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paranoid schizophrenic brother

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My brother has paranoid schizophrenia. He's 56 years old. I'm 48- I'm not able to take care of him like our mother could. She died in 2005. She paid all his bills. My brother inherited the house he lives in , but doesn't think it's important to pay his home taxes or utility bills. When I tell him it's important, he says --when he's ready. When his utitities get cut off, he says people are f***ing with him. He thinks the whole town is out to get him. Last year he went without heat and water during the winter and said the utility companies were messing with him.
I'm tired of trying . I've had him put in the hospital twice and they always release him - and I'm always there to pick him up. No more. The hospitals keep him 5 - 7 days then release him (it's the law). He's threatened to kill me before, I'm afraid of him and I'm tired of having to pick him up. I want them to keep him 'til he's really capable of tending to himself. He always tells the doctors that he'll "do the right thing"- go to River Edge Hospital and take his medicine and clean his house. His house isn't fit to live in - it hasn't been cleaned in at least 10 years. He lies, but the doctors believe him or pretend too. I've tried for years to make things better for him.
He won't and can't help himself (won't more than can't - I believe he chooses what he wants). He'll never take his medicine - that would admit that he's ill. Instead, he wants to think that since 1965, people have been poisoning him and screwing up his life.
I'm done - I can't try anymore.
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replied February 8th, 2008
Especially eHealthy
If you're in the US, you should be able to get a social worker (or perhaps he already has one) to oversee his case. They can evaluate him and decide if he isn't able to pay bills or maintain the house, the social worker might be able to arrange bills to be paid for him (like social security) and someone to come in and care for him, or perhaps come in once a week to make sure he has food and the house is somewhat clean, etc.

Please, try not to blame him. He doesn't want to think that people have been poisoning him for 50 years, why would anyone choose that? Schizophrenia makes people paranoid, suspicious, and in denial about their condition. He doesn't have a grasp on reality and he didn't ask for this illness.

But anyway, where do you live? The US? If you let me know, I can help direct you to a starting place to finding resources for him.
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replied February 9th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
Georgia59 is right. Your brother lives in another reality, quite literally, than you do. He has no ability to control the paranoia and delusional material that accompanies this illness. His existence is clouded with what the illness does to him. He is not selectively ignoring his responsibility. He is unable to handle it. He needs medication and needs to be compliant with the medication. Irresponsible behavior is part of this illness, unfortunately.

You need some support. This is a huge burden to carry alone. Mental illness is devastating to the entire family. Violent outbursts can put you in jeopardy. Look for a support group. You need somewhere to vent and get some ideas on how to handle the situation. Many people who have been in your shoes offer you direction and help you to know how to deal most effectively with your brother. You should not have to be alone in this.

NAMI - National Alliance on Mental Illness has a website. They offer support and can assist you with finding support in your area. Try them. Georgia59 has offered some great advice and assistance. Reach out your hand. There is support out there for you and you deserve to unload some of the burden!

I hope this helped. We are hear to listen.
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replied February 9th, 2008
Supporter
Here in the UK a person like your brother would have a carer, paid for by the NHS. He needs someone to come in every day and oversee his general wellbeing, as well as an advocate who can take care of his money and bills.

It is appalling that he has been left to deal with this alone - and that you are expected to look after him.
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replied February 9th, 2008
There are 4 things you have to do to help people get well.

1. You have to give them shelter. You never get the homeless well. You cannot treat the homeless and half the homeless are schizophrenic. They’ve been very
shabbly treated. There are no shelter.

2. Secondly, you have to have good food. You have to have really good food, as we all agree with that.

3. They have to be treated with civility; they have to be treated with respect. They have to be treated as humans. Today, unfortunately, in psychiatry, too
often the patients are not treated that way at all. They’re badly treated, mistreated. They’re forced to take injections against their will, even though
that’s against the law in Canada.

4. The fourth aspect of treatment is what I call orthomolecular. They have to be given the right combination of nutrition, vitamins, minerals, and medication if necessary. But the medication has to be used carefully and all to make sure the medication is not damaged in that process.

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replied December 22nd, 2008
Margi34 Schizophrenic Brother
I wanted to say that I completely understand what you are going through. It is not just that you've 'lost' your brother, for all intended purposes. It is that he is unaccountable, and seemingly irresponsible. It is very difficult to separate what is the illness and what is your brother, I'm sure.

In my situation, my brother, who is now in his mid-30s, was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia approximately 2 years ago. He has always been, and will always try to be a drug dealer. It may have been what triggered the mental illness to come on.

Unfortunately, my brother lies, steals, manipulates; he is scary and has a violent past. Our mother excuses all that he has done, writing it off to this or that ailment, which the genetists state we don't even have in our family. Now with the schizophrenia, we are starting it all over again, and the family dynamic has returned with my role too...the fixer, the caregiver...except I'm tired of it.

My brother's mental illness and behavior is bigger than me, my husband and me, or my entire family. I have sought out outside guidance and support and it has helped alot. I hope you do the same.
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replied October 21st, 2012
I'm losing my own mind!!! Just because my brother is the same way. He spends a lot of his ssi on batteries and when we try to explain to him his bills are more important he says he doesn't care about society and that's. Not important to him! We try to help him , but he thinks were wrong and that were trying to kill him! He came to my house a month ago because the abandoned house he was living in was sold. I told him he can't live here and he said if I throw him out he will burn down my house! I have a four year old child and my husbands about ready to snap! Thankfully out of respect for me he hasn't . There is no helping him and its breaking my heart . How can I reject him? And how can I accept his violent dangerous nature. There is no help
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