My brother - schizophrenia.

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My brother - schizophrenia.

Postby rufio89 » Wed Jul 08, 2009 11:52 am

This isn't a huge problem, but it's been upsetting me a bit today.

My brother was diagnosed with schizophrenia about 2 years ago now, he was in hospital for a while, but he's been out for well over a year now, and they've reduced his meds, and he's generally doing really well, but it was just SUCH a horrendous situation for him, and for the the whole family to be in, particularly me (and I'm not just saying that, I was his target).

He used to smoke weed quite a bit when he was younger, and one of the things he's said is that he noticed a link within himself between smoking weed and having weird/bad thoughts.

Generally I dont have a problem with smoking weed, I dont think of it as a big deal for most people, but he said himself, that he thinks it DOES make a difference to his mental health.


I went to the cinema last night and I was waiting for my bus and I ran into him, and he running down to get his bus, and he was really stoned. I didnt get a chance to talk to him properly, so I just said "no, [name], please dont, you know what happens", but he had to rush off, and he was pretty out of it.

I've been thinking about it a lot today, and it's really stressing me out. He said that it causes bad thoughts for him, and it makes me cross that he's being so stupid and selfish. If he gets ill again then it's us that have to pick up the pieces and when he was ill before it had such a horrible effect on me, I dont think I could go through that again.

I dont really know what to do, whether I should try to talk to him about it, or whether I should maybe say something to my Dad? (He's 27, but because he's been ill he still lives with my Parents).

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: My brother - schizophrenia.

Postby RagDoll » Wed Jul 08, 2009 12:15 pm

I'm really not an expert on mental health issues, but from what you've said (and from your other posts about your brother) I think it would be best to have a quiet word with him about it first and foremost and see what he has to say. Perhaps he needs reminding of what he's said in the past (about how it affects him) and hearing that you're concerned and stressed out about it will be enough to make him stop?

I think if you do that and he doesn't agree to stop/reacts badly, then it would be worth speaking to your Dad about it.
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Re: My brother - schizophrenia.

Postby rufio89 » Wed Jul 08, 2009 1:43 pm

As somebody with experience of this, how does sombody schizophrenic act? I have concerns with my own brother in the same situation.


There's many different things, it's different in every case.

With my brother, he started off just becoming very withdrawn, very quiet; basically, signs of severe depression.

Then he would occassionally be incredibly paranoid and get a bit aggressive - he once punched my brother in the face because he said he was giving him a dirty look - this is TOTALLY out of character.

General paranoia that people were talking about him; he used to pick up the other line of the phone, follow us when we went out, sit outside my bedroom door at night etc.

Hallucinations; as far as I know, these were mostly auditory. He started talking to himself in the mirror - like having a proper conversation "hi, how are you, hows your day been", but then they got a bit darker "they're talking about me", "stop looking at me like that", "what should i do to make them stop".

Then he had this thing about being trapped. He didnt like the doors to be closed (and I mean ANY door, the front door, the driveway gates, the side gate. Everytime we closed a door he would open it again within 2 minutes. Once we locked the front and back door and kept the key in our pocket and he smashed the side window. This was midwinter).

He had an aversion to electronics. He wouldnt come in the room if the TV was on, or the computer. Actually, not electronics, just things with screens. He also avoided the mirror in the hall (you have to go past it to get from the kitchen to the lounge, and he started going out the back door and back in through the front door so he didnt have to walk past it). He thought things with screens were spying on him.

Then he had this thing about the railway track, and used to go and sit on it, put his ear to it. He later told us he thought he could get messages from the vibrations.

That was pretty much the point that he went into hospital. After that he was heavily medicated, and he was mostly just severely depressed and suicidal.

He had a lot of auditory hallicunations, he thought his dead mother was telling him to do things, he thought he could read our minds and we were thinking horrible thoughts about him.


If you have any questions Serendipity, please feel free to PM me, and I'll talk about it with you. I've done a LOT of reading on psychosis and schizophrenia, so I might be able to offer an insight.
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Re: My brother - schizophrenia.

Postby Bel Bel » Wed Jul 08, 2009 2:31 pm

I do think you should have a quiet word as ragdoll suggested
The problem with the weed today is it has many more chemicals in it becasue the growers are trying to find ways to increase their profits. If he really finds it difficult to stop how about suggesting if he really is going to do it that he try solid/hash instead. I know you shouldn't encourage him but it might be a better altenative if he is going to continue anyway.
I find that people who get paranoid are always the skunk smokers. In fact the normal weed is usually ok too but that doesn't appear to be about as much as it used to be. My friends ex has bipolar and normal weed or solid seems to calm him down but as soon as he has any skunk he is acting all strange. Sometimes it is a few days after smoking it but never when he has the solid/weed.
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Re: My brother - schizophrenia.

