Tuesday, January 01, 2013

How I Fell in Love with a Schizophrenic

Note: See update at the end of the post.

I had a much different post planned for today, a great post (if I do say so myself) about how three groups of scientists, 60 years ago this year, wrote three papers on the same subject in the same issue of Nature. One of the three papers was only 843 words long; half the length of the others, and much better-written. It resulted in a Nobel Prize.

I am going to have to push that one off to tomorrow.

Yesterday, my true love, Sally, had a psychotic break and went into the (mental) hospital, where she'll probably be for the next two weeks. Today, I'm writing as a means of therapy. Therapy for me.

I knew going into this relationship that it would entail ups and downs, and hard work.

I've never been as "all-in" as in this relationship. I'll stick by Sally for as long as she'll have me. I'll stick by her no matter what.

Our meeting was the fluke of the century. I happened to be scrounging around on Craigslist one day looking for a furniture item. Sally happened to be on Craigslist looking for pet supplies. On a lark, I posted a personals ad, something I'd never done (on Craigslist). It was a short ad, maybe three or four sentences total. The heading was something goofy like "Intelligent guy looking for sharp gal."

Sally happened to see the ad, and responded to it. She was the only legit response I got. Altogether, I got 10 replies, 9 of them from come-on artists trying to get me to visit this or that website and enter a credit card number "for verification purposes."

This is as much of Sally as I can show
without triggering her paranoia.
I was skeptical of Sally's response, as honest and heartfelt as it sounded. For those of you reading this who live outside the U.S. and may not know what Craigslist.org is, it's a free-for-all of want ads ("classified ads" online) for anything and everything. But it's also a dangerous cesspool of scammers and criminal activity (everything from prostitution to sale of stolen goods) with a reputation to match. Want to buy a new refrigerator cheap? Craigslist. Expect to pay cash, ask no questions, and not know where the fridge came from. Want to buy a dog? Plenty for sale. Many kidnapped. Want to buy a boa constrictor or other illegal pet? Craigslist. Want to buy a white mouse to feed your boa? Craigslist. Always Craigslist.

The best way to sum up Craigslist is this: Think of it as an Internet version of Mos Eisley Spaceport. Remember Obi-Wan's famous line from Star Wars? "You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious."

Sally and I met via Craigslist, the first time either of us had met anyone that way (or wanted to). We'd each been the OKCupid route, the Plenty of Fish route, and other routes. To no meaningful avail.

We laugh now when we tell friends how we met. It's with great pride that I tell people, in complete seriousness, that I met, and fell in love with, a schizophrenic on Craigslist.

As I was saying a second ago, I was skeptical of Sally's response to my ad (because one is justifiably skeptical of anything that comes into one's life via Craiglist). We corresponded briefly. Very briefly. I asked her in the first e-mail to send a phone number so I could talk to her immediately (my way of verifying that I wasn't dealing with a convincing scammer).

We spoke on July 1, 2011 for about ten minutes. The call ended with a promise of trying a longer phone call the next day.

The July 2 phone call turned out to be a revelation.

Sally told me straight out that she was on disability. I expected her to say she was in a wheelchair. Instead she said she had been deemed incurably schizophrenic by the Social Security Administration fifteen years earlier.

I listened as Sally explained that her particular variety of schizophrenia is actually called schizo-affective disorder, which is schizophrenia with an added twist. People with schizo-affective disorder show all the classical signs of schizophrenia (delusions, hallucinations, confused or irrational thoughts, a greater or lesser degree of paranoia, lack of interest in the world and other people, inability to act spontaneously, occasionally varying degrees of catatonia; and quite often, indifference to grooming or bathing), but instead of exhibiting the emotional "flatness" (lack of affect) that most schizophrenics evince, people with schizo-affective disorder have an accompanying mood disorder, most commonly bipolar disorder, or, as in Sally's case, major depression.

On top of that, Sally told me about having PTSD from a traumatic experience earlier in her life (details of which are not important here). She was still having intrusive thoughts as a result of the PTSD.

We had no trouble conversing on the phone. It seemed I was talking to a cogent enough individual. I asked what her medicines were and how she'd been doing of late. She listed the meds and told me that her major symptoms (delusions, hallucinations, confused thoughts) were under control but that she still had residual paranoia, intrusive thoughts, and depression. SSRIs like Zoloft and Prozac (which help only a minority of depression sufferers) had done little or no good for her.

I was exceedingly impressed with Sally's candor. After an hour on the phone I suggested we meet for coffee at 10:00 the next morning (July 3). She agreed.

We met face-to-face at Starbucks and had a delightful 45-minute talk. She looked just like her pictures. She sounded just like she did on the phone. She was charming and forthright; cheerful; well-dressed; a delight to behold, in every way. By the end of the conversation, we were asking each other about 4th-of-July plans. Neither of us had any. "Why don't we go out to dinner?" I suggested. And with that, we agreed on our first "real" date.

Our first date was lengthy and delightful. After Mexican food and an hour-long walk on the beach, I offered to take Sally home, if she wanted. She shocked the wits out of me by saying: "Why don't we go shoot a few rounds of pool?"

We went to Pete's (a ratty but convivial beach bar in Jacksonville) and played billiards while everyone else went outside to view the fireworks at the pier. Sally preferred to avoid the flashing pyrotechnics and loud noises, as I did; we stayed inside and took turns beating each other at 8-ball, in an otherwise empty bar. We smoked Salems. We drank Blue Moons. We talked of alien visitations and suicide attempts.

I think most guys, on a first date, upon hearing a young lady talk seriously about being visited by aliens, would probably find some reason to cut the evening short. I merely listened. Sally "knew" the alien visitation wasn't real. But it felt real enough to her when it happened. So I asked her to tell me about it in detail. And I listened, without passing judgment. She ultimately laughed the whole thing off, but I knew it was an important part of her reality. It had stayed with her. It was still real to her. Who was I to question her reality?

Sally told me what it had been like to discover that she was schizophrenic at age 22. It was a gradual process. She didn't know that the radios she was hearing weren't real, or that the songs she was listening to on the (real) radio weren't actually written specifically for her, with encoded messages in them. She didn't know that when both her parents happened to wear orange windbreakers on the same day, it didn't mean she would soon be going to jail. She didn't know that when a yellow car pulled in front of her on the road, it didn't mean there was danger ahead. She didn't know that numbers don't have "assigned colors" to them. She didn't know that when she was eating in a crowded restaurant, people weren't talking about her, or that passing helicopters weren't really spying on her.

One day, Sally's mother found her sitting on the edge of the bed, catatonic, unresponsive. Her mom wisely rushed her to the doctor. Sally was referred to a mental-rehab center (the closest thing we have these days to a "mental hospital"), where she was diagnosed as schizophrenic and put on strong medications, medications that (after several days) began to dissolve away Sally's most florid symptoms, which included the constant sound of doors slamming and the whop-whop-whop of helicopters overhead with Homeland Security agents spying on her.

She tells of waking up one morning in her hospital bed, astonished to find the room pin-drop quiet. No loud radios, no slamming doors, no helicopters, no voices of people "talking about her." Just silence.

For the first time in however many months (she doesn't recall how many), she actually heard the world as it is.

Her doctor told her the silence was the meds finally working. She asked what condition she was being medicated for (and asked for verification that she was, indeed, in a hospital of some kind). For days, she had been wondering where she was, and who all the strange people around her were. The doctor explained to her that she had schizophrenia.

A few weeks later, out of the hospital, her major symptoms under control, Sally (under her mother's guidance) applied to the U.S. government for disability. The Social Security Administration put her through a psychological exam. There was no doubt at all that she was schizo-affective, with residual symptoms of paranoia, intrusive thoughts, and major depression. The Social Security Administration put her on a disability pension.

As a disabled person (who can't work a normal job, because of the severity of her residual symptoms), Sally gets a monthly check for $661. That's it. That's all. No more. Here you go: $661 a month, now go take care of yourself.

Need I say, no one can live on $661 a month in the United States. That's the average monthly per-capita income in Gabon, and people have trouble living on that kind of money in Gabon. 

It's an outrage that a disabled person is expected to live independently on $661 a month.

It's the kind of thing that makes me ashamed of my own country.

As it happens, Sally got married in her early twenties. Her husband, an alcoholic musician, proved unable to take care of himself, let alone a wife. In an attempt to straighten himself out, her husband enlisted in the U.S. Army. After a year, he washed out. A couple years after that, he and Sally divorced.

Two abortions later, Sally had herself sterilized.

