Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Schizophrenic Brother

Hi all and I appreciate in advance your feedback. I live with my brother ( he is 53 ) who had been diagnosed as schizophrenic and hospitalized for one week 13 years ago. At that time he urged to be released from hospital but soon after that he refused to take medication prescribed at
hospital and denied his sickness. He broke up with his friends long time ago,
and doesn’t hang out or go anywhere but his work. Of course at work dealing with him is not easy,
and from time to time he make problems with his work mates ( they realize his
condition ). The associated symptoms are Delusions and Illusions. He is convinced of security conspiracy against him etc. These symptoms were getting worse and clearer/louder that I easily could hear him talking to himself, running short conversation to whoever he think is there. Away of that, he is functioning well and taking care of himself ( cleaning, cooking, shopping, going to work and back,
and lately he is ok socializing with family members). As he doesn’t realize his sickness , I went by myself to a Psychiatric who prescribed
him Risperdal, and I used to add the dozes to his water and juice behind his back. That lead to only mood improvement and less symptoms ( illusion/delusion), but once I stop Risperdal, the symptoms are back. So it improves the symptoms but not curing the schizophrenia.
I am 41 now and still living with him and seems not able to move on with my life, can’t marry, travel or move and reallocate if an opportunity arise or anything like that. I must be around to give him
medication and watch out if anything bad happen. That seems drag me down a path of depression sometimes… I wish if I could carry on and get a normal life, but I realize this is my role toward my brother. I am afraid if I left he gets worse and end up in streets wandering like those cases we see in the streets. What do you think guys, am I right that I MUST stuck around ? please advise and share with me your experience as care givers.

I completely understand how frustrating and depressing this ccan be having to give up things that you want out of life, my 30 year old son shares the same symptoms and i have been wondering if trying to find a group home could be the answer. although he does not want to go to one and i do not want to ever hurt him. i wonder if this choice would be better for both of us. (me and my son)

You mention that you have family. They should share your burden.

Thanks for sharing sugartoots. I think if you could encourage your son to join a hobby group where he live his passion even if its video games group it will be a plus ( outdoor sport will be amazing ), and will enhance his mood in addition to medication. The problem with me is that my bro. doesn’t realize his sickness, hence he will not engage with such groups or visit shrink/psychiatrist. Hospitalization also is not the best option, and I read advices encourages to get patients involved in the community.

Well Hatty. I have 2 married brothers and they are busy with their life and problems. He must take that med, on daily basis.

Yes, I am not suggesting you should abandon your brother, but his life is not just about meds, and your life must not be about only taking care of him. I think you need to call a “family meeting” and tell your brothers that you intend to start having a social life and looking for a wife, and that they need to do something regularly with your brother, so that when you get married he won’t be left shell-shocked and feeling abandoned. I think if you sit down together and plan, you can do it, and it will be good for everyone.

You have a right to a life–yes, your family should also be supportive. Talk to your brother. See how he feels. In the meantime, Start your life. You may be able to find your own place-not too far away. If you relocate, maybe your family will start getting on board. Good luck

You are right. The ironic thing is that we were wathing TV commercials about residency couple of days ago, and it seems I was not in a good mood and showed kinda depressed, and like he felt it, and for the first time ever he told me " hey, why don’t you check one of these ads,and book a flat so you catch up and get marry" … I felt sorry for him that he is totally unaware of the reasons. But I think you are right and I should get the wheel turn one notch at least.

Thank you for encouragements.