I just want to talk to other siblings of people with Schizophrenia. I have never met anyone who has a friend, let alone a sibling who has suffers with Schizophrenia and I have realised how isolated I feel about it.
My sister suffered her first psychotic episode when I was 15 and has had several more since where she has been sectioned for months at a time and has spent years trying to recover. She is 38 now and I am 36.
Nobody, not even my parents, acknowledged an impact on me and I’ve never really had anyone to talk to about it apart from a very caring boyfriend I had for some years. But even then I felt alone with it as I had no-one to talk to about it who has experienced it as a sibling.
Fortunately my sister has been feeling well for a few years now and is enjoying life. She lives with my Mum and Dad who care for her and have had unwavering dedication to her care despite being in semi denial of her illness. They haven’t worked well with her consultants and psychiatrists who they feel are more harm than good, and my parents also have a very negative attitude to her medication which they feel is causing many of her symptoms. They do not seem to want to involve my sister in decisions and they don’t seem to want to give my sister any free choice. They are quite pushy parents in this respect…out of fear of her having another psychotic episode which they feel they wouldn’t cope with again. They are very inflexible in their mindsets and can be un-empathetic although I do realise they have had immense struggles being able to come to terms with it themselves. They are of the stiff upper lip variety of English parents (i.e. a bit emotionally repressed).
So it’s been difficult over the years and I just wanted to reach out to see if anyone else has had similar experiences. I have suffered periods of quite bad anxiety and depression which I have had CBT for and I feel this has been helpful. I think feeling isolated and worried about my sisters condition has contributed to my own mental health struggles though as I’ve never really been able to address the worries I had about her with anyone who understood. Sometimes I feel like I’m living a parallel life to everyone else!
Have any other siblings out there struggled with the subconscious feeling that there is something wrong or there is an illness waiting for them too, and hence suffered anxiety and depression?