Then came the boyfriend who would take care of her (more successfully than the ex-husband) for six years. The boyfriend was a career Navy guy who was often at sea for months at a time. When he came home, he spent his time playing World of Warcraft. All of his time went to WoW. All of it. Even when Sally attempted suicide by taking a full bottle of Seroquil, he played WoW. In fact, he stepped over her dying body in the hallway in order to get back to WoW. Sally grabbed a cell phone just before passing out and dialed 911. The boyfriend spent the rest of the night explaining his negligence to the police.

When she recovered from the suicide attempt, Sally left Mr. World of Warcraft.

Three more suicide attempts would follow, in a space of four years.

Sally finally moved in with her aging (but healthy) father.

Nine months later, she and I met.

It's been over a year and a half now of seeing each other. On December 1, 2012, we rented a house in Jacksonville and moved in together. But after three weeks, Sally fell into a deep depression. Antidepressants (a wide variety of them) simply have not worked for her. Her depression isn't just biochemical. It's situational. She wants to be able to hold a job, but can't. She wants to be able to be independent, live on her own if she wants to, but can't. As much as she adores me, she's depressed to know she can never move out and live on her own, not even in theory. She can only move to her father's house again. But she doesn't want that.

I stay with her not only because I understand her problems and want to be there for her, but because I'm totally taken by her (a polite way of saying I'm madly in love with her) and have been since the day we met. She's truly a beautiful person inside and out. Guileless, straightforward, self-aware, good-hearted, open-minded, always truthful, always kind; the type of woman I've always wanted to meet and fall in love with. I could never say anything bad about her. (How could I? There's nothing bad to say.) I could never do anything but love her, and want to take care of her. And I want what we have to last forever.

I've told Sally many times, I never want to go on a first date ever again. I'll never be interested in another woman. I'll throw myself in front of a bus for her if she wants it. I'll run naked through the streets if she says to. (I pray she never becomes that crazy, of course.) There isn't anything I wouldn't do for Sally.

When I look at Sally, sometimes I feel sad. Sad for the thousands of schizophrenics alive in the U.S. today who have not gotten treatment; who sit homeless and disheveled on street corners in every major city in America, talking to themselves or raving at no one in particular, waiting for a caring passer-by to offer a few dollars to buy them the lunch the government won't buy them. Sad for the countless thousands of schizophrenics who were subjected to cold-water baths, spinning chairs, and other quack therapies in lunatic asylums a century ago. Sad for the thousands burned as witches in the middle ages.

I look at Sally with happiness, too. Happiness that she has gotten treatment. Happiness that, thanks to powerful new medicines, she has gotten a good part of her life back. Happiness that she has chosen to be with me.

I hope, when Sally comes out of the hospital in a week or two, she'll be a lot like the old Sally I met that fateful July day in 2011. And I hope we can laugh about aliens, and go back to fixing up the house, and maybe even shoot a round of pool or two now and then (minus the Blue Moons; we stopped drinking as of last September 19). We'll keep trying to find an antidepressant that works, and a work-at-home job that Sally can do to make extra money, so she can feel more independent. Fate willing, we'll build a life together.

No doubt there's a lot of hard work ahead, for both of us. But you know what? I never saw anything in this life that was worth a damn that didn't involve hard work. The idea is not to shun the hard work but to embrace it. Embrace it with both arms, squeeze it hard, and accept it, not with fateful resignation but with the sure knowledge that if you do embrace it, good things will come, eventually. The alternative, giving up, is unthinkable.

I'll never give up on Sally, as long as I breathe.


UPDATE: As of January 14, over 60,000 people from 144 countries have viewed this post. Sally is now out of the hospital and back to normal (or what passes for it). We were both amazed and humbled by the response to the blog. Partly as a therapy measure, I urged Sally to write a memoir, a book that gives the complete backstory to this post, which she is currently doing. If you would like to follow her progress on the memoir (working title: ALMOST NORMAL), please enter your e-mail address in the short form at the bottom of this page. You'll get one to two updates a month from us. No spam. Easy unsubscribe. No nonsense. We look forward to hearing from you!

NOTE: A Russian version of this post is available at http://homoveresapiens.ru/kak-ya-vlyubilsya-v-shizofrenika/ (thank you Natalia Stotskaya!).


  1. I can't say which is more beautiful - your view to Sally's soul or your courage to see into it. Kas: thank you for sharing, for being.

    When Sally returns home she will be as gloriously complex as she has always been, but she will be more aware of the depth of your love for her. Your safe harbor will again amaze her; she will be closer to herself as a result. Have no doubt you are legitimately present in a life with more returns than most can imagine. Remember to validate the fact.

    Carry on, swirl the currents with your heart and mind. You're following the right trackways.

    1. Anonymous10:46 AM

      You just said what I wanted to say, but better than I could.

  2. Thank you very much for sharing this! Not only is it a particularly beautiful personal story, it is good that you shed a bit of light on the dire circumstances surrounding the support that mentally disabled people get (not just in the US, its a global problem).
    I hope Sally will be back home soon, I wish the both of you the best of luck!

  3. A truly lovely story -- thank you for sharing. Reality is ... a bit of a tenuous thing, isn't it? It makes me appreciate the movie 'A Beautiful Mind' even more for its glimpse into the world that some minds create.

    More than that though, I wonder what that says about our reality -- just because the majority of us see the world one way doesn't make it any more 'real'... it's just that we all have socially agreed to it. What if we decided to make a new reality? I'm not talking about aliens, etc. but more in Jean Baudrillard's argument in 'Simulation and Simulacra' that our day-to-day reality is no more real than Disneyland -- we just think that it is because we've agreed to it. So, the ridiculousness of meeting someone like Sally's struggle with $661 per month is a reality that could change. For now, too many people accept it or have the attitude that the government 'doesn't owe' anyone anything. They forget we live in a society and with that comes opportunity and obligation.

    1. "What if we decided to make a new reality?"

      Convincing every other person in the world to make the jump might prove a bit difficult.

  4. So moving. Thank you for sharing...

  5. I am glad this is the first blog I've read in 2013. I can begin my year with a celebration of true love. Yours is a beautiful story of the kind of unconditional love most of us only dream of. I wish you the very best of the ups and downs of this crazy world, that you may continue to hold onto your love forever.

    1. Anonymous8:30 AM


    2. Anonymous9:20 AM

      Sí, ¡gracias!

  6. Anonymous8:14 AM

    Thanks for the story. I admire your love for Sally.
    My mom had schizophrenia, and I've stopped her from committing suicide twice in my life. Once with pills and once she was about to throw herself off a tall building. I was 13 then and caught her in the last moment. It's the most vivid memory I have.
    You remind me of my father, he loves mom and would never leave her. He hasn't, even when it might have seemed as a rational thing to do.
    My story has a happy end - she has had no psychotic episode for the last 10 years, and I'm quite sure, never will. She has found the right meds that work for her, and more importantly, can identify that grim feeling when she has to add the stronger meds to her daily vials, and then it gets better.
    And if you meet her now, you'll never guess she had any mental problem - she's a jolly and ordinary person.
    I'm lucky - I have a mom and I have both my parents. And the huge lesson that I have learned from my father - is to stay with the woman you married no matter what. And it all turned out allright. Knock-on-wood.

  7. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful story. I wish you both the best.

  8. I agree with Unknown friend. I'm glad this is the first post I've read this year.

    It's a really amazing story.

    Keep on going! I hope Sally will come back as in July 2011 :)

    All my support.

  9. Anonymous8:33 AM

    Sally is very lucky to have someone like you that cares so much.

  10. I pray to God for Sally. Never let her go.
    Please, if you can go to the hospital, give her a tight hug for me.

  11. Anonymous8:36 AM

    I am so touched by Sally and your love for each other. This is one of those things that reinforces my faith in love, and brings so many things into perspective.

    I dont know much about schizophrenia, but you might want to try and figure out if there is some kind of Yoga you could get Sally to do for dealing with her depression and anxiety. Yoga is extremely effective for reducing stress and calming the mind, and maybe it is something that could help Sally cope with her depression at least, if not schizophrenia as a whole.

  12. I just read "Wheat Belly" by William Davis, M.D., and one of the things he says is that he has witnessed a reduction of schizophrenic symptoms in more than one patient that eliminated wheat from her diet. It's a relatively inexpensive/noninvasive thing to try, but it's not easy (I've been doing it for other reasons).

  13. Anonymous8:48 AM

    My mother had incurable schizophrenia and committed suicide by walking out into the cold Scandinavian winter in her nightgown. Her body was found in a nearby forest several days later. At the time, us kids weren't told that it was a suicide, but that stark conclusion became evident as I reevaluated the facts in my teens.

    My father loved her deeply and is reluctant to discuss the topic, but I've learned some of how difficult it was at times to live with her when she was having an episode. And I remember, too, a few episodes such as her threatening my father with a kitchen knife. The meds weren't as good at the time (over 20 years ago). The illness seems to run in my mother's family, as several other female relatives (aunts, cousins) have had similar mental health problems.

