Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

How do I help my brother?

My brother is Schizophrenic. I have tried nearly everything I can think of to get him into housing. Unfortunately, he chooses to “self-medicate” instead of regularly taking his meds. This has resulted in the inability for him to live with any family member. I cant do everything for him, 1. because I simply don’t have the time and ability, but also because, I need/want him to WANT this. Currently he is homeless on the streets near where I work. I see him just about everyday or as often as he wants to visit me. Sometimes I see him walking along the cold dark streets, and even sometimes laying on the cold, wet corners. it really is heart breaking to see your family member like that!

How can I help him? He has the funds. He has a case manager. He has me. He just will not make the attempt at anything, or follow through with anything when asked. I know he cant really focus too hard, or long, but there’s got to be something!!! He also refuses homeless shelters and anything that might make him give up his street drugs.

I need advice… or at least encouragement towards a more helpful path.

Thank you

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he could be way too delusional to know what is going on…
or to even be able to make that lucid decision… :imp:
and if he is ’ knowing ’ of what is occurring to him… :door:.
he must ultimately make the decision himself.
take care :alien:

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maybe you can pray for him, if there is nothing else you can do you can always do that, sometimes peoples prayers get answered, its not unheard of. take care.

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Maybe try the obtuse approach. Ignore the fact that he’s on the street. Stop treating it as an issue. Go see him every day and a few times a week take him for a coffee or a burger for half an hour. Establish that as a habit. That way he can ‘get’ it that you love and accept him as he is, and always want to preserve that link. Eventually, he is going to start preferring to be in the warmth with people who treat him right.
if you pressure him, he will kick back. We all do that, all human beings. If you repeatedly give him a taste of comfort and normality, he may eventually start to want it.
my son never did drugs but I insisted on treating him ‘normally’ all through the period when he was delusional, psychotic and paranoid. I believe that it really did help.
He was not fully compliant with drug therapy for a couple of years after diagnosis, but he gradually became more cooperative with general help. He finally was sectioned, and now he has chosen depot injections.

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My brother was diagnosed with schizophrenia 23 years ago. At first it was hard to get him to take medications. Once he realized he would feel better he took them regularly. I have noticed that as he has gotten older, his illness has gotten worse. He thinks I am out to get him. All these years I have helped him live as indecently as he could. He had his own apartment that I helped pay rent. I helped with utilities, food, clothes, anything that his monthly check did not cover. We had a good relationship until last year. He accused me of physically abusing him. If the people at the VA did not know me for decades of bringing my brother to his appointments, I would have been arrested and gone to jail. My brother just walked out of his apt. Left everything that my sister and I got for him. Furniture, clothes, appliances, brand new flat screen TV. He has been in and out of mental hospitals since Dec. 2015. He gets placed somewhere and he walks away from there also. Now he has blocked social workers at hospitals from speaking with me. This has torn me up inside. I love my brother but I don’t know how to help him. He has pushed away his advocate with health care, me, I pushed for him to get care he needed. Most mental health patients don’t get care they need because people in health care marginalized them. I am at my wits end!

It sounds like you’ve reached out and your brother has the system in place to help him but he’s too unwell to want help. This is the situation with my daughter’s former partner I will call Alex. Alex has the structure in place – caseworker, psychiatrist and a active helping community but he’s chosen to abuse drugs and uses the little monthly income he has on drugs. He lives on the street or in the forest with a tent. There is nothing we can do to help him but because we are a family of faith we pray for him. Nothing is hopeless. What I clung to when my own daughter was briefly living on the streets is that most humans want to survive and have strong survival instincts. I found this thinking to be very true in my daughter’s case.

Best advice I’ve heard all day! Thank you

Great advice Hatty thank you