It developed during his late teens, and unfortunately he was in a household with parents who struggled with their alcoholism and so were not as supportive as they could have been. We all wonder whether it would have made a difference to how bad he got if there had been more of a support system for him in the early stages, whether from family, friends, or mental health professionals spotting the signs early on. At one point before he had been diagnosed, while he was still working as a security guard he had plenty of access to finance for a car, and bank loans. After his diagnosis, and subsequent loss of driving license, he found himself in financial difficulty as he lost his job also and so took out a significant loan £10,000 or so. He started needing to leave the house because of the stress of being with other people and not being sure of reality, and went on long walks, or trips to London and stayed out all night.
Thankfully he met and fell in love with a girl who really takes care of him, chases up mental health teams for support, tells him when he’s reacting to something which is only happening in his mind, and ensures he takes the correct drugs at the correct times, and helps him manage transitions from one drug to another which at times requires hospitalization due to the side effects of new drugs. Although he still has good days and bad days, he’s being looked after and protected from the symptoms getting any worse. It does no help for him to now reflect back on what could have been, but it may be a significant and important lesson for others who are facing the realization that they or someone they know may be suffering from undiagnosed mental health issues. Be patient and consistent, someone struggling with something in their own head may not be able to respond to you as quickly as you like, or at all! It may be too much with what they are already trying to control.
Many people will not become dangerous just because of a diagnosis, they are more likely to hurt themselves or commit suicide than hurt others but their general personality is not likely to change i.e. from someone nonaggressive in to a danger to public. Do not worry about being frustrated, mad, or upset about your friend’s situation, and your own as a caregiver! Neither of you would have chosen this. But try to talk to external people for support, or helplines, rather than to the sufferer, as they may withdraw from confiding in you.
You do not want to end up resenting the sufferer! Do not neglect people’s physical needs mental health medications can often have negative side effects on physical health, as can symptoms of mental health, such as not remembering to eat, or affecting digestion or nervous system or memory loss. Try to encourage physical checkups and mental health checkups, as you do not want to come to a point where physical health is also negatively affecting the person’s life.