15 things to know before dating someone with schizophrenia

15 things to know before dating someone with schizophrenia

Dating someone like me, with schizophrenia, has its challenges. But there are rewards too.

What I lack in culinary expertise and concentration I more than make up for in a caring nature and sensitivity.

While you should never avoid dating someone with schizophrenia because of tabloid headlines or bleak Hollywood stereotypes, there are some things here you may like to weigh up before getting involved further.

1. My psychiatrist always knows best

So don’t try and advise whether or not to take medication, or tell me when I can and can’t call in sick.

2. Struggle with concentration

You may have a battle on your hands if you want me to settle down to watch a film or a play.

A side effect of anti-psychotic medication can mean I struggle with concentrating for more than 20 minutes.

3. I’m disabled

Schizophrenia is one of the most disabling of mental illnesses, so expect me to travel with a Disabled Rail Card because my car insurance is sky-high.

4. I claim benefits

Because I’m disabled I’m entitled to Personal Independence Payment and sometimes on benefits (though not all the time).

You need to be cool with this.

5. I may be very tired

(Illustration: Monika Piszczek for Metro.co.uk)

Often medication can make me very, very tired. So, I may lie in late, or go to bed very early.

6. Pregnancy complications

There are all kinds of complications (and success as well as horror stories) pertaining to schizophrenia and pregnancy due to the effects of medication.

Want a baby? Expect challenges!

7. You may outlive me

According to Rethink Mental Illness, people with schizophrenia die on average 15 years younger.

8. Sanity Checks

Expect me to run all decisions great and small past you for a sanity check.

9. Cooking and cleaning

Often people with schizophrenia struggle with motivation to do all manner of simple tasks.

So expect to do more than your fair share of the dusting.

10. I tell my therapist everything

(Illustration: Mmuffn for Metro.co.uk)

There are no secrets in a relationship with someone with schizophrenia.

11. Needy

I do have more needs than someone without schizophrenia.

I may want prompting when to take medication or need support in social settings.

12. Friends

Schizophrenia can impact on social skills and I don’t have many friends because of this.

13. Open and honest

We’re used to being open and honest in our therapy and with our psychiatrist – we need to be.

14. Sensitive

Often the most vulnerable people (like us) can be sensitive to others’ needs.

15. Generous

Most people with schizophrenia that I have met have been very generous to those willing to stand by them, thanks to the stigma from others we experience on a day to day basis.

Related posts