• Hi. It’s great to see you. Welcome!

    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life. Amongst our membership there is a wealth of expertise that has been developed through having to deal with mental health issues.

    We are an actively moderated forum with a team of experienced moderators. We also have a specialist safety team that works extra hard to keep the forum safe for visitors and members.

    Register now to access many more features and forums!

How can I help?

B

Butterflydreamer

Member
Joined
May 27, 2019
Messages
5
Location
UK
I’m writing as I am extremely concerned for my cousin. We are very close, he is more like a brother to me and I would like to help him as I think he may be at the beginning of a psychotic episode. I suppose it’s also a way for me to vent and to get some support and understanding.
About 10 years ago I noticed my cousin, i’ll Call him B for privacy reasons, was different from his usual self, small changes that baffled me. He became withdrawn, moody and argumentative. B then moved away for 6 months to work and study abroad. On his return he became seriously depressed, argued with my aunt and uncle and came to live with me. He spent all day in bed, did not communicate, lashed out if I tried in any way to help. What I remember most vividly in that period was his eyes... they had changed and there were times they looked suspicious, others they looked as if they stared beyond me. Over the next 5 years B (who by now lived by himself in another town, and I saw sperodically) began doing strange things - arguing at work, loosing friends, smoking pot, became obsessed with food, government, the system, natural remedies... to name a few. He moved away a number of times only to return with no money and more depressed than before. During this times I also remember what I believed was the oddest things about him, those eyes, his talking for hours on end about the world, good and evil, life experiences, all in an infinite monologue which made no apparent sense, extreme use of metaphors and with no interaction with me. I also remember there was no regard for normal things in life - he didn’t seem to care about wanting to know how I was, my life, my job, he just spoke about deep and meaningful things. If I ever attempted any question about lif - how are you? How is work? He would lash out and call me superficial. At one point he also became obsessed with my own well-being - telling me I was I’ll, my head was in the wrong place and that I needed to work my life out. He stopped eating, lost weight and looked terrible. His eyes again....
it was at this point that I read up about psychosis, I believed by now he had this, but no one wanted to accept this theory of mine. My aunt and uncle just thought he was depressed and that he would sooner or later come out of it.
Shortly after he had a full psychotic break, believed he had to save the world, that he was special, immortal. He was hospitalised for 10 days, and heavily drugged. He went on the road to recovery, seeing a therapist daily, medications and change of lifestyle. During this time he hardly spoke of his experiences, I believe through shame. What I do remember of this time were his eyes, they had softened up, they were finally warm and expressive. This was 3 years ago almost. He decided pretty quickly that he didn’t need the meds anymore and went on to live his life as a normal person, although with no insight into his bipolar 1 diagnosis given to him during the therapy.
However, recently I have seen a change in him yet again. We have spoken on the phone a few times, sometimes he speaks normally and is calm. Other times he goes on and on... talks with metaphors, says I am ill, I am in a bad place.
He came to visit me this week, during the 3 days he was here initially he was fine, we could have a normal conversation. Although I saw that look in his eyes again. I could tell however that he probably is in a manic phase. By day 2 he let his guard down, spoke for hours about his ability to cure people, to feel their energy, to be enlightened and that he knew the truth about our existance and others were closed to all this. He became irritable, angry and stubborn. By the time he left, 3 days later I was sooo tired of mentally having to deal with this, I spent a full day in bed recovering.
I tried in the past to suggest help, only to cause him rage. This time I just stayed quiet, i couldn’t risk setting rage off in him - he did have a violent attack towards me in his full psychotic episode and I am so scared of setting that side of him off.
He is sooooo not aware that these thoughts are part of his illness, I feel like I may have to watch him go down that path again... a path that lasted 6 years in the past before he finally got help (against his own will).
My aunt and uncle are beside themselves, they too can’t get through to him, and again his reaction to any suggestion of illness or help sends him in to rage.
What are we to do!? Just watch it all until he gets ill enough to be taken in hospital against his will?
Is he going through a psychotic episode? How long will this last again?
Thanks to anyone with the patience to read this ever so long post, and the time to reply.
 
NWiddi

NWiddi

Well-known member
Forum Safety Team
Joined
May 6, 2017
Messages
1,297
Location
Sheffiield
It does sound like a relapse into the condition that hospitalised him for 10 days, there's no telling how long it will last.

My first episode lasted just over 2 weeks and ended with me being in hospital voluntarily for 9 days but without being given any medication, my second felt more like 2 months which ended in me going to A&E and asking for medication myself as I had tried all other methods of controlling the symptoms and the voice I was hearing, this was the best thing I ever did.

They put me in contact with what we call an Early Intervention Team for Psychosis, they have specialist services for dealing with people in psychosis and I was soon seen by one of their psychologists who then sent a care coordinator out to see me and arranged to prescribe me the medication I so desperately needed without the need for further hospitalisation, I haven't looked back since.

As your cousin went so long with his original psychosis being untreated his beliefs are rooted deeply within him making further episodes very likely as you've seen for yourself, I'm not sure what services are like in Italy for mental health but it does seem to me he could use more time on medication and more therapy but getting him to volunteer sounds unlikely.

Personally I never want to go back to the way I was so I'll be on medication for probably life if I get my own way.

I wish you and your family all the best.
 
boudreauj4

boudreauj4

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2017
Messages
812
I used to get these episodes of psychosis that lasted about 5 hours every other day or so and my wife knew when I was having one because she said she could see it in my eyes. The one time I had one while visiting my sister she said she could tell something was going wrong because of the look in my eyes. I remember one time I when I was in psychosis I looked into the mirror to see if I could see the difference in my eyes like my wife said and I saw that my irises were glowing golden. My wife said, "no they are not golden, they're just different," but she couldn't tell me what was different about them. After I started taking an antipsychotic med, my wife said I don't get that look in my eyes anymore.
 
B

Butterflydreamer

Member
Joined
May 27, 2019
Messages
5
Location
UK
Thank you so much for your replies. I do really hope we can get him some help before it all spirals out of control. The worst thing is knowing he is unwell but not being able to get through to him.
 
L

linus

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 27, 2019
Messages
520
Location
Eastern Europe
I guess the best thing you can do is to show him that you are there for him, emotionally first of all. Do things together, start a new trust relationship with him, spend time as much as possible, hug him. Any kind of engagement on the delusions would either part you or would keep him entangled. As soon as the trust is set you can recommend him getting some help.
 
B

Butterflydreamer

Member
Joined
May 27, 2019
Messages
5
Location
UK
how are you feeling today butterfly? :hug:
Not too bad, thank you. I spoke to him on the phone yesterday, and although pretty obvious he was manic he managed to maintain a pretty lucid Convo. I suppose all I can do for now is keep an eye out.
 
B

Butterflydreamer

Member
Joined
May 27, 2019
Messages
5
Location
UK
Just a quick update, I now believe my cousin is going through the ‘down’ phase. He is definitely still delusional, but rather down in the dumps. He has now lost his job - i’m Not really sure why but I am sure it has to do with his manic phase (the amount of jobs he has lost whilst manic!). However, he seems to be more open and perceptive when down... we are very slowly convincing him to have therapy. Keep fingers crossed for him!
 
O

OracularDream

Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2019
Messages
6
Location
Texas
From what it sounds like sending him to the hospital was the best course of action to getting him help. Maybe try that again? I don't know the laws in Italy but I know in Texas you can admit someone if they attack you or are a harm to themselves.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
B Psychosis Forum 4
S Psychosis Forum 9
D Psychosis Forum 11
S Psychosis Forum 14
J Psychosis Forum 7
Top