It hasn’t even been a month yet since my older brother killed my father. My father did all he could to support my brother. My mother passed away 5 years ago to the day we found out my father had been killed. My mother passed from cancer and that grief is so different from this grief. Now we have to be reminded constantly of the court process that my brother is going through. He’s in local news stories and it’s impossible to escape. I did something you shouldn’t do which was click on peoples comments. Those were really hard to read. People have no idea what schizophrenia does to a person and their family. I have a twin brother and between him, my dad and I, we tried everything we could to get him help for years. He had been arrested a couple of times for stalking women and following them around local stores. (He was obsessed with the idea of having a girlfriend.) That was enough to get him sent to the hospital for evaluation. I remember pleading to the doctor to keep him because of his illness and paranoia but he was released the next day. And this was back in 2017. After experiencing my own anxiety and panic attacks around this whole thing I decided to take a step back for my own health. My brother mostly avoided us but would come around for Christmas every year and make pretend that he was ok. And he would do a really good job at it. I always kept up hope that he would get better. But I didn’t know the half of it really. My dad would tell my brother and I some things that were going on at home but we never felt that anything violent would ever happen. Through the 10 year progression of his illness he was never violent, until he was on that day last month. I guess I’m on here to see if anyone else has a similar story or has a lost a family member because of this illness? You really do feel like you’re on an island alone with an experience like this.
Oh, junegirl2409! I am so very sorry for your family’s loss. Your mom 5 years ago - that is still a fresh loss and now your dad. I am sure your dad did do all he could to support your brother. You are right, many people have no idea what schizophrenia can do to a person and how hard it is for their families to get help for them.
Not only are you having to deal with the loss of your dad, you must feel like you are isolated in the center of a storm right now. Hang in there, we are here for you.
How old was your father and how old is your brother. This is a really scary story. I have a brother who is 56 and has had schizophrenia for 34 years. He has never been violent but has pushed my dad a few times in his 34 years of life. I am not afraid of my brother but on the other hand I would definitely watch what I say to him because his anger is not worth provoking. How exactly did your brother kill your dad?
with a weapon or his own self? If this is too personal to ask then you do not have to answer.
Thank you so much. I really appreciate it!
My father was 69 and my brother is 37. My twin brother and I are 34. My brother killed him with a weapon. We always told my father to let us know if he felt unsafe. I don’t know if there was any other altercation in the past but my dad never told us he felt threatened. My brother isolated himself even more from my brother and I in the past 2 years. My brother and I just started having kids of our own and I feel like that could have been another trigger to my older brother. Since my dad was just physically present in the home with him he was the closest target. One day last January my father told us that our brother had been spending more time outside of his room downstairs in the living room. That sounded like progress until he mentioned he’d go over and check the door literally the entire day. I’m not sure who he thought was out to get him at that point. He’s accused all of us of something though. He’s accused us of poisoning him and planting drugs in his car. It never crossed my mind that he would turn violent on others though. He was self medicating and experimenting with different drugs so I always thought that would be his downfall.
My brother never tells me what is on his mind. he keeps his delusions and voices to himself. He always has. So I have no idea what is going on in his head. But he is definitely paranoid and does weird things that could only be because of some delusion he is having.
I can say this to you because you understand schizophrenia, I have no great feelings for my brother.
My parents lives were never carefree with him. he caused them a lot of stress and misery in their lives.
I know it is the disease but I also feel there is a certain degree of manipulation and personality with every different person with schizophrenia.
I wish his life would be over right now. He is a burden to me. Unfortunately your dad paid the ultimate price. That is so sad. because your dad was doing his best. it would have been better if it was your brother that died and not your dad. So sorry for your loss.
I completely understand how you feel. It’s just complete hopelessness. My brother is like yours. He would never tell us what was going on in his head. It would only come out during his episodes. They started visibly showing 7 years ago and then became worse after my mother passed. I’m sure my father went through hell living with him alone for 5 years. He would never admit that to us though. My brother and I were always worried about having to be the ones to take care of him down the road if my father passed due to age. It was always in the back of our heads. If he’s this bad now how would he be in 20 years? Like you said my dad did pay the ultimate price. I just hope my brother will be in jail for the rest of his life and we won’t have to ever worry about him hurting anyone else again. The day after he killed my father he was walking around town trying to talk to young girls. He had been questioned by the cops on that day too. God knows he could have hurt one of them. We didn’t know any of this happened until we learned he killed my father. We had the cops go to the house a couple days after we couldn’t get in touch with my dad. My brother was living his life like normal with my father dead on the floor for a couple days. How far gone are you to act that way? It’s frightening that his mind has become this.
I am so sorry for what has happened, and what has happened to YOU because of this. I’m a sibling, too, of someone with schizophrenia. I believe you that you and your brother did everything you possibly could to make a difference. Words are weak at this point…I’m thinking of you and wish you some peace of mind through all this.
At Family to Family they taught us that we have no idea what they are possibly seeing or hearing during a psychotic episode. Unfortunately, our unmedicated family members that suffer from severe paranoia can be dangerous during psychotic episodes.
I really appreciate this. thank you so much.
