Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

My sister has sz, I am nearing wits end


#1

There is really too much to write all of it down here. But I need to talk to someone. I feel like a big ahole because I’m at wits end with my sister. My parents are very conservative and old fashioned. They do not talk about my sister’s illness much at least not how much it’s affected us. Where can I turn to? It’s at the point where I don’t want to be around my sister anymore.


#2

So, tell us about whats happening, we need the details.

Is she saying wierd things like “im jesus!” Anything like that? Has she been talking about aliens?

Does she think she is being spied on?

What happened?


#3

Like I said, it’s too much to try and write all out. She’s had sz since she was 13 or so. I need someone to talk to cause I can’t write it all down. I mean I could but it would literally take years.


#4

Okay, we’ll start slow then, gotta give us at least one thing to go on or we won’t know whats going on.

Anything.


#5

Hi Littlejoe,

My Mum was sz and now my daughter appears to be also.
The self harm and irrational behaviour are terribly distressing to deal with.
I understand how isolating it can be also, because mental illness is like this ‘big shameful secret’ that you can’t share, like if your sister broke her leg.

My father was also very reticent about discussing my Mum with us. I just think he thought that somehow if we didn’t talk about it, it would be easier to cope with. I suspect it was that he wasn’t coming to terms with dealing with the situation and couldn’t face the pain and distress that it was causing us and so simply avoided the topic. I think that the questions we ask were just too emotionally hard to answer.

Is one of your parents more approachable than the other? Maybe get them alone and start a conversation about how you feel. Depending on your area there are often groups available for relatives of people with mental illness. You could contact the local unit and ask.

Be good to yourself, you are so young. I don’t know if you feel the same, but it took me a long time as a young woman to forgive my Mum for her illness. I know it may sound strange, but try to see your sister’s behaviour as part of her illness and think about it the same way as her not being able to walk when her leg is broken.

Hugs to you.
Scarlet


#6

Does she take her meds?


#7

Hi Littlejoe,
I’m the kid sister of a man who was diagnosed with undifferentiated SZ when I was a kid. My older brother had many rough years fighting for stability. I know your most likely angry, hurt, and I’m sure a lot of stuff you wished you never had to go through, you’ve been there.

Something that helped me get over my hurt feeling and really start to help my sibling was getting a good therapist who knew something about SZ so I could get out my hurt feelings without feeling guilty, and I could learn a little something about this disease.

The part I highlighted from your post, to you I’m sure feels like, “what the H was that about…” But the fact your sister calmed down, came back and tried to interact after that is a big thing. She probably changed the subject because she most likely figured she over reacted. My brother will do this some times, I don’t dwell on it when he comes back and changes the topic, he feels bad enough for this brain glitch. So, picking up and moving on…

Or even if she had no insight to that, she came back and gave it another try to interact. That’s a big thing. Sometime and it’s hard to do, I know. But sometime you just have to let go of what JUST happened. It’s sort of like, “Ok, that just sucked, but he/she is back willing to try again so… Take two and action.”

You need someone to talk to. It sounds like you still care about her, but it sounds like your having a hard time holding on to this friendship. There are SZ sibling support groups. I got directed to mine through a therapist. NAMI website has resources listed and I always find that knowing what is and isn’t SZ is a huge help when dealing with a sibling.

When you say your parents are traditional, I don’t know if that means they deny your sisters condition so getting any form of help isn’t an option. Or if they just don’t want to talk about it. I wish I had more info or more ideas for you.

I am so glad your on this site. Keep learning, and I hope you can keep that friendship. Because if she can stabilize, having you as a friend will be a huge benefit to you both.


#8

Can I ask how old you guys are now?

For awhile things between my son and I were not good. He didn’t understand that most of the negativity that he put onto me was actually coming from himself. He would walk into a room stating how the negativity hit him in the face when he walked in. The room was peaceful and calm until he walked in. He brought the negativity with him but he couldn’t see it. I started being careful about my responses. I didn’t respond with any emotion. Even the smallest sigh got misread. He would misread my facial expressions. If I was thinking and frowned he would think I was displeased with him over something. When that happened he would react with anger. That is a normal response in my opinion. When we feel judged by others we react with anger rather then show that we are hurt. 15 minutes later he would start talking like nothing happened. I had to learn how to let it go. When situations like this happen with your sister just try to stay calm. Recognize that sometimes not saying anything is the best response. It took me awhile to learn how to do this and sometimes I still make the mistake but when my son gets negative I stop talking. He can keep going but it’s hard to argue with yourself.

As kidsister says look into NAMI. Find support for yourself so that you have a place to talk about what you are feeling. Here is also a good place to find support and just know that you are not alone. I blog and it helps to just get my feelings and thoughts out there.


#9

I would say what you are feeling is pretty normal. We can’t always control our thoughts including the negative ones. Walking on egg shells is not a nice feeling. I was there for awhile. What helped me and may help your parents if they are open to it is that I looked into how discipline adult children with ADD/ADHD and ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder). My son isn’t diagnosed with these but has the characteristics when he is not stable. It was like my son was demanding negative attention. So I did my best to stop giving it to him. Walked away from a lot of arguments and let him deal with his own negativity. It’s not her but SZ that is pushing you away. Something I had to prepare myself for or reconcile my own feelings about was the fear of suicide. What if I do this and my son commits? I just decided that I have a right to be treated with a certain amount of respect and hopefully if it ever comes to that I will not feel guilty for making decisions that I think I know are the right ones. As long as my actions are motivated by love then regardless of results I take comfort in that. Try not to be so hard on yourself.


#10

I have had success using blocking materials, salt on windowsills and using unconventinal methods to reducing the volume and intensity of the voices. She needs to find something rather than letting herself feel trapped, shes looking for someone to set her free.


#11

I’m sorry; I did misunderstand. When my brother has what he calls an emotional glitch and melts down a bit, he’ll go, cool down and quietly walk back in say nothing for a while as we all change the topic.
Then usually when we’re washing up, he’ll come to each of us and quietly apologize. He feels really guilty and embarrassed when this happens. He’s a very loving person.

The negative attention craving could just be that she’s craving some attention and just doesn’t know how to do this positively. Med’s are good and they are needed, and they saved my brother. But my brother has been very open about the fact that therapy, and anger management, and panic management and CBT, have also helped him. He has said he doesn’t think he’d be as far along as he is with out both.

We’re in the same boat as far as being siblings of this. But I’m 17 and I live alone with my brother while I start college. The parents are about 15 to 20 minutes away. Are you living with your parents and sister too?

Your right, no likes being called an asshole. It hurts a lot and it damages the relationship. I’m glad you’re thinking of some outside help and there are ways to set boundaries.

My brother and I are Batman and Robin all the way. But I wouldn’t have been able to keep up my end of the friendship with out some education and some ideas.

If you don’t mind me asking, did you know your sister well before the onset of her SZ? My other brothers knew what J was like before his onset, but I was three and four when he was falling apart. So the brother I have now is the only one I’ve ever known.
I’m glad you’re here, willing and trying.


#12

Phone places that provide services for people with schizophrenia and see if they have a support group there for relatives and family who are dealing with a family member. There is a group where I live that has one support group that I go to for patients and my mom goes to the other group for families. Also they have an art group there where I go to hang out :slight_smile:


#13

Hey don’t give up on your sister, ok?


#14

Maybe you could turn your experience into literature.


#15

Old post for Dec 2013. :wink: