Hi! I 'd like to introduce myself

E

Extra_A

New member
Joined
May 21, 2019
Messages
2
Location
Philadelphia
Hello everyone. I am not diagnosed but my best friend, Judy (not real name) has recently been hospitalized and is exhibiting symptoms of schizophrenia. As someone who cares about her deeply, I've made the decision to give her as much support as she feels is necessary.

A little background on my experience. I'm in my early thirties and started dating Judy last year. She is in her mid 20s. While it was a brief relationship (about seven months), it was intense and we fell madly in love. However, neither one of us were in a position in life to sustain the relationship and we mutually agreed to remain friends. Our bond has continued to solidify. A couple weeks ago her and I got into a heated conversation about aspects of our failed relationship and a couple days afterwards she voluntarily checked herself into a mental health facility.

This however, isn't my "first rodeo" so to speak. My previous girlfriend Bev (not real name), whom I dated for three years in my early 20's (22 to 25, she is one or two years younger than me) was also diagnosed with schizophrenia a year or so after that relationship ended. Even though our romance fizzled out, it ended amicably, and I was devastated to learn about her diagnosis. I read up on schizophrenia and learned a lot. Besides becoming better informed on what it actually is (yes, I had many misconceptions), I paid particular attention to how to support a loved one. Despite my best efforts to support Bev, many factors were working against her and I. Her family essentially abandoned her, she now was a living long distance away, her schizophrenia symptoms were severe and she did not have insight or awareness of her condition. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed and eventually reached a point where I had to accept there was nothing I could do.

Even though there are many similarities between Judy and Bev, there are just as many differences. Judy understands that she needs treatment, has become very motivated in learning how to manage symptoms and her family will support her.

Something that I realized last week is that while I have developed many skills to support Judy, I need to also support myself. My experience with Bev taught me what my limitations were, what can be reasonably expected and most importantly, that I can't do everything alone. So I decided to reach out here and just talk about what's going on. There is so much people don't know about schizophrenia it is extremely difficult to have a conversation about it without doing a 30 minute spiel about the symptoms AND THEN dispel the stigmas which remain. People recently telling me that I'm attracted to "broken" partners and that I must have some sort of "savior complex" is upsetting. It is actually quite the contrary, understanding how difficult it is for them to develop strong trusting relationships of any kind, I feel extremely privileged (even lucky) that I have come to know Bev and Judy and earned their trust.

So that's my experience. Thanks for reading.
 
NWiddi

NWiddi

Well-known member
Forum Safety Team
Joined
May 6, 2017
Messages
811
Location
Sheffiield
I think you're doing a wonderful thing in not abandoning the ones you care about, I go to groups with other people who've been through the same as me and one woman told me her partner of 14 years abandoned her when she went through psychosis and started hearing voices, luckily she has two great children who look after her and still care about her no matter what. I was lucky too that my family supported me through my ordeal and stuck with me.
 
E

Extra_A

New member
Joined
May 21, 2019
Messages
2
Location
Philadelphia
Thank you so much NWiddi for the reply. I'm happy to read that your family is supportive. I'm sorry about that woman's situation but glad that she has her children.

I understand how and why people may eventually choose to leave. It is unfortunate that the pattern I've observed in myself and others is that after the initial shock of the news, the reality of the situation sets in and it becomes difficult to separate the illness from the loved one. Fortunately having already gone through this before, it's been easy for me to see Judy for who she is and always has been. I've been taking it day by day and doing my best to make sure my life is in order to better handle the ups and downs. Despite the hurt, I've been able to focus on what's truly important in life lately.
 

Top