Just want to say first of all that this is a lovely resource that I’m happy I found, and I want to thank all of you who respond to these posts with information and concern.
I’m the youngest sibling in my family, I have 3 older brothers and my oldest brother (Lets call him J, 35) has schizophrenia. He’s been diagnosed, but doesn’t take anti psychotic medication. J currently takes Adderall and a crazy high dose of lorazepam. J currently doesn’t see a psychiatrist that’s equipped to treat him, he sees an ADHD psychiatrist occasionally who has tried (in good faith) to quit multiple times.
J’S been living at my family’s house for almost his whole life, besides a 6 month attempt at college. For the past 10+ years his mental health has been deteriorating. J’s been violent and had psychotic episodes, and will stay in the mental hospital for the minimum required time and then come back home. My parents feel like they have their hands tied and don’t know what to do. My mom seems to think it’s not as bad as it is, and even said a substitute teacher job for him could be a “good opportunity”. I reminded her of J’s bad legal track record (two DUI’s, breaking and entering) and his mental state, and angrily told her she was being delusional.
I am so fed up with trying to get my parents to do something, and so are my other siblings. It’s now had a bad effect on one of my brothers (not J) who now has a baby and refuses to come to the house because its not a safe environment. J hasn’t had one of the episodes in close to a year, but I understand where he’s coming from. It’s just my parents and J at home now, everyone else moved out for obvious reasons.
My siblings and my grandmother are considering having an intervention with my parents and pleading for them to take more action (a great start would be convincing him to see a psychiatrist that can actually help, or encouraging him to take the meds he’s prescribed). They have said they’ve looked into legal options, but were told it’s hard in our state (NY) to get someone to go to treatment involuntarily.
Any tips? Any advice? It’s heartbreaking and as the youngest of the family, I’ve been dealing with J’s illness for almost half my life at this point. Something needs to change.
Welcome to the site @cresson42 . I am glad that you found it as reading back posts is a great way to get some ideas on how to help J or yourself or your parents. Unfortunately, it is pretty normal for a person with schizophrenia not to seek help for their illness as often they don’t see any illness in themselves. It’s called anosognosia, and it isn’t understood by all mental health professionals and so sometimes goes unrecognized. Schizophrenia causes trouble for other family members and friends when psychosis sets in, even if the episodes are few and far between.
It seems like your parents are doing the best they can. Oftentimes there is no solution to living arrangements for the mentally ill other than for a family member to provide it. My daughter’s illness started in 2016, which is when she moved back in with me in her early 30s. She still lives with me. She would not be able to live on her own. Thankfully, I was able to force treatment on her than ended her psychosis, but it took many police visits and involuntary drugs to successfully break her psychosis. But we were lucky. Some families have tried over and over to help their loved ones and nothing has worked. It is a heartbreaking severe unending mental illness, and honestly very few resources exist for an ill person whose family isn’t involved with their care. NAMI family-to-family class was the best help for me personally. Is there a NAMI near you or your parents?