I have a brother who suffers from what I believe, is schizophrenia, however I’m having trouble convincing him to try different drugs. He’d rather drink alcohol in “moderation”. I asked him, “What’s the difference between this can of beer and a pill? They both have side effects, they both effect the brain in some way…”
Anyone out there, can you please help me find a way to encourage him, and to gently convince him that he has a severe illness that needs treatment?
Mental Illness runs prominent in my family. In fact my oldest brother has has schizophrenia since he turned 22 (he’s 35 now). He has been on a medication for a long time that has helped him function greatly. I’m trying to get the name of it right now. My uncle’s illness went untreated for so long, that he has not been able to function alone in society and now lives in a foster home. Fortunately - I think - he is consistently taking meds. Half his siblings blame themselves for not getting him help right away.
But my other brother, whom recently turned 24 has battled with substance abuse - weed and alcohol. Last year he became so stressed he OD on alcohol, couldn’t sleep for 5 days and ended up in a mental hospital for two weeks.
On the 4th day of no sleep he would not talk at all. He would simply sit and stare and would only look at you when you talked to him. On the 5th morning he had muscle spasms so badly that an ambulance was called. After sitting in ER for over 9 hours he was submitted to a mental hospital.
When questioned in ER he was able to explain that when people talked he hear “a loud, harsh scratchy voice.” They told him he may suffer from depression, then they changed it to bipolar. They gave him double doses of the half-life drug Invega-Sustenna that turned him into basically a zombie for an entire month.
He’d seen therapists and physiologists following the incident but they did not do a good job explaining to him that he has mental illness. He tried Risperdal but felt depressed and stopped taking it after two weeks.
He broke down the other night and explained to me what he’s been struggling with.
He said “I hate being around people. They make tease me and I’m afraid to stand up for my self. I’m afraid I’ll make them mad and they will kill me. They will torture me. And sometimes I just feel so insane for thinking these things. I’m so scared. I feel like I’m dying. I’ve only been sleeping 3 hours a night because I’ve been out of weed.”
I tried my best to encourage him. Here are some discoveries he shared with me;
While sober he doesn’t feel stimulated enough. He’s always felt this way - since he was a child.
He doesn’t like being “intellectual” like studying or trying to do academics hard-core. He doesn’t like being inside his mind that much. (Not sure why?)
He prefers to listen to music and spend time online so he can go into his imagination.
He wanted to drink alcohol to help calm his mind. He was so distraught. So I tried to make an agreement with him. “You can try this for now - in moderation - but you have to promise me you’ll try different medications.”
Every time I said the word “pill” he would stare at me with no response.
He is not convinced he requires medical assistance.
This is terrifying because I cannot fathom how much torment he’s in and I so desperately wish to help him. How do I tell him?
Therapists have been absolutely no help!
My mother suffers from slight paranoia. Every time something negative about her children is said, she believes they are blaming her for not raising her children right. She believes each of her 3 children think that about her as well. I can’t talk to her about my brothers without her getting upset.
I told my father about the incident, about what my brother said, how it confirmed that he may have something along the lines of schizophrenia. I told him my plan to get him a good dr and get him prescribed different meds. My dad said “I don’t know what to do.” And walked away.
People who have suffered along side and among those who need medication - Please help me. How can I convince him that he should get on, stay on meds? How do I even begin?
Please at least, share you story if you’d like.
I feel so alone.
Thank you for reading.