Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

I have questions about my brothers disorder


#1

I try to talk to my brother but he doesn’t understand what I’m saying or he starts talking about things that don’t exist. How can I talk to him so that he can have a conversation with me?


#2

Does he have schizophrenia, is he medicated?


#3

Yes he does and no he isn’t. My mother and I are currently in the process of getting him help but we keep running into road blocks


#4

He sounds very ill, my friend. Some of us are so buried under the delusions and hallucinations that following everyday conversations without medicinal intervention can be too much to ask.


#5

Thank you, I’ve been doing research but I still don’t understand what he’s going through. I get very upset and angry when people laugh at him or say things about him because its not his fault he’s like this.


#6

@Penguin08, you sound like a truly caring person. Please don’t give up on your brother or on protecting him. He truly needs you. He is going through something terrible, but with you and proper medical help, he can live a better life than what is happening to him now! Stay strong!


#7

Thank you. It hurts me to see him go through this because I know how he was before this and its sad to watch him change completely


#8

There is so much great information on schizophrenia.com about sz and the symptoms and personal experiences. It could only benefit you to brush up on these items. You may even be helped to identify what he is dealing with. It’s worth your time!


#9

Welcome @Penguin08

If he is delusional it will be hard to talk to him. Keep caring and protect him. But don’t go into his delusions. Don’t confirm them. He need someone to safely shake his world a bit and maybe get his logic to work again through reality checks.

I hope you can get him to a doctor soon. What are the causes he’s not been there yet? Maybe we could brainstorm and help you overcome the blockages?


#10

It’s definitely hard to follow conversations when your mind is in the midst of schizophrenia. Something that may really help you is to remember that what seems simple for you to understand is likely 5 times harder for him to process. So slow things down to what may feel rudimentary. There’s a lot of stimulation that he’s dealing with and I think his “priorities” – ie what grips the focus he does have — are much stronger than what you are tying to communicate. This does not mean that what you are trying to do to help him is not valuable, it means he’s not aware of it in the way others would be. Patience is very important. Keep in mind that even when we resist help of any sort (and there are many reasons this can happen), we are still in a lot of pain. It’s hard to live with the mental turmoil, as is being a witness. If you can remind yourself that he is not “there” it can help you take some pressure off of yourself if he resists or doesn’t show improvement quickly. Reminding yourself that you are battling something you can’t see or control can help you not blame him (or yourself/other family members) for why he can’t be present. A lot of the blame can come about subconsciously or turn into resentment. I am not saying you have blamed him for anything, but as there will be lifelong ups and downs, caregiving is its own burden.

Think of one thing he could focus on. Something very simple that is fun and instantly gratifying. Like getting in the car and driving to a local ice cream shop and just sitting there having ice cream. The only goal is to go out for ice cream and try to be out and about. This may seem unimportant compared to getting him on the right drug but it will aid with focus. It will help ground him and if it’s a simple outing there is a good chance you can both enjoy yourselves. Sometimes going out can be tricky for us, so think of easy, familiar things you can try to do inside if that’s the case. Can you offer to make a meal he likes one night and have him help out if he wants? Play a board game? Just something that shows you care and isn’t heavy. If you’re trying to get him in with a doctor it’s easy to lose sight of smaller things that can be equally beneficial, especially if they are regular things. Make sure he sees you as family while you do something familiar, not just someone who is trying to get him care. The reality of the system is that sometimes getting a doctor who works well with you takes more than one try. The right drug takes several tries and often there are weeks to month long periods on each drug you’re trying. Make sure you take the time to be with him as a person during the process. It will really help once you get to a good doc. Sometimes the best thing you can do is keeping him from going deeper into where he is. If you can’t improve things immediately, at least try to keep him as grounded as you can while you figure out the next step.

Best of luck.