Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

My schizophrenic brother killed my father

The caregivers’ rights idea is good, particularly as some of those afflicted seem to have no idea of the chaos and fear resulting from their refusal of treatment. I believe that this extends beyond mental illness, since one member of my family who is physically disabled seems to take their aging caregiver for granted, assuming that that person will be able to carry on doing all of the household work plus assisting with activities of daily living forever.

3 Likes

This is so sad, especially since proper treatment could have prevented it. Please accept my heartfelt sympathy for your loss.

I hope that your brother will be remanded to a facility where treatment is mandatory and that you and your well sibling can go on with your lives.

1 Like

Thank you for sharing your story! It’s all so hard and you really feel like you are on an island alone but reading these stories really opened me up to seeing that there are a lot of us who are in the same boat. I really like your idea for a caregivers rights bill. That’s something I’ll start to research more on. I’d like to try to make a difference for people like us someday. I know it’s not an easy road to go down but I’d like to at least try.

2 Likes

Thank you so much. I hope he can finally get the help he needs and that my brother and I don’t ever have to worry about him again.

1 Like

I’m so sorry you are going through this. Your story is sooo very similar. I also wonder how these things accelerate. It must have a lot to do with experimenting with other drugs. I never would have thought my brother would become violent but it’s possible he tried something else and it caused this outcome. Your husband sounds just like my dad. My dad did everything he could for him and my brother accused him of so much. Probably even more than my dad ever told us. I always kept my hope he’d get better and want to improve his life but it wasn’t meant to be. I pray for you and your family and that something positive can happen and that you can find some peace in all of this!

1 Like

I am so sorry for your loss. There are no words to describe MI and what the entire family goes through. It is scary as we never know what comes next as their thinking is so scrambled. we always want to think and hope for the best and give the benefit of the doubt. My prayers go out to your family and hope that you get support and guidance from your community and others.
I know the people on the forum understand completely and sure we all continue with the hopes that MI gets more attention and assistance as it is frustrating and sometimes impossible to get help for those that need it. Blessings to you my friend. :pray:

4 Likes

Thank you so much. I can’t explain how much this forum has already helped. Just talking with you all has helped me feel not so alone with all this. The grief has been heavy at times but knowing my father is free from the burden of my brother gives me some peace.

2 Likes

I’m so sorry for your loss, for your pain, for the maelstrom you are now in.

2 Likes

I’m very sorry for all that you’ve endured. MI is so devastating for family members & we need far more support than we receive. Hopefully your brother will now be taken care of, so you can forge ahead to live your life. Our son experimented with street drugs from ages 13-19 & the delayed result was schizophrenia. He was diagnosed @ age 24. He’s 36 now & lives with my husband & me. He can’t really hold a job, but he volunteers twice a week for a local soup kitchen, passing out food to the homeless.Thankfully, he’s mostly gentle & kind, but has little insight into his condition. We can never really know when & if violence will occur. That’s the scary part. This forum is a balm, knowing we’re not alone in dealing with our loved ones. Prayers for all of us!!

3 Likes

Thank you so much. The uncertainty is the hardest part. My brother used to be shy and sweet. He would never hurt a fly. It’s hard to say what exactly caused his trigger but everything started going downhill after he broke up with his first and only girlfriend. Then that led into drug use and a lot that we didn’t know about I’m sure. He was not one to open up about much of anything. The past 10 years he’d be able to hold a job down for 6 months or so until he couldn’t anymore. I think during those times I always had a false sense of hope that maybe he can live a normal life this time around. I’m sending positive thoughts and prayers to you and your family!!

1 Like

Thank you for this. Uncertainty is key here. We live with a lot of uncertainty. We know so little of son’s inner experience. My son shares nothing of what he hears. We are completely in the dark, in that regard. Drugs really damaged his brain. It’s very sad. The things I used to imagine for him seem less & less likely to happen: job, marriage, children.…He has broken wings.

2 Likes

I feel for you! Those are things I wanted for my brother too. I always hoped it could be possible. That’s what’s so hard in all this.

@junegirl2409

I don’t know if reading someone else’s story would help. There is a book written by a mom who lost her husband when he was killed by their son.

I really wish the book was called “Psychotic Confusion” but it’s not.

The name of the book is “Psychotic Rage” A True Story of Mental Illness, Murder and Reconciliation by Benny Malone.

You can find the book on Amazon, it is available in paperback and kindle.

2 Likes

@junegirl2409 I am so very, very sorry. What a terrible illness this is, and in all of our families, it affects SO many people beyond the person himself. Your dad, you, and your family have done everything you knew to to. You cannot ask for anymore from yourselves, nor should you have any guilt. I can appreciate that this is an entirely different kind of grief. I’m glad you shared your story here. Your story is very personal, and yet it matters in the bigger picture of why we all, to the best of our abilities, should be fighting for better resources, for more research, etc., where we can. I will ALWAYS be an advocate through organizations like NAMI, Treatment Advocacy Center, the CUREZ Foundation, etc. because of YOUR story and all the other stories I read and hear. In this world of illness and trouble, may the God of peace give you all that you need to get through the days ahead.

4 Likes

Thank you so much! Trying not to feel like I could have done more to help in this whole situation is definitely something I’m trying to overcome. My husband who’s been incredibly supportive has to keep reminding me that I couldn’t have changed anything. I’m in the process of cleaning out my childhood home and coming across pictures of my brother is a trigger. It’s hard to look at the person he once was and the person I knew growing up. But as I’m storing these photos away I have to separate who he was from the disease. Thank you for mentioning those organizations. I’d like to help others one day and try to make a difference. This forum has already become such an amazing resource.

