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Hey there,

I'm new to this forum and I am trying to gain as much information as I can, regarding my boyfriend and his/my problem. 

Almost a year ago I met him at college, and we hit it off immediately. He is sweet, caring, extraordinarily intelligent and sensitive, although a little troubled. He told me that he 'used to have schizophrenia' and that his brother has a history of psychotic episodes, inflicting abuse on him and putting a strain on their family. Although he never specified, he has led me to believe that his brother has Antisocial Personality Disorder, and that when he is himself, he is extremely kind, funny, and caring, just like my boyfriend. My boyfriend struggled with his reality all throughout our year at college, attempting to push me away in order to protect me from himself. However, I refused to give up on him that easily. It has not always been easy; he kept me in the dark about a lot of things and often felt uncomfortable talking to me about his issues, but we've worked things out.

About one month ago we officially entered a relationship, and everything seemed fine. But after today's phone call that has completely changed. The sadness in his voice and his tears were heartbreaking to listen to but through that, he managed to tell me that he had an episode last night. He came home from work and 'was not himself' and I believe he said he attacked his family, whether verbally or physically I do not know. He believes, and doctors/therapists will most likely confirm, that he has the same thing as his brother. He is terrified and upset, and from his behavior in college, it looks to me like he knew it was coming and he was trying his best to avoid or ignore it. He is 18.

He repetitively expressed his need to 'start over' and rebuild himself after receiving this awful news. He wants to be alone, so that he can sort out some issues in his mind. The doctors/therapists have recommended that he cut off all connections outside of his family and stay home until he is restructured enough to reenter the real world. This will mean a lot of therapy, and a lot of medication; it also means he will not speak to me or see me for an unspecified 'temporary' amount of time. He doesn't want me to continue a relationship with him because he says he doesn't want to waste my time, and that he won't be the same person.

This is unbelievably heartbreaking for me. I love him very much, and it is difficult enough already as I am dealing with manic depression myself, we live over five hours apart, and I haven't seen him in three months. To hear his sad, scared voice is the worst, and knowing that it may have been the last time I speak to him in a long time makes it even more unbearable. 

I am asking for help. I need to know as much information as I can. Does he have ASPD or is it possibly just schizophrenia? Is ASPD the same thing as sociopathy? Why does it only come in random episodes? What can I do in the future to help him/make life more comfortable? I want to be as prepared and knowledgeable on the details of his illness as I can. I want to continue moving towards the future with him. Does that mean that I will have to take measurements and adjust to a different lifestyle?

Thank you for listening to my extensive rambling. 



Hi Christine,

it delighted me to see such devotion towards a loved one, most probably because I went through a similar experience with my former partner. The only difference is that he has several family members with mental disorders but I was determined to build a future together. We were the first for each other and I had even made him a proposal before things got worse.

It lasted more than a year then I recently decided to give it up and cease all contact with him because I could not cope the constant verbal aggression he expressed thinking I "was determined to kill him with my kindness" and so on.

Has your boyfriend seen a psychiatrist in the meantime? 

I hope it turns out in the best way for you both, whatever your future may be like. I appreciate the efforts you make and share the view it is worth trying everything you can even if, unfortunately, a disease is mightier than any true love...

Wishing you all the best,