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Casual Contributor

Just venting, schitzoaffective partner relapsed

Hi, just need to vent. My partner of 14 years just relapsed with his scitzoaffective disorder. Had been perfectly well for 3yrs8months. Despite my objections he went os to visit family for 9 weeks. Within 24 hrs of return he in full on psychosis. His psych thinks just the pressure of his family and out of his routine triggered it and should bounce back quickly. He seems better everyday (been 7 days) though I'm so stressed about it. The problem is I've realised I just can't go back to the way it was when he was ill. I'm fine when he well looking after him - doing his medication, putting no stress on him at all (he doesn't need to work, I do everything around house etc). I've just been so anxious since it returned, and it like has triggered a post traumatic stress thing  for me as I think how bad it was when he was previously ill. I can't go back to that. I feel mad because I told him not to go away so long as it too dangerous with his health. I feel he just thinks at end of day I'll pick up pieces. Annoys me that he doesn't take responsibility when he is well. Anyway just a vent. Sorry I sound selfish given the hell so many on here are going through. Cheers


Re: Just venting, schitzoaffective partner relapsed

@Jacob2019  Hi Jacob2019 and welcome to the forum Smiley Happy. I have schizoaffective disorder and have a son with multiple problems include schizophrenia. I can appreciate both sides. I Have a son who is overseas and wonder if I should travel to see him but I feel the stress would be too much even with my meds and reading your account it terrifies me as I would hate to go back to the days of psychosis. Particularly being overseas ..... I can totally understand your frustration of having to deal with this it must be a nightmare for you to relive it again. Maybe your partner got out of the routine of taking his meds whilst being overseas without you being there? 


It is a tough one. I have been told I should not study again as the stress will bring on symptoms of the mi ..... but you need a life too. greenpeax


Re: Just venting, schitzoaffective partner relapsed

Hi @Jacob2019 

I can understand your concerns entirely; you are not being selfish at all. Acute/subacute episodes can be traumatic and I hope that a crisis has been averted.


I think a few of us carers on the forum bear emotional scars following our loved ones acute episodes. After having counselling, I feel stronger and more aware but I don't know how I would cope if my Mr Darcy relapsed. 


Do you have any emotional support for yourself that you could tap into?




Re: Just venting, schitzoaffective partner relapsed

Thanks for your reply. It's helpful. He was medication compliant but I think he smoked some cannabis. That would not have helped.

in terms of travelling what I would recommend (having travelled os a lot with my partner) is - is it possible for you to travel with someone who knows your condition and can organise everything ie getting flights, travel to airport accommodation? And someone who can makes sure you get enough sleep etc.  That removes a lot of stress. Secondly I'd stay in places a long time, don't move around as it's too stressful. Thirdly staying in air BnB is more relaxing as if you need to stay and rest you don't get anxious being in hotel all the time. Finally, I always organise it so the mornings are free because if it is getting too much for him he can always rest. They are my tips for travelling with him. Thanks for your advice. J 


Re: Just venting, schitzoaffective partner relapsed

Thanks for that. I've got friends to talk to, but sometimes not the same. Reading stories on here helps Smiley Happy

Re: Just venting, schitzoaffective partner relapsed

@Jacob2019  Hey J thanks for the heads up re travelling much appreciated Smiley Happy


Re: Just venting, schitzoaffective partner relapsed

Hi @Jacob2019 , 


I'm sorry to hear that you're going through a tough time right now. I hope things get better for you soon. There's no need to apologise or feel selfish, how you feel is completely understandable given the situation. It doesn't matter what's happenening for everyone else here, I'm sure no one here sees it as a competition or sees anyone as having gone through less than them, mental ill health is tough full stop. 


I can totally understand you feeling anxious and annoyed when your partner does something that doesn't help (or actively damages) their mental health. 


My partner used cannabis for a long time for stress relief and to help him cover his mental ill health (was not diagnosed at that time). My partner has since been diagnosed with schizophrenia. He knows that cannabis and other drug use may have led to psychotic episodes and worsened his schizophrenic symptoms, but he still used cannabis for stress relief and pleasure. He has also used cigarettes and vape juice containing nicotine. It's frustrating because he knows that these all increase his symptoms. Especially cigarettes as they affect his medicine as they stop the concentration of the medicine in his blood being high enough to be having a positive effect on him. 


It's frustrating when he does things that he knows are damaging his mental health. But at the same time, I try to not stress about it too much. We're all human, we all make mistakes, regardless of mental health. 


When I talk to him I try to not accuse him, but gently remind him that it's not good for him. I try to find out what has triggered him to use that crutch, eg: hanging out with certain friends, stressful situations, wanting an escape, wanting life to be how it was before mental ill health, wanting to be like everyone else.  If it's a once off event and doesn't seem to cause much damage, I just leave it be. When I can see that smoking has worsened his symptoms and that he seems to be doing it more than once, or it is becoming a regular pattern, I talk to him. I find out the reason why, we discuss it and how he feels and if there's any alternatives. At times talking to him can be tricky because he can be aggitated or he may be delusional or just not interested in talking. But I slowly get him to question his behaviour - think about what are his goals and is his behaviour helping or hindering him in achieving his goals. When he sees that his behaviour is hindering his goals, he is more responsive and ususally stops the behaviour. 


He's currently in university, so he's often under stress, especially around exam time. I just have to realise sometimes that he's going through something difficult himself. He just wants to relax, he's not doing it to worsen his symptoms or hurt me. 


It can definitely be traumatic thinking about tougher times when your partner was ill, but being aware of it and triggers is important. Use all of your support system to make sure that you're okay, talk to friends and family or counsellors, or whatever you do to help yourself. Then make sure that your partner is using their support system to get back on track. 


It sounds like you've been an amazing and really supportive and caring partner. I hope your partner is getting better, and I hope you take some time to relax and care for yourself. 


Heart Plant Lady xxx


Re: Just venting, schitzoaffective partner relapsed

Thanks for that reply. It's helpful to hear your perspective 

my partner is heavy smoker which I put up with. I draw the line at cannabis .... I think it single handedly one of most dangerous contributors to poor mental health. I didn't think of that issue with nicotine though, as when my partner unwell he probably doubles his smoking.


i often reflect on what he must feel about the limitations of his illness. I feel a lot of empathy for that. You see his little mind cycling around / reflecting when he sees his peers achieve and he can't really work, and it breaks my heart.  But He has been able to get an architecture degree and while it took him 8 years to do it the day he graduated was the best day of both of our lives (and his mums - who sadly died a year after that). He also has a good lifestyle without financial hardship which he realises is a very blessed position to be in. I encourage him that his gift is to try and give hope to people with similar illnesses, etc, but he hasn't done that yet.


ill stick by him ... we always do don't we ! 





Re: Just venting, schitzoaffective partner relapsed

How is your partner going  @Jacob2019  and how are you faring yourself?


Re: Just venting, schitzoaffective partner relapsed

@Darcy thanks for asking. I'm so happy to let you know he has been well and very stable.  The delusions went after a few days and he's writing in his diary became less extreme so within a week it seemed he was back on track. Still got him on "bed rest" (as I describe it to him !) but I think if he stable for another week I think I can say he out of woods. May be a lesson that not worth taking chances.... I told him I won't let him travel alone anymore ! 

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