My 36 yr old brother was diagnosed with schizophrenia about 9 years ago. He currently lives in my house with my dad, my husband, and three young children. He has taken over the entire basement after literally kicking my dad and his stuff out a few months when he stopped taking his meds and was psychotic. That was the first time he had stopped taking his meds. He is now back on his meds and back to his baseline. But he wakes up in the afternoon and sleeps all day. He orders junk constantly (snacks, books he claims to read, video games after he bought game systems during his last psychosis). His therapist and I discussed while he was psychosis that he needs to fill out a housing application because staying with us is not a viable long term option. Well, I guess because he started taking his meds and returned to baseline, she forgot about it. And now he’s refusing to sign it because he says he doesn’t need it. Basically, he is too comfortable living in my basement. Filling out a housing application just adds him to a year+ long wait list. He knows this. What should I do? He has zero motivation to get out of the house or do anything with his life. He was in community housing but came to stay with us during Covid. Because he stayed with us for two years, he has to apply again. He needs CBT, social interaction, and not just be wasting away in my basement.
My biggest fear is that he will go off his meds again. When he did so last time, it was so bad that my dad had to stay somewhere else for awhile because my brother was so hostile towards him. My brother was also feeding my kids information. My 4 and 7 yr old just thought he was being silly. But my 10 year old started telling me that she was having trouble breathing everyday and it just so happened to be when we were heading home. I cannot have that happen again.
Sorry. This turned into a vent post but I really would like any help from anyone! Thank you for reading
Is he receiving disability income? If so, he should be able to afford an apartment. It sounds like he needs his own place.
Agree about disability income. That would be a start to helping him move out. Another thing might be a psychologist who uses motivational interviewing to help him get motivated to support himself. Getting stable on meds is one thing, the other part of the solution is the motivation to support oneself.
Yes he gets SSI. I think I need to just tell him that he needs to apply for housing or I will start the eviction process. I hate to threaten him but it may be necessary
He gets SSI and does qualify for housing. I actually just told him that he needs to fill out the housing paperwork next time he sees his therapist. I asked him if plans on living her until he dies and he said no. So I said that he needs to work on housing to get the ball rolling then. Well he kept pushing and pushing what ifs, and basically pushed me into giving him an ultimatum, which he obviously didn’t like but he pushed me into it. So I said either fill out the paperwork by next month or I will have to start the eviction process. I told him that I would not let him live like this with us even if he didn’t have mental illness. In fact, I would’ve kicked him out way sooner if he was capable of working. Well the conversation ended with me yelling at him because he started talking in circles and fixating on my choice of words (I said, “please just think about your options” instead of “you have two options and you have to choose one”. I am just so tired and sheltering him here is not helpful for him or anyone in the house.
I’m so sorry for your predicament. I think you are doing all the right things as your immediate family comes first.
I think you need support in your efforts. You might go to the office of whoever does the evicting and ask them what resources might be available. Maybe they would suggest a social worker who could assist in the process. Explain what you said earlier about your 10-year old daughter. And I can’t imagine your husband is very happy about the state of affairs either.