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Dealing with my boyfriend who goes into psychosis and has been diagnosed with mild schizophrenia

Community Member

I (22F) have been with my boyfriend (25M) for around 10 months now.

Early into our relationship I noticed after drinking, he would completely change into a different person - yell at me, swear and verbally abuse me, become aggressive and punch things (never me) and would hear things and talk to himself and constantly repeat himself. It later turned out that he was in psychosis set off by certain types of alcohol. The first time dealing with this was very hard and confronting. However, I tried to be patient and understand as he is obviously mentally unwell. This is also a reason he has been in trouble with the law so many times - he will go into psychosis and cannot be stopped easily. He doesn't remember anything the next day and is always feels horrible and is very down for a few days afterwards.

As time went on, he went into psychosis quite a bit and in front of my friends, who were very worried and didn't want me around him anymore. He decided to quit drinking for about 4 months and his psychosis stopped and he went to see a mental health professional. He slowly started introducing small amounts of alcohol back in but only beer, not hard liquor. Until he got too confident and drank more and more. Last week, he went into psychosis again, in public, and verbally abused me in front of everyone again. It was embarrassing and so disappointing it happened again. This is the sixth time its happened in 10 months...

I love him so much and he is willing to address his past traumas that have caused this and stop drinking completely again. However, it is really starting to affect my mental health - the verbal abuse I take when he is in this state is really distressing and he doesn't even remember. He thinks I should break up with him because he doesn't think I deserve this, which I don't, but I understand mental illnesses and I know he cannot help it sometimes. But, when do I draw the line? Do I risk putting up with this for my whole life?

I'm not as happy as I once was... I fear if no real change is made, I am just wasting my time trying to make him better. What's to say he won't drink at our wedding, for example, and he goes into psychosis in front of all my family?

I'm not sure what to do.

3 Replies 3


Hi Natalia.S

Thank you for sharing here on the forums. Please know that you've come to a safe, non-judgemental space to talk things through and our community is here to offer as much support, advice and conversation as you need. We're sure some of our community members will will pop by to offer you words of wisdom and kindness. We are really sorry to hear how hard things have been for you in this relationship and the abuse you have had to endure. It sounds like you have been extremely forgiving and compassionate towards your partner for a long time and that things are getting worse.

Please remember it is never your responsibility to make someone better and you should never ever have to put up with any kind of abuse in your relationship. We would encourage you to get in touch with our friends at 1800 Respect if you are wanting some support from a counsellor trained in the area of relationships and abuse. They are available 24 hours a day on 1800 737 732.

Always remember, you can speak with one of our counsellors any time to talk things through on 1300 22 4636 or get in touch with us on Webchat 1pm-12am AEDT here: www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport  .

Our counsellors can help point you in the right direction to access support.

Warmest Regards,

Sophie M

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Natalia S,

Thank you for your post and reaching out. Gosh that sounds so hard for both of you - I'm sorry to hear how you've been struggling with this. Mental illness really does effect everyone.

It's a really good question about this line. I've thought about it often from my own experiences- because on one hand it's not their fault and on the other hand it can also be really abusive and hurtful. So even though I'm not in the same situation I do share those thoughts and how tricky it can be to navigate. It's so clear that you care so much about your boyfriend but it's also not fair how much it's sacrificing your mental health.

How would you feel if you put up some boundaries around being with him? That maybe if he gets in this state, you can take some time being on your own for a little, or better yet- getting him to go to a different space. I'm not sure how practical this would be;- but ideally I would like to think that you could both have your own space where you are both safe. There are a lot of different ways to do this, but it's the first thing that comes to mind while reading your post.

Sometimes people with psychosis can also have 'safety plans', which is kind of similar to people who struggle with suicidal thoughts. I highly recommend that you look into it together when he's in a good headspace and see if you can make a map for those times.

The last thing that I'll mention (otherwise this post will be too long and rambly!) is to reach out to your own support network. This isn't something that you mentioned- but anybody like friends, family, colleagues- having people that you can chat to and self-care plans are so important. You don't have to keep sacrificing your mental health for this.


Community Member

Hi Natalie,

I hope things have improved for you and your partner since your last post. You are not alone I’ve been with my partner for 5 years, his first experience with psychosis was in 2018 after a night of drinking and party drugs. He is a past addict and had been on a journey long before we met to get better.
after a treatment plan and many GP, psychiatrists appts, different meds we found a balance of a anti psychotic and anti depressant. But sure enough after feeling well and a few reactions to the meds he decided to go off all cold turkey as we moved into our first home together, engaged wedding planned he has now relapsed. Being a partner of mental ill health is not an easy road, I am still trying to support but it’s draining so I get it.

I just want to tell you that things can get better but long term medication seems like the only solution. Take care of yourself 💜 I’ll do the same as this is the 2nd time I’ve been through crisis stage of psychosis I’ve found telling close friends and family and getting support is important and if you think he will harm himself or you to call 000. Even after being totally clean from drugs to my knowledge, stress and alcohol can trigger episodes. It’s not easy. Stay strong xo