    I commend your devotion to Sally and wish you and her all the best.

  14. Anonymous8:58 AM

    Hi Kas, thank you so much for sharing this. These stories prove me there are amazing people like you. Wishes all the bests for both of you. Thanks!

  15. Thank you for this, very true and moving.

  16. Anonymous9:05 AM

    When I read that you advertise yourself as an 'Intelligent guy' I immediately categorized you as less intelligent.

  17. Anonymous9:08 AM

    I like a look of Agony,
    Because I know it's true—

    - Emily Dickinson

    It sounds like you were meant to find each other.

    1. Funny, Emily Dickinson is one of Sally's favorite poets, if not her most favorite. Thank you for the kind words. Much appreciated. (Same goes, of course, for everybody who commented here.)



  18. Anonymous9:12 AM

    reminds me of the hope that was displayed in the movie silver lining playbook. I am and advocate for people living with mental illness and when ever someone asks me questions about what should they do with their loved one who has a mental illness. I always remind people that we are more alike than different

  19. My sibling has the exact same ailment and I know how it feels; Sally is fortunate to have someone like you to care for her. With your positive attitude, I'm sure both of you will have a happy life together.

  20. Anonymous9:37 AM

    a usual primate story ...

  21. Thank you for sharing this! I wish you guys the best in 2013... =]

  22. Anonymous10:00 AM

    I came here from Hackers News it is a good story and also i'm happy knowing i'm not the only person working the first day of this year.

  23. Anonymous10:11 AM

    Kas, Your article is touching in the way you describe your unconditional love for this woman, however, one cannot help but wonder what it is about you... that would find a relationship that is clearly caregiver/caretaker; one partner in control and the other clearly not; so fulfilling. It's one thing to be married for several yrs and find yourself in that role... "in sickness and in health"...etc., it's quite another, to knowingly go into a relationship w/a complete stranger, who has been totally candid w/you, about how chaotic and challenging their life is due to their mental illness... and jump into that w/the enthusiasm of a love sick schoolboy. It's not Sally's medical history/issues that intrigue me... it's yours. Ask yourself what it is about this relationship that makes you feel complete, loved and honored on every level that most of us desire to long for in any relationship. Even Sally herself, would probably admit that being in a relationship w/her is devoid of compromise, tolerance and negotiation and for all intents and purposes; not a conventional relationship in any way. Ask yourself... why that appeals to you.

    1. Anonymous11:31 AM

      Whoo, I guess you told him! I was married to a person with serious problems for decades. Apparently you mine your relationships for suitable rewards, a fair deal. Go ahead. And don't ever hope to understand why someone would give more than take. It's not in you.

    2. Although insensitively worded, the question is valid and worth exploring.

      I guess many people learn some unconditional love through having kids, and through loving them for who they are. Not because kids make the relationship 'work' in any way (they don't) - but because love itself is what makes it so special.

      You can also learn the value of unconditional love through difficult, even traumatic life experiences which put things in perspective.

      It would indeed be interesting to know how you arrived there, Kas.

    3. Anonymous7:53 AM

      Some of us feel fulfilled and rewarded by making a difference in a positive way to someone else's life.
      Selfless unconditional love and compassion for the person helps us deal with the difficulties.
      Sally is a person with an illness like many people.

    4. Anonymous6:09 AM

      The only truth to this article is that we have learned nothing about Kas that asserts "truth". We are told about Sally's prior dysfunctional relationships but he does not speak of his prior relationships and their sustainability. It is a self-indulgent piece on a relationship that is one-sided for the benefit of the writer's psyche. I feel sorrow for both in this sad and empty union as she is unable to fully give love and he is most certainly unable to receive love. Perhaps it is why it works in his mind.

  24. Anonymous10:19 AM

    Has she tried to go a gluten-free (wheat-free) diet? After about two weeks it can clear the mind up quite a bit. Gluten contains peptides that are active in the brain and cause all kinds of reactions.

    I would also add in Flax Seed Oil (healthy fats for the brain), and a probiotic called 299v –which is a human based strain (by Jarrow Formula) that I’ve found to be much more effective.

    It might not be a cure, but these have been shown to reduce the illness in some.

    And of course, the complete removal of all stimulants like caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.

    Give it two weeks. If it don't help, give it up.

    1. There's no evidence that wheat has anything to do with schizophrenic symptoms in people without an autoimmune disease [coeliac]. How have these been shown to reduce symptoms? (Additionally, alcohol is a depressant, not a stimulant.)

    2. Most people have at least some sensitivity to wheat, and some proteins in modern wheat break down to exorphins, which bind to and stimulate the same receptors as opiates. Nearly all beers contain gluten, though, yes, alcohol is not a stimulant.

    3. Anonymous6:14 PM

      I was with a guy for 3 years, he always told me he loved me and that we wouldn't break up because if you love someone you make it work. We could never work out a time when we were both free and just a couple days ago he said we should just be friends. I know he dont me love anymore. When we were dating he said to everyone that I was his girlfriend and introduced me, told his friends he really liked me and told me he loved me, I wanted to be with him again but I never knew what to do. I tried for a long time with other spell casters to get him back but dr.marnish@yahoo.com was the ONLY spell caster that could do the love spell for me that worked, if you need help call him +15036626930, he will always come to your aid, Obviously dr marnish is the REAL DEAL!
      Cenovia Adelleh

  25. Anonymous10:41 AM

    I forgot to add in that I would also include a "trace minerals" supplement (that includes lithium) into the diet. Most people are missing these, that are delusional.

    And I'd be curious to see if there have been any studies done with schizophrenia and a class of drugs called - nootropics. They tend to improve cognitive functions and have little to no negative side effects.

  26. Reality can be hard, making it more enjoy full for one person can make it all worthwhile.

    Touching story and definitely thanks for sharing!

  27. Anonymous11:12 AM

    A very lovely and heart touching story. May the god/allah/bhagwan give you the strength to go through the tough moments of life with a smile.


  28. Thanks for sharing your story with us. It struck a chord with me. Wish you and Sally some great times *together*!

  29. This post makes me glad to be a human.

  30. Thank you for sharing. Everything best in the New Year to both of you!

  31. Anonymous12:55 PM

    As a couple of other commenters have already noted, gluten (found in all wheat products) is implicated in the development of schizophrenia, and adopting a gluten-free diet has helped some patients:


    "The gluten-free populations had extremely rare occurrence of schizophrenia - just 2 in 65,000 versus about 1 in 100 as we have in the grain-eating West. When populations Westernized their diets (flour, sugar, and beer), schizophrenia became common."

    1. Evo-psych tends to contain a good deal of pseudoscience and extremely weak correlations. I wouldn't put a great deal of stock in that theory.

    2. There is absolutely no harm to be done by eliminating wheat. And I've lost 20 lbs by doing that and nothing else.

    3. Anonymous9:00 PM

      I'm glad all of you Internet commenters know how to cure schizophrenia with simple dietary adjustments. For awhile I thought it was hard or something.

    4. Anonymous12:56 AM

      I haven't seen anyone claim that removing gluten "cures" schizophrenia. At most, they've said it can help. Assuming Sally is capable of fulfilling her nutritional needs, there is no downside (other than, maybe, cost) to removing gluten.

      I'm not a fan of pseudo-science, and I don't personally have any reason to believe gluten is a problem, but I certainly wouldn't snarkily condescend to those who merely suggest that it may help with some symptoms.

  32. Anonymous1:37 PM

    I would have Sally's SNPs examined (23andMe or labwork) and look for mutations in 1298 or 677. Also cut out gluten, dairy, soy. Supplement with MB12, 5MTHF, possibly L- Carnitine, Glutathione, TMG. Good luck.

  33. Kas,

    I share a similar relationship with my wife Kim. However, Kim has Huntington's Disease. We discovered it together just when we were planning our future together before we married.

    Eight years later, it is now extremely advanced. She can barely walk, talk, or eat. She cannot dress or bathe herself.

    I am at the point where the stress of caregiving has me considering breaking a promise: that I may have to place her in a nursing home. The emotional strain of being a caregiver does and has taken its toll as she has worsened.

    I made that promise when Kim was healthier. We were deeply in love. And I could not bear the thought of her dying in a home as her father did.

    I would die for Kim if it would make a difference. Living for her, when I am now in essence a single parent to a child regressing instead of a child growing, is difficult to say the least.

    Yet, now, I am approaching a decision: do I let her disease kill me too or do I place her in a home so that I can be with her but not have to be her daily caregiver?

    Why am I telling you all of this?

    We don't know what we can and cannot do until we are put to the Test. Until then, we only have this idealized notion of self.

    I don't know the details of your situation beyond your writings. But be fair to yourself.

