Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Advice on dealing with the wicked Medical System

My brother is 34 and was diagnosed with Shizophrenia in 2011. He had two psychotic episodes in 2012+2013. He was put on disability from his work in May 2015. He refuses the medication. My problem is really finding a caring psychiatrist and therapist. I found the “best” therapy and after 9 months there is no change in his symptoms of paranioa, delusions, and voices. Additionally, he doesnt talk about his problems with the psychiatrists, he tells them hes fine and wants to go back to work. Now hes back at work, no improvements since last year and may get fired if he messes up even once. I told his psychiatrist and therapist about his insomnia and symptoms and they listen but cant do anything until my brother admits it to them. What are my options? I heard about conservertorships, can that help me get him help?
He was approved for EDD by Psy #1 and when she moved out of the city, Psy #2 did not want to fill out the EDD extension as he claimed “he was not comfortable”. Psy#1 also didn’t want to do and neither did the therapist or GP. Until today my brother is passing for normal and im just waiting for shi* to hit the storm.
Im 28, just started my adult life trying to finish my masters and get a career job and I have almost a full-time responsibility with him. Between calling his work, his work disability, his psy, therapist, directors, edd, ssi, and NAMI meetings. I dont get a day’s rest because I worry constantly. I feel like the medical system is set up against family. #struggleisreal My brother is independent, renting a room, usually a gym rat and really healthy, but hes thinking 100 miles a minute with the voices and gets 3-5 hours a sleep a night, crashes during the day now and misses quite a few of his appointments. How do I get his real symptoms diagnosed and therapy that will help him heal?

You sound like a wonderful and supportive sibling. Your brother could not ask for a more caring person. I think you have done a whole lot for your brother - you are in his life and that is not always true of siblings. The fact that your brother lives independently, has an income and surrounded with a support system of doctor, therapist, etc is also more than many of our mi loved ones have. Also he goes to the gym and is concerned about this health is huge. You have done everything you can possibly do. Your brother is 34 and has a free will so in my humble opinion there isn’t much more you can do except be there as a sibling. Being supportive can mean having dinner with him, watching a movie together, going on walks. I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful. Having gone through this for 18 years with my daughter at some point I had to decide that helping her too much was destroying me so staying healthy for your sibling is extremely important. You can’t be supportive when you are stressed out so please take care of yourself first.

Thanks, I am not too worried about my brothers Schizophrenia, I have accepted his illness,
I am complainng about a system set up AGAINST The MI. Why wont his pschy and therapist talk to him about the voices, paranioa, delusions, and fear of medication? I sat in one meeting with the Psych where for 35 min they talked about my brothers cigarette smoking and when he would stop that. He lies to the Psych about medication and claims hes taking it when hes not. And they tell me they have to take HIS word. Are you kidding me? the MI is going to be the one in charge of his own treatment?
There has to be a way where i can bring forward evidence and prove that hes not taking meds or being actively treated for his symptoms so that he can be diagnosed and treated properly.
Whats the point of CBT therapy if they are talking about the 49ers game and not the issues at hand?
My brother is very much socialized and treated kindly by me, we do go out to dinners, lunches. I am frustrated because his Psychiatrist didnt approve his EDD. wtf?
Anywhoo… I am really not going to sit back and watch this broken system fail my brother. I am definitely going to find a way to get him treated properly for his actual disability.

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Good for you Freedom for being such a strong advocate. I’m assuming you are living in the USA and I agree that here in America we have a very broken mental health system and not to stress you out more ----I’m very concerned with the current political climate that its going to get worse. Just yesterday I read that one of the new political appointees said that bad parenting is the cause of mental illness because we don’t spank our children enough Ugh!

I forgot to mention that the first few years after my daughter was diagnosed I went to an attorney at had him draw up guardianship papers. It helped because doctors were forced to talk with me and I was told about every detail of her treatment plan. You may want to try that but there is a whole lot of responsibility with guardianship.