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Join the online community Community rules Coping during the Coronavirus outbreak

Topic: Friend not coping with lockdown-

3 posts, 0 answered
  1. Speechless
    Speechless avatar
    5 posts
    22 July 2021

    During these lastest lockdowns, my friend who has schizophrenia and recently been in quite mentally ill these last two years and in and out of hospital now stable on a new medication has been starting to pick up for a month or two until the other day when lockdowns were announced. Its not that he's psychotic or anything atm but he has mentally processed the lockdown in a far negative way even when trying to help him talk about it and try to suggest things he can do at home with his time.

    His daily life doesnt change much if at all really except for going out a bit here and there, which he can still do for his essentials anyways. Yet he is choosing to sleep all day and al night and doing so as his medication makes him tired. He talks about the whole thing aggressively and is not open to understanding things like most people would.

    Thing is he is my one contact apart from my family i lve with and it makes me feel a bit angry that he acts like this when the messages in the media are always to reach our to your friends via online and phone etc. Last few time we had lockdowns I never heard from him as he wasnt well. I guess im just so tired of being there for him and thinking about his mental health as opposed to my own. I have GAD and high functioning social phobia/social avoidance disorder and he is the only friend i have had for some time. I hate that he chooses to act the most crippling of ways and is not a friend i can ever rely on but he can always rely on me, i get hurt by that.

  2. Croix
    Community Champion
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    Croix avatar
    10343 posts
    22 July 2021 in reply to Speechless

    Dear Speechless~

    I' m afraid I could not find you other posts so if I go over something already covered my apologies

    OK, it is perfectly reasonable to have a friend whom you go to great efforts to support -and at times that cannot have been easy - and not get similar treatment in return.

    Actually I believe that it's built into us to expect something if we give something -be that a present, supporting someone, going to trouble on their behalf, or even something trivial like passing the salt. It even applies to strangers. If you pick up groceries in the street for someone who has dropped them you do expect "thanks".

    It's how relationships grow and bond if it is each showing appreciation for the other.

    In this case you do not seem to get anything back, and you are hurt, it might seem you are not appreciated or taken for granted, I would.

    I guess I'd say three things when it happen to me. The first is can that person respond or is that person too ill to do anything like that?

    The second is if the act is necessary, in other words worth doing in its own right, irrespective of anything else.

    The third is how I'd feel in myself if I did something -would I be pleased with myself , and how I'd feel if I did not- would I feel guilty or unhappy with myself.

    So I guess it might come down to doing what you can if necessary and putting up withe the lack of response -in fact no longer expecting it, a very out-of-balance "friendship".

    The only other thing I can say is for many people that have a mental health condition -myself included, I find peple who keep asking how I am and referring to my condition a right pain. I'd far rather talk with someone who was fun, told jokes, talked about TV or art or something different. I might even contact them myself.

    You are going though a stressful time in many ways, and this on top of your own mental health conditions which will make you worry all the more. So may I ask what support YOU have? Medical? A family member or freind you can talk frankly with and feel supported. They only have to listen and care - not try to fix things.

    You are always welcome here

    Croix

  3. Summer Rose
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    Summer Rose avatar
    1545 posts
    22 July 2021 in reply to Speechless

    Hi Speechless

    It sounds like you are a really good friend and I can understand why you feel hurt. Please know that you have done nothing “wrong” and your feelings are valid.

    Your friend is lucky to have you in his life. Schizophrenia is a very serious illness and it’s probable that your friend just can’t give you what you need. Not because he doesn’t want to, but because he’s very ill.

    For example, I’m not sure why anyone healthy would choose to sleep all day and night. But I know this can happen when people are unwell or affected by medication.

    He may not “understand things the way other people would” about lockdown because of his illness. For example, many schizophrenics experience paranoia and delusions. He has a complicated brain that makes his life really hard and makes him difficult to understand.

    It’s impossible to know what he is thinking, how he interprets media reports and how the global pandemic is affecting him. But the fact that he’s been in and out of hospital over recent years tells us it’s been tough.

    My best friend’s son has the same illness. He is not psychotic at present but he cannot comprehend Covid or the many rules he has to try and follow because of his delusions. His mother lives in constant fear that he will be arrested.

    Unfortunately, her son is incapable of reaching out. He is tired. “Done” with the system, “done” with trying, “done” with being ill. His mother focuses on the occasions when his meds are working and her “real” son is present and supports him throughout the tough times.

    He is in his 40s and no longer has anyone left in his life but his mum. Everyone has walked away because of his behaviour. This isolation is not uncommon for people with schizophrenia, which is why your friend is so lucky to have you.

    I know you have your own MH issues and are hoping for more from the friendship. I’m wondering if you can accept less and enjoy your friend when he is in periods of stability? It means separating the illness from the person.

    If not, please put some boundaries in place to protect yourself from hurt. It’s about balancing your care for him and your need for a friend with inevitable disappointment.

    I feel very sad for you both and am sending you a big hug x

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