    Find a support group for caregivers such as yourself. You may need a support system: friends, family, professional caregivers.

    Finally, do reach out to me if you'd like someone who has been through similar to talk to.


    1. Anonymous6:34 PM

      Whatever your decision, you will have to live... and die... with it on your conscience. Stand tall, and carry your scars into battle with you for the rest of your life.

    2. Anonymous12:53 AM

      Absolutely, put her into a care facility!

      Your promise was made in romantic ignorance. The reality is that continuing as you are will only sour your memories. Remove the burden from yourself so that you can focus on the remaining positive aspects of your relationship.

    3. Anonymous4:17 PM

      you might look into homemaker/home health aides, and see what it will cost and what her/your insurance will cover. they help with dressing, bathing, cooking, feeding, and other things. that would take some of the major tasks off your hands.

  34. If I lost my faith in humanity, this post would have restored it. What a beautiful story. You are amazing, courageous and open hearted. May you find happiness and peace together, and may you both be free from suffering.

  35. Anonymous1:56 PM

    Kudos to you and all the best. While medication seems to be great for schizophrenia, it might be worthwhile to consider talking therapies to help out with the depression side. Unfortunately they are often not covered by insurance, but in my experience they can be very helpful.

  36. Anonymous2:07 PM

    +1, beautiful story

  37. As someone who has been in love with someone suffering of Borderline Personality Disorder for more than a year, I can tell you that you this: Take care of yourself before anything else, otherwise her problems will drown you both. You must be there for her when things go bad, and you must be able to stand tall when she's feeling the burden of her disorder. If you don't look for help for you, it is pretty easy to get overwhelmed, burned, and to go down with her.

    You don't say if you're doing it but if not, please get some therapy for yourself too. Just a couple of times a month can do a big difference in the long term.

  38. check this out ,she was suffering schizophrenia before becoming raw fooder

  39. Anonymous2:32 PM

    I was looking for a way to PM you but I don't know how. This is beautiful, and scary as I have experienced so many of these symptoms in my life. The hallucinations, crippling depression, voices... I have lost jobs over these things and I am always afraid my pieces will fall to the ground again. I can not imagine how hard it is for others because all of our symptoms are different in type and severity.

    Please...one of the things that was an additional help was when I cut out gluten. It quieted the voices, lessened my hallucinations, and made my depression more manageable. There is still need for medication but less so. I can tell when I wasn't careful because the hallucinations come back extremely aggressively. I don't know Sally and my heart goes out to her, but please talk to her about testing for Celiac or cut out gluten for her when she returns.

    I know that people may flame me for my comments, but I lived this life without knowing or seeing a light at the end for 26 years...I don't like to see anyone hurt.

  40. Anonymous2:37 PM

    I feel sorry for Sally, but something in your story doesn't ring true.

    I wonder what Sally would say about all of this. It's funny that you don't give any description of her besides her illness. Do you really love her, or her illness?

    Honestly, I don't doubt that she has options besides you. There are a lot of guys with "White Knight" syndrome, who would love to take care of a beautiful woman with some sort of fatal flaw.

    I can't help but wonder if she has other love interests on the side, and you are her go to guy for bailing her out in her time of need.

    1. Anonymous10:10 PM

      Not very helpful. You don't know the first thing about the nuances of love, life, let a alone the roller coaster rides of mental health.

    2. The post is about how he fell in love with someone with schizophrenia... it is not about EVERYTHING relating to the women he fell in love with.

      If you are going to be so snarky, at least don't hide behind anonymity. Ugh.

    3. Nov. 30, 2013. I met Sally in person yesterday. What a beautiful vivacious young woman. She drove 222 miles from her home to mine and then back again by herself to pick up her new English Angora rabbit, Oliver. Before she made the trip we spent quite a bit of time on the phone getting to know each other. Don't feel sorry for Sally. Yes, she has had experiences unlike most of us, and yes, she has an illness that is, at times, debilitating but she is no shrinking violet. The woman I met is stronger and more self-reliant than countless others I have gotten to know over my lifetime of 65 years.

      I’ll tell you what Sally says “about all of this”. She loves what Kas has written here. She’s the one who sent me the link so I could read it. She's very proud of him and truly loves him.

      Sally does not need “Bailing out”. She brings a lot to the table. From what I have seen and now read they are lucky to have each other.

      If only there were more people with the understanding, caring, and compassion of Kas. The world would be a happier place.

  41. A very touching story. I wish you to be strong and I hope that everything will be fine for you!

  42. Anonymous3:03 PM

    Oh, I can tell you from experience, it's always the nutty ones that get you. The crazier they are, the harder you fall.

    At least in my case.

  43. Anonymous3:13 PM

    I am sorry that things are not going well for you early in the year. :(
    I have an uncle that has paranoid schizophrenia. He raised my sister and myself after our parents proved they couldn't. We lived with him for at least 4-5 years and this was probably pretty early on in the development of his disease and anyways; I can partially relate to the situation. He made quite a bit of money when he was young so he's been living off of that for a very, very long time. He lost his job shortly after he began hearing voices and then has been growing more and more distant and become a distorted version of himself.

    Anyways, as for Sally, have you ever thought of trying the amazon mechanical turk program? It's definitely something that can be done at home to generate income, I'm not sure how much or how easy the tasks, but it's something.

  44. I too suffer from schizoaffective disorder and my wife is a nurse so she can help me out. I was a brilliant programmer until I developed this mental illness due to the stress I was under. It was around June 2001 I was diagnosed but I might have had it earlier than that.

    I too am on disability, nobody wants to hire you when you have this illness and if they do only for a short time until goals are met and then you are fired. No lawyer will take the case once they find out you are mentally ill and each lawyer will decline the case even if you have the right to sue. Companies know this and abuse the mentally ill workers. Many end up on short-term contracts with 1099 forms with no taxes withheld and end up with times they cannot find work or when working cannot afford health insurance for their medications and treatments.

    Something has to be done to help people who are mentally ill, but nothing ever is done.

  45. This is interesting, but I hope Sally is in the hospital voluntarily. Also, I don't understand why the author says she can't go live on her own even in theory? Well why not, will they not release her from the hospital unless she is living with someone?

    1. Anonymous10:01 PM

      Suspect that moving in together sadly triggered the episode that she is now being treated for in hospital.
      "she's depressed to know she can never move out and live on her own, not even in theory. She can only move to her father's house again. But she doesn't want that."
      This would be Sally word for word not long before hospitalisation.
      I am sure she will be released to the love and care of Kas.

  46. Anonymous3:33 PM

    Thank you so much for this. As someone who has dealt with some difficulties for several years now, and am still actively struggling, sometimes I have trouble understanding why my boyfriend still wants to stick with me through all of it. Your strength is impressive.

  47. Anonymous3:35 PM

    Thank you for sharing

  48. Anonymous3:40 PM

    Oh how I feel this.

    My partner and I fell in love at age 15 40 years ago, didn't see each other for 30 years, then reunited. In the meantime, she suffered PTSD-induced Dissociative Identity Disorder, was judged to be unable to work and completely disabled, experienced two bad marriages, and had a child.

    We've been paired since our first meeting after all those years, despite her warning to me that she was "broken". It's been such hard work.

    But last night (new years eve) we were reflecting that she has only had one major PSTD-triggered episode in the last year, her (our) son is now on a stable course toward a college degree, and she has found something to pour her considerable intelligence into. In the last two years she taught herself to program and has made great progress on a project, although before 2012 sometimes months went by with her unable to work on it.

    I feel very fortunate. This may only be a resting place until the next disaster, or it may be a permanent new reality to build on. You have my deep understanding, and best wishes.

    And sadly, I have to agree with your shame over the state of disability and mental health care in this country. I have the extreme good fortune to have an employer that 1) provides great health insurance, which combines with her Medicare to make the cost manageable, and 2) fosters a compassionate culture that has made it possible for me to totally focus on her needs during crises, without worrying about my employment. Her basic disability payments and insurance are impossible for her to live on without help.

    I wonder how many of us (partners of those with mental health disorders) there are out there. I'll bet it's a huge number.

    Thanks for the blog post. Our situation is something we're very open about with our friends, and it's nice to see your post.

  49. Anonymous3:47 PM

    Inspiring story. Your heart is in the right place. However, the odds of your relationship continuing are very slim. I worked for SSA and took thousands of disability claims from people with this illness. They are difficult to reason with on the best of days. You will eventually regret staying with her because she will never be anything other than a challenging puzzle from day to day. Only if the doctors find a medication that works for, will you have any sense of a semi-normal life. Good luck, sincerely.

  50. Katrien4:44 PM

    I can't believe the honesty and love that is pouring out of this post. Truly admirable and inspiring, I can't find the words to describe the respect I have for you.

