Schizophrenia: How does it affect relationships?
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Schizophrenia: How does it affect relationships?

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Relationships are full of ups and downs, but what would happen if one partner was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is, according to Merriam-Webster, “a very serious mental illness in which someone cannot think or behave normally and often experiences delusions”. This can cause lots of problems with their social life including relationships. So how exactly does schizophrenia affect someone’s “love life”?

Could the relationship last? Absolutely, people with schizophrenia are not incapable of having a relationship, it just takes more work from both sides of the relationship.

Schizophrenia greatly affects the person’s social skills. They will usually begin to shrink back and not want to talk to anyone. There will be vast changes in their behavior and the way that they take care of themselves. This generally means things such as not completing everyday tasks; dressing and bathing. Other common symptoms found in a person with schizophrenia include irritability, lack of motivation, withdrawal, and drastic drops in everyday performance. Another common symptom is hallucinations and delusions. These are definitely the hardest ones, and the ones that have the most impact on the people around them. It is important to see a doctor if you are diagnosed with these kinds of symptoms in order to get the right medication to help cope with these symptoms.

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Often times people that are diagnosed with schizophrenia are not in relationships. This is most likely because they pull away from people. Most don’t enjoy being in public settings such or any kind of social events. People diagnosed with schizophrenia will often push anyone that is not in their inner circle of friends away and often times won’t go out of their way to meet new people. This definitely decreases there opportunities of dating.

A man named Mike Hedrick wrote an article over on Psych Central’s blog where he describes his experience with dating and schizophrenia. In it he says that he thinks having a relationship while diagnosed with schizophrenia can happened “if the friendship is there, if the stability is there, if the humor is there and if the self-confidence is there. Sadly, stability, humor and self-confidence are things that don’t come easy for people with major mental illnesses. It takes work and it takes time to develop those things.”. Like any relationship, it is important for both partners to be present and supportive in the relationship.

It is not common for people with schizophrenia to be in relationships. This is because it is such a drastic change in their everyday life. Statistics show long-term relationships for people with schizophrenia not lasting. Most often, people that have schizophrenia that are in relationships, are people that were diagnosed while they were in the relationship. Schizophrenia, much like any other mental illness, is a huge change in anyone’s life! Symptoms can start to arise slowly including “sleeping difficulties, concentration problems, or even irritability and tension” (source: schizlife.com) they can then worsen. Schizophrenia greatly affects the person that is diagnosed and it also affects the people around that person. Usually this can be the deal breaker in a relationship. Having schizophrenia is not easy, it rocks your entire world. If your loved one is diagnosed with schizophrenia it is not the end of the world. Through both counseling and medication lots of people have reported successful relationships. It definitely depends on the strength of the relationship to begin with.

Every relationship is different, and it truly depends on the relationship whether or not having schizophrenia . Just like any other relationship, the number one thing to remember is how important communication is. Be honest with each other and be vocal about any concerns you might be having.

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