Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Don't know what to do


#1

Hello to all,

I’m new here and in a situation that I really don’t know what to do.Any help from other family members will be very much welcomed.

I have a brother who I haven’t been in contact for 15 years except one brief encounter
It was him who didn’t want contact.He had a pychotic breakdown in his twenties.At the time he was hospitalized but they let him go a few days later…Years later when I talked to one of the doctors that cared for him at the time told me that it was probably schizophrenia but he didn’t stay long enough to have a clear diagnosis.My mother who is deceased now didn’t want to accept the seriousness of the situation…My parents were divorced and she was the only authority at home.I was young and had my own problems so after a while,after my brother got better a little bit (which means there were no positive symptoms )and finished his school,I thought he was ok.But in the meantime all the negative symptoms were there…Anyway,he never had a full time job but my mother always enabled him in all ways.

After my mother passed away,I had to share the home with my brother for 3 years.Those 3 years were so difficult for me.All the responsibilities were on me and he was acting and behaving very badly from time to time.I didn’t understand why he saw me as an enemy while I had his best interests in my heart and was very caring and that made me very very sad.I wanted to take him to a doctor but of course I wasn’t able to.I contacted my father but he didn’t care and During those contacts I learned that my father himself had paranoias etc.I was helpless so I let it go…The only solution I found was moving out.I was young and I had my own life issues.After that my brother left the town and went somewhere else.I didn’t know what he did or how he managed…Just heard from some friends who knew both of us that he was working.I tried to contact him a few times but he didn’t want that so I moved on with my life.From time to time remembered him and wandered how he was doing.Only that.

Then 6 months ago I heard that he was in very bad conditions and needed help.I contacted him and this time my contact was welcomed.I tried to help him as much as I could.He was still in another town.Then I heard that the conditions got worse.I invited him to my town.I just wanted him to get out of that bad conditions for a while and in the meantime I would try to find solutions for his situation.He was happy and came here,but not to my home.I am married now and my husband knows the story and he is very understanding.Right now my brother is my guest at a hotel.I had a couple of dinners with him.He sounds ok but I know he is not.He sounds like he wants to connect very much.I tried hard not to act out while I was with him because meeting him raised all kinds of emotions and anger in me,remembering the days I lived with him.But two days ago,I couldn’t help saying “I have very bad memories about you” etc. Then I felt I needed a break.He is still here but we stopped the contact for 2 days.I know that I should take him to a psychiatrist even if it is late .But in the meantime,how am I supposed to behave towards him?I know I shouldn’t judge or blame him for anything.It is not his fault but I can’t help remembering the old days and what I endured.I don’t know what to do and how to balance my own emotions when I am with him.

I wrote so long,I didn’t intend to write this much but I guess I needed to tell this to some people who would understand.Thanks for reading and I’ll appreciate your replies.
(by the way,I am not from US)


#2

If you can, I suggest you get some appointments with a therapist who can help you process your feelings about past events, and try to keep it separate from your interactions with your brother. It won’t help you or him at this point to raise these issues with your brother.


#3

Thanks a lot…Sometimes we think we have forgotten and forgiven but to our astonishment we see that all the feelings are alive as if things happened just yesterday,don’t we?


#4

I’ve also gone through these emotions forgiving people, also family members but I believe people change and especially because he was sick, he probably couldn’t control himself. I’ve done some bad stuff myself and hurt a lot of people during my illness but I didn’t have my sanity. Do you have any good memories of him as a kid? Did you used to play together? you can never choose family but blood relation is a big deal. Especially because now he is seeking your help, I’m sure you can sympathize a little bit. It could’ve been you who was sick. Focus on helping him.


#5

Thank you so much…reading your words has moved me to tears.Do I have any nice memories of him as a kid? Oh yes!! He was such a sweet,sensitive,brilliant kid.We were like friends,had so many common interests and used to do lots of things together.When we had dinner for the first time when he came to my town,somehow he asked “Do you remember the cinema we went together all the time when we were kids? Is it still there?” I was cold as ice though that night.Now,I want to say “I hate schizophrenia !!” But I know it is futile,


#6

i’m sorry @happiness

Be good to your brother. It sounds like he’s been through a lot. He’ll appreciate it I’m sure.


#7

I’m not a family member. I am sz, but I will share what I’ve learned with you. Try to get some emotional distance from your brother. It’s called “detachment with love”. Try not to take his bad behavior personally. I know it can be hard not to, but you should strive for that. Remember it is his illness talking when he acts badly. Blame your problems on the disease, not on yourself or him.


#8

You are right,I must be good to him.He has been through a lot for sure which I don’t know what they are.Maybe someday he’ll share them with me.


#9

Thank you crimby.I need to educate myself more on schizophrenia.Most of the time I have a very hard time comprehending it.I tend to think of my brother as a healthy person and ask myself “why would he do that?”


#10

Welcome to the forum!
Not sure how bad your brother is-will he go on medication?Check your area for a support group. Go to NAMI.org to find one in your area. If you are going to try to help, you will need a lot of support.
Sometimes you may have to pull back from your brother to get yourself grounded. That doesnt mean you are abandoning him. This is a tough illness, and harder when your loved one doesnt want any help.