My sister has cut me off


#1

My sister has not been diagnosed with schizophrenia but I have been doing lots of research and it sounds like she does to me. She also has substance abuse issues.
For many many years my sister has been unusual in her thinking. She thought 12 years ago that my husband was a reincarnated king that was going to take over the world in the event of apolocalypse. She believed that he had demons inside him (that were causing our marriage issues) and once she got someone to cleanse him of these he could concentrate on taking over the world. She’s since become all about the angels and believes that she speaks to them regularly and her body will begin to shake when she’s hearing something from them that is correct. Just lately she left her partner of 5 years because she believed him to be someone who was running ‘the dark web’ and was so in-control of the internet he could spy on her, kick her off her computer and make it log her out of things, she believed that he ran a child porn ring around the world, was in contact with sky, apple, orange/EE etc and she had the police at her house, she spoke to every telecommunications company. She left her job because she believed he’d infiltrated there, she changed her phone and believed she was being followed, she lost her house. Next came the bugs infestation and lots of other not so big things all along the way.
She’s not in treatment and she’s practically cut all of us off - she’s decided I am the dark knight that she can’t trust. In fact the only person she seems to trust right now is my mum.
She has no belief that there is anything wrong with her at all and refuses to even consider any kind of treatment and due to her not being a ‘danger’ nothing seems to be able to be done.
She has 3 children and each one seems to have their own issues and struggles maybe as a direct result of what’s been happening with their mum.
I don’t know what we can do and only recently have managed to convince my mum that there really is something not right about the things she believes to be true.
I’d love to hear from people dealing with family members like this and how they eventually began treatment of some kind?


#2

I’m sorry to hear this, my thoughts go out to you and your family.

It certainly sounds as though she’s suffering from some sort of psychosis.

You said she also has substance abuse issues, do you know what sort of substances she uses? I ask as I also have substance abuse issues and often my being very high or drunk in the past was confused by my family members as me being symptomatic as I tended to talk more about delusional things when I was inebriated in some fashion. But it was very difficult to tell the difference and the next day I’d be fine.

There were times when I’d be up for three days and nights snorting amphetamine and be in the grips of a substance induced psychosis which were in my experience far worse than a strictly symptomatic psychosis. I would tell my family things such as my grandmother thinks I’m the messiah or dad is telecommunicating to me that he’s going to go hang himself in the basement. Thought I was being spied on by everybody and would only leave the house to pick up cigarettes.

It’s probably some sort of psychosis, though no one here can actually diagnosis these things, but all I know is that substances themselves can induce psychosis even in mentally healthy people so it can be very hard to tell whats going on until the substances have been put aside. Even alcohol was known to get me over focusing on my delusional beliefs and such…

take care and good luck

-e


#3

Thank you for your reply. She has been using amphetamines and cocaine. She hasn’t used them consistently for the last 15 years but she’s consistently believed unusual things for all this time. At one time she cleaned up her act massively and still continued to believe really unusual things to be fact. I’ll be honest I am not sure right now that she’s using anything but she seems to be building again in her delusion it’s all she can talk about. We were in the same room with my mum yesterday and although she didn’t talk to me directly she did talk non-stop to my mum about all the bugs, the bites (only she) has, how she’s angered the bugs by starting to clean and kill them and on and on and on.
I’m concerned that whatever she has is getting bigger and now shes out of work and living in someone elses house her life is getting smaller and smaller. I’m also concerned about what will be next?
I’ve been ringing mental health people for months and all say that she’s no danger and therefore no one can help her. It’s very frustrating - I love my sister and when she’s good she’s funny and sociable and good to be around. But that person seems to be completely gone for now.


#4

I’ve been similar to your sister before I was stabilized on med’s. My family stuck by me through thick and thin, even it must have been hard at times. I think the best approach is to try to get your sister stabilized on med’s. They’ve come out with a new generation of anti-psychotic medication that is much easier to tolerate than the old generation. To me, it sounds like your sister’s delusions are intractable and will not yield to reason. That’s why you need med’s. Maybe you can talk to some mental health authority and tell them that your sister’s symptoms are exhausting you, and she needs more help than you can give. If she is a mother and can’t take care of her kids she is in that way a danger to others. Also, her strange behavior might be damaging her kids.


#5

Welcome to the forum @lj2002

Some of these links may help:

http://www.leapinstitute.org/ - under resources are free videos on using LEAP
LEAP is a way of communicating to build trust. Listen-Empathize-Agree-Partner.
http://dramador.com/ - Dr. Xavier Amador is a clinical psychologist whose brother had schizophrenia. He is the founder of the LEAP Institute. Wrote the book: I’m Not Sick I Don’t Need Help! Can buy from his website.
Search Xavier Amador and LEAP on youtube.com and you should find some long videos
http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/index.php - under problems you will see anosognosia
Anosognosia looks like denial but is different.
http://lesswrong.com/lw/e25/bayes_for_schizophrenics_reasoning_in_delusional/ - helped my understand delusions
http://www.nami.org/ - National Alliance on Mental Illness.
http://www.schizophrenia.ca/ - Schizophrenia Society of Canada

Can also find some very useful information here:
http://www.schizophrenia.com/

Early Psychosis Treatment center information in these two links
http://www.schizophrenia.com/earlypsychosis.htm
http://www.raiseetp.org/sites/

It is unfortunate that sometimes we can not get help for a loved one until things have progressed into the ‘dangerous’ stage. Perhaps by trying to use LEAP and finding something that she can agree that she needs help with that you can start some form of treatment. Maybe try the approach of anxiety relief. It has to be causing her a lot of anxiety to deal with the bugs.


