Please Help?


#1

My step father was diagnosed with schizophrenia when I was 10 I’m now 26 . Now my 24 year old brother who has been pretty distant from the past 2-3 years is hospitalized . He has been doing a lot of the same things his dad did like
•hearing voices
•hallucinations
•not sleeping and watching others as they sleep
•praying (he’s not religious )
•writing letters to God
•buying clothes that are for children and wearing them or buying clothes that he wouldn’t have
•weight loss (extreme)
•pacing back and forth
•pulling unseen items (?) out of his skin
•hating life.
•staring (rolling his eyes behind )
•has a very mean look on his face but very sad and concerned
Now what is most concerning to me is that he can’t hold a conversation . I speak to him and he answers back 1-2 minutes later . You have to repeat yourself and he will speak . This is what I don’t understand . Why can’t he answer me ? Why does it take 2 minutes and when I’m talking to him he mostly just says "yea , yea . This is the most sad thing that has ever happened to me . I’m heartbroken . I just want my brother back . This behavior has been going on 6-8 weeks . He stopped hanging out with friends about a year ago he was doing illegal strong street drugs . I feel in a way he was trying to cope with this by using drugs . He says he doesn’t hear voices but he does talk to himself (which I haven’t heard yet ) He tells me he doesn’t hear voices and he just wants o get medicine . The hospital has a court order for him to stay . They are now evaluating him . Doctor says he is really bad . He is very cooperative with everyone . Please help !


#2

Welcome to the forum Hissister.

Have your ever had to have someone repeat what they said because you got distracted by your own thoughts for a minute? This is happening with your brother but on a much bigger scale. It’s probably really hard for him to concentrate on what you are saying because his own thoughts are so loud and probably a lot of them happening at once. I think this is called thought disordered or thought blocking.

Hopefully since he is currently inpatient they will be able to help him to get some of these things under control.

Some of these sited may help you to understand if you have not already done some research into schizophrenia.
http://www.leapinstitute.org/ - under resources are free videos on using LEAP
LEAP is a way of communicating to build trust. Listen-Empathize-Agree-Partner.
http://dramador.com/ - Dr. Xavier Amador is a clinical psychologist whose brother had schizophrenia. He is the founder of the LEAP Institute. Wrote the book: I’m Not Sick I Don’t Need Help! Can buy from his website.
Search Xavier Amador and LEAP on youtube.com and you should find some long videos
http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/index.php - under problems you will see anosognosia
Anosognosia looks like denial but is different.
http://lesswrong.com/lw/e25/bayes_for_schizophrenics_reasoning_in_delusional/ - helped my understand delusions
http://www.nami.org/ - National Alliance on Mental Illness.
http://www.schizophrenia.ca/ - Schizophrenia Society of Canada

Can also find some very useful information here:
http://www.schizophrenia.com/


#3

I am so sorry you have to go through this. He sounds just like me when I was in onset. I’m glad he’s in hospital and getting some help and being cooperative.

He most likely can’t answer your questions because of many things happening. When I was in onset first, the voices were so new and loud and confusing I really couldn’t concentrate above them. Also on top of that, I was loosing my concentration and even my ability to even understand english. My verbal skill just evaporated and my cognitive understanding shattered.

I’m sure he’s not going to Admit to hearing voices. He want’s to get out and go home and not have this. I didn’t tell my pdoc I was hearing voices, but I would be compelled to answer them anyway and my pdoc knew. But I never admitted it. I was thinking, if I didn’t admit to how bad it was, I could go home.

I reached for drugs as a way to try and cope with my shattering mind. I reached for alcohol to try and stop the voices, I reached for pot to try and stop the panic attacks, I reached for XTC to try and be happy, I reached of amphetamines as a way to fight off negative symptom and lack of motion and apathy. (I’ve been clean and sober for 6 years and in remission for 2 and half years. I have a job I like, I live in my own apartment with my kid sis, I can drive, and I’m learning how to take care of my self better.)

Also a very common symptom is though blocking or racing thoughts some times the words are spinning by faster then you can say them and so you can’t get a sentence out. Other times, what I wanted to say just evaporated out of my mind. I would have to walk away, slow my head down, maybe write it out and then come back and say it… 10 minutes too late.

Everything you have mentioned is everything I have done or still do. I have help, I have a family who loves me and it has taken a very long time, but with the right meds, therapy, help, family love and time, I’m coming back from this.

I do hope you read the diagnosed section of this forum. We all have a lot of the same symptoms but we have all found over 100 different ways to cope with them. Showering for example… people love to bring that one up.

For some of us not showering might be due to negative symptom, for others it might be positive symptom…

For me… it’s the tactile input, that loud sound of water is too painful, the feeling of all that water hitting me freaks me out, the unevenness of the temp is disorienting. So I take baths. (that is just an example)

Welcome to the forum. I’m sorry you have to go through this. Please, read, learn, talk to people. Find a support group for yourself as well.

www.nami.org
Will also have some ideas.

www.schizophrenia.com
has a huge section on FAQ’s and symptoms, and what to do and how to recognize what this is. I hope you find some answers you are looking for.

I also wanted to add one very important thing… Right now it is scary and sad and disorienting for you as well. It’s many things, but IT IS NOT HOPELESS. Remission is possible. But it does take time and knowledge and patience.

