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how to help brother with schizophrenia

I'm at a loss for words...

My brother is 17 and will be 18 in March and he's been schizophrenic for over half a year. He sees things, hears things, does irrational things, sometimes lacks emotions completely, extremely paranoid and gets somewhat violent. He has taken an extreme interest in religion. He thinks he is going to hell for "experimenting" with alcohol and marijuana and being a trouble to the law. His choice of friends was horrible and got him into much of the above. He can't stand seeing people drink alcohol or smoke. I don't know how to help him. He's on medication...but I feel like the rest of Western Medicine, only tries to cure symptoms and they have no intention on curing the cause of problems for the sake of money. Those bottles of pills he takes is around 250-300 dollars a bottle. It's CRAZY. I don't want him on medication personally since I have a gut feeling it won't cure anything even though from our desperation we're being arm-barred into submission and we force him it. I really don't know what to do to END his problems. Any help?
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Users who thank Oddler for this post: OlderSister2232 

replied February 6th, 2008
Experienced User
Unfortunately Western medicine does not have a cure for the cause of schizophrenia. Medication can help, but you might have to try a few types before anything really changes. Symptoms may be with him anyway, though. The best thing is to have him communicate everything to his doctor and keep him in a caring and balanced environment. Try to keep him from being too harsh on himself, keep him from getting really crazy with religion, get him interested or busy with other stuff.
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replied February 8th, 2008
Especially eHealthy
Right. Like cancer, we really don't know the cause, therefore we can't create a cure. So doctors try to treat and manage symptoms and hope for the best. For many people, medication makes the symptoms of schizophrenia manageable. Like philo said, he needs to stay in constant communication with his doctor (and make sure you take time to find a doc that cares about his needs and is interested in spending time on his case)- if his medication isn't doing what it should or if he is feeling worse instead of better because of it, he will need to adjust the type of medication or the dosage.

Schizophrenia is a chronic illness- meaning treatment for it is a lifetime course. Philo's suggestions were great- keep him in a warm, caring environment while you make sure he is getting great psychiatric care.
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replied February 8th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
Ditto to the above posts. Getting educated and finding support for the family is essential. Mental illness can be consuming to the people that deal with an ill family member. Get yourself support and have others that share your situation to talk with. Knowing you are not alone and getting suggestions from others that have been there can prove enormously helpful. Best to you. We are here!
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replied February 8th, 2008
Does anyone know anyone that was ever relieved fully of their schizophrenia. I'm not looking for a professional opinion but just from what you yourself have seen or heard. I want to help my brother through this very badly.
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replied February 8th, 2008
Especially eHealthy
No. Treated, yes, fairly successfully. Cured, no.
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replied February 9th, 2008
Experienced User
Yes, there's a percentage of cases where schiz recedes by itself. That mathematician from "A Beautiful Mind" was one case. I know of no cases where medication or therapy was the reason for the end of the sickness.
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replied February 11th, 2008
Especially eHealthy
It's a very small percentage, but when it happens, it's a great thing. And no, medication or therapy is not known to cure it, like I said, just treat it.
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replied February 12th, 2008
You can get healthy
Oddler wrote:
Does anyone know anyone that was ever relieved fully of their schizophrenia. I'm not looking for a professional opinion but just from what you yourself have seen or heard. I want to help my brother through this very badly.


Hi
I was diagnosed with schizophrenia when I was 14 and now I am 19 and I have a chance to become completely healthy. I have heard that 30% get completely healthy and 60% live a good life but have periods when they are sick and there is 10% that "live in there own world" for the rest of there life. For me it took 2 years before I started to be better... everything takes a long time!!! My sister who is 12 just got the diagnose and I am going to be there for her and love her and help her. That is all I can and you can do for your brother.

Do not forget to live your life! He wants you to be happy and you deserve to be happy. Be there for him but live your life the way you want!

I am sorry for my spelling. I am from Norway and do not write english very much....

I almost forgot... A psychiatric (?) here in Norway used to be a schizophrenic and now lives a happy life and is healthy. It happens! Have hope!
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replied March 25th, 2008
Full Recovery
I've almost had a full recovery in a matter of months. No voices, no visual distortions or hallucinations, nothing tactile, and only some minor paranoia. I will hear music that's not there, but it doesn't bother me one bit. Unfortunately, I have EPS side-effects to my Geodon which causes my muscles to spasm. Sometimes I will have laryngeal spasms and be unable to breath. The medicine really knocks down my energy levels, too. I accidentally missed a dose and I wasn't able to get any sleep which led to psychoses.
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replied April 23rd, 2009
off 'ice'
my brother is a year or two off 'ice' but has severe delusions..now he wants to hitchhike to Washington DC to meet the President..says he will be part of the 'unit'...you know--cia--national security...question is can his family force him to get help before he hurts himself or someone else?
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