New to schizophrenia

My brother who is 22 was just diagnosed with schizophrenia, he was normal his whole life until about 8 months ago. He never showed a single symptom until 8 months ago. It started with him wanting to mostly be alone, he didn’t answer any of my family’s calls he ignored everyone this went on for about 2 months. Finally he started staying with me for a little bit this one day he thought someone was in my home when I wasn’t there and he jumped out the window, I had to leave work and I explained to him nobody was there but no matter what I did he didn’t believe me.
He began living at my parents and the symptoms began to escalate quickly. we weren’t sure if he was on drugs or what was going on, he would ask the same questions over and over and his reaction was like he’s never heard the answer, meanwhile it would be his fifth time asking. he now believes someone is taking over his mind, he looks like he is awake but sedated. The doctors are beginning new medications asap but he doesn’t want to take anything. It has been very hard on my whole family and he is so young. I just want to know if it eventually gets easier and what I could do to help him even a little bit. he use to call me about 6 times a day, I would tell him I was at work and call him later but he would call again ten minutes later with no memory of calling me. Its been very difficult watching him go through this and not being able to help.


Carey, The best thing you and your parents could do is attend NAMI’s Family to Family classes together - in person is best, but online can be more available.

Read everything you can, a good starting place is Dr E Fuller Torrey’s “Surviving Schizophenia, A Family Manual”. My son had the symptom “anosognosia” this symptom makes our family members very resistant to taking meds. Read Dr Amador’s “I’m Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help”, he will teach you how to talk with your brother in a way that will help you find a way to get him on medications.

Best to you, your brother is young, get everyone in the family on board with Dr Amador’s LEAP method. LEAP is the path forward.


Hope has really good recon-the only thing I would add is to ask the psychiatrist if he could get a injectable antipsychotic that can last a month or so-I have a son who was diagnosed at 17 and is now 46-we’ve had stable times and times he’s relapsed and doesn’t want to take medication because he doesn’t think he’s ill- it’s difficult to watch a loved one decompensate. I’ve started going to Alanon meetings online and I person-we have to make sure through this we are taking care of ourselves- In harmony


The hardest thing with this illness is insight. Getting your relative or loved one to recognize they have an illness.

An example often used is this. If your brother told you that you have diabetes, would you believe him? If your brother told you that you needed to take insulin for your diabetes would be believe your brother? If your brother kept telling you over and over that you have diabetes and you need to take insulin would you believe him? This is similar to the challenge you will face.

There are many ways to go about it. As mentioned “I don’t need help I am not sick” is one of the most compassionate ways as it builds trust first. It looks like your brother trusts you, and that book will help you use that trust to get him to gain insight.

There is a word you can lookup. Anosognosia

Take Care

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My son has that and especially since he decided to go off his meds. He doesn’t recognize that he needs help and keeps refusing meds and help when offered. It’s so sad. Schizophrenia can destroy a life.

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