As readers of my blog will be aware, I was diagnosed with schizophrenia eight years ago, back in 2010. Like many people who have this condition, I am single. Sometimes I think this is a blessing in disguise, as it is difficult enough for me to look after myself, nevermind anyone else. However, there are times that I think it would be nice to be in a relationship with someone for company, companionship and love. Humans are designed to interact with one another, not to live and be alone all their lives. As I mentioned in a previous post, a major revelation for me was that instead of spending all my energy searching for someone who would accept and love me with schizophrenia, I first had to learn to accept and love myself with my condition, which wasn’t easy but I got there in the end.
Although I haven’t given up entirely on finding someone, the odds aren’t exactly in my favour. For one, I’m 38 and the pool of single people, especially male, at my age is very small. I read somewhere on the internet that statistically speaking, those with schizophrenia who are married tend to have met their partner before they were diagnosed with the condition.
So why can it be difficult to find love when you suffer from schizophrenia?
o The stigma attached to mental illness makes it difficult to attract potential dating partners
o Many people with schizophrenia such as myself are unemployed, making yourself an unattractive partner
o Misunderstanding about the condition and its symptoms may lead others to believe that schizophrenia is worse than it actually is
o Weight gain due to schizophrenia medications can make you look less attractive and affect your self-esteem
o The condition of schizophrenia itself makes it difficult to relate to others, thus being in a relationship
o If one considers having children, there is the risk that the condition will be passed down to them
o Then there is the more general challenge of finding a suitable partner (applicable to anyone), including a small pool of eligible people, which shrinks as you become older
Things to remember are:
o Having schizophrenia doesn’t define who you are. Your condition is just one aspect to you as a person
o While having schizophrenia may make meeting someone more challenging, it isn’t completely impossible so don’t give up
o If someone doesn’t accept you for who you are, schizophrenia and all – they’re not worth knowing!
o Don’t forget what I said above – before you can find someone that will accept and love you with schizophrenia, you first need to accept and love yourself with your condition
What can you do to improve your chances of meeting someone? Basically, someone with schizophrenia who is looking for love should do all the things that anyone would, including leading a full and active social life. Try to join clubs and associations as a way of meeting people. A gym can be an excellent way of making friends. I personally wouldn’t recommend using a dating site to find someone, both to people with schizophrenia and those without it, based on previous bad experiences. Others may take a different view, however.
Comments? You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Are you male and single? I dare you to ask me out on a date! I promise I don’t bite….