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GF lookin' for a little advice

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I'm new, I'm afraid.  And while I've never been diagnosed with anything (yet!), I'm here for a little advice about my boyfriend...

See... I'm a reasonably normal university student with a reasonably normal life.  Until the night my boyfriend of two years cornered me in the apartment and demanded to know where I had hidden the bodies, why I had installed cameras everywhere, and what the hell the voices were saying.  A trifle unsettling, yes. 

A week later, the guy came out of the hospital with a three month prescription for Risperdal, absolutely no diagnosis, and still really confused.  His doctor parents insisted on flying him home to rural Canada, a good two hour drive from any other town.  I visited him for a week, but he's not getting any psychiatric help, except the meds and his parents.  And I'm kinda freaking out, worried about him.  He's supposed to be coming back in less than two weeks.

So... I was wondering if anyone would be able to help me with the following two questions.

1.  Is there any advice anyone could give me on Risperdal to help him cope with it?  Like side effects--he's been having bad nightmares and such...

2.  His parents keep insisting that his episode was a one-time thing resulting from a combination of drinking, weed, and trying shrooms once (more than a year ago)... but I really don't think he did any of that too much (four beer was a big night for him).  Whaddya think the chances are that it was caused by any of that stuff?

Anyway, this was a huge intro..I'm sorry about that.  But any advice for newbies to all this would be a huge help...I've never encountered this stuff before, and if there's anything I can do that would make all this easier for him, it would make me really happy, especially now that he's pretty sure that I'm not a terrorist or anything.

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I can see why you have questions, however I am not the best person to answer some of them.

I suggest that you check the listing for risperdal for further information on the drug actions and what it is prescribed for.

Personally I do not think that the alcohol/weed could be responsible for his behaviour. You have not said much about your relationship with him past/future so it is difficult to know what is really going on.

Things to think about:

Could someone have given him something to cause him to break with reality?

Does he have any history of MI?

What does he say happened?


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Guest Guest_luli2545_*


Mark had some good questions.

Mushrooms a year ago... probably didn't directly cause his blowout I'm assuming 6-9 months later.

Sometimes people on a medication do alcohol and mj and do flip out; getting violent and out of control and not remembering it. Was he on something, maybe given by his doctor parents? (some Adhd and ADD meds have terrible interactions with alcohol...people hallucinate etc...)

Doctor parents might easily minimize/misrepresent things....about their child....

You can help be an advocate for him, regardless.

People can have a one time psychotic break and be fine after... absolutely... but that seems less likely to be a one time only break if someone had a break linked with use of recreational drugs & alcohol.

If he is around college age, he's in an age group of folks who can have their first of many psychotic episodes or experiences.... and it's also possible he might have had symptoms without alcohol/drugs/etc. In other words, people can often begin to manifest their psychotic type mental illness in the college age group...

do you know what he was taking before he asked about the bodies?

do you know what kinds of stress he might have been having?

do you know what kinds of trauma or other crummy stuff went on with him in his family?

And Mark's question, what does your boyfriend think? How does he describe what happened?

You take care,


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Hi there....a really helpful site that I wouldn't be without is


type in the drug you want to know about, and you will read loads of personal Joe's experiences with it - (after you check out the crazy meds info page first!)

Thank you for being his advocate...out of the many things he may need right now, you are one of the most important.

Good vibes to you both

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Thanks so much for the replies/help.

Here's the thing about him--he wasn't on any meds or anything when this all happened and just had a pretty typical college lifestyle...little bit of weed, some drinking...

He didn't have a history of any kind of mental illness, just tended to overthink things and get depressed every coupla of months, but nothing major (just upset/down for a day, then he would be ok).  We're both working over the summer, and he didn't have too much stress--at least not compared to the school year (we're both biology/chem majors).

He and I have always been really close, but in the few weeks before all this he'd been acting strangely--started withdrawing and saying things that were kind of different.  Nothing I could put my finger on...just different.  I had talked with some of my friends, and I suggested to him to see a counsellor 'cause I could tell there was some stuff that was really bugging him and I couldn't get him to talk about it.

And then he had this big blowout... he's talking now a little about it, but he's pretty confused about everything.  He doesn't want to be home with his parents, but they've threatened to kick him out for good if he leaves without their permission, or has another episode.  And I'm afraid, since they're doctors, if they get pissed enough they could declare him mentally unsound or something and lock him up for good.

When he describes what happened, he seems to relive it--he gets angry and confused again and starts talking like he did that night.  His grandmother had schiz, and while they don't know what's wrong with him, my guess would be that he might be developing it or something like it--I don't think you spend five days talking about voices in a psych ward from a little too much alchohol and/or weed.  Family trauma?  Yes--he was born in Romania, and his father defected during the revolution in 1989 and spent time in a refugee camp.

He still doesn't seem sure about what happened, but he can tell something isn't right.  He thinks his parents are right about it being a one-time thing from "bad" lifestyle, and I don't want to say anything about this possibly being a mental illness that he's going to have to deal with over the long term and really scare him.

Are there any websites you could suggest about how to be a good advocate?  I don't know what to do.