    Thank you for being you. Thank you for seeing Sally as a whole, and loving her for it.

  51. Anonymous4:53 PM

    This is a powerful post with an important message, but some of the message is lost by the language used. Please take a moment to learn about people-first language, if you haven't already. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People-first_language

    Sally is not a schizophrenic. She is a person with schizophrenia. Please stop defining her by her illness. Sally is so much more than just her illness.

    1. Anonymous5:15 PM


    2. Anonymous7:57 PM

      I would argue that the term Schizophrenic is perhaps appropriate here. When you live and love a person with schizophrenia, you know them so well that you are quoting them. These are the sufferers words put in writing by a caring partner. In turn this is the label the sufferer has been given. "deemed incurably schizophrenic".
      The sufferer lives a life of trying to understand. Trying to explain. The sufferer has the right to articulate the sentence the have been given.

  52. Two groups that I support as someone who was diagnosed with schizophrenia are Intervoice and MindFreedom. Check them out.


    I'm interested in what the circumstances are regarding her being held in the hospital. I hope it wasn't something like you pissed me off, so I'm going to take you to the hospital, and then write about your memories of being visited by aliens to everyone on the internet. What a terrifying thing for someone diagnosed with schizophrenia who already may be paranoid. Did she give you permission to post the photo of her?

  53. This comment has been removed by the author.

  54. The world is a better place because when so many others would draw the covers inward, you choose to share your and Sally's story, and to do so with achingly beautiful honesty. The world's a little brighter because you've shared this.

    Praying for you both...

  55. Anonymous5:56 PM

    What a wonderful person you are. Hope Sally gets better soon.

  56. Anonymous6:00 PM

    Have you explored the magnetic therapy for severe depression that doesn't respond to meds?

  57. Anonymous7:00 PM

    I too am a mentally disabled man who is granted a small, almost negligible, stipend from the government, as it doesn't allow me the independence to live on my own, but instead I have to rely on not only my wife but my mother, who allowed us to live with her for nine years, and now my father who reluctantly pays for our rent, despite my wife's excellent job. Under these conditions there's no time to focus on "getting better", I'm just struggling to make it through each day in a town I hate, where my family lives but has refused to speak to me for the last ten years, surrounded by enemies, often the subject of harassment when I go outside, my complaints to management often ignored, in a constant state of panic. Until mental health care and providing for the mentally ill becomes a priority along with socialized medicine there's just no place for me in this world, no path to peace of mind.

  58. Anonymous7:52 PM

    to better your chances of a good relationship for both of you, consider 1 -- not adding a bunch of supplements without checking with her prescribing doctor -- interactions are very possible and very different for each individual. when a particular med regimen is stable, then the doc may be interested in monitoring something she and you want to try. 2 -- consider doing some reading about living with and good relationships with people who have schizophrenic conditions -- learning that logical reasoning types of thinking may be impossible for them at times, and to think a logical explanation is helpful to her may be counterproductive -- there are better ways to cope with confused or unrealistic thoughts, talk or behavior in caregivers' guides. you will also find that many professionals prefer terms such as "a person with schizophrenic-/XYZ condition" which defines the individual FIRST, to "a schzophrenic" which may sound like that is the primary definition of the individual's personhood and identity. "crazy" is a term i've always liked, with connotations to ME of a fun, zany, unique personality, but it is not currently in fashion, and connotes to many people an 'undesireable street person, homless &/or begging' and connotes to some a willful behavior of the individual, deliberate, planned, and controlled by them, as opposed to a health condition or problem. most professionals now look at most mental illness / conditions as disease, injury, malfunction (genetic, injury, trauma or other known or unknown causes), often only partially affected by the efforts and wishes of the person with the condition, mostly NOT in control, where control, if achieved, partially or fully, is learned with help of supports such as counseling, meds, and other skill-training settings. since every indiviual's case is unique, it may be a process that takes some time to be most helpful to assist in recovery or remission from the condition, behavior or symptoms. last but not least, should she be a danger to herself or others, emphasize to the 911 operator that this is a mental health problem, and that a "crisis intervention team" trained in mental health crisis handling should be sent if at all possible, not just regular emergency / law enforcement officers. this is for the safety of all -- her, you, others, and the responders.... good luck.

  59. Marsha8:50 PM

    Thank you for this.I wish I had found someone like you when I was younger,it has been so hard.
    And love is valuable no matter where you find it,don't let people scare you off from her because of whatever labels they apply. Mental Health is so stigmatized. It is so hard as someone with a mental illness to feel that they have anything to offer to anyone. I,myself have pushed many people away because of this.
    No matter who you have a relationship with be they "normal" or what there are going to be problems,marriage in the US has a 50% divorce rate.
    I think your love is beautiful and I hope that Sally will let herself be loved. <3

  60. Anonymous9:11 PM

    I live with bipolar disorder that includes minor psychotic breaks in manic phase. I've been married for five years to a wonderful woman who supports me through my illness flare-ups because she loves me for myself. It's a precious gift.

    Several of the commenters here seem to be questioning the reality and depth of your love. That makes me sad. There is nothing in your article that reads as anything but deeply sincere and loving. Thank you for the kindness and open heart that allowsyou to love your wife as a whole person instead of running away at the start due to prejudice and fear. I know not everyone could handle a relationship with a severely mentally ill person, and I respect that, but I'm glad there are people like you and my wife in the world.

  61. Anonymous9:20 PM


    Sally needs to continue to receive the best care. The care that she is receiving in hospital now. Talk to her about her medication. Positive effects. Side effects. Ask about her appointments. Take her there. Focus on steering the ship day to day.

    Labels and blaming past events are meaningless and not helpful.

    Sally most likely suffers a chronic chemical imbalance not well understood. She needs ongoing medication to prevent severe symptoms. Permanently.

    Good luck and keeping on loving.

  62. You give a crazy old fat man hope, thank you

  63. Anonymous9:31 PM

    Thank you. It's all I can barely write. No words can describe or be thankful enough. Just thank you man!

  64. Anonymous10:03 PM

    Posting very personal information about one publicly without their permission is demeaning. It's as if you are re-enforcing the separation between world's--the crazies & those who seek support amongst themselves opposite of the crazies & are too dense to realize they are enforcing this separation. This creates conflict. Conflict is the root of psychosis.

    Crazy, like love, is a relation, it is not a disease. & there are few things crazier than love. Shallow judgement by one's friends, lovers, & family is no less of a disease, & in my opinion exasperates psychosis if not actually causing it to begin with.

    True love loves you back. For this to happen, she must be able to relate to you at a deeper level than your actions indicate you have experience with. Crazys have a deeper & more meaningful life than you can imagine--to include the terrifying stuff. In the end, if survived, most is positive--whatever doesn't kill me makes me stronger.

    Society focuses on paranoia & delusion & assumes therefore that all is broken. I guarantee you that much of her experience is rich in beauty & truth, of which words can not contain. To judge this in waking life as purely diseased & negative is to rob one of their identity & soul. Thus the conflict & separation, when what you seek is love.

    To relate to her beyond the starry eyed caregiver on the other side of the fence, you must jump head first down the rabbit hole on occasion so as to appreciate first hand her experience. The prescriptive analytical nonsense that you are drawing in for re-enforcement to make you feel better while she reels in some institution somewhere is just the sort of thing which will drive her away. It's you that she needs more than pills. The real you, not the you you think you are.

    If you are willing to "die for her", don't. She needs your cash & you will be no better off for it. Kill your ego instead. Then listen to her. Experience life with her on her terms. Then find some middle ground. I truly believe if you are capable of this, then you will have opened up door for both of you which leads to adventures no one can predict.

  65. Anonymous10:06 PM

    Do you think Sally would consider writing for those of us who care what happens to her (and to you)? I have no doubt that if she would write about her life and her experiences and simply publish it on Amazon, she would earn more money than she ever imagined. I, for one, would pay to read her story. She would probably be surprised to find how caring her readers would be. I have a novel published through Kindle Direct Publishing and I sell more than 100 copies a month with no promotional efforts at all and I'm sure she could do quite well with her story. I would be delighted to help her edit or bring it together...I know you have the skills to do this, but you may be too close to do it. Tell her I'm an old grandma who sends her a warm hug and the best of wishes. Corinda

  66. Anonymous10:24 PM

    kas, your voice can sooth her. pran is sacred.

  67. Anonymous10:43 PM

    Thank you for sharing yours and Sally's experience. I am a long time spouse to someone with PTSD and anxiety/depression who has had a few psychotic episodes and hospitalizations.

    As a spouse, I have probably done everything that one can do wrong as well as, hopefully, some things right. With my background as a software engineer I attempted to use knowledge, logic, and reasoning to learning about and "fix" or "improve" my spouse's illness. However, that approach proved many more times detrimental than helpful.

