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my 25 year old brother and how can I help more?



Aug 17, 2009
It all started when he was 17, he left college after quitting with nothing. He would withdraw form the world, from us. He would stay in his room. I was not at home but apparently he would not come downstairs at all. Only at night to eat.

He got worse and worse that mum was despairing but at first it was her that let him stay in his room and said 'harry is alright'. She knew he wasn't.

Anyway, went to see the doctor about him and they thought he had severe depression, until one day we she saw him the garden talking but he was talking to no one. Also, I went upstairs one day to see him and he said' if you and mum don't f*** off I will slit your throats and then he exposed himself to me and started laughing. I very much doubt he remembers this. It was this that triggered off an alarm and we phoned the GP who had him sectioned. He was 21 bless him. This January he went to USA to be with our other fmailt, our Aunty who loves him very much. He came back very unwell again. He basically said to her that his days were numbered. She would watch him talking to himself and then laughing.

My curiousity is we never talk about his illness to him. My mum denied he has schizophrenia even though I pick his medication up and it is olanzapine and also the fact 4 years ago I saw it diagnosed paranoid schizophrena.

I want to talk to my brother because I am curious about what voices he hears and do you still hear the voices even on olanzapine?

He has never really worked but is doing a computer course. I would love for him to have a normal life. I am suffering from depression and keep going sick of work but of course I can't talk to my family because my poor brother has it 100% times worse and also more severe.

Also, my brothers hand shakes alot. Is this the medication?
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My curiousity is we never talk about his illness to him. My mum denied he has schizophrenia even though I pick his medication up and it is olanzapine and also the fact 4 years ago I saw it diagnosed paranoid schizophrena.

I want to talk to my brother because I am curious about what voices he hears and do you still hear the voices even on olanzapine?

He has never really worked but is doing a computer course. I would love for him to have a normal life. I am suffering from depression and keep going sick of work but of course I can't talk to my family because my poor brother has it 100% times worse and also more severe.
This is what I have found & find; that severe mental illness is Taboo; people don't talk about it, & they don't want to talk about it. People are slowly talking more about anxiety & depression, & addiction. But there is this huge Wall around mental health.

Any problem in life is usually addressed by people talking about it honestly, discussing it with others who understand, & who listen, & who acknowledge what the other person is going through.

Not so with MH. People often have their experiences denied as being nonsense; these experiences are not acknowledged; & these things are not talked about. I don't see how this is healthy for the person going through such things?

My family are convinced that I don't remember things from when I have been psychosed, despite telling them that I do. Psychosis is like a heightened state of awareness - I can remember the times of illness, far better than I can anything else. I think that this need for people to imagine that someone in a psychosis doesn't remember any of it, is the reflection of the social norm to deny the entirety of these experiences.

I cannot & have never been able to feely discus any of this stuff with family, & with most of the people that I know. The only people that have ever listened, are other people that have gone through such things; & a few (very few) 'health professionals'; usually nurses. Family get very upset, defensive, & angry, if I try to talk about my experiences, & that is the normal reaction from people. That people are afraid of these things; I personally do not think that such fear justifies ignorance.

A psychotic state is totally real to the person who is experiencing it. Usually highly traumatic & difficult to deal with. There are reoccurring themes, & similarities within the ideas found in psychosis. Although not often an objective meaning; there is however meaning in these states.

Imagine your depression; & the things that you get depressed about - how would it be if people denied how you felt, didn't acknowledge it, were very reluctant to talk about anything connected to it, strongly assumed that you had forgotten all about it, etc etc etc. How would that make you feel?

I'm not having a go; just trying to describe it from the perspective of someone that has been there. I have a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia; it is no surprise to me that people with this condition; often end up incredibly depressed themselves. I don't see a solution by filling someone up with drugs (meds) & doing little else.

I can't labour these things with people in my life, & it is hard enough on forums to get my opinions across. People are not interested & they don't care. To look honestly & acceptingly at someone in, or who has gone through a severely altered state; requires a high degree of self honesty, & self introspection.

I have tried everything to talk about & help people understand what I have been through. The majority of people don't want to understand. People with this label; end up isolated, socially excluded, & usually dosed up to the eyeballs on meds that long term; do them no good whatsoever. It is very sad. & there are infinitely better ways of helping people though such states & experiences. Until society itself is more understanding & accepting - then I don't see that anything will change.

If you would like to get more of an insight; then there are many books that have been written on these experiences & how people have recovered -

John Weir Perry has documented some of the themes of these states well in his books. But there are many others too.