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I believe there are support groups, or groups (like on yahoo, MSN or the like) that are for people who live with others that are living with different conditions. 

Or, maybe even a support chat room, and ask others who have been in your sitiuation as many questions as you can think of.  Maybe even write them down before hand.  Also - if you go to www.justfreestuff.com, go to MISC and search for "mental health" you will be sent to a site where you can order free information on many subjects - hopefully something there could help as well.

Keep us informed, K?

Good luck

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Guest luli2545

Hi again,

You could do some reading about schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, psychotic breaks.....

Like the suggestion to go on line and ask as many questions as you can thnk of. And what kind of trauma did he go through? If he has been thru really traumatic stuff up close and personal and he's sort of stashed it away in his head.... or it was too bloody awful and he was little and his brain put it away for him, maybe it's coming out...and talking to someone could really help. Better to let it out or find out what it is, if anything....than to squelch it all and sometime, kablooey, it comes out all weird... food is important too....people can sort of trigger their own vulnerabilities, have hallucinations and stuff by stressing themselves with nutrition... really, I have much direct experience with lack of food and the ahem interesting things the brain can do...

Anyhow, keep looking around...good luck,


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Sounds like he's had his first shizophrenic break. If it was only 5 days, and in college, his prognosis is pretty good in the long run. Stresses can be very difficult to pinpoint with psychotic breaks and may even appear to be non-existent, but something built up and schismed in his mind.

The most helpful thing to do is to be patient and understand that he is as alarmed and confused by the things his mind is doing as anyone is, and yet his mind *is* doing some goofy things. Being as supportive as you know how (and are comfortable with for yourself) is all you can do. Do not rule out the possibility, crazy as it sounds, that coices *are* talking to him and telling him things that make sense in some way, even though they are confusing him. Try not to judge him as he recovers, and be honest in discussing with him what the experience was for you and what things it makes you wonder about. This will be good and loving for him.

Either that, or he just needs his chakras cleansed. I'm not a doctor.

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Your boyfriend needs much more than a script and a swift kick in the butt by his parents who, unsurprisingly, seem extremely unsympathetic to the situation.

I am going to do some guessing- if he is around your age- and you have been in an apartment for two years... 18 +2... maybe he is about 20? So did they defect from Romania?  Regardless... around that time he was 6 or 7 or 8?  Pretty young. During a time of extreme turmoil, I imagine.

He probably has major ptsd. PLUS mood problems which haven't been dealt with PLUS parents who are absolutely terrified that he may 'end up' like his grandmother.  However, if his grandmother was schizophrenic, that doesn't necessarily mean that he is too, even given this episode. Some things that can involve psychosis- extreme ptsd, bipolar, schizoaffective, neurological issues, even [though rarely] with  panic attacks. No one will really be able to figure it out in only five days.

He needs therapy. Don't run for the hills. Just get him help.  You say he gets ''down/depressed".  I don't know what this is- he probably doesn't either. But if it is happening every couple of months, you notice it and it is more than just the occasional cranky day, he needs help.

Risperdal is an antipsychotic.  It may or may not be the right med for him. It is very doubtful this is a one time occurence. The fact that his parents are threatening consequences if it happens again indicates that they don't believe it is either.  This wasn't from pot, beer, or a one time use of mushrooms.  It is likely from a psychiatric condition that needs attention.

If he was walking around on a broken foot would you guys have to think about whether or not to go to the er?

So, he needs to get therapy for what is likely ptsd, issues that are arising with his parents because of this incident and also to help him just deal with all of this- how to deal with being on meds, and general figuring out what it was that happened. He also needs to see a psychiatrist to figure out what meds he SHOULD be on, and to get a proper diagnosis in order to get proper treatment.  Having his parents treat him isn't appropriate- especially if they are in denial about what is happening/what happened. 

It sounds like you guys are both smart and are really trying to examine the situation. It also sounds like you are really supportive and trying to help him in whatever way you can. Keep doing it. Doctors will really help him sort through the confusion.  I don't know if your school is open right now, but if it is, the counseling center may be able to give you some ideas on what to do next.

This article, from HealthyPlace.com, is very general but goes over some of the things I have mentioned.  It also breifly mentions kindling- permanent damage that can be done when mental illnesses go untreated.


You can also find more information on risperdal here:



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Thank you so very much! I've been talking with the psychologist at the counselling centre (and he's really good--been working at the school for 30-odd years), but it's really helpful to hear this stuff from people who've experienced it.

He's coming home in a week, and he's ready and willing to get into therapy.  I'm really excited to see him again too ;)

I've been talking with the school psychologist and my boyfriend about the upcoming school year.  It's his last year, and while he says he's ready to go back, there's things we can do to make the year less stressful.  The school psych said if he talks to profs ahead of time, he can arrange some academic accomodations like spacing out his midterms or getting extensions on assignments and stuff.  He wants to take yoga with me too...so that will hopefully help.

But, as soon as he gets back, he's checking in with the hospital to see if the meds are right--right dosage and such.  And he's going to be seeing that psychologist regularly.

But there's challenges ahead, for sure.  He says he's ok, and seems to be.  But you're right--he's got a lot to work out.  But I think he wants to do it.

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