When you suspect schizophrenia..?

I think my boyfriend has schizophrenia.

He smokes weed about 7 times a day every single day and has for the past 18 months or so. He has an introverted personality type, lacks confidence and has social anxiety.

About six weeks ago he started complaining that the neighbours were yelling at him. He initially said that when he would be in the bathroom, toilet or kitchen for more than five minutes he would hear people talking about him and insulting him, and he thought it was the neighbours. This has gotten progressively worse over those six weeks and now he believes that three of his neighbours wait for him to walk near a window so they can yell really vulgar things at him. Originally he only used to hear these things when no one else was around, but now he complains of it in company of me and his two best friends/roommates, and we hear nothing.

He also believes that when he is in public, everyone in the vicinity is staring at him, talking about him, judging him, insulting him or a combination of the above. He has complained of hearing those things even when I am standing right next to him and hear nothing. The most recent development is that he believes that the neighbours are spying on him through the internet.

The above two paragraphs are examples of auditory hallucinations and non-bizarre (unlikely but plausible) delusions, symptoms of schizophrenia. To add to those, he has no motivation, has little sex drive and even that is dwindling, believes he is being constantly judged or insulted by random passers-by, obsesses over the smallest consequences of social situations (e.g. if he makes eye contact with a stranger twice by accident he will obsess over it for up to half an hour), avoids social situations for fear of inadequacy or embarrassment, talks and thinks about suicide a lot, says he hates himself, loses concentration easily, believes without grounds or evidence that I am cheating on him/have cheated/will cheat, and has extremely bad memory because his train of thought is derailed so easily (e.g. if we're talking about his mother and then he stops talking to check the time on his phone, he cannot remember what we were talking about even though only five seconds have passed).

Anyway I have been googling these symptoms over and over to see where it leads me and the only diagnosis that really fits is schizophrenia. Obviously I'm not qualified to make that diagnosis but that is what I believe.

My questions are these:

1. Should I talk to him about it and tell him I think he might have schizophrenia?
When he first started talking to me about the neighbours spying on him I tried to argue and prove that it was coincidence or his imagination, so now I think he won't open up to me again.

2. How can I convince him to see a doctor?
It took me ages to convince him to see a doctor when I thought he had depression (turns out he did which is another symptom) and even then I had to make the appointment, drive him there and prompt him to take his medication. He stopped taking his meds around the same time the symptoms of schizophrenia started.

3. Does anyone have any first- or second-hand experience with dealing with loved ones who they thought might have schizophrenia, or who'd been diagnosed with it?
By P3NANCE 14 years ago :: General
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