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How to help loved ones deal with my symptoms?

C

Cat

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 9, 2019
Messages
55
Location
All over the place
Hi all.
I am new to the forum. I am a 33 year old woman with schizoaffective disorder.

The thing that worries me today is the impact that my psychotic symptoms (hearing voices) and my depressive symptoms are having on those closest to me, most importantly my boyfriend. I recently went off my antipsychotic medication and my antidepressant because I felt that the side effects were to hard to handle and I wanted to see if I could lead a medication-free life. Since then my psychosis has not gotten any worse than it was when I was on Abilify. However, my depression has gotten quite bad. I also suffer terrible physical side effects from the withdrawal. My boyfriend is now clearly worried that I am getting sick with the psychosis again an the depression. He insists that I talk to him about how I'm feeling all the time...but at the same time it clearly makes him uncomfortable (especially the hearing voices part) and I know that he secretly wishes I would start taking medication again. However, as of right now, I am not ready to do that. I feel strongly that I need to try this on my own for awhile. I can always go back on meds later if it doesn't work out. But I feel for him. He is stressed, down, worried, irritated, and suffering because of MY mental illness. To compound the issue, he has no real support network of his own...he is all alone dealing with this. It kills me to think that I am a burden to him when what I really want to be is a light in his life. So...my questions to all of you are..
Does any of you have a loved one in your life who is struggling to support you?
What can be done to minimize the burden you put on your loved ones?
What do you say to your loved ones to reassure them that the pain won't last forever and that things will get better in time?
Cat
 
LizBo

LizBo

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
377
Location
Down-under
Hi and welcome @Cat :welcome:

I think it's really courageous of you reaching out for help, so well done! 🤜🤛
How lovely of you to feel so concerned about your bf's worries. Awe...

It's hard watching our loved ones react when our lives are torn by symptoms of a damaged mind. As with anything, you don't know until you've been through it, so their worries and thoughts are usually based on love, ignorance and hope; not bad things mind you. It's probably more about how they respond to us that sometimes keeps us up at night.

One of the hardest things to accomplish during recovery is letting go of feeling responsible for how others feel; (a big ask considering what we feel we put them through yeah?) but really understandable under the circumstances. We have enough on our plates though, so it's a worthy goal to take pressure off our already big list of accountabilities.

Everyone has a right to feel/think/act in whatever way feels normal to them. For instance, going med's free is something I'd never do, but I absolutely respect your right to choose this avenue. Not just because I'm that type of person, but because I get it from an experiential perspective; I've been there, unlike your loved ones.

Attempting to educate them about our illness can sometimes be responded to with conflicting opinions and priorities, so it's probably better to direct them to professionals for advice to avoid conflict in general. Emotional connections can be strained if we take that role on, trying to convince them everything's going to be fine. In their mind, you're not the person they thought you were anymore, it's a burden they don't know how to grasp or deal with.

On the other hand, asking your bf to respond 'in specific ways' can be really positive. Men in general want their wives/gf's/bf's to be happy in the hope they're responsible in some way. In addition, being thanked for it is icing on the cake. This makes them feel loved, valuable and worthy of you.

It's more about relationship issues than you might think. He can't help you cope in your mind, but he can make life just that little bit easier so your recovery might just be somewhat shorter than once thought. That's mighty..

I'm sorry no-one responded to you before this; better late than never though eh..
:hug5:
 
C

Cat

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 9, 2019
Messages
55
Location
All over the place
Hi and welcome @Cat :welcome:

I think it's really courageous of you reaching out for help, so well done! 🤜🤛
How lovely of you to feel so concerned about your bf's worries. Awe...

It's hard watching our loved ones react when our lives are torn by symptoms of a damaged mind. As with anything, you don't know until you've been through it, so their worries and thoughts are usually based on love, ignorance and hope; not bad things mind you. It's probably more about how they respond to us that sometimes keeps us up at night.

One of the hardest things to accomplish during recovery is letting go of feeling responsible for how others feel; (a big ask considering what we feel we put them through yeah?) but really understandable under the circumstances. We have enough on our plates though, so it's a worthy goal to take pressure off our already big list of accountabilities.

Everyone has a right to feel/think/act in whatever way feels normal to them. For instance, going med's free is something I'd never do, but I absolutely respect your right to choose this avenue. Not just because I'm that type of person, but because I get it from an experiential perspective; I've been there, unlike your loved ones.

Attempting to educate them about our illness can sometimes be responded to with conflicting opinions and priorities, so it's probably better to direct them to professionals for advice to avoid conflict in general. Emotional connections can be strained if we take that role on, trying to convince them everything's going to be fine. In their mind, you're not the person they thought you were anymore, it's a burden they don't know how to grasp or deal with.

On the other hand, asking your bf to respond 'in specific ways' can be really positive. Men in general want their wives/gf's/bf's to be happy in the hope they're responsible in some way. In addition, being thanked for it is icing on the cake. This makes them feel loved, valuable and worthy of you.

It's more about relationship issues than you might think. He can't help you cope in your mind, but he can make life just that little bit easier so your recovery might just be somewhat shorter than once thought. That's mighty..

I'm sorry no-one responded to you before this; better late than never though eh..
:hug5:
Thanks so much for your lovely response. As a first step I am now making sure I either go to a support meeting or see a friend once a day. That gives me the opportunity to vent and get my frustrations out with somebody other than my bf. Also went to see my psychotherapist, which was really great!
 
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