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Paranoid schizophrenia

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Life Coach Adams: Good morning.

Perplexed Girlfriend: Good morning.

Life Coach Adams: How may I help you this morning?

PG: Well, a few nights ago a very disturbing incident occurred and I was hoping that you could help me to understand it.

LCA: You want me to help you understand a confusing incident that occurred recently?{{more}}

PG: Yes.

LCA: Okay. Please explain what happened.

PG: My boyfriend recently turned 27, so he got himself an apartment and moved out of his parents’ house. He, therefore, invited me and a few of our friends over for a house-warming party. Since my cousin was visiting from Canada, I also invited him, figuring that my boyfriend would not mind. Initially, my boyfriend was a bit reluctant, but eventually he said okay. On the night of the party, however, it was clear he was not okay. As soon as I introduced my cousin to him, my boyfriend started drilling him with questions. “Where are you from? What do you do for a living? What’s your religion?” My cousin was super uncomfortable, so I broke up the interrogation by suggesting that we have some food. We were all laughing and talking and things were going well, until one of our friends suggested we play truth or dare. My boyfriend bombarded my cousin with truth questions and again made him uncomfortable. He stated that he didn’t believe that my cousin was who he said he was – a student in engineering. My boyfriend believed that he was hiding his true identity.

LCA: Do you have any idea why he would think that?

PG: No. I have no idea. My cousin is a really nice, honest person. We are very close; he’s like a brother to me and I know him well. I took my boyfriend into another room and explained to him that he does not need to be suspicious of my cousin, but he didn’t believe me. The party ended shortly after because I told him I had to go because I wasn’t feeling very well and I needed to go home.

LCA: That must have been very frustrating and disappointing.

PG: Yes, I became very concerned about my boyfriend. Then, last week, we were walking downtown together and I stopped and said hello to an old schoolmate that I had not seen for several years because he was in the US and he was here on vacation. Right there downtown he accused me of being involved with this man. I was alarmed and I started to feel like something was dreadfully wrong.

LCA: That must have been terrifying.

PG: Yes. I became a bit scared. I was also hurt and embarrassed.

LCA: How long have you been with your boyfriend?

PG: Almost five years, but he has never behaved like this before.

LCA: So, you are starting to worry about him and about your relationship.

PG: Yes! And to top it off, we were watching the TV together last Friday at my place and he started saying things like: “That guy is talking to me. He is coming to get me. I can’t be here much longer”. This was during the advertisement. This really, really scared me. I was so relieved after he left and I started wondering if I should remain in this relationship, because I do not like how things have been going.

LCA: So, you are worried that this relationship may no longer be right for you?

PG: Yes. What could be wrong with him all of a sudden? He was not like this before. I am concerned and confused. I was hoping to spend the rest of my life with him, but now I am not so sure.

LCA: Does anyone in his family suffer from mental illness?

PG: I don’t know. We have never talked about this. I just assumed that everyone was alright and that he was also alright.

LCA: It is possible that your boyfriend may be suffering from ‘paranoid schizophrenia,’ which is a mental illness.

PG: Why would this be happening now and what is the cause of it?

LCA: schizophrenia is caused from genetic/biological factors in combination with life stressors.

PG: Does this mean that he is suffering from something really bad and that he has a lot of problems?

LCA: It means that he is more than likely born with a chemical imbalance in the brain and that his illness may be triggered by difficult circumstances in his life.

PG: So, does this mean that he will be like this all the time and that we can’t get married if we wanted to?

LCA: Sometimes illnesses like these can be corrected by medicine, psychotherapy, and a lot of family support. As for marriage, you would have to think about this hard and long, as such an illness could be transmitted to any children you may have. At the same time, individuals who follow their treatment regime can live a healthy and productive life.

PG: So, what you are saying is that my boyfriend can see a doctor and get treatment and that he is likely to be okay once he takes his medicine. Also, that I should think carefully about whether I want to marry him, because this disorder could be passed on to our children. Furthermore, how he is treated by his family plays a big role in how well he will do.

Need help with relationship and other problems? Ask DYNACII’s Life Coach, Dr Adams, a licensed clinical psychologist. Please note that all correspondence to the Life Coach is confidential and the cases presented are modified in order to maintain the anonymity of each writer. Dynamic Action Centre International Inc (DYNACII) is a non-governmental organization,committed to social and spiritual empowerment. For more information on DYNACII please visit: http://www.dynacii.com

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