My schizophrenic brother is about to be discharged after a long hospital stay, and wants to live with me.
When he was addicted to crystal meth between 2014 and 2016, he used to have violent thoughts about me, my sister and my dad, so we were all advised by a doctor back then to never live with him. There’s been no evidence of these violent thoughts since his meth addiction ended, but I’m aware he could be having them but just not sharing them out loud.
We used to get along really well before his meth addiction, so I have always thought that if I were to live with him, he would have some stability and love in his life, and would have motivation to take his medication everyday, because I wouldn’t let him continue to live with me if he missed a dose. So he would never regress to the point where he would be having dangerous thoughts about me.
Am I being naive in thinking this?
My sister and dad think it would be a huge mistake to let him live with me, because there is always a risk that he could hurt me. And to prevent me from ever letting him live with me, they say they’ll never talk to me again if I do it, which means I’d be left to deal with my brother on my own, which I definitely can’t handle. It’s way too much stress for one person.
They also say I shouldn’t sacrifice my life for my brother. It’s true that it would be a lot of stress and responsibility living with him, but I feel that a year or two might set him up to build a better life for himself. He’s had a traumatic few years, so he has extreme social anxiety and he says he only feels comfortable talking to family.
So I think a couple of years of stability and proximity to people he’s comfortable with might set him up on a path to more independence. Or maybe not - the pattern with him has always been hope followed by extreme disappointment when things don’t work out like we’d hoped.
What my dad and sister want is for him to live in a 1 bedroom apartment on his own. With our budget, the apartment would have to be a minimum of an hour away from the rest of the family and from his doctor. So he’d be pretty isolated from us and from his healthcare team.
So I think that’ll get him started on the same cycle that got him into the hospital. He’ll feel lonely, so he’ll stop taking his medication because he’ll want the company of his voices. Then he’ll lose touch with reality and end up in the hospital again.
I really don’t know what to do here. I’m going to speak to some professionals this week but I’d really love to hear the thoughts of people going through similar situations.
Wishing you all strength and patience as you deal with your own situations!