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Hi all.  My first time posting here as I'm usually over at the BP board.

Got a wee problem and would like some advice from the "experts".

My boyfriend was diagnosed as a teenager with Schizophrenia.  Over the years he's had mild episodes that he likes to refer to as visits from the black dogs.  He's now 38, if that matters.

Anyway, the dogs showed up in early May with some fun hallucinations (auditory and visual).  He took a bit of time off work and came to stay with me.  I live in France, he's in England.  Since, he's gone to his GP who put it all down to depression and stress and gave him Paxil.  He said he didn't tell her about the hallucinations as he's, "sick of trying to explain it to doctors."  That numbed him out something horrible so he quite cold turkey.  Oh, and what fun for our sex life with him on Paxil and me on Effexor and Lithium.  ;)

Over the last 6 weeks he's gone from times where he functions (ie goes to work for a couple of days and plays the odd cricket match) to times where he doesn't (spends the day hiding under his pillows, doesn't answer the phone, etc.).  I've been over to England a few times during this and when I'm around he seems to be ok, but the moment I leave it all starts over again.

At the moment I haven't a clue where he is as he doesn't answer the phone at work, home or on his mobile.  It's been about 5 days and I've been leaving regular messages.

Let me add to this that his friends don't know what's going on either.  He's just told him the bare minimum along the lines of stress and tiredness so there is no one there that knows what kind of danger he could be to himself.  And yes, he does have a history of sticking his head in the oven.  Last time this happened I ended up calling one of his best friends to check up on him and asked him what he knew and his response was "precious little."  I didn't fill him in on the details as I don't think that it's my place to do that.  Mental illness in England has a HUGE stigma whereas in France people find you more interesting if you've been hospitalised and diagnosed as I have.

When I left England last week he had gotten the number of a shrink and had promised to make an appointment to get some proper treatment.  Don't know if he did that or not.

So... what I've done for the moment is left him a message saying if I don't hear from him by 7pm tonight I'm on the phone to his best friend and we'll deal with things from there. I've booked tickets to go over next week and can't go any sooner because I have a son to take care of here.  Plus my pdoc has just taken me of Effexor and I'm in withdrawl hell.

I need anyone and everyone here to give me some pointers on how to best help him get help from afar.  I know his withdrawl from me is the illness and isn't about me so I'm that isn't a worry.  When he's like this he doesn't feel anything and becomes completely internal.  I also know that the dogs (although that's not what his hallucinations are) scare the crap out of him and he becomes very agorophobic and panics in public places.  He can't even walk into a grocery store unless I'm holding his hand.

GOD does this man need some meds!!!!

Thanks for listening and I await your words.

Patty

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Patty,

You can't make him go to a psychiatrist, especially from where you are. If he is on only Paxil and is Schizophrenic, he is way undermedicated in my opinion. Especially with hallucinations.

I would do what you said you were going to do...call his friend if you hadn't heard from him by 7pm. He could be a danger to himself or possibly to others.

You will be in my thoughts. Sondra

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My father is scz and unmedicated, has been unmedicated for the past 30 years, in fact.  Fortunately he's been functional for the majority of those years, though lately he spends a lot of time in catatonic states and holding conversations with invisible people, talking to the people on TV...telling everyone that he has all the answers to life. Seriously delusional stuff, but at least he's harmless.  And when he's lucid he acts like a regular ol' guy. 

If your boyfriend talks about suicide, or lets on that he feels, or has been told, that others are trying to harm him, or have told him he should harm others, then I would do my darndest to get him committed.  I don't know if you can somehow coax out of him what his hallucinations are like.  That's what I would do, anyway.

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If he is on only Paxil and is Schizophrenic, he is way undermedicated in my opinion. Especially with hallucinations.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Not an MD but I would have to agree. Has he ever taken an anti-psychotic at all?

Erika

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The new antipsychotics can work wonders.  Even the old ones are good, too.  Try to convince him to try them.  They help me.  I take 2 atypical antipsychotics and one old school antipsychotic.

Cheers,

Chris

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