Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

New to the forum, here's my story

So, where to begin…

My name is Tim, I’m currently 23, graduated from university with a BA in Psychology. My goal during studying was to become a clinical psychologist and use my knowledge to help my family.

My family consists of 4 people, myself, my older brother who I’ll call Anthony, who is 26, my mother, and my father.
My father and brother are schizophrenic. My father started to display symptoms when I was in the 9th grade, started having delusions of grandeur. I had no clue what was happening my family sort of just… let him go on about it. He lost his job due to an injury, and lost $400,000 due to a scam investment.

I didn’t really understand all that at the time, and just continued living my highschool life as normally as I could. Had many friends, had my first girlfriend around grade 11.

I was focused mainly on myself, but I noticed my brother was acting… different.
So, summary of my brother and our relationship.
My older brother was my hero and my idol. Growing up, he pretty much bullied me, hit me and yelled at my almost everyday. But I loved him, he was always the tough guy at school and with his friends. I figured all that physical torment was just normal for brother sibling rivalry. It made me tough, I was also the tough guy in school growing up because of that. But everyone knew my brother was the real badass to not be messed with, and I looked up to that, I aspired to be that badass guy.

Obviously, highschool life isn’t everything, and maybe I guess he realized that years after he graduated. He didn’t go to post secondary, his grades werent the greatest I suppose.

So, going back, I was busy with my girlfriend, first love, losing my virginity, etc, I didn’t really care about my brother and pay as much attention as I should have. I knew he was different though.
Anyways, during those years my brother and father fought constantly, verbal fights, sometimes got physical to the point where I had to step in. My mother didnt know what to think of it at those moments.

I ended up going to university, I wanted to get away from it all. I was at school for 5 years. First year I wanted to do business, then I switched afterwards due to failing grades and studied psychology. I studied that for 4 years, essentially learning and realizing how screwed and messed up my family truely was. Throughout these studies I would do my best not to think of home, and would rarely go back, only for the summer and mainly to hang out with old friends. I would get updates though from my mother. Although they were rare, she knew I wanted nothing to do with the family, so she tried her best to keep me unaware of the bad stuff. And then in my fourth year I started hearing the things that have happened while I was gone.

My brother broke my fathers fingers when they were about to fight and pushed him down the stairs, my uncle and brother got into some altercations (hate my uncle, hes useless and a bum, more on him later), and just other fights.

So, fast foward to my 5th year and final year. I hear my uncle attacked my brother with scissors, stabbing him, police came, my uncle arrested for the week, my brother hospitalized, not due to the physical injuries, but because the doctors realized that something was wrong with him mentally, and thus diagnosed him FINALLY, with schizophrenia. This was January 2018. He was out 2 weeks later, with some meds that he never took and that my mom and I never knew about. My brother continued living his life, with these delusions of paranoia, and i tried using what I learned to make him realize he was crazy, but nothing worked, and only resulted in fights between us.

My mother finally started to understand that my father and my brother were mentally ill. We are south-eastern descent, Laotian to be exact, and neither she nor my father know much about mental illnesses. So I tried to teach her what I could and help her to understand just a bit more.

Anyways, fast forward to now, February 21st, 2019, the day I am typing this out.
My father has a gambling problem, lost 250,000 of our HELOC. This is of course, ontop of the initial 400,000 he lost years ago. My mother is 57, working overtime every week she can to make ends meet.
My brother, who for the past 3 years has been living off my mom, making her buy him outrageous things and literally spending THOUSANDS. He literally bought 3 pairs of suits (1500 EACH, just this summer) and ruined them by throwing them into the washing machine.
Also, he was hospitalized again, just in January for about 2 weeks. This time I was home and around (by the way, I graduated finally in August, 2018) and have been home since then.

With me around, I could finally help, and decided to try and help instead of running away from my issues. I spoke to the doctors of course, and tried to make my brother understand. To this day, he still doesn’t understand he’s schizophrenic, or atleast refuses to believe it. I last spoke to him earlier this week about it and he claims “he’s too young for schizophrenia” even after me, and the DOCTORS, diagnosed him. I don’t know what to do with my brother, BUT, he is better. He has been released (unfortunately because I think he was getting great help at the hospital, the psychiatrist was horrible, we had a “family” meeting with him (my dad was of course not there), and he was complaining how he was “on-call and had other clients to attend to”, and after brief conversation he allowed my brother to go home with us.

My brother is on monthly injections which have definitely been helping, he is no longer ANGRY, all the time, and a bit more understanding. He finally realized how much money he has wasted of my mother’s and is looking for employment.

While all of this has been going on for the past few months, at the same time my father was being scammed by people he met at his poker place, and taken advantage of. There was one man who reached out to me, claimed he wanted to help me, the one man that my father actually talked with and I could say was his friend. He was the only person I’ve seen my father talk to as a friend the past 10 damn years. Hour long conversations on the phone, he actually tried to help my father stop gambling (which was successful for a while). Anyways, I thought this guy was scamming my father because he asked for money to help deal with my father’s financial/legal issues.
This guy got a hold of me, and I spoke to him about my whole families situation. I spoke to him for a month, multiple times, I even cried to on the phone with this guy about our financial situation, our family dramas. This guy knows my family and our struggles the most, even more than my CLOSE friends. He said he didn’t even realize my father was schizophrenic, and that after I spoke to him about everything that it all finally made sense to him about the things my father told him.

Anyways, he said he could help with the financial situation, through some ways. I listened, I knew deep in my gut it was too good to be true, but I listened and eventually gave him my last 10,000 dollars that my father gave me to pursue real estate school. This was in January 2019, and it is now February.

It was only 2 weeks ago where I realized I was scammed. Not just me though, my mother, because she too helped front some money that was “required” for the help.