Postby rufio89 » Wed Jul 08, 2009 2:38 pm

I dont know if he smokes regularly, it may have been a one off, and with ANYONE else, I would not give it a second thought. I've done it a few times, a lot of my friends smoke regularly, and I think it's generally not a big deal, this just TERRIFIES me.

I just cannot understand why he'd do it when he said HIMSELF that he noticed a link. He brought it up, we never even suggested it!

It really hurts me that he'd take that sort of risk. He's supposed to be my big brother, he said he'd never frighten me like that again, that he would never do that to me, or the family again, and yet he's taking stupid risks.

I feel like crying :(
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Re: My brother - schizophrenia.

Postby Bel Bel » Wed Jul 08, 2009 2:41 pm

you need to say all this to him and hopefully he will listen, reassure you and heed what your saying
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Re: My brother - schizophrenia.

Postby RagDoll » Wed Jul 08, 2009 2:54 pm

Yeh, speak to your brother about it. Hopefully it's not becoming a regular thing.
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Re: My brother - schizophrenia.

Postby captainf » Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:07 pm

To me it sounds like it is a regular thing for him. Sadly hes suffered the ultimate possible outcome and only has himself to blame.
You can have a word with him but I dont think it will make a difference. Going to your dad might be a better option but unless your brother actually wants to stop this is going to continue unfortunately.
Hes got himself sucked into a very dangerous situation and is one of the reasons why drugs are made illegal, of course.
I feel sorry for it affecting your life so badly though. If it was me i'd just disassociate myself from my sibling or atleast let them get on with it, but then i've always had a disrespect for drugs and their users.
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Re: My brother - schizophrenia.

Postby rufio89 » Tue Jul 14, 2009 8:23 am

I dont think that smoking cannabis in itself is generally a bad thing for most people. The link between usage and psychosis is tenuous at best. I know a lot of people who smoke very regularly and none of them have had any problems from it (except some of them turning into layabouts).

However, my brother said HIMSELF that he thought it was a contributing factor.

But I would NEVER cut him out of my life. My siblings are the most important thing in the world to me, and there is NOTHING he, or any of the others, could do that would make me disassociate myself from him. I would do anything for him.


I spoke to my sister about this, and she said she would try to have a word with him. She has a masters in psychology so she will know better how to approach it than any of the others.

Sadly hes suffered the ultimate possible outcome and only has himself to blame.

I dont think that's really fair though... it's not his fault he got ill, there's a huge number of factors that can contribute to psychosis and schizophrenia and drug abuse is a very small part of that. His mother suffered from it, and ended up killing herself, and she certainly wasnt a drug user, and hereditary factors are generally the most important. Plus he had a rocky upbringing, was quite socially isolated, and there were a huge number of things that happened to him at university, way beyond his control, that damaged his trust in people and the way he percieved the world. So while I understand where you are coming from, it's certainly not his fault that he developed schizophrenia. He probably did make it worse for himself, but based on his behaviour over the past 10 years or so (long before he started smoking cannabis), I think it would have happened anyway, although he probably sped up the process.
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Re: My brother - schizophrenia.

Postby captainf » Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:51 pm

Well like you say, it certainly didnt do him any favours and therefore was a bad idea. I understand your views on drug taking and mine completely differ to yours.

However, I am sorry to hear that he had a rather difficult childhood, but to be fair alot of us have and dont resort to drug usage.

Hopefully you'll get him to stop the drug taking but thats gonna be difficult.. and if you think that his schizophrenia doesnt have a relation to his drugs (which it may well do) I guess this situation was inevitable anyway, you should probably get him to go to the doctors and seek some form of help that way.

Good luck.
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Re: My brother - schizophrenia.

Postby Bel Bel » Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:19 pm

I think getting your sister involved sounds like a great idea
It's not like she is going to be preaching to someone who deosn't wnat to listen because he already knows himself it isn't good so hopefully she can find the right way to get through to him
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Re: My brother - schizophrenia.

Postby rufio89 » Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:25 pm

I really hope so. Hopefully he doesnt need someone to "get through to him", and all he needs is someone to go "OI!" and he'll be like "oh yeah, that's stupid".

I think he's just been doing so well that he's got complacent and decided that he's better. But he's not better, he's still medicated.
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Re: My brother - schizophrenia.

Postby dipsydoodlenoodle » Tue Jul 21, 2009 3:45 pm

Are there any groups close by you could go to, to help with yuor understanding of schizophrenia? How about calling FRANK the drugs line, or the samaritans, they may be able to help and it's all anonymous.
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Re: My brother - schizophrenia.

Postby rufio89 » Tue Jul 21, 2009 3:58 pm

I spent a lot of time talking to his nurses when he first got ill and I've done a lot of research on it in my own time, so I know a fair bit already.

Im gonna call my sister tonight and see if she's spoken to him yet.
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Re: My brother - schizophrenia.

Postby dipsydoodlenoodle » Wed Jul 22, 2009 10:35 am

Any updates?
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