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Here's the situation: I have been dating this girl for a little over a year now and it is a very long distance relationship (I'm American and she's from Denmark). She is 17 years old. Before I even started dating her, she told me she suspected she was schizophrenic ever since she was 14-15. Recently I became fairly certain that indeed her suspicions were true though we have yet to confirm it.

Here are list of a few of her symptoms that may or may not be relevant:

She tells me that she will, on occassion, hear voices and "sense" people watching her or reaching out to her that aren't there. Furthermore she tells me that, for a long time, now she, in spite of what her own logic tells her, has been suspicious that others around her are able to read her thoughts. Because of this she will even attempt to change what she is thinking to avoid letting anyone see her more personal thoughts. In school, she finds it impossible to concentrate and has little motivation to do classwork, homework, or engage in any of the hobbies she used to enjoy. She tells me she very rarely feels joy and finds it impossible to empathize with others though she tries to. She is not a very socially outgoing person (she is somewhat of a homebody) but I know she can socialize much better with her classmates and strangers than I can. She also deals with seemingly chronic headaches that simply won't go away. The most notable symptom of all though is how she will every so often start to take on an extremely aggressive and hostile nature. Normally she is such a sweet and compassionate person, but when she goes into these phases of hers she will become very depresed and she won't care about anyone or anything. 

 

So with that being said, does it sound like my girlfriend is schizophrenic to you? Is there any other possibility that could explain her behavior? 

And if she is Schizophrenic like we think, what am I to do about it? In Denmark, they have free basic healthcare so she can go to her regular doctor for free and get tested for schizophrenia. However, medication in Denmark is NOT free and my girlfriend comes from a family that is very poor and especially at the moment is going through a hard time financially. I offered to pay for her medication, but she refuses to accept my money and it is not like I can force her to. 

Also she's very worried about breaking this news to her parents if her doctor does diagnose her. It looks like she may try to keep it to herself if it comes to that but I know that's not healthy. She's afraid her family will see her as "broken" if she tells them of her condition, so how can I convince her that will not be the case?

And one last question regarding medication: Does it actually work? My girlfriend says she has not felt truly happy since she was a little girl and that recently her emotions all seem to have died. Could medication help "fix" this lack of emotion and happiness?

 

Thank you so much for reading this and I appreciate any answers you might give. And please, if you have any additional advice, I beg you to share it with me. This girl is my whole world and it breaks my heart to see he suffer like this.

 Edit: I feel I should add my girlfriend has never had nor has any interest in street drugs, alcohol, smoking, or anything like that.

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Sounds like she has some issues but doesnt mean she is scitzo. Women in my view can be that way when they choose to be. Her heritige could be a factor in her actions, even her family could be. If she is scitzo there are meds for treatment but theres no cure. If you love her and she loves you that could help her as well. Just remember if you decide to go on with the  realaionship, she already told ya she was "out there" sometimes, so be ready. In my experiences there all a bit cookoo... lol.. Just picking, Best of luck to you.

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Hi,

What you're describing too me sounds very much like a mental disorder, but you can only really be sure what it is once she's been tested. It could possibly be depression, but massively paranoid she's got Schizophrenia. The mind can play awful tricks on you. But I think what-ever her diagnosis you should be there and support her - Try and persuade her too tell her parents if she is properly diagnosed. They must surely have a welfare system in Denmark if she's unable too pay for the medication. Do some research of your own, but always be there for her. Always be there for her. Does she have a trusted friend she could tell? Think of things like that.

I hope I've helped.

Tom.
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*Do not* go to a regular doctor for a mental disorder unless it's to get a referral to a psychiatrist.  Psychiatrist are highly trained in mental disorders, GP's are not.

If meds are an issue there are plenty of generics out there.  Get help now.  It is the biggest priority you two have got.  If you had the flu you would straight away see a doctor.  Mental illness can be way way worse than the flu.

 

Good luck.

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