I’m brand new here, & just joined because a search for help for my brother recommended this site. This is going to be long, but I hope you read it & offer some advice, because I’m at a loss. I’ve been my brother’s champion & defender his whole life, & he was mine as well, but I’m scared for him right now. I don’t know what to do or where to go to get him help. I’ve never been included in the loop for his medical care, & have only brought him to a couple of specialists in the past. I don’t know who his psychiatrist or GP is. To save you the trouble of reading everything in case you don’t want to, I will post my questions here:
- Is it appropriate to reach out to one of his Dr’s & give them a heads up of his odd behavior? If not,
how do you get mental health for a family member who keeps you out of the loop?
- I know there is Dr/patient confidentiality, but would the Dr at least hear me out about my
- I’m the only person my brother has, & I’m afraid that if he knows that I did this he’ll stop talking to
me, & then he’ll have nobody. Advice?
- I’m slightly concerned that he may hurt himself or do something to put himself in a dangerous
situation. He admits that suicide has crossed his mind, but says he won’t do it. He hopes that
somebody will start a fight with him & kill him!!!
He’s 6 years older than me & 56, & he was diagnosed with schizophrenia probably 10+ years ago, but I think he’s had it since his teen years. He has violent tendencies when he is going through an episode. It’s scary because he has a ton of knives, swords, guns, & a crossbow. His wife didn’t want weapons in the house, because twice he had sleepless episodes for a week to 2 weeks that led to hallucinations where he believed she was the devil, & pulled either a sword or a knife on her, & intended on cutting her head off. She managed to talk him down from it. When I was a young teenager he threw a switchblade at me once, & it almost went through my foot (i moved quickly)! In the last couple of years before her death, he slowly started collecting the weapons again, & she didn’t manage to stop him.
My concern is that his wife passed away in Nov, & they were pretty isolated. They didn’t do anything without each other, & he had no outside friends. Her death has hit him extremely hard, & it seems to be sending him into a downward spiral - though honestly he was acting a bit off even before she died. Our parents are deceased, so I am all he has. He doesn’t trust anybody, including me, & thinks everybody is out to get him.
He kept yelling at me every time I talked to him after her death, & then didn’t speak to me for a month. When we did talk, he said he lost that entire month & remembers nothing. He is convinced that the government or somebody is listening in on his phone calls, & doesn’t want me to say anything that he thinks is sensitive on the phone. Most of the time the things he thinks are sensitive are extremely bizarre. My husband & I were the only 2 people to have keys to his house, & he recently changed the locks, & won’t give me a key. This worries me DEEPLY because he is all alone, & has health problems besides the schizophrenia & falls a lot (neuropathy, spinal degeneration, COPD, & both he & I suspect he has Alzheimer’s). He says he doesn’t trust anybody. He seems to think that everybody is out to get him, & wants to steal things from him. He is convinced that somebody let themselves into the house & stole paperwork that he had for his deceased wife, says they trashed his office, & stole a bag of jewelry that was hers that was hidden. I personally think he misplaced the things - something he does often.
Yesterday we saw each other for the 1st time since her funeral, & he insisted that we meet at the playground near his house, in the pouring down rain, with temps in the 40’s. I had my 2 kids with me, & it was to give them Christmas presents because he didn’t want to see us over the holidays. It was COLD, & I kept asking if we could please go back to his house. My oldest daughter left for college when it became dark, so my youngest daughter & I went to his house with him. He has salt sprinkled at the doorways, as you enter each room of his house, & he thinks it protects him & nobody evil will be able to cross it. Shortly after we got there, & we sat downstairs to talk, he went upstairs & came down with a huge sword - one side had a serrated blade & the other was just sharp. He unsheathed it & started swinging it around near my youngest daughter & I. I told him he was making me nervous & to please put that thing away. He has very bad balance due to the neuropathy, & staggers around like a drunk but he’s sober. All it would’ve taken is him staggering or falling & one or both of us would’ve been seriously injured or killed. He thought it was funny that he was scaring us.
He sat down, & held the sword in his lap, & started talking crazy. He is obsessed with the show Supernatural, & believes the things in this show. I do believe in some supernatural things too, but he treats this show like it’s a bible or something. He was telling me all kinds of weird things, but the weirdest was “Call me crazy if you want to, but I believe that I’m a hunter too. I think I’m a ghost hunter.” The conversation took all kinds of twists & turns, & at one point I mentioned a friend of mine who is a white witch, & I was trying to tell him what her thoughts are on certain things he mentioned, & he suddenly got very tense, & looked crazed, & said “You know, I kill witches too!” His knuckles were white on the sword, he kept sliding it out, & putting it back in. The feeling I had was that in his mind he somehow thought that I was a witch! I could see that he was struggling with himself internally, trying not to do anything to hurt me. He didn’t, but I’m not going to lie - he scared me.
My daughter fell asleep next to me on the sofa, & I sat there trying to think of how I can help him. I gently asked if he was still taking his meds. He said that he is. I tried to get him to tell me who is psychiatrist is without telling him why. I said a friend needed a good psychiatrist & asked if he could recommend anyone. He wouldn’t give me the name. A couple of hours later I got him on the subject of my youngest, & was talking about her autism & her neurologist because in the past he’s said that I should bring her to his neurologist. I figured if I played that card, & at least found out who his neurologist was, that maybe I could try to reach out to them & give them a heads up that he’s acting oddly. He did give me the neurologist’s name! Do you think that if i reached out to the neurologist, he might be able to get in touch with his psychiatrist, & they can get his meds tweaked?
I love my brother, & I don’t like feeling like I have to protect myself & my children from him, or feel scared of him.
Any & all advice is welcome!