The Far Side of Madness

Trials of the Visionary Mind

The self in psychotic process

~ Are all books by John Perry worth reading.

The stormy search for the self is also worth looking at.

I do understand that not everyone sees things this way; & for most; given that we live in a very materialistic society; people do just have the attitude of people having broken brains, chemical imbalances; that they have 'gone mad', & that they need controlling & medicating up.

I just see things very differently to that.

I wish you & your brother well, & I hope that you can talk with him openly & amicably about what he has gone through; sadly most people can't.

[Yes; Shakes are the Meds]
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Aug 17, 2009
Thank you for all that. I have already a better understanding from you.

I met my brother today and we went to lunch. I ask him about his 'down' days and he said he just feels tired, I asked him what else he feels. hears etc, he just laughs and says nothing, just tired, anxious etc.

He also says the tablets olanzapine are for anxiety. He said the doctors diagnosed him paranoid schizophrenia but he doesn't have it anymore??
He says he don't remember how they diagnosed him it was a long time ago. This is the most we ever talked about then my mum came and obviously we couldn't carry on because my mum is funny about what I say to my brother. I have to tip toe around him if you know what I mean.


Well, it was good to chat with him anyway.

I don't put much stock on the labels anyway. Some people want to announce things to the World, & others are very guarded in what they speak about.

I don't think that there are any easy answers. & many people seem to find their own ways of coping with & dealing with things.


Jun 7, 2009

hi there i just wanted to say that mothers find it awfully hard to accept there children as mentally ill aswell because of the old freudian phycology and they sometimes blame themselves after all scitzophrenics do not come with a manual just like babies dont its hard for all the family members. about your depression everybody needs someone to talk to if energies in the family are taken up by your brother coucelling can be a good way to get help for yourself. it sounds like if you and your brother can be close in a way your mum and he cant she might even be in denial a good idea would be to look up a carers support group and you and her go along it might encourage her to open up to him too. good luck i am paranoid scitzophrenic and my sister lives with me and is my best friend your frienship with him will mean the world to him good luck diddy


Jul 19, 2009
in the land of make believe livin it large (don't
Hi Boeing,

Just read your thread my brother is 24 and was diagnosed when he was 18 (although he heard voices from around 7 and everyone told my mum she was being neurotic) just to say my brother and i are very open when we talk especially about his voices.

It took afew years for them to get the right combination of medication that works for him. They tried lots at one point i wanted him to give everything up as he felt so bad on some of them but he wanted to keep trying for something to stop the voices.

I also find that talking with my brother having that honesty i am able to tell him the things bothering me it makes for a more equal relationship rather than him feeling i am just probing him. MH is very taboo my friend put it best by saying "when your in hospital people bring you grapes and ask how you are the majority that visit a person in MH hospital people don't shower you with gifts or talk about it" i think this is really true.

I to suffer with depression well bouts of it really i find talking helps, so i hope you can get something for yourself. Also i found looking things up on the internet i always looked up my brothers new meds as the doctors never fully explained them to him so i could and read as much as i could about it and spoke to others. All this made me feel closer to my brother and made it as easy to talk about as if it where the weather.

I hope this make sense i do ramble on :flowers:


It soundsvery muchlike there are some very knd sisters helping brothers though I have to say that my mum has been with me throughout my breakdown and the years following I can and do talk to her about my m h though I dont go into detail because there isnt any point in causing her sleep less nights because this is whot mums are best @ worrying them selves to death, I'malsolucky thatmh isnt a taboo subject with my bf,cousin and a couple of very good close friends I dont honestly think I've ever had a conversation about times when in I have been in an altered state and Ithink the fact that I've never ever really sat down n told the cmht team because in the most these people donyundertsand or care, I was puton olanzapine/abilify because I admitted to one psyciatrist how bad the voices were though I was in such a state the cpn went to fetch the psyciatrist that five minutes felt like an hour n really thought that I was going to get sectioned.

I dont want a label to wear like a badge but Ido think that the cmht team should have the right diagnosis written in your notes I have never expressed to the cmht that I thought that I have suffered psycohrenia and was willing to accept the diagnosis of clinical depression even though I have been to heights and depths that a normal person couldnt even image or grasp the concept the cmht team have come up with such wishy washy answers to myenduringmental illnes that these peoplein them selves have caused me great anger in mylife @ times why would anyone choose such illness it certainly isnt sexy.

I went to see a locum consultant last novenber and I was by my own admission in a very high stateofparanoia where by it tookme three days to get out outI was walkingaroundmy bedroomfloor on my hands n knees because