I have two older brothers (30) who are twins with each others, both diagnosed schizophrenic. Below is their complicated and heartbreaking story, which I share to hopefully gain some insight as to how to help them.
My brothers were raised separately from me in Central America ( I was born and raised in Miami). They had a rough upbringing, and I recently found out they were physically & sexually abused by their caretaker when they were kids.
They were reunited with our family in America in their early teens, and they quickly assimilated into the US lifestyle. They went to school, made friends, graduated, got jobs, girlfriends, and started attending college.
That all changed when they both started hearing voices in their mid 20’s. They were both diagnosed schizophrenic about 5 years ago, literally months apart. One suffered a brain aneurysm and nearly died having open skull surgery around that time. The doctor informed us he was born with malformed veins in his brain, which I think may be due to the fact they were both born prematurely due to complications (7 months).
Fast forward to today, and both of my brothers are still far from the lives they were living before their mental breakdowns. Since their diagnosis, they’ve been unemployed, living at home, and generally unable to take care of themselves. It’s taken a drastic toll on my mother, who essentially has had to take care of them and maintain a household by herself. She’s a tough woman, but she also experienced a very rough and traumatic upbringing in her home country which effects her to this day. Her house is not a very good place to live in, as she’s a hoarder, the A/C hasn’t worked for years (and in the always hot Miami you see how that’s an issue), and she’s a socially anxious person. I feel that environment only worsens my brothers conditions. She also works a grueling & physically demanding 50+ hour a week job, which leaves her little time for my brothers.
The brother who had the aneurysm (well call him G) is in better condition than the other brother (well call F), and is actually very social and loves talking to people. He takes his meds and goes out with friends often.
However, when at home G holds a negative attitude towards us, especially towards F, constantly insulting him, claiming that F is faking his condition, and overall creating a negative vibe. He constantly talks in a very sexually perverted manner, and informed me his caretaker in Central America molested him when he was 5 years old.
F on the other hand, is extremely withdrawn, to the point that you can talk to him for an hour straight and he will barely acknowledge your presence, if at all. He lays on his bed most of the day, goes out to the park to walk a few times, and eats. Thats it.
F refused to take the risperdone medication the doctors prescribed him for a long time. He was noncompliant in the psych ward, to the point were the multiple nurses had to tackle him to the ground. About a year or so ago my mother finally convinced F to start taking his risperdone, and I personally put much more effort into ensuring he had good meals by cooking him healthy breakfast every morning, started giving him L-Theanine as advised in these boards, etc.
F started dramatically improving. He began talking and being more social, regaining his sense of humor, etc. He started planning to get his own place, fix his truck to get a job, etc. It seemed everything would change for the better, like the cloudy veil that blocked his consciousness was slowly being lifted.
Shortly after, F’s risperdone medication ran out since his prescription was expired. I had to move back to my own place due to work. My his meds gone, me away and my mom barely home due to her job F quickly deteriorated to the state he was in before, and still is.
My mother asked the doctor to renew the prescription but he claims he cannot write the scrip until F comes in for another check up since his last one was years ago. F refuses to go the hospital at all cost despite our many attempts. It’s like a vicious loop that feeds into itself in which no one wins.
At this point we don’t know what to do. My mother is considering placing F under hospital care, but that breaks my heart as I’ve seen the poor treatment they are subjected to in those places, and the zombie-like state patients seem to perpetually be in.
I truly love my brothers and wish to help as much as I can. Any advice or tips would be such appreciated. Thank you for reading.