    The best support I've found and would strongly recommend to anyone with a loved one with mental illness is NAMI's Family-to-Family workshops: http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=Family-to-Family&Template=/TaggedPage/TaggedPageDisplay.cfm&TPLID=4&ContentID=32973 The class as well as the follow up group opportunities are extremely helpful.

    In my case, I also have a track record of helping too much in my relationships and have also found help in reading the White Knight Syndrome: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-white-knight-syndrome It helps to be conscious of one's own emotional issues in order to really be a help to someone else.

    Best of luck to each of you know matter what happens in the future. Agreed, our government and society has completely abandoned the mentally ill and we need to do more to change that.

    Thank you.

  68. Anonymous11:46 PM

    Last year, after my spouse was hospitalized, I wrote a post much like yours, but chose not to hit publish. I felt a need to review our origin story, the path that brought us to this moment, and reaffirm my love and commitment to my wife.

    As I wrote, I realized I was trying to answer a question, frame a response to those who would question my actions. I knew that I would stick by her, but was slower to realize that no justification was necessary. By staying with her, I was confronting the stigma of mental illness, the idea that a person who is different is somehow broken, or less lovable. I no longer wanted to answer the question of "why?", instead, I found myself wondering how such a question could even be asked.

    Looking back, I can say that love for and commitment to my partner was only the first step. Despite having been together for years, and weathering many storms, her hospitalization taught us that we both had much we needed to work on. As we have both progressed from this incident, our quality of life has improved beyond either of our imaginations. Regardless of our future, which no one can know, the lessons *I* learned have helped make both of us healthier both now and hopefully in the long run.

    Good Luck to both of you

  69. Anonymous11:56 PM

    You claimed $661/mo was all she received, however did she also qualify for free services such as housing, food stamps, and/or health insurance?

  70. Thank you so much for this. My partner has bipolar disorder, and is Autistic, and those who conditions do not make good bedfellows.

    I knew within 6 weeks that I was going to marry Sam. It was another 3 months before, after spending the night trying (and failing) to get her admitted to a psych ward (she was having problems with her meds), the word came tumbling out of my mouth, and we got engaged.

    I have recently heard on one of my relitives who think that I have bitten off more than I can chew, looking after someone with a profound mental illness. But I love her, and that is all. I can't live without her.

    In Australia, the Disability Support Pension is about the same. You can't live on it. it is a poverty trap. And a big cause of Sam's depression is lack of employment and qualifications (didn't graduate high school, and multiple unfinished degrees).

    Please tell Sally that there is lots of people thinking and praying for her, as well as for you.

    Take care. Your story is not an isolated one. There are so many of us out there who loves someone with a mental illness.

  71. Anonymous12:18 AM

    I wanted to point out an alternative anti-depressant that worked from me and works on a very different biochemical pathway than SSRIs: buproprion. I would rave about the effectiveness and the minimum of side effects, but I think the wikipedia page will be more useful than anything else I could say:

  72. Anonymous12:31 AM

    This is a perfect example of how irrational people can be. There may be little benefit for you to love her, nothing much really in it for you. This is obvious. You cannot allow her to know how deep your feelings are. As that only adds to her depression. The thought that she has met someone crazy enough to selfishly care for her should, logically, be beneficial to her. But it isn't. It's destructive. So you must keep your love contained and disguised. Never can she know the full extent of your feelings directly, until she feels she deserves it.

  73. Anonymous12:57 AM

    Plot twist: Sally doesn't actually exist at all!

    Seriously, though, it's a great piece. I don't envy you, but I admire your openness and (arguably foolish) willingness to accept and commit to someone.

  74. Anonymous1:14 AM

    "That's the average monthly per-capita income in Gabon, and people have trouble living on that kind of money in Gabon. "

    No, that's the average YEARLY per-capita income in Gabon. Not remotely similar. Regardless, shit sucks man but congrats.

  75. Anonymous1:29 AM

    Thanks a lot! This helped me a lot to understand my brother......

  76. Welcome to Jax!
    I hope you've discovered Chamblin's Bookmine off of Roosevelt (the downtown one is nice, but too small). As an English Prof with author (famous and yet to be discovered) friends and family, but who mostly reads science/non-fiction stuff, I started with this post--linked from (and commented more extensively on) metafilter.com--but found myself reading everything from the writing tips ('I should link this to my students') to the critique of the publishing industry (Bach's books did a lot for me at one point long ago--especially "Illusion") to the fascinating stuff on extreme gene transfer (although a misnomer if they're independently evolving, which is my guess, however much I'd like to also inject some hundredth monkey woo woo in it).
    Let me know if you'd like any Jax related recommendations.
    I don't presume to be in the position to judge one's decisions or relationships--while others here and on mefi read this as a betrayal of her trust, they have to make assumptions to do so. And, really, it's such a lovely eye and nose.

  77. Thank you so very much, all the way from India, for such a wonderful perspective on a fragile situation. The fragility is what makes it all the more beautiful, but I only wish for the both of you to have the courage to always look at how amazing everything is!

    As for how America treats its schizophrenics, I'm not really sure whether it is right to dislike your country (government) for paying out its way to some superficial, morally uplifting position. You'd probably hate the world at large if you came to know that most of the countries don't even have the slightest clue about handling any sort of disabilities - mental or physical, let alone have the money to dole out.

  78. Anonymous3:40 AM

    Read: Betrayal of the Body (Lowen), The Divided Self (Laing), Characterological Transformation (Johnson), the 100-page case study on schizophrenia in Character Analysis (Reich. it starts around page 400?), Breakthrough in Dyslexia and Learning Disabilities (Ferreri), Emotional Armoring (Herskowitz). There are a few good pages in 'hands of light' on schizoids, which is how Sally was before onset.

    Not recommending any of this for Sally to read. Might make things worse. I'm not kidding. This better be a completely private study and a while after it's completed and digested. Don't share as you go along.

    I believe treatment-wise, that the biodynamic school of craniosacral therapy (Sills et al) is the one consistently producing the largest number of therapists able to cure schizophrenia. But not by large numbers, so look for the most senior people. But there are a host of other systems that work just fine when taken to an extreme by a virtue of talent and perseverance, and do the same things to your nervous system from another direction. People master the weirdest shit. A hit of 5-MeO-DMT might work:

    Blog if it works :)

    1. Anonymous2:24 AM

      Holy crap, of all the idiotic "advice" given out in the comments here, this is by far the worst. The gluten stuff is just garden-variety quackery (unlikely to do any harm, and might actually help even if it's just via the placebo effect), but advising giving 5-MeO-DMT (an exceedingly powerful, rapid-onset hallucinogen who's effect is generally described as being like a near-death experience) to someone with active schizophrenia is somewhere in the realm of flat-out evil.


  79. Anonymous4:19 AM

    Beautiful story, thanks. I've been there, it didn't work out, no regrets, I was too young to understand that falling in love didn't mean forever. I hope you pull through with her and find some meds that help. One word of warning. All the schizophrenics I know, get some kind of ego gratification from their hallucinations. That is, at some level, they buy into them and re-enforce them. It's not all chemical. There's a certain amount of choice going on as well.

  80. Anonymous6:33 AM

    Very touching, thanks for posting. I just think you should remove the picture of her, it doesn't add anything to this wonderful story and it seems to me just too risky for the paranoiac part of her...

  81. i just heard about the healing code ..,
    maybe worth a try ! :: http://thehealingcodes.com/

  82. Anonymous7:22 AM

    Kas, my wife was first diagnosed with depression 4 years back. She was diagnosed for Serotonin imbalance then & treated for a year. After stopping the medicine with doctors advice, she relapsed in a few months. She was then diagnosed for Paranoid Schizophrenia & was prescribed Risperidone. She took that for 3-4 months but due to side effects, we started looking for alternatives & found the below article about treatment for Schizophrenia in Classical Homeopathy.


    As I live in a different part of the world, I found an experienced Classical Homeopath in my region & started the treatment in early 2010. As said in this article, the journey was not smooth for both the patient & those around her. But there's continuous improvement & the current status is that she is able to manage her delusions & able to divert & involve in other activities. As of today, I don't know whether this is permanent condition or a temporary relief but her condition has improved a lot with Homeopathy treatment.

    If Anti depressants are not working for Sally, you can try this & see if this works.

  83. Anonymous10:47 AM

    Long time ago, i was madly in love with a borderliner. I would have done everything for her. She would have done anything for me. At least i thought it. Then, one day, she fucked another guy. She said she couldn't help it and it "just happened". She broke up with me via icq one day before we were two years together. That should've been a warning sign for me, but i was blind of love. We tried it again, half a year, but it didn't work. This girl has played with my emotions like nobody else. I should have broken up earlier. I was stupid.

