Is there anybody in my position here? Brother ill, Refuses Treatment


#1

Hello.My brother has been ill since he was in his early 20s. Now he is in his late 40s. We lost contact for a long time till 2015. He didn’t want any contact from me. Since his first pychotic break out,I’ve always felt hostility coming from him which I didn’t comprehend at the time because I tried to help him in every way possible.

He was at college during the first psychotic break out. He left his school and for two years he spent his days in his room lying. He was hospitalized and medicated at the time. My mother was alive and she was responsible for him and I guess I wasn’t fully aware of what we were experiencing because when he got relatively well he went back to school and finished it, I thought everything was over .

I knew he had many inadequacies, tendency to violence and some bizarre choices that irritated me very much like wearing coats in summer but I was focused on my life ,was trying hard to build a life of my own so ignored many things.I thought they were temporary and some of them were really so. He began to have proper clothing choices after a while. We had fights whenever I expected healthy behaviours from him. I didn’t know the seriousness of the illness.

He lived with my mother until her death.Then with me for a couple of years. During that time I realized for the first time that there was something very serious going on. But my mistake was ; I now acknowledge ,thinking his behaviours were towards me,against me. I had my own problems to cope up with , I wasn’t his parent so I let him go and we began to lead our own lives. He went away and didn’t contact me,changed his phone number when I tried to contact .
In 2015 we kind of reunited when I was informed that his living conditions were miserable. I tried to help him as much I could,made his conditions much more better. I suggested he could work at home or we could find a job for him ,maybe parttime and something he could manage but he kept not hearing me. He said he worked a lot during the years we didn’t keep in touch and he was tired. No connection with reality.

This was the second time I needed to confront schizophrenia ,all over again. For two years I have been observing and learning different aspects of this illness but to tell you the truth it is tough sometimes. I’ve been slowly accepting that he will never be the brother I yearn for.

He refuses treatment. He doesn’t think there is anything wrong with him,I think.He thinks he is leading a normal life.(learning – no insight in this illness ) For a couple of times I gently reminded him of his first pyschotic break up and he accused the conditions,he found millions of reasons for that. He rationalizes and accuses my parents,their divorce ,my father not being there,me etc.etc. He pities himself and sees himself as a victim all the time. He accuses me even for the childhood fights we had.

I got shocked a couple of times when I heard some bizarre accusations from him,things that could never have happened. He said things like "do you remember when so and so happened ? " Well,nothing of that kind happened,no way.(learning about delusions)

In spring I invited him to a summer house we rented to stay by himself because we weren’t available to go there till summer and I thought that could be a nice change for him. He came and we (my spouse and I ) did everything we could to make him a little bit happy. He stayed there almost 3 months and we went there a couple of weekends,took him out,bought him presents just to put a smile on his face. And he did feel happy I think from time to time and he apologized from me once for all the misdoings he did in the past. He said he had a nice vacation all over and thanked me before he left.

After he returned to the town he lives,after some time he wrote to me accusing me of attempts of sexual harrasment during the time we spent together in the summer house,telling me that he felt very uncomfortable a few times and it won’t be approriate for us to be together again under the same roof. You could imagine how shocked and hurt I was. I couldn’t speak for an hour or so. I didn’t reply to him,my spouse said," He is so ill that he doesn’t know what he is saying.Don’t mind,I wouldn’t lose sleep over it " Well,I tried but it hurt.

After that incident I felt like I’ve become alienated from him and although still paying for his vital needs,I have become distant,never discussed that accusation cause I think it is futile.

But it made me think," am I doing wrong ? " and " what could be done ? " " Is there a chance for him to improve a little bit if he goes into treatment after all those years without any treatment ? " I am his only family member who cares so what can I do to get him into treatment ? " Should I cut the ties ? " As I am a sister and not a parent,am I taking too much responsibility ? " "How can I care for myself in regard to my brother ? "etc…so many questions


#2

I have gone through much more challenging time and still I am going but I will never stop caring for my son.
I can write to you a big journal of all the events and espisodes that i have been going through since 2014.

