Hi everyone, I’m looking for some advice for dealing with a partner who has delusional beliefs. He’s been having them for well over a year. Last year he had a manic psychotic episode and was sectioned for a couple of weeks. He was prescribed anti psychotics but came off them because he couldn’t cope with the side effects.
Now he feels that they were mistakenly prescribed and that he didn’t need them. In fact he believes he shouldn’t have been sectioned at all and thinks his mother and I wronged him for taking him to hospital.
He is a heavy pot smoker but doesn’t see any issues with this as he thinks everything he believes is real.
When I mention that I think he needs help or to cut back on the weed it results in very long arguments where he gets very neurotic and talks at me for long periods of time. His beliefs are completely unshakable and unresponsive to logic. He reckons that his grip on reality is stronger than mine and that I’m just not looking hard enough.
He can be very unpleasant and sanctimonious towards other people and has pushed pretty much everyone else in his life away. Sometimes it’s hard to tell which parts of his behaviour come from the mental illness and which parts he could control if he really wanted.
I’ve tried getting help from the mental health system and have basically been told there’s nothing they can do until he goes into crisis again.
I don’t want to leave him - we have been together for 6 years and when things are good he is amazing - but I’m close to breaking point myself and have a nagging feeling that I’m just enabling him to carry on without getting help. Any advice is massively appreciated.
Welcome to the Forum @beanie1, we're sorry to hear that you are going through this tough time and can see how frustrated you are with the situation. Have you been able to chat with the GP that your partner saw last year about what is going on?
Hi @Ali11 thanks for your reply. His mother and I were never contacted by any GP or psychologist in the mental facility last year, only the nurses, even though we were there every day. My partner had one home visit from a mental health worker after he was discharged and I remember them not being very keen to speak with me, only with him. Since then it has been radio silence.
He did go and see a local GP soon after, who I could try and contact, but he told me himself that he deliberately didn't tell her about the conspiracy so that she wouldn't think he was mentally ill.
That sounds challenging @beanie1. Him not telling the GP about the conspiracy might seem like it's helping shield him from judgement, but it's also not going to help him get treatment if that's what he needs. How are you doing with it all? Have you been speaking to anyone for yourself, even if just to get some support while you're supporting your partner?
Hi @beanie1 How are you doing? My first love had schizophrenia and there was no way I could talk him out of his delusions. He stayed away from weed because it gave him anxiety however he did drink. Eventually he admitted himself into hospital because he had horrible thoughts about hurting himself and others. While in there he was diagnosed and he realised he was having trouble telling reality from fantasy. I slowly withdrew from the relationship because he was scary at times and also dishonest. I heard through his brother that he goes on and off his meds.
You cant save your partner if he doesnt want to get better. If you are at breaking point I think a separation would be good for you. It doesnt have to be permanent, just until he goes back on his meds. Good luck.
Hi @Ali11 yes I totally agree, the problem is that he believes the whole point of the conspiracy is to make other people think he's crazy so he's very careful about what he tells people. If I outright say that it's not real he gets very upset and I think if I push too hard he will stop talking to me about it altogether which means he won't be telling anyone. I'm doing okay, sometimes its manageable and other times it's harder, for example when he thinks my friends are involved in the conspiracy etc. I was seeing a counseller earlier this year and will probably go back to her in the next couple of weeks, but she didn't seem to have much experience dealing with this type of problem.
Hi @SuzieQ thanks so much for your reply and I'm sorry to hear you went through that. Were you still together when he admitted himself to hospital? My partner also has thoughts about hurting himself when he feels like everyone is against him, although he hasn't mentioned thoughts about hurting others. Sometimes I feel like staying with him is preventing him from hitting rock bottom and getting himself help, but at the same time if I leave him I'm scared of what will happen to him as he's pretty much on his own. His family is in and out of his life at the moment. Last week I did stay away for a few days and I found it really helpful for my mental health, and afterwards his attitude towards me is much better although the dellusions are still there. Were you living with your partner at the time that you started withdrawing from the relationship?
That is tough @beanie1 and we understand upsetting him can feel very stressful. It's great you have reached out to a counsellor and will probably go back in the next couple of weeks. Your wellbeing is equally as important.
Delusions can be as real for an individual experiencing them as what hearing and seeing things is for you, so one suggestion is to focus on feelings rather than facts. Would that help you and him to talk about it, do you think? There are some tips and information about caring for someone experiencing delusions in this guide that you may find helpful. Keep checking in here, we're with you.
Im glad you got away for a few days. Yes I was still with him but it was going sour due to him sleeping with my friend and I found out through my friends sister. We had been together 4 years but not living together. I supported him and visited him when he was in hospital and for a few months after that. It took me years to get over him as noone had ever understood me like he did and we were on the same wavelength. We were very young at the time we broke up - only 22. He had a supportive family - it's a shame your partner is not close with his. Could you move out but stay friends so he doesnt feel totally on his own?
If you need urgent assistance, see Need help now For mental health information, guidance and referrals, see the SANE Help Centre SANE Forums is published by SANE Australia with funding from the Australian Government Department of Health SANE Australia ABN 92006533606 PO Box 226 South Melbourne 3205 Australia