I type this out now, because for the first time in all these years, I’ve seen my mother break down and cry to me. It is currently 10:44pm EST, my mother works at 6:30AM tomorrow, and she came downstairs 30 minutes ago to ask what is happening with the financial issue. After EVERYTHING you folks just read, this is what made her break down.

I told her straight up, we got lied to. It was my fault for believing and trusting the man. And she cried, claiming “we have no more money.”
And I consoled her the best I could.

I screwed up. My family is screwed up. I’m not sure what will happen this year. I work tomorrow at 9am. Just graduated from university and working a damn part-time cashier job.

I want help for my family. Not just financially, of course I believe financially it would solve everything.
I just want my family to live a happy life, my mother deserves it.

So,
what does this have to do with schizophrenia? Everything, this is what can happen to a family with mental illness.

I know each and everyone of you on this forum have troubles as well, and I’m glad that after all this time I found this forum. Who knew a quick google search “Schizophrenia forums” would work? hahaha.

I hope that everyone on here can get the help they deserve and need.
I’m here to help anyone of you if I can, I won’t be able to offer much, but I can offer understanding and some emotional support, or atleast try to.

Thanks for reading everyone, have a great night.

Tim V.

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I apologize people, I started this post a few days ago, but was interrupted and couldn’t get all my thoughts out until tonight.

I realize I may have gone into a bit more detail about myself, rather than my brother and father who have schizophrenia. My first reason I wanted to type this was to explain to them my perspective on how they have been these past 10 years, but I sort of got side tracked I guess, and wrote about the recent events halfway through. I have a lot more I can say about my father and my brother.

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Hello Villy. I think it’s reasonable to say you and your family have been through hell. I’m so sorry about this, but welcome to the forum.

Injections are the way to go, so I’m so happy for you all in that regard. Also, I’m glad you’ve taken the time to write out your feelings and experiences. That is probably cathartic. It certainly has been for me.

Your mom has and is experiencing more pain and grief than any person should ever experience. Please hug her and tell her the two of you will survive this.

Peace to you all.

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I am so sorry that your family is struggling with two ill persons. Your mother is probably very glad you are home and are trying to help.

Injections are probably the right treatment method for your brother. Hospitalizations didn’t help my daughter except when she was released after an injection. She is currently 3 months on an injection, and my home is calm.

Come here and read, and know that others are struggling too, and making changes day by day. I’ve learned a tremendous amount on this forum.

“I am Not Sick, I don’t Need Help” is a great book to read, as your brother can’t see his own illness (common to the majority with sz).

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Hello, I am sorry you and your family are going through so much.

Please keep sharing here and letting us know how you are doing.

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thank you guys for the replies and kind words. Typing it out definitely made me feel better, and im happy to know I’m not the only one suffering.

A little update on my brother,

It was his birthday today, and he got a new factory job on his birthday lol. Not sure how he felt about it, not even sure how I feel about it. I don’t think he should be working, at least in a factory environment, I want him to make friends and learn social skills rather than work aimlessly for hours of the day. My family and him needs some sort of income so, idk.

He seems to be VERY clingy to my mother, almost baby like, my father hates it because well, he’s 27 now and is a child. I am sort of annoyed, but I just want to see him happy. I just want to be able to know what he’ll be okay somehow, because of course my mother won’t be here forever, and neither will I…

Does anyone else have an experience like this? 27 and practically a child? his intelligence is like not there either…

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When my son was in psychosis yes he was like a child. Very difficult. He’s on meds now and more of an adult and working.

How long was he like that? My brother is on meds now and is like that.
Glad to hear your son turned out okay though :slight_smile:

Hard to say as he was living with his Dad when his break happened so 6 months after that he came to me and would just sit at the table looking at things and had very disorganized speech. He struggled to be around us and others for the next six months and then he isolated for another 10 months.

Can you talk to his doctor about his behavior?

Also, I would ask for an IQ test, or other test to measure his mental capacity. Probably a neurologist could do that for you.

My brother also had very disorganized speech! For the longest time it was hard to understand him.
He now stares at things looking around, and doesn’t speak much…
Haa your son improved his social skills at all? What other symptoms did he have? And if you don’t mind me asking, how long has it been for him?

Interesting how you mentioned this.

First off, my family doctor had known my brother has been like this for years now. She’s tried to get some help but my family is very hard to deal with… As mentioned in my post, my father also has schizophrenia.

Also today he actually had some tests done for about 3 hours, I’m not sure the results… He hasn’t spoken to me or my mom about what they asked of him, but the social worker said she would ask for his consent to disclose the details or just make us his… Authoritative person. (mind is blanking on the term)

Hopefully I find out soon.

I believe it’s called word salad. He’s 29. I noticed behavior changing at 18 and at 20 he started with all the delusional thinking. He was under a lot of stress - GF and failing his college classes. This went on until he was 26 when he was wasn’t sleeping and living in a house growing pot (legally) but lost it and thought his neighbors had hacked his tv and were threatening to harm him, his father and myself. He came to my house and sat in the backyard taking license plate #s down for about a month. Went to Home Depot and came back saying people were out to get his organs. He finally calmed down and went back to live in that house and was on herbs that seemed to keep this at bay. He is paranoid sz. I put him in the hospital last May as he had barricaded me out of my home. He thought I was an imposter and drones were following him. He was court ordered meds and is on the invega monthly shot. Total 3 weeks in hospital, 3 weeks in transitional home then home to me. About a month after that he got a job and then 2. Now he works one and has been able to keep it, bought a few cars. Still keeps to himself as he works at night and sleeps days. Doesn’t bath much but doesn’t seem to smell. Brushes his teeth. So some hygiene issues and his room is a mess.