Do not cut ties with your Brother. He needs help.
Do not take everything he said personnal. He is irrational and cannot think straight.
yes, he can get better with right treatment but it will take time. Usually it take at least 21 days for the medicine to do its work. Also, Medicine withdrawal is not good. Means if he gets on medicine, he should continue and also according to doctor, it may take several trials of medicine to find the right dose for him
DO not give up. there is a Hope
and do not leave him alone. He needs you.
Seek a Mental health support center in your area.
if he is a danger to himself or another, call 911 and they will take him to hospital to evaluate him

praying for you and him. Good Luck.


#3

Hard as it may be, you must consider yourself and your health over his…


#4

There is a symptom of Schizophrenia that has failed to be included in the DSM, most people with Schizophrenia do not believe they are sick, they do not see their symptoms, they do not see what has happened in their lives, they see their lives from before they became ill. If you don’t think you are sick you would not take medication or get treatment. This is their reality. A good resource to learn how to talk to your brother is to read, “Im not sick I don’t need help” by Xaviar Amador. He is a Psychologist who didn’t know how to help his brother who suffered from Schizophrenia.


#5

My son is ill and NAMI - National Alliance of Mental Illness - has saved me. I took a 10 week course about mental illnesses through NAMI , taught me so much, they also have caregiver support groups. It can be a start for you, I’m still trying to get my son to attend the peer support group. I highly recommend researching and finding your local NAMI. You can always email their main office for help. It truly has saved me and has taught me how to handle things.


#6

Here are some good videos on this from this author:

and

and

and his book on amazon:


#7

I can assure you, everyone with a loved one with Schizophrenia knows everything you are going through and has been through episodes like them or worse.

Look up Anosognosia. It is a condition that goes along with the disease that makes them unable to see or understand they are ill.

I will also concur with the others, that your brother needs help and unfortunately it sounds as if you are the only one who is a direct relative that may be able to do that.

There are long active antipsychotics out now that help with the continued risk of relapse. One month injectable and up to 3 month injectablse. I know your feeling of not wanting to be around him, because he causes you pain…but when someone tells you not to “take it personally” what they mean is understanding that this is not your fault and the things they say are not true and don’t have anything to do with you, but they are a direct result of the illness. Many times it is easier said than done not to be affected by these comments and behavior, but when you are around him, remember to give yourself a “break” as in excusing yourself if he attacks you verbally or says things that are difficult to understand or tolerate. I also concur about the above referenced book. It is very helpful and helps you understand how not to react to the things they say. i.e. arguing that what they are saying is not true. Many times this is the very thing that causes a distance that is too hard to bridge.

Many times the person with this disease is not physically a harm to themselves or others, but as in my case my daughter has lost 40 pounds and is very underweight. We (had to go) went to the court in the mental health department and requested a mental health warrant, then took it to our police department (or in your case the police department where your brother lives) and they went to her apartment, picked her up and took her to the hospital, where she is currently. This is our 5-6th hospitalization and she has never understood she is ill nor do I believe she ever will. We are getting older and I am petrified of passing and leaving her alone with this illness. We are now currently researching ways to help care for her after we are gone.

I hope you can find it in your heart to get help for your brother. After everything that has been said and done, you may not ever have a good relationship with him, but know you have done everything you possibly can to get the help he needs will free your mind from any guilt you may have or may have in the future.

Good luck and God Bless


#8

@2frustrated and @Hope178 These are the Amador videos the Admin recommends


#9

Hi DianeR. I did not see a link to any videos? Did I miss something.?


#10

@2frustrated I tagged you on the thread. Scroll up a few people and you will see the videos that the admin posted.


#11

I was wondering how you are. Everything in your post is true for me too, and most likely for anyone who has a loved one going through episodes. Anosognosia is the real curse.


#12

@ABDUL_HADJI - scroll up and you’ll see the videos a few people up.


#13

Guess I am not sure how to access that as I could not find it. Still trying to navigate through the forum and need help. LOL


#14

@2frustrated - Scroll up on this thread until you see 27%20AM as the poster, The admin - just a seven posting up on this same thread.


#15

Hi DianeR,
Thank you so much, I finally got it. :slight_smile: I have viewed some of these videos before and I am going to watch them all. Appreciate your info.
Take Care


#16

@2frustrated Glad you found them. I wanted to make sure you saw the ones the Admin posted as I knew those were probably the best to watch. :slight_smile:


#17

Yes, they were good. I have viewed them from the LEAP website and always good to re-watch, very helpful.
Thank you