This has been bugging me for years.
In the 1990s, I began going to a schizophrenia support group (in real life, not online).
At the time, I was married and my wife asked me to find out if there was a group that supported families and partners of schizophrenics, either seperately or as a couple.
I asked the staff of the support group, but they told me that nothing like that existed in my area.
Then I asked the members of the group and they told me the same....there was no group in the area that supported partners of service users.
I also asked my CPN the same question. She looked into it and then told that there was indeed nothing like that in the area.
After a while I stopped asking and then several years later I was divorced.
In the early 2000s, I met a girl and she also asked me if there was a group she could come along to, in order to find out more about schizophrenia and to have some support.
Again, I asked the staff of the schizophrenia group and again they said that they'd never heard of a group like that in the area.
Again, I asked the group members and was told that no such group existed.
Oneday, my girlfriend made an appointment to see the manager of the support group and asked him the same questions. She was told that no such group existed.
After a while I was given a new CPN and one day I mentioned to her that it was a pity that there wasn't a support group that included partners of schizophrenics.
She replied that there was indeed such a group and then told me that the group met of a Thursday evening in the same room as the support group I'd been going to in the daytime since the 1990s.
I found this impossible to believe and thought that she'd made a mistake, so on the Thursday night, my partner and I went along at 7pm to the same room I'd been going to for almost a decade....and there was the group.
It was all of the people in the daytime support group, but this time with their partners as well.
The staff there were exactly the same staff from the daytime group.
I asked how long this evening group had existed for and was told that it was over 20 years.
I asked everyone why they hadn't ever mentioned it before, even though I'd asked on numerous occasions, but they just said that they weren't sure what I meant.
Since then, I've really struggled to trust people and situations and have a reccuring thought that if I'm with any group of friends or whatever, that they also meet in secret without me and that I will only find out by accident. When I mention this, it's just dismissed as paranoia, but the situation I mentioned above really did happen. My girlfriend at the time wasn't a mental health service user and she was furious about it.