I appreciate this information. For years we had to guess what was wrong with him. He never wanted to admit he had a problem and we couldn’t even get him to go to a facility. My brother had a day planned to go with him to a smaller local hospital to get help and he backed out that morning. A time before that and before many episodes I even offered to have him stay with me for awhile to see if a change of location would help him gain some independence and find a good job. He only showed us so much of himself so I really had no idea what his state was at that time either. He continually shot down any help from us. I guess now I’m just trying to understand this illness a little more. Hearing other’s experiences with their family members help shed some more light on it. It’s terrible that we all have to feel like there’s no good resolution.
Your brother might have the symptom “anosognosia”. My son has it, about 60% of the people with schizophrenia have this terrible symptom.
Anosognosia means “lack of insight”, basically a person with anosognosia does not realize something is wrong with them. Typically they will refuse to see doctors and refuse to take medicine for their schizophrenia symptoms. They will continually “shoot down” help and deny they have a problem.
One nurse once said “they are too sick to realize they are sick”.
Sadly, many people are unaware of this symptom. They don’t understand their family member’s issue and believe they are just in denial or being difficult. Some families will throw their family members out because of their refusal to take meds. Some of our family members run away and live on the streets because at home they are forced to take meds.
We families are in a difficult position. We want our family members to be treated with meds, but we are often helpless to get society to listen. Later, if something bad happens we families are blamed by the same society that won’t help us when we ask.
I completely understand you, I am very sorry for your loss. this story made me cry, this is the worst thing in the world, it seems to me that it never gets better, but only gets worse. my brother also suffers from very severe schizophrenia and my 72-year-old mother takes care of him. I’m so afraid that one day he might kill my mom, and I told the police, doctors, and social workers, but no one can help you, I feel so helpless. my brother confessed to hearing voices telling him to harm my mom, but he was able to fight back and called the police himself. He even told my mom that he loves her and doesn’t want to harm her. All the police can do is take him to a psychiatric center and after 4-5 days they send him home with medication. no hope, no help for people with schizophrenia and their families are affected the most.
This is a terrible personal story but also a story of how the medical system fails people with serious mental illness. They put the rights of a person with SMI first and of course they do not want to pay the bills. Consider supporting the Treatment Advocacy Center. Sorry for your loss.
I 100% agree with you. I just learned about this term yesterday and my brother fits it perfectly. “but we are often helpless to get society to listen. Later, if something bad happens we families are blamed by the same society that won’t help us when we ask.” THIS!
I’m so sorry you have to deal with such a similar situation. Your brother is actively seeking help and stating the problems and he’s still ignored by the people that are supposed to be helping us! The people in power don’t care because they aren’t the ones living with the problem. Family members are the ones that end up getting hurt and we are left with pain.
Thank you for bringing the Treatment Advocacy Center to my attention. I’m just beginning my journey to see what I can do help. I feel like people outside of this have no clue what happens and I’d like to start to bring some awareness to it all.
I’m very sorry for your loss and all the pain your family has been going through. It really is sad that mental illness is so misunderstood by society at large. I hope you and both of your brothers can find peace.
I’m just reading this, feeling so sad for everyone. I’m so sorry, J. I have dreams of this happening to me. I’m the sole support of my loved one, and in his last psychosis he was violent and aggressive. He’s bipolar 1 but I think he has schizophrenic traits as an alter, totally disinhibited, destructive identity comes out (especially if he uses marijuana or drugs) in mania. I’ve written about it in another post, and he’s way better now. In treatment, etc, but I’m finding as he returns to “himself” my fear gets worse for the next time. I have a plan, and luckily he has a prodrome (?) runway that I can be vigilant about now and try to get help, but there are days like today, reading your story, that I wonder if all this effort and money to keep him safe and healthy and off the streets will only lead to my own destruction? The system doesn’t work. He could stop meds/therapy at any time; weed is legal where I live. I love him so very much, and I’m the only one who is left to care for him. His friends and family have severed ties (he has also severed) and I honestly think they think I’m a co-dependent fool for hanging in. But I took the NAMI classes and it seems people do much better if they have even one person who sticks. Sometimes, especially after reading your post, I feel so sad and scared inside, and I have no support for his support, if you know what I mean. So yeah, the system failed your father, your brother and all of you. There needs to be a bill for caregivers rights. Thank you for your vulnerability and sharing; it helped me share mine. Sending you tons of strength. I hope your brother is contained too, so you can get some peace.
I also offer my condolences. This is so scary. We love our son so much and I believe he also has anosognosia. He absolutely refuses any help. It is so hard to understand because a year ago he was able to see some reason. I don’t know how it has accelerated so fast. I do think, as some of you are mentioning, that marijuana is a contributor and I see on the front page of this website that there is an article that there is a 500% increase in symptoms with marijuana and alcohol use. I dont understand why this has become legal and no one is addressing the toll this is taking on people, most especially young people.
He is so angry that we point out that something is wrong and that he needs help. This post actually causes me some concern because his anger is especially at his father (and me as well for supporting my husband). His dad has been so good to him. He loves him and has over and over tried to reach out to him but our son has created in his head all these false scenarios and horrible allegations of abuse that never happened. He takes grains of something that did happen and rewrites history to fit the agenda of hate.
I am so very angry too, reading all your posts, because there is no help for any of us. I agree with those who say that in cases where tragedy does ensue that the families are demonized when their hands are completely tied and they tried desperately to help. What an unjust cruel system.
I pray every single day that God will somehow reach him and I don’t want to lose faith. We want to have him feel loved and valued. I can hardly stand it that he is so isolated when so many want to love him. I am so sad for him and am struggling myself to even want to go on.