An egotistical schizophrenic

Hey guys.

I am 34 years old. My brother has had schizophrenia for 15 years. My whole life revolves around him. It was never my life that mattered, only his. Always his illness.

You have to help him, he is your brother. I have to say it works well for him. He spends a lot of money and I always lend him money. I eat potatoes, gather nettles in the garden, he eats salmon and expensive food. He’s too lazy to make himself a sandwich so he always buys one. He doesn’t want tobacco, he wants cigarettes. Evrey day 10 eur for cigarettes.

If he doesn’t get it, he says he’ll return home and leave the community. He has friends there and is happy. He can go where he wants, he lives in the city
. I am dead inside and exhausted. How did you free yourself from the thought that you have to help someone? I want to live my life. I’m dead inside. Thanks

Perhaps this book would be useful: Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself

I know “controlling” isn’t the right word, and you care deeply about your brother, but you have to do something to start living your own life, so maybe the book would help.


Oh my, you have been very compassionate for many years for your brother. That is very good of you. Yet, as you say, your brother is draining you of your own life and you can see that clearly right now. I haven’t read the book recommended by @caregiver1 but you can read the book from the view of your own situation and find ideas there for how to improve your own life.

I believe that anyone being helped has some sort of obligation to be thankful for the help they received and to return at least a smile and friendliness for that help. I think you can ask for changes from your brother to help you back, not just be a drain to you. I learned from the Dr. Amador book and the LEAP method that small gains can be made by repeated requests (I’m Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help). That book can help with daily changes, not just getting someone to accept medication for schizophrenia as it was written for.

You are NOT obligated to ruin your own life to help your brother. You took the responsibility on yourself for your brother, which is admirable, but if you are hurting your own self to do it, perhaps could start to improve your own life (and not hurt him but teach some responsibility) by changing one thing at a time to not weigh on you so heavily. Perhaps a small thing, like keeping already made sandwiches in the fridge and giving him less money for food? Or buying tobacco and a cigarette maker and keeping the ready made home-made cigarettes in a box in the house and again, giving him less money? Only you can decide how to implement the changes you want to see made.

Do start to make your own self happier, that is a necessity.


I’m so sorry to hear of your situation. It isn’t easy to get out of the rescuer role from someone with SMI. Having your own life is important. It is hard to learn boundaries for ourselves and with others. I definitely would encourage you to find a therapist who can help you work on these issues!
Also read books like The Emotionally Destructive Relationship by Leslie Vernick or a book on boundaries may help such as Good Boundaries and Goodbyes by Lysa Terkeurst.