I don’t know how to help my brother

My brother has been battling schizophrenia for a few years now. Recently he has had severe delusions and has been reporting himself to authorities for CSAM. We do not know whether his self accusations have merit as they suddenly started during an episode caused by him stopping his medication. He keeps calling the FBI, the police and others to report his delusions. To the point they have told him to stop calling. He has been evaluated involuntarily twice in the last 2 months but he is released within 24-72 hours each time.

It’s really hard to support someone when they are claiming to have done such horrible things. His self accusations are done in the same breath as other claims like that he is psychic and can read minds. So it’s difficult to know what is truth and what is delusion.

I have told him to speak with his psychiatry team about this but aside from weekly counseling and medication they haven’t offered much. My brother will not commit to inpatient treatment and we can’t force him into treatment as he is not currently an imminent danger to himself or others.

I just feel hopeless. How do you help someone who won’t help themselves? He is pushing away people around him with his delusions and constant social media posts.

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The short response is that for your brother his delusions are his reality. Sounds like he is trying to do the right thing by turning himself in, because he fully believes his delusions are real. Have you tried informing his psychiatry team?

I am sorry you feel hopeless, welcome to the forum. I think you would find it highly beneficial to read similar questions and responses, there is a lot of information on this site. For particular topics use the search space on the upper right - the magnifying glass. You could even try typing in “I don’t know how to help my brother”.

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Thank you for your response. His psychiatry team is very aware of his self accusations. Luckily we don’t have any children in our family. So he has a place to reside where is not (if his delusions are true) a harm or risk to others.

The local police department is also aware of his diagnosis and self reporting and has been in contact with his psychiatry team. We don’t think any charges are being brought at this time because there is no evidence a crime has been committed.

My brother has been recommended to inpatient treatment but refuses to go. In the meantime I hope that his psychiatry team can resolve his delusion or desire to seek out CSAM.

I have just read that certain delusions never go away. I find myself asking, why this delusion or obsession? Why in the last two months would he go from more manageable delusions to actively seeking out something that will make you a social pariah.

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There isn’t any specific point that makes a delusion a delusion that won’t go away. I know it’s difficult to not ask yourself why? questions. We end up spinning ourselves in circles when we try to understand the irrational brain. Irrational is irrational.

You said he was diagnosed a few years ago, you haven’t mentioned your brother’s age. Our family members’ symptoms tend to escalate for several years. My son’s symptoms began escalating in his early 30’s, not an uncommon age.

We all have to educate ourselves extensively to help our family members. Read this forum in depth, there is a lot of help here. Read Dr Torrey’s “Surviving Schizophrenia, A Manual for Families” For our family members with anosognosia who refuse treatment there is Dr Amador’s LEAP method of communicating and his book, "I’m Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help - these two books are recommended over and over on this site. Start reading.

Your brother is not actively seeking out something that will make him a social pariah. He has a diagnosis of schizophrenia, his delusion is a symptom.

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