  84. Anonymous10:50 AM

    Thank you. Just thank you. I have several cases of mental illness in my family. Knowing there are people like you or one of my aunts make me really happy.

  85. Anonymous11:30 AM

    Nicely written. Lots of emotion. Sally can become a VanDweller and live, by herself, supporting herself, on $661/month. Look at the VanDweller group(s) on Yahoo! and facebook.


  86. hello... God bless you both !!! I wish your partner recovers soon and you both live happily for years to come.

  87. Gabriel4:29 PM

    i have severe major depression with psychotic features, severe ptsd, and other things. i am not greatly helped by my meds.

    if she is okay at writing or willing to learn grammar and AP style, textbroker.com has helped me make extra money for years. you are paid per article, and they take me about an hour to write, most of the time. you are not required to write a certain amount every month. that really helps me, because i have bad days with my depression where i just can't do anything at all.

    the only requirement is that you have $25 in your account before they pay you. that's around 5-6 four star articles (good grammar, but not AP style quality). if she can learn/do AP style, they pay much more per article. they have never shafted me, acted shady, or done anything crappy.

    also, if she is expected to pay household expenses, the govt will give her more money. i pay $300 out of $900, that the feds swipe $100 from for my medicare. it is not like having a job, but it is a way to contribute without sacrificing more than her normal income. and if you [tell the feds you] are not paying for food, she will get food stamps, which also helps out. it doesn't matter if you still buy groceries you both eat (just don't tell the feds). she'll get around $75 of extra food money for herself.

    those two things ease a lot of my internal suffering and misery about feeling like a burden.

  88. Anonymous5:27 PM

    If she sees colours for numbers, then she presumably has synesthesia - good luck to you both

    1. Anonymous12:21 AM

      I'm not Synaesthesia is related to Sally's Schizophrenia. One of my Maths lecturers had that and he was incredible with numbers.

  89. What an amazing and touching story of deep and abiding love. I wish you both all the best. Your story touched me deeply and your writing is absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing such a painfully personal part of your life; it contains so much hope and a type of love that few people are willing to dare to risk anymore.

  90. You are an amazing person, and I think Sally is as lucky to have you as you are to have her. I suffer with bi-polar disorder, which many geneticists believe to be the very similar to schizophrenia (if not the same illness, with a wide degree of severity). I know that what I deal with is way less frightening than Sally's episodes, but I feel like I can relate to people with schizophrenia - I'm afraid it wouldn't take much for me to tip in that direction. I hope one day to find someone who can love me for the whole person that I am, the way that you love Sally.

    Regarding her career, you two might want to look into recruiting. It's something she can do from home (part-time, if need be) and has an enormous potential for income. Recruiting lends itself nicely to partnership - having someone step in during the process - so assuming you could learn the business, if Sally found herself unable to complete a placement you'd be able to pick up where she left off pretty easily, without her losing face, or clients.

    Candidates and companies generally appreciate someone who is straight forward and able to connect on a deep and true level. She probably wouldn't want to be so upfront about her illness, given that many people don't understand mental health issues, but the ability to be real with people is of the utmost importance in this business.

    The one downside that I see to this is that she'd spend much of her time on the phone. I'm not entirely sure how schizophrenia works and if you're always on the edge, or if you only experience paranoia and delusions when you're having an episode, but I could see how constant phone contact could be disconcerting.

    If you're interested, I'd be happy to teach you what I know. I've been a technical recruiter for almost a decade. Since I wasn't able to figure out how to contact you directly, I set up an email account specifically for this purpose. i.am.mrs.anon@gmail.com

    Best of luck to you both!

  91. What a wonderful post!! Thanks so much for sharing it!

  92. Anonymous8:33 AM

    You are a strong man, a very very very few individuals have courage and will like this!

    My heart and prayers are with you two.

  93. What a lovely & sad story. I'm rooting for you two and wish you would seriously consider eliminating gluten & casein. There is a pubmed study on schizophrenia that I ran into (while looking for something else) that showed 1/3 of diagnosed schizophrenics that were tested test positive for celiac. This study stuck with me because I had just lost my cousin Barry (a diagnosed schizophrenic) who suffered a massive heart attack at home where he lived with his sister. He was only 60 but had been on all those meds for over 15 years.

    Heart disease and drug induced diabetes are a side effect of many of those drugs. Plus the (respiratory) proton pump inhibitor side effects. I gave up gluten and *casein in 2009 and can tell you that even of you're not celiac you will still benefit from removing gluten from your diet for this simple reason: for over 40 years our wheat has been genetically engineered to have MORE and MORE gluten in it and the human digestive tract can not evolve that fast.
    *the milk (casein) allergy is secondary to (because of) the gluten allergy. Best wishes for you and Sally.

  94. Best love story ever!

    Does Sally like to write? All those different perceptions from reality she has could result in very good stories. =)

  95. My ex stayed with me while I had my breakdown. She was the perfect girlfriend back then and I hope, from the bottom of my heart, that you can be like her for Sally.

    Be strong, believe!

  96. Great list, I'm reading 4 of those on a regular basis now. I'll check the other ones as well to see if they give me different insights!

  97. Anonymous9:50 AM

    What talents does she have? which hobbies? what is she good at? Every person is good at something and can do something, and there are many options for working from home as an independent person.For example- running a blog, like you do. It can be a real job if you do it right.

    I'm sure you can find something she can do- and once you do something you always feel better, right? I'm sure it can help her too!

  98. Thank you for great and touching story.

    Recently I've read the good book "A Road Back from Schizophrenia: A Memoir" by Arnhild Lauveng. It impressed me deeply.

    I apologize in advance if the information below is familiar to you. But I think that it's important.
    I'm studying psychologies now. And we're tought that psychotherapy (verbal) helps to decline some symptoms of schizophrenia - data was about Cognitive Therapy by Aaron Beck. I know exactly that psychotherapy helps with PTSD symptoms and affective disorders.
    In gestalt-therapy we work with major depression and use medications in hard depressive episodes only.
    I don't say it's a magic pill but there's a good chance it'll support greatly, because it gives awareness of inner conflicts and helps to cope affects.

    I wish you both strength and good luck!

    1. I`ve wondered after reading "the memoir" by A. Lauveng, if she really had a diagnosis of Dissociative disorder. Working as a psychologist. What do you think?

  99. I couldn't help speculating whether I'm paranoid, the yellow car fear, the irrational, all seems strangely familiar. I have the intrusive thoughts, but I blame too much caffeine. Anyway, best wishes. I'm following this.

  100. This is a beautiful post! Thank you so much for it! And ignore all the idiotic anon comments about how you should have written this or that, or doubting your love, or the truthfulness of your story. What is wrong with people?!

    Thank you for sharing.

  101. Hey I'm really glad for you man, and I'm really glad for Sally. :)

  102. So many terrible things happen in the world these days that make a person question the quality of humanity. Is there no more love in the world? Are kindness, friendship and devotion all just stuff of fairytales? And then, we hear tales like that of yours and Sally's that give us these little glimpses of hope. There is good in the world and there are things worth fighting for. And nobody should be robbed of a chance of being truly loved just because of any disability. I've never been in love myself, but I hope one day, I'll learn to love someone the way you and Sally love each other. God bless you both!

  103. I love your post! Every single word of it is true! It brought tears to my eyes! I am happy to know that one of the only true friends I have has someone like you in her life, committed, honest, and faithful! Sally is a beautiful, wonderful person! I wish it was easier for her to see that! She is an amazing friend, artist, and person! Also, look at this world we live in! It's no wonder it scares her, the world is a scary place! I remember the first day I met Sally, in 2008, I believe... She thought she was saving my dog Rocco, lol, I let him outside in the morning while I was still in my pajama's. I was watching him from the sliding glass door, little did she know. He came running to the door when she tried to call him to her, she thought he was running off. Then she knocked on the door and politely explained that she thought he was running off and was't trying to take him. I laughed and explained why I let him out like that. I wish she was there the second time my husband let him out and someone else took him :( I still miss that dog! She was with Mr. NON CARING WoW then... I hope that she just becomes stable and that when I don't hear from her for a while, I know in my heart she is alive and well. I worry about her now when I don't hear from her for a while... You described her issues down to a T... She needs to feel like she has purpose on this earth and can add something to this world. She can though, she is an amazing artist! I have seen her artwork! She should sell it at the Artwork and at other great artsy places! Thank you for being there for her! She may be Schizophrenic, but she is one of the most sane people I know!

