Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

How to approach my parents for other solutions


#1

My older brother (34) has been off his meds for a few months now and has been edgy to the point where he might have a violent episode. I’ve been feeling paranoid for the safety of my parents, my siblings and myself because of this. My dad thinks it is best to keep him with family cause what better help to give him than the support of a family, but i believe it has become too much of a burden to handle on our own. It’s been stressful, I feel heavy inside and I don’t think I am the only one who feels that way. I readily admitted this concern to them but they are being in denial about it. How do I convince my parents that it is time to get medical help?

P.S. This cycle has happened 2 or 3 times in the past and I was too youg and too scared to let my voice speak. Why is it hard to break away from the pain?


#2

Hi Sue,

Sorry for the slow response. Does your brother have any history of violence? History of violence and illegal drug or alcohol abuse are the best predictors of future violence (and being off medication).

Read up here:
http://schizophrenia.com/poverty.htm

Sorry that its stressful for you. Look for early signs of relapse - and be sure to share the info on relapse indicators with your parents.

Here is some good reading on the topic:

Schizophrenia (Relapse): early warning signs
http://www.schizophrenia.com/pdfs/earlysigns.relapse.pdf

and

Here is something you should also print out for your parents - how to deal with someone when they are psychotic:

http://www.schizophrenia.com/sznews/archives/005561.html


#3

Hello Sue

I’m sorry this situation is happening for you…I understand how difficult it can be with parents who are in denial and who are not doing what may be in everyone’s best interests. I also understand how it feels when your parents do not want to hear you.

I was 15 when my sister had her first psychotic episode and it was not expected by us. She was in psychiatric care for months and has several episodes requiring months of hospitalisation since then. I was never and have never been asked about what I think about her care by my parents who are stubbornly minded. I am 36 now and still struggle with the consequences of lack of family communication and openness, despite my parents wanting to do the best for me and my sister.

Fortunately for my sister, she has over the last few years been getting better and enjoys life and has friends and goes out to town by herself and has developed hobbies that she loves. She still lives with my parents.

I have only just joined this forum so I noticed you put this post up a while ago…so maybe the situation is different now? How old are you?

I know the heaviness and pain of watching something like this happen and not feeling able to say how you feel about it and not being listened too. All I can say is remember that your opinion is as important as your parents. For me, saying what I thought to my parents caused frustration and resentment on my part as they are so unable to share and communicate in a healthy way. They have been in denial of my sisters condition also and even don’t believe in medication. They have reduced her medication against advice and refused to listen to consultants too. However, even though I cannot force them to listen to me or acknowledge that what I think is worth listening too, in looking for my own inner peace it helped me to say what I thought to them. Everyone’s parents are different and only you can know how far you want to say what you think.

The other thing I found was invaluable was reaching out to others outside of your family…even if it’s just one person to talk to. I talked to a teacher at the time and now some friends I have been able to talk to, as well as CBT therapists. It helps just to share what you are going through because of your siblings illness, even if it not a way to change your parents attitudes.

I hope this is a little bit helpful. Remember to look after yourself too.


#4

Your parents are probably struggling inside on caring for your brother and may not want to burden you with their concern. Maybe they are in denial and maybe not but I don’t think you will convince them what they could see as giving up on their son, Your brother is very fortunate as many families do give up on their mentally ill loved ones. I’m wondering if you can give them the url address to this website so that they can meet other parents who are strong advocates for their children. It may take communicating with other parents on this site for them to entertain the idea of other options.

I completely understand your loving concern over your parents well being. You sound like a wonderful daughter.


#5

Yes you do sound like a wonderful daughter. My parents too wanted to care for my sister at home until she became so ill that it was no longer safe for her to be at home, and we were not capable of looking after her by ourselves and she was sectioned for many months at a time. They as parents go through hell trying to do their best, and I think in my parents case semi denial has helped them though at times.

But I agree that if they can get support too it would help them to be more open to consider options.