#6

This stuff is a bear to deal with.
Im thinking of her kids. Maybe if you called child protective services, they could get the kids ( dont know if you or the grandmother could share the care for now ). maybe if her kids were taken, she might agree to seek treatment. Where is their Dad? Probably the first priority would be to get her children out of there and then let the authorities handle her mental health situation. It would be helpful to also let them know the situation beforehand…Good luck to you…


#7

Terribly sorry to hear that. I wish I had better news. Probably the only way to get her into treatment is to provoke a forced hospitalization, she’s really going to think that you’re the “Dark Knight” then. Wow that’s really severe stuff. Sorry you’re having to sit by and watch this, probably feeling powerless. I’m not a family member, but the former victim of psychosis- I once thought my family was conspiring with an unseen force against me. Not fun on either end of that situation!


#8

My family really wouldn’t agree to forced hospitalisation unless she had done something truly awful. I have a friend who deals with this very thing and we held a family meeting with her and she explained everything to my family in such a lovely way.
From talking to many people her children aren’t considered ‘at risk’ they go to school, are dressed in clean clothing and fed. Each has a different dad and at the moment she is staying in the home of one of the dads so enlisting them isn’t an option either.
She is currently back and fore the Dr asking for creams and antibiotics for the bug bites which from what I understand the doctor is reluctant to give but under pressure is prescribing. It is on her notes at the doctor previous events as I rang them a few times to ask them to do something to help her. I have my fingers crossed that this repeated turning up there will trigger some kind of intervention.
I have read the book I’m not sick and I don’t need help already and whilst I found it enlightening it didn’t seem to deal with those people who had never had a formal diagnosis and had no insight at all from previous history. Up until the last 6 months everyone in my family has found her odd behaviour and point of view quite charming and funny. It was only me and my husband that she had really gotten into some serious strangeness with and when I brought it up with my mum she just laughed. She’s not laughing now as she’s having to handle her almost every single day.
She must be under so much stress at the moment because she is going from one situation to another where she truly believes she’s being pursued, followed, watched, attacked, spied on, bitten, etc. No job, no home, all gone in the last 6 months. That must be awful for her and i do wonder how confused and bewildered her children must be feeling with all this talk going on around them and all the measures being taken too.


#9

I have an update here. My sister has moved from her earlier delusions and moved onto one concerning bugs. She believes that her house is infested with some creature called a fluke worm. To begin with is was beetles, then worms, then bird mites and now it’s these flukes (which are unheard of over here in the UK). She’s had exterminators in twice and has been spraying her house with dangerous chemicals over and over and I believe she’s made her 5 year old ill with the chemicals. Her too.
She’s been back and fore the Dr asking for skin scrapes and serious medication and the last 2 nights she’s been to A&E with her 5 year old in tow demanding infection diseases controls be put in place.
She doesn’t seem to be seeing things as they are and showed my mum the places that the fluke worms have burrowed into her daughters skin, this later was shown to be felt pen marks.
She’s currently in bed saying that she’s dying. She can’t stop shaking and thinks her organs are failing, she has her partner (a drug addict) on stand by to call 999 emergency when she passes out.
Apparently social services have been called by the hospital and they are going to be helping her - do you think this is because they are beginning to take her condition seriously?
I am due to go see her tonight with my mum for the first time in ages - she wants me to go see these bugs and to see she really is dying. She’s digging into her skin with tweezers and pins all the time and is covering herself and her daughter in sulphur - I believe she’s causing harm to herself and her daughter now.
Is this enough to call services myself tomorrow and demand they go see her in her home?


#10

I’d say… go see her with Social services first… no use breaking that trust right off if this is the first time in ages she’s let you near her. Also then you can document if your niece is covered in pin pricks and being dug at too.

But I have a feeing that now that she’s getting a 5 year old child involved with these invisible bugs and covering her daughter in sulphur and harming her daughters health… more then likely that is why Social services is finally going to get involved.

I hope your sister and you poor 5 year old niece get some help.


#11

This is a hard situation. I think I would probably get services involved for the child. I don’t know how harmful sulfur is however I can’t see any of this being good for her. I would fear her digging at her daughter’s skin next as this delusion seems to out of control for her to not do it.


#12

social services now involved. We found out yesterday she was also pulling out her daughters hair to rid her of these bugs
The crisis team are heading to her house now.
Fingers crossed for today as she called an ambulance yesterday and I got to see the state on her body where she’s using tools to dig into it - she’s going to really hurt them if we don’t get her some help soon.
Thank you for all your replies.


#13

My sister is in a facility now and it looks like she’s likely to be there for a while. I have my fingers crossed that she now gets the help that she’s needed for some time.
One thing that has surprised me is that she is still on facebook and posting messages telling everyone that her physical needs to rid her of this parasite and the worms is being ignored and that her blood pressure is sky high and her blood sugar low. She says she’s lodging it to bring a lawsut against the hospital when she’s dead. Her drug addict partner os posting pictures of bugs on her wall and she’s generally seeming more agitated now than before. That doesn’t seem right to me?


#14

I’m glad your sister is getting help. No what this partner is doing does not seem right. Playing into and adding to her fear of bugs is cruel in my opinion. How is her daughter?


#15

she seems okay. She’s very scared of specks of dirt and flies but I’m hoping that in time this will lessen. She’s having fun again and no more chemicals so that’s great.
I would love to see my sister improve, it’s early days I know but we’re all hopeful. We miss her - before this acute episode. Her teenage daughters are the ones suffering the most as they understand what’s going on and they are scared and hurt.