Things are going to be different, but they can get better. I was very lucky in that my kid sis never gave up on me and there were times I was able to let her know that even though it is ugly and sad, I’m still in here, and I’ll be back as soon as I can.

Good luck, I’m rooting for you… :thumbsup:


#4

Thank you both so very much for responding ! Yes I fell like there has to be some sort of thought blocking or something to that matter going on . I have been researching every possible site and talking with people who have schizophrenia so I can do whatever it take to help my brother .

This is so very difficult for me to comprehend . Even though I know that I need to just accept what’s going on. The sooner I can accept this the sooner I can give me 100% to him . @SurprisedJ thank you so much ! I still hear my little brother struggling to connect with me . I won’t give up on him . With our dad he was on so many different medications amd has had so many relapses that now after almost 20 years although he manages he can’t live on his own and he is NOT the same person at all . I just hope that my brother doesn’t have to have that same destiny . How long has it taken you , although I know this disease isn’t curable but to feel like yourself ? To be able to live I guess if you could say a normal* life ? To be able to write and hold a conversation . My brother isn’t even capable of ordering food at the moment .


#5

How long does it take? The answer to that varies. One girl in our house snapped out of a bad psychosis in a matter of a few months because of the right medication. On the other hand, with myself, it takes years and is an ongoing situation.


#6

It has taken a lot of time, meds, effort, CBT, Therapy, retraining. The way my family says it… I was 5 when there was something very noticeably wrong with me. I have had a host of labels on my file from ADD to PTSD, to bipolar, schizoaffective to now, undifferentiated SZ.

As far as who I was before my crumbling? I was 5. Even if I wasn’t mentally ill, I would not have the same 5 year old personality. (I’d hope not) but kidding aside. I’d say 17 to 27 I was really not doing well. So 10 years.

I was 17 when I just broke and landed in hospital. I’m 29 now. It was two years ago when I felt the head circus start to quiet down and I could begin to think and want things and concentrate a bit more.

When I was in hospital I wasn’t able to converse much. Plus my situation was complicated by drug use. It took a lot of work to sort out what was SZ, what was drug use, what was puberty, what was me.

I’ve had relapses and bad days and hospital stays after my initial break. I was homeless for a bit. My parents do love me, I know this. But I have 4 younger siblings and there came a point where my parents had to say… we love you, but we can’t keep bailing you out. We HAVE to help our other kids as well. So I ended up homeless. I call that the time I went rabid. No meds, no support, no stability, I went non-human rabid. I landed back in hospital I really got my head out of my butt and didn’t want to be homeless ever again. I really tried my best to honestly accept help and stay med compliant.

If your brother is already accepting help and wanting medicine and trying to be cooperative then he’s ahead of me at this point. I went through a very dark anger time and I might have been able to pull out of this sooner if I wasn’t such an angry jerk. It took about 10 years to get where I am today.

I was functional in a slight way four years ago. But not really. I could go to my little 4 hour part time job as a janitor that I got from out patient therapy. But the other 20 I was deep in negative symptom. I was just there. I really didn’t/ couldn’t manage to do much. I wasn’t psychotic really and I could communicate better when I had the energy but it wasn’t until my med cocktail changed and WOW. The correct meds jump started this upward spiral.

Then it was more therapy, which got me out of my negative symptom to stay med compliant which got me to just start pulling out of the world inside my head. It took a lot. Now that I am stabilizing I am working with a doc to maybe try and knock down the med dose so someday under medical supervision I can be med free too. But that is a ways off.

I was also at a point where I couldn’t order food, I could barely wash my hair and I was sure most my family was trying to kill me and wanted me to die. The voices were screaming and the walls had faces coming out of them and light was too bright and sound was too loud and food all tasted metallic and I was always having a panic attack. But eventually the meds finally worked. But I do feel meds have to be in conjunction with supportive therapy.

I really hope you read some of our diagnosed section. There are some of us who are in school, starting new jobs, getting places on our own. NO, we’re not going to be the next CEO go getter and I’m sure some of us have had a huge personality transformation, but some of us are working and taking one day at time.

I’m so glad you recognize that he’s in there and reaching out to you. I wouldn’t have been able to keep up my will if my kid sis wrote me off. It’s going to be rough and there are going to be tears for you both. But he’s in hospital now and he’s accepting help. If it stays that way, he has some good chances with you by his side.

My kid sis (who I credit with really helping my survive and she saved my life literally when I tried to step out of this life 6 years ago… she did the CPR and called 911 and kept me breathing) has a favorite book.


#7

Hi,

It definitely sounds like your brother is on the path to schizophrenia given the symptoms you’ve described. The good news is that if you and your family move quickly to get him help he may be able to avoid it. Its very important that he get treatment very early because the longer you wait, the worse it gets and the worse the outcome predicted.

I recommend you contact one of the centers listed here that is closest to you and (if there none really close to you) then ask them for a recommendation of another clinic like theirs closer to you.

These centers are specifically set up to help people like your brother as early as possible.

http://www.raiseetp.org/sites/index.cfm

Here is another list of Early Psychosis Treatment centers - call them also if there is not one listed above that is close:

http://www.schizophrenia.com/earlypsychosis.htm

Its very important that you call them, tell them about your family history with schizophrenia (your father) and all the other symptoms your brother is showing - and get him in treatment next week!