Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

How do people living with schizophrenics cope?

My 21 year old brother was diagnosed with schizophrenia a year ago. For the past 3 months, his episodes have increased tremendously. Most days I cant do anything because he hears voices and gets very violent. He hits everyone a lot. Also hits me sometimes. I am afraid he might go too far and kill someone(I’m being paranoid but you never know). I’m in senior year of high school and my grades are the worst they’ve been in 10 years. My mental health is terrible. I am torn between wanting to run away from my house and wanting to take care of him. The only solution I can see is to move away. But how? I need to get out of here or I might kill myself. I feel guilty and alone. I cant even imagine what my brother feels like but this illness has destroyed my life. Are there any other siblings of schizophrenics out there who feel this way? How do you cope? Thanks for reading .

i think you should see a doctor yourself.

Dear @Kml

My oldest brother is diagnosed with Sz and when we were growing up he was having his onset stage. There were some hard times. I remember being torn between never wanting to go home and wanting to take my brother out of the house and help him and look after him.

From the outside looking in, this illness is frustrating, and finding the person under this illness gets hard to do sometimes. I was lucky, my brother became med compliant as he got older and was open to getting more help.

It was hard watching him suffer, knowing there was nothing I could do for him. As far as hitting, you can set your boundaries. Let him know you’re not going to be his punching bag, and walk away and ignore him when he begins with the anger.

For a while I kept our interactions light, and conversations short. He wasn’t up for long talks. If your brother is getting too deep into his head, maybe suggest a small walk around the yard, or the block.

Another thing that worked for me was bringing out the coloring books. That way I could just sit hang out with him and not force him into conversation.

For me alone, I went to and found a sibling support group in my area and got a lot of help, knowledge and coping tools for me and what I was feeling.

Learning about this illness and it’s stages and symptoms also helped me begin to understand and taught me how to interact with my brother and not take on the guilt or stress. It taught me how to detach a bit and not take his anger personally.

Living in a house with a person who is just starting to fall apart, and doesn’t know why, and is angry about that, and confused, and watching this illness consume the person for a while is very stressful. therapy was a big help.

These two books helped me understand my brother a lot.

I hope things get better for you and your brother. Don’t be afraid to ask for help yourself.

I’m sorry to hear your brother’s illness is affecting your wellness also. It may be wrong to assume this, but I’m assuming you are living with at least one parent, that it is not just you and your brother. Have you talked with a parent about how this is affecting you? You need to feel safe in your home and have some personal space where you can study and relax.

Some NAMI groups have support groups for siblings, you might want to look for something like that.

we don’t…that is why it is called a mental illness !?! :mask:
take care :alien:

Thankyou. This is very helpful. God bless you.

Dear Kml,

I am sorry you are in such a difficult situation.

The vast majority of people with mental illness do not hit people. When there is abuse or violence, I think that would be handled the way any abuse is. Your parents probably don’t know what to do; sadly, it is extremely difficult to get treatment for people with serious mental illness. Depending on where you live, it can take years to find independent housing or another place to live for a person with mental illness.

You might have been traumatized by being hit. If so, you might benefit from counseling or other support. Also, is there a safe place for you to stay or to study sometimes (or all the time)? I want you to feel safe and enjoy your senior year as much as possible.