1 Like

Welcome to the forum Mac_LL; you touched the very issue here, there’s no help! When they close down the mental hospitals they put the people that need help the most on the streets or they end up incarcerated and unmedicated. I used to call the carelines but the downside with them is the thought that they have to ‘will’ the help; they’re overlooking the very main trait of the illness which is anosognosia, lack of insight.
It’s so unfortunate that out of fear many are aggressive and violent. My son has been, they don’t foresee consequences; one day he was very mad and started to follow me spitting on me so I turned my back to him but suddenly he pushed me to the side and since I was wearing sleepers I slipped and fell hitting my head somewhere, I ended up having stitches on the left side of my head; at the court he acknowledged that he had pushed me but he had not calculated that I was going to fall and he had to spend 6 months in jail before he was transferred to the state hospital.

Isn’t that sad? they don’t get help before something ‘stupid’ happens! It’s frustrating. In the state of IA 2 people go to court to fill out the form to force a person to take the medication and that person is going to be picked up, not here in IL; I tried, I filled the papers out and file them up to force him as an outpatient since his shot was due but the judge said it was my responsibility to convince/bribe/ persuade him to have his shot. At the hospital they have security and of course they succed in administering the im meds but we don’t have that kind of help at home or the means to take them to the clinic; it’s a real challenge when they’re resistant to the meds, as in the book “I’m not sick I don’t my help”!
I can point to my son that he sleeps better or this and that but he doesn’t buy it. At the counsel of the state’s attorney I had called the cops on him so many times to get a mental check on him to get him help I lost his trust. It didn’t help at all!!!
It’s a hard road!

2 Likes

I am so so sorry. Bless your dad, he is with your mom now and no more has to deal with that horrible situation. As for your brother I feel sorry for him too being dealt the most horrid disease. He’ll most likely be in jail for a long time. I’m wondering if they’ll be medicating him and if they do he may “ come to”. What a horrible moment that will be for him learning he killed his dad.

I’ll pray for everyone involved.

Department of aging should be involved for mac with 73 yo mom.

1 Like

My son has never been aggressive in the 26 yrs years he has been diagnosed, and I do think its very rare for something like this to happen., my son relapsed earlier this year due to a mess up with his medication. I won’t go into detail about that, only that his character completely changed when his medication was changed to olanzapine. He became verbally aggressive and physically while he was in hospital, more grabbing and pushing not hitting. Although he has treatment resistant schizophrenia those who came to section him said he was manic, not something I have experience with, but I agreed. I then started looking at side effects of olanzapine and found that a uncommon side effect can be mania. How you describe some of your brothers behaviour sounds very similar to how my son went. My son has always been protective towards me and still is, but the fact your brother killed your dad on the same date your mum died sounds more than a coincidence to me. I don’t know what medication your brother was taking? But some can cause side effect symptoms of the condition you are taking them for. No consolation now, but I do agree caring for someone with these conditions, is very much like being on an island alone even professionals don’t listen to you

1 Like

I’m so sorry for what you are going through! My brother never had any treatment for this. We tried taking him to a couple places and he refused. It all ties back into anosognosia which I know played a huge part in this. He was arrested back in 2017 for stalking women and he was brought to the psychiatric hospital for evaluation and let go the next day. I even pleaded to the doctors on the phone to keep him because of his paranoia back then and it wasn’t enough. We found out he was stalking women again around my hometown and that’s when my heart sank. I actually found that out on the morning we found that my father had been killed. My brother killed him on a Thursday night and we had the police check on him that Sunday because we hadn’t heard from him. That Sunday morning I knew something terrible had happened because it was so unlike him to not respond that long. I even said to my husband why am I thinking my brother killed my father on the death anniversary of my mother? And my gut instinct was right unfortunately. I knew my brother was into taking drugs and hanging out at bars so all of that did not help with his mental state. Until he actually did this I didn’t know what he had. I never had looked up schizophrenia before this. I know my dad and brother did but I was always hopeful I guess. He had isolated himself so much from us that I didn’t know the half of it. And when I’d ask my father he never said much about him. I wish I could have helped my father more but he didn’t want to burden us.

I think the drugs and alcohol use are more of the problem than schizophrenia, it is not uncommon for people with mental illness use both as a coping mechanism and often mix with the wrong people. My son did the same for the first approx 8 yrs of the illness, I knew about the alcohol, because he couldn’t leave the house without drinking 8 cans, he would even walk up the street we live in. He was also drinking spirits at one point, at least a bottle a day. Although between myself and his doctor we managed to get him to stop the spirits. At one point I found out he had fallen asleep at a friends house after drinking too much and she stole money from his pockets, she was also a heroine addict. I was told this by someone else who was there, although my son never took heroine I he told me he had taken the likes of speed. Eventually he was put onto clozapine medication, in the early days he went on a drinking spree. That combined with the medication caused him to have a seizure, and that was the turning point. While we were at the hospital I told him enough was enough, I put my foot down and told him he wasn’t drinking alcohol in my house any more. Even though I couldn’t stop him going elsewhere to drink, I knew he wouldn’t leave the house without the alcohol. It was a bit rocky at home for a while, but I stuck to my guns and didn’t give in. A few years later he told me I had done him a favour, he hasn’t touched drugs or alcohol for 18 yrs so far. A few of those drug friends are now dead as a result.

2 Likes