Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Need help on how to cope

My brother has been in and out of hospitals for the last 6 years due to his psychotic behavior. Voices, hallucinations, all of the above. Only recently did he receive a diagnosis of schizophrenia to which he does not agree he has. He is 27 years old and only getting worse. My mom is his caregiver. Tonight he killed his pet snake and has been refusing treatment and medication and is in a horrible state. My mom is at her breaking point trying to figure out what to do by herself. I find myself struggling with how to cope with it all, how to go about my life when my family is suffering.

I am so sorry that your family is suffering and that your brother is getting worse. Schizophrenia is such an awful disease. The day I realized that most people (70% or so) who have schizophrenia cannot see that they have it (it’s called anosognosia) I cried my eyes out. I realized that my daughter could not see her own mental illness. Nor could so many loved ones of people on this site. Trying to help someone with sz is like fighting a war, it is no simple thing, is draining to all concerned and very destructive of families overall. And often the loved one we try to help, cannot believe what we say or that we are trying to help them.

The best thing you can do it read on this site, contact NAMI, read the book “I’m not Sick, I don’t Need Help” by Dr. Amador, and be as kind as you can with your ill family member and everyone else in your family while you try to cope. Try for small steady improvements. It IS possible to help someone in psychosis with sz, but it is never never easy.

Welcome to the forum. No easy answers. Schizophrenia sucks. But this a good place to learn (a) you’re not alone in your caregiving nightmare, and (b) their are some great resources, techniques, medications, and facilities shared from around the world on these pages.

And always remember that Love Wins!

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