    1. https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/398788_298920116847225_1363876304_n.jpg

  104. Hello,

    first I want to say how nicely you desrcibed all this.
    Second, I also go out with a schizophrenic. Sometimes I want to kill him and sometimes I think he's the most beautiful soul in the whole world. It's up and down, I dont have to tell you.
    Third, the pension you mentioned. Here in the Czech Republic the pension is around 300 dollars, the average salary being about 1200. People with disability pensions are expected to work, because you cant live on 300 dollars here, you can hardly pay rent with that. So I guess it's the same everywhere. Here are some NGOs that give them work they can manage, like making ceramics or working in the garden etc. Are there organizations like this in the US too?

    Anyway, keep your love and dont give up!


      Hello everyone! I'm conducting a research project for Baruch College, NYC on the experiences of families who has a member diagnosed as schizophrenic. If you would be so kind as to take my survey, I would really appreciate it! If you would like to take this survey please e-mail me to Irene.ramirez@baruchmail.cuny.edu

      I’m conducting this study because I have a brother who is schizophrenic and the diagnosed had a great impact in all my family. It is a research paper for a class, I also need to interview anyone who has a close family member diagnosed as schizophrenic. I live in Manhattan, NY. E-mail me if you are interested in the interview as well.

      My paper is due on DEC, 12,2013.

  105. I am Mariam used every single spell worker on the internet, spent untold amounts of money and discovered they are all fakes...i was the fool though; doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. In the end, I decided that I wanted a tarot reading to know what my future held for me; I contacted a woman who lives locally to me and she told me about a man named (Olalude abija); he does not advertise on the internet, has another job for income, has no set prices, makes no false promises and refuses to help anyone that cannot be helped and even helps
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  106. What a wonderful post!! Thanks so much for sharing it! I have own blog about schizophrenia but unfortunately in Polish - http://schizofrenia.net.pl/

  107. Anonymous5:44 PM

    Love this...:) Good luck to you both. Dealing with something very similiar.

  108. Anonymous6:17 PM

    Thank you so much for posting this. I am dealing with something similar, and it's incredibly heartening to see an example of two people in this situation making it work. It gives me hope for my partner, and for myself, and for our life together. Thank you, thank you, and thank you again.

  109. Anonymous9:05 AM

    Great love story it was meant to be

  110. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Admirable how you fight for her, and yourself. its always good to write and get support in situations like these. How is it going? I work as a psychologist, and write about a lot of things related to psychologist. Maybe something might be of interest for the two of you? I believe in seeing the whole person, and that means listening to their thoughts and ideas. I hope you two keep fighting on, for the life you deserdve:)


    Hello everyone! I'm conducting a research project for Baruch College, NYC on the experiences of families who has a member diagnosed as schizophrenic. If you would be so kind as to take my survey, I would really appreciate it! If you would like to take this survey please e-mail me to Irene.ramirez@baruchmail.cuny.edu

    I’m conducting this study because I have a brother who is schizophrenic and the diagnosed had a great impact in all my family. It is a research paper for a class, I also need to interview anyone who has a close family member diagnosed as schizophrenic. I live in Manhattan, NY. E-mail me if you are interested in the interview as well.

    Sorry for taking your space to do this. My paper is due on DEC, 12,2013.

  112. Anonymous11:33 PM

    Seriously...thank you SO VERY much for this. I have just fallen for a woman I believe to be suffering from various forms of "crazy" (she has told me of some and some medications...but she doesn't like meds etc)...and I suppose I may be regarded in this way too...but I think/believe I hide it better...exhibit symptoms less or something.
    At any rate, she sounds so very much like your love. She breaks my heart every day..(either because of changes of heart and reversals or tales of her youth or any number of things)...but I'm stuck to her man...just stuck to her.
    God help you in your relationship. She is a sweetheart I can tell; and totally not in a gay way; you are too man...for being so brave and non-judgemental. God give you all the strength you'll ever need!

  113. My Life can be very displeasing especially when we loose the ones we love and cherish so much.My husband abandoned me and my 2 kids for 2 years he said he wanted new adventures.I asked what i had done wrong but he said nothing.He continued paying our bills but moved in with another woman i was so frustrated and a times i will cry all night because i needed my husband by my side. all thanks to Ajagbotemple@gmail.com, i was nearly loosing hope until i saw an article on how master james cast a love spell to make lovers come back. There is no harm in trying, i said to my self. i contacted him via email and after 24 hrs my story changed. words will not be enough to appreciate what he has done for me. i have promised to share the testimony as long as i live because he brought back happiness and joy into my life.If you having any kind of problem in your relationship and you need your man back i RECOMMEND master james .please do contact him directly on Ajagbotemple@gmail.com, Email him on; Ajagbotemple@gmail.com

  114. Anonymous10:58 PM

    Thank you for this. I have recently met the most thoughtful and interesting person of my life. On our third date he told be about his diagnosis as a schitzoprenic. He is sensitive charming and funny and I can hardly believe the struggles he deals with daily. We have been dating for several months now and Iam slowly but surely falling head over heels for him. He always goes the extra mile to make me feel appriciated. I know it won't be easy and there will be some of these times ahead but I can't imagine that it wouldn't be worth it. This is thekind of reassurance I was hoping for. Thank you for having a big heart and a strong soul.

  115. Anonymous11:42 PM

    Thank you for this. I stumbled upon this post while I was looking for info. on schizophrenic people because I think a girl I am very interested in suffers from this situation. She is the most interesting girl I ve ever met. She is the book that I have opened and now I ve got to know much more :) and this post gave a little more courage to go through this :) oh.. by the way, I've read somewhere that fish oil could be a good treatment for schizophrenia, you might want to look into it. My best wishes for you and your lovely lady

  116. Hey Kas.
    I don't know whether you will read my comment or not since there's hundreds of comments here.
    I've fall for schizo affective disorder and end of January this year,he was pinalised with death sentence for he had killed a girl.
    I didn't know that he has schizophrenia until he been arrested by police and right now,me and his friend are trying to save him and admit him to mental hospital.
    Its really hard for me to level up my head coz i depend on him.he saved me from suicidal and depression and now..sigh

  117. Hey Kas.
    I don't know whether you will read my comment or not since there's hundreds of comments here.
    I've fall for schizo affective disorder and end of January this year,he was pinalised with death sentence for he had killed a girl.
    I didn't know that he has schizophrenia until he been arrested by police and right now,me and his friend are trying to save him and admit him to mental hospital.
    Its really hard for me to level up my head coz i depend on him.he saved me from suicidal and depression and now..sigh

  118. Anonymous8:11 PM

    I wrote a long comment, but somehow I deleted everything.

    I was delighted to come across your blog after googling "schizophrenia and relationships." I have a lot in common with Sally, I also have Schizoaffective Disorder, and a lot of my experiences mirror hers. I just wanted to comment because I want to tell everyone who might be reading your post who are also going through similar issues - it gets better! Three years ago I was completely unable to function as a human being, and was disabled. I started treatment in 2010, and began seeing a psychologist and psychiatrist regularly. It's been a tough three years and about 6 hospitalizations, but life has never been better. I'm 21 now, and three years ago, I never imagined I would be in college or even have anything resembling a professional job. I never thought I would be able to live independently or be working towards any personal goals.

    To those struggling with side effects from Seroquel, Abilify, or Lithium - be patient. Someday, you will find a drug that will mute the unwanted voices, delusions, and depression. I never thought I could ever wake up feeling anything but miserable and getting up from my bed would ever be an easy task, but these days, I wake up and I can confidently say that I feel pretty good. I still get hallucinations, and I still end up in the psych ward every 4-5 months, but my life between episodes is getting better and better. For the first time, I have a group of friends and a positive relationship with my family.

    Kas - I googled "schizophrenia and relationships" because I have been agonizing over disclosing my diagnosis to a wonderful woman that I have been seeing. You sound like a wonderful and loving partner and I wish you and Sally many years of happiness together.

  119. I like a lot this nice job of us.
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  120. MADELEINE9:34 PM

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  121. Anonymous8:47 PM

    What has happened honey? are you ok? I love you still. You remind me of my mother. I am sick to my stomach. My mom is not here anymore. She helped me but she also well.... Anyway, enough about that I am hanging onto the carpet threads. The walls are textured too. I see all of the bumps. I like music. no more rants, no more rants. no more rants, no more rants, no more rants no more rants, no more rants, no more rants. Enough with it all. I want to be a vegetable. I don't want to think anymore. rapid firing at me when I want to just relax. RELAX SALLY the people should say to me instead they make my skin crawl. I never wanted to be on the internet. I had no idea I was written about when it happened. I was happy at first, now it is a nightmare because I don't feel safe.

  122. Anonymous12:15 PM

    Did you ever know anyone in your entire life? No and I will never. I am a beast and also a rodent in the eyes of human beings. I am not human- sub-human they call me. I walk with the dead like a zombie.

  123. Anonymous12:19 PM

    Rocks and boulders and more rocks and huge massive cliffs. I have caused trouble and now I should die.


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