11-05-2018 04:00 PM - edited 11-05-2018 04:11 PM
My brother was taken to a hospital today, and I am grieving.
I love my family. I love my brothers. I'm 29, and my youngest brother is 26.
He's always been very different. He was diagnosed with dyslexia at age 4, and struggled to make it through school. He always saw into another world. Would always talk about seeing spirits, and spirits talking to him, and making up languages, and seeing symbols.
He was seen by professional psychiatrists many times, because something was always a little bit off. We were always told it was "Inconclusive". They also noticed he was different, but he didn't fit any one diagnosis. By the time he was 21, however, I was strongly suspecting Schizophrenia. My uncle has it, and it rang a bell. My parents shrugged it off. He was unable to hold down a job, he couldn't keep his friendships, his mood swings were outrageous, his hygiene plummeted, and his obsessions with the spirit realm grew worse and worse.
The past year and half he lived by himself in a shed on my parents property, while everyone else was gone. He was trying to start a woodshop, but couldn't manage to make progress. My parents were still in denial, I was unable to reach him across the country, and my other brother was not very understanding or able to help. He would call me at 2am to talk about how his phone was being tracked, about how he discovered the secret to imortality and his spirit guides made blood covenants. How he found the secret messages of the governments on styrofoam cups. My parents were still in denial, even when I sent them descriptions of schizophrenia, and pleaded with them to help him. Finally, they decided to start making some moves, after I stated that I would do something if they didnt.
Again, the psychiatrists said he was borderline in many things, but nothing solid. Then one day, he snapped, and his diagnosis was chrystal clear. 3AM, drinking coffee by the pot at a local diner, my 26 year old brother, lost his shit. He said the cops were hiding a body in his van, that the customers were all spies trying to get him, that he had cracked the code to life itself and the government was going to get him. He posted it all on facebook, while terrorizing the restaurant. My mother was saw the posts, and went to search for him. He spent several miserable days in a bedroom, afraid of eveyrone and everything. Police were called, and he was sent to a hospital. Was in for a month, diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, then released and my parents took him. He refused medication.
He came home today, screaming and sobbing that my grandfather has given him "The Mark of The Beast", that his eyeball had a camera, that his other arm was a fake one the hospital had given him. My parents called the police, and they escorted him to the hospital again.
I am at a loss. I love my brother. I am so angry that no one caught this sooner, and no one listened to me when I saw it coming years ago. I am angry that the medical profession couldn't be bothered to really dig in to his diagnosis, and that the system gives up on schizophrenics so easily.
I am grieving for the baby brother I lost. He was my best friend,for many years. I want to be his carer, but cannot be at this time.
11-05-2018 04:45 PM
@bekette bekette welcome to the forums I wish it was under better circumstances for you. Firstly how lucky is your brother to have such a caring sibling. Not all do and the fact that you did as much as you could is credit to you. Try not to dwell too much on the past of misunderstandings and misdiagnoses. The past is the past and now your brother is in the best plast possible.
My son took years, literally years to diagnose, it can when the symptoms start so young. It is rare to have the illness from a young age ... now the problem for your brother is he cannot be forced to take his medication ... this is the pity of it all it is up to him to realise he is sick and needs medical help.
You wrote that he has been living with your parents ... can that continue once he is let out of hospital? you also wrote that your mother is now accepting of the diagnosis but you didnt mention your father ... I think everyone has to be on board including your other sibling. More hands make light work so to speak.
Don't despair you will find kind and caring people here in forumland who will be more than willing to just listen when times get tough or if you want some advice dont be afraid to ask.
Talk soon I hope
14-05-2018 04:22 PM
So sorry to read of yours and family's pain. I am so sorry no one listened to you and the warning signs....you did the best you could. I can understand your anger......
When my baby brother had a total mental breakdown and was diagnosed also with the same illness as your brother - I cried and also grieved at the loss of the person I knew. I feel for you and your brother. Complex mental illness can really be agony.
With the difference that mental illness does not run in my family - all my brothers and sisters were effected mentally because of the trauma of childhood abuse. My brother worst effected because he did not leave the family home.
I hope your brother will receive the best treatment possible now to control his illness and to find relief from his suffering and a better quality of life, which is possible. Please keep us updated to how it all goes.
16-05-2018 04:46 AM
As someone with the illness, we're still us. We're in there, and we remember. He can and will come back, but just remember it won't be "cured". It's a cycle.
It's just too many other thoughts are happening as well. After a while, you try to make sense of all the new "noise" and it turns into false pattern analysis. For instance, you get stopped at a red light too many times in a row, you think it's on purpose. You ignore all the times it is randomly green. Why do we go from noticing this and not reacting in the past, to suddenly having paranoia? Too many other thoughts that "back it up", too much emotional overload from everything firing at once, and we ignore the other balancing thoughts because "what if they are wrong?"
I view it like living with PTSD. But now, the entire world can trigger any stray thought into becoming a main focus.
The more he and others understand the disease, the easier it is to rebalance yourself. I wish I could offer better specific advice, but we're all different with the disease. What works for me won't work for others. I think myself out of it, so to me, it is now equivalent to Obsessive Compulsive Thinking--and I can handle that much better. Catch it, Check it, Change it.
If he learns to question his thoughts with his own voice, being skeptical of his new thinking and remembering his old thinking, he can disregard those thoughts. The simplest explanation is often the best. Point out a simpler explanation, and why his view is adding details that aren't there.
It seems like you'll have to wait until medication kicks in to talk with him, and build trust while he is stable. Trust is important. During that timeframe, have him tell you how he thinks, and the various ways. It is the only way to know how to reach him during his breaks. You can guide his thinking if you know it, and put him in a balance place, and he can learn more and more to hold himself there.
Get the meds court ordered if need be. He is viewing the family as dangerous, and that is proof he is about to get carried away. Your parents are enabling him to become unhealthy by not approaching this. Are they trying to avoid the stigma of mental health at the cost to his actual life? Wake them the f up.
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