First post here! I have a brother who’s now 28 years old living with schizophrenia. He was diagnosed 5 years ago and ever since his diagnosis it’s been an extremely hard time to manage the disease. We’ve been through a series of hospitalizations, different trials of medications, hard time of getting him to take the medications and after 4 years since diagnosis has agreed to take monthly injections. He sees his family especially his parents as the enemy and blames us for his disease. Anyone of our family members that are helping him he believes is controlling his life and does not listen or want the help. He has decided to move out of my parents home where he had all the supports available to him to live on his own. Since living on his own the schizophrenia has gone worse and his housing situation has been precarious to say the least. As his sister I truly worry for him, we all do and we can foresee the path he is on isn’t supportive of his health and keeps getting worse. He’s now lost his home and doesn’t want us to support him with covering the cost of his home. I don’t know what to do anymore, feels like we tried everything with him over the past 5 years and everytime there is one step of improvement there is 10 steps back. Any advice or supports someone has used or found helpful would be greatly appreciated! My dad has completely given up on him and has respected his decision of not wanting to have any help from him
Clozapine is the only med that truly stabilized our son. Read the book “Meaningful Recovery from Schizophrenia” by Dr. Laitman.
It lays out an entire protocol to follow.
People have seen unbelievable results; our son is one of them.
Another sibling here. My brother was diagnosed with schizophrenia decades ago. To put it mildly, yes, it is extremely hard to manage this disease, I agree with you. Just know others have lived through having a mentally ill sibling and survived it. And keep in mind that your brother is managing this wild ride the best HE can, even if that seems impossible to believe.
Try to keep compassion in the forefront, even as you continue to look for practical strategies and solutions, many of which are on this forum if you search around.
Thinking of you and wishing you some peace.
Having schizophrenia can be really scary but it doesn’t have to be a life sentence if you go on the right meds. Meds don’t always work for everyone but that doesn’t mean the person inside is dead. When I was psychotic, I still connected with the real world and I was glad to have family and friends around who can support me. Having someone who cares can be helpful.
Yes, clozapine turned my son’s life around. In and out of hospital on a regular 6 weekly basis until they finally started him on what I’ve come to learn is the ‘gold standard’ of treatment. They were reluctant because it requires a fortnightly blood test, every fortnight, and my son didn’t want to go on it (because he wasn’t unwell!) but fortunately I found a doctor who took charge and made it happen - admitted him to hospital to start the treatment and monitor his bloods. It hasn’t been easy, but it has changed his life and ours. He had been on so many other antipsychotics with no relief from his voices, until clozapine. Be assured that the push back towards family, and the decisions he is taking now is the illness - not him. It is hard as a sibling (my daughter is 3 years older than my son and suffered terrible grief and trauma when her brother was unwell). It is a terrible illness, and I know how awful it is for the family. Wishing you and your family strength at this challenging time.
I have found that there are no answers to why he is this way, like there is no pill to get to normal. It has taken me time to realize that I can not control this situation, and oh how I want to do so. But there are things you can do. You will hear of Dr. Amador’s book, “I am not Sick, I don’t need help.” Read it. Next I want you to have a brainstorming session about your brother. Write down everything, from things he use to like, what he believes in now, everything. Then circle what is part of the SZ. Break down those items into smaller parts. Let’s say he believes the world will end. Find things you agree on. So I can agree that one day the world will end, I can agree that he believes it will happen on X date (when 2 other dates have passed). I believe he is talking to God, even though I do not know who is talking back. Then see if any of the non SZ items on your brainstorming map can be connected. The purpose of this exercise is to start having a conversation and figuring out where to start. Again, read the book and get creative. Does he believe he is anxious? Does he believe he is very Intelligent and he knows more than everyone and he has lost trust with his family? Find middle ground. You may not. But you need to try. Oh, the book talks about NOT having an intervention. If you already did, you can build the trust back. Anyway, this is a start. Next, take care of yourself. You can not help if you are mentally and physically drained. It is okay to step away for a bit to bounce back. Today was hard for us. Father’s day and all. I found an old card pre SZ to give to my husband. Yes, my 23 year old is not sick, but has SZ.
My son has it and started doing better but then went of meds again, and now is doing delta 8. (some low grade MJ). it isnt helping. Im thinking of getting a trailer or tiny home and have it paid off, and in my name still or he may sell it. They also probably need a care taker to stop by daily and get them to take meds and help clean up, and maybe cook a meal, and or make sure some meals come, and or get groceries delivered.
My 25 yr old son barely leaves his room or the house. He only goes to the refrigerator for food, and to the balcony to smoke. I offer all kinds of suggestions and funding for him to do other things, but he wont. He wont go to a movie either.
thanks, I’ll try to order the book
The difficulty is finding the drug that works for your brother. My son was diagnosed 8 years ago and it has been rough. The regimen he has been on for 20 months is working- he says he has the best “head” since pre diagnosis.
He has had lots of downs with scant ups and has hated me whenever his meds aren’t working or when he isn’t taking them.
He lives on his own and that has been good and bad depending on his med adherence.
I am paying for peace for you and patience while your brother settles into his new life.