrenia and Relationships: What You Need to Know

Belinda
says:
July, 24 2017 at 11:01 am

I have custody of my granddaughter that has been missed diagnosed many times for different things and finally I helped her get those fixed . This problem she has now she has been in hospital many times . She has been treated for the bipolar but no quite sure if that is the problem due to many years she has been treated for that and none of the stimulation is working . I started ready about Schizophrenia and see this may be her struggle . She hears voices , she talks at times that do not make since , no feeling about losing anything or care about being pushed . Through fits to hear the word no . Go off the handle for no reason . Damage things . Lie. take things do not belong to her . Make friends but cant keep them . Poor Hygiene and the worse she looks the better she likes . Can someone help me to get her on the right path ?

PN
says:
September, 20 2017 at 9:15 pm

Sounds like she has been through alot, just love her... you don't need to label her!

Lucy
says:
February, 20 2018 at 4:55 am

Hi i was just reading your story and i am going through the same exact thing with my boyfriend.
He to is getting in to things he will laugh with him self just out the blue and make a very big mess.
There is much more that is being done like he says he loves me and then the next min.he dosent even talk whith me or even know i am there and he becomes distance from me and shows signs like he dont care about us .
Well with that being said i do t have to put up with it but i do love him and i know even if he says (no) that he needs me so i stay with him and help him the best way i can and what i do with my boyfriend that helps him and i about his issues is i tell him i am in love with him exactly how he is and for him not to change to be him self and that I will be here for him no matter what.
There is one thing that i do know is they are already feeling bad when they can't even control the things that they do and they tell you that they are really trying,but to the other person it looks like they are doing the things on purpose and they really not
What I do is say I love you and i am very proud that you are trying and it helps me out little by little you will see a difference it just takes time and time is mostly all I have now well that is all I can tell you on what helps me

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