Help for sufferer in a very remote area


Hi folks,

My cousin is a schizophrenia sufferer. He is 40 this year. He was diagnosed, and has been on medication that has been fairly successful. I say ‘fairly’ because he can’t really completely look after himself - he lives along in a house up the road from his sister and, in a separate house also just up the road. He is never expected to work again. All this is of course helpful. He also has 2 different people sent out once a week to chat with him from the local hospital (Australia - public health system).

Outside of those 2, he never gets any visitors, and he never goes to visit anyone himself. He has no girlfriend, nor has he ever as far as I am aware (women are slim pickings in remote areas of Australia, as a rule). Part of the problem is that his town only has around 100 people. The nearest ‘big’ town, with a population of around 2000 is about 30 km away, and, he doesn’t drive anyway - although I guess his parents or sister would drive him into town if there was any point. This town has some programmes from physically disabled people (days out in a social environment etc). He was into lawn bowls, and would even visit the old fellas he used to do it with, but, that stopped when he hurt his back. He also has several other physical problems (Crone’s disease and whatnot).

He spends pretty much all day every day lying on the sofa watching TV. He was always fairly slim, but he has put on a lot of weight over the last few years.

To go anywhere else (ie, to find a city with more than 2000 people), one pretty much has to fly.

OK - slightly worldly preamble there, but, to summarise:

  • No friends, and not in a position to make any with the limited number of people.
  • Occasional paid visitors
  • No girlfriend, hard to imagine him getting one
  • No prospect of going anywhere to do anything outside with his parents/sister - and they are busy people anyway. I cannot remember the last time he left the island even then.

Now, I don’t live anywhere near him and see him very infrequently, so I am not very emotionally invested in all this, but, by chance, circumstances were such that I spent quite a bit of time with his mother (my Aunt).

Does anyone have any advice on how to make his life a bit better? As far as I can see, the only thing he does for pleasure is to maintain his garden - and it seems even that has slipped by the wayside over the last year or 2.

It was suggested to get him a dog, but he probably wouldn’t look after it properly

I have had one idea, and one idea only, which was to get him an internet connection and, a computer so that he could perhaps have some ‘internet friends’. I was thinking of also buying a subscription of World Of Warcraft or some other MMO (Massively Multiplay Online) type game which would help him get some benefits while he is doing something enjoyable - ie, playing a game). I’ve never played one of these myself (which is weird, because I am super extra nerdy).

Anyway folks, my name is Kent and that is my story.

Any and all suggestions very welcome.



I couldn’t live without an internet connection. I spend most of my time browsing this forum. It is my only connection to other people with similar symptoms and it is a good place. If it is not to expensive I’d get him connected. Browsing the internet is probably better then watching TV. It’s interactive.


Thanks Bryan.

Yeah… broadband is available where he is, I think it is a fairly recent thing there.
I fully agree with you about the interactive bit - that was what I was thinking about with the game, the same logic applies there.


If anyone thinks of anything else, I’d be most grateful.


Understanding the thought process of a schizophrenic, what he is doing daily is not too uncommon. There is another mmo called runescape, he might be more interested in this. Maybe you can even get him on this forum to communicated with others in the same position.


Thanks Chris! (20 characters later…)


Mirror town and sort of mirror circumstances.

Internet connection would be great, and gardening is good…I do it all the time. Connect with nature when you are in a remote area


Welcome Kent.

Runescape may be better then WOW. I play WOW on occasion as does my son :wink: Runescape can be paid and unpaid I do believe. I have watched my son play it a bit.

I think an internet connection could be a good thing for your cousin. Keep in mind thought that what he is already doing may be enough for him if he is happy with it.


I was also going to suggest you could show him this forum. If he has no connections to outer world a MMORPG could be very over whelming. So many ppl so much chatting going on all the time and all ppl aren’t nice. I play WOW too since 8 years ago.


Kent - you are such a cool cousin. Seriously. What a lovely post. I’m so impressed that you care.

I don’t know what to do to help him - but internet is seriously cool. I’m based in a semi rural part of Ireland. I couldn’t function without the internet so it might help.


Thanks everyone for the suggestions - I guess it is unanimous then :smile:

Now just the implementation phase.


I just got high speed a few years ago, maybe 2011 or 12…used to be very slow dial up…couldn’t even watch youtube and things took forever to load…
It’s a good idea…especially if broadband is available

7 of 7 and 11 of 11 in the same thread…? cool


If that’s what he wants, I think getting him a computer is a great idea.

I don’t know the guy and how tech savvy he is - you know the situation better than me. If necessary it might be a good idea giving him a few computer lessons so he’s got enough skills to make use of it?