Update on brother and a computer

Hello. Awhile back I asked for ideas and advice because my older brother, diagnosed with schizophrenia decades ago, kept asking if we could look into getting him a computer. He’s in his early 60s and I worried I’d be making a mistake no matter what I did. Well, we ended up forgoing any complicated or wasteful purchases and instead went to a public library, where I had a card, and together we logged into the internet.

He looked only at Amazon in search of books he would like to read and music CDs he wanted to buy. After a minute or so, he figured out the mouse and how to move pages up and down. We discussed that I could order some of his choices when I got home (more private) and he could pay me back. He spoke with a friendly librarian for a moment and we both interacted with a chatty fellow one desk away. The adventure went well. He seemed weary afterward and now he has completely dropped asking about computers.

This was late winter-early spring during a phase when he was pretty sharp, meds working well and he was not too stressed. I’m glad we did the computer exposure library trip during that window. As we all know, moods and willingness/ability to learn new things or even just be around unfamiliar others goes up and down for those with serious mental illnesses.

I’ll probably try it again or do some other challenge sometime in the future when or if he’s having a good stretch of stability. Thanks to all who gave me suggestions.


That is good he was interested in some books and cd’s. Did he like any at the library?
Wish my son would go to a library, and read, and check out things.

I replied a few days ago but must not have hit enter. Anyway, no, he didn’t browse the shelves at all. Just went into the computer room with me. I’ve noticed that he tends to focus hard on one task at a time. I think having schizophrenia means overwhelm happens often.

Maybe your son would like to buy and own books versus having ones other people also use. My brother likes to have his own books etc.

Take care.

Yes, very true. However, with repeated exposure of increased duration, you can become desensitized and more accustomed to new surroundings, activities and people. It’s the dynamic that causes some sufferers to stay in their rooms, keep curtains drawn, and rarely leave the house or venture out of their yards. It’s important to help them feel safe by telling them what and who to expect and unquestionably help them an exit strategies and coping mechanisms if they become overwhelmed.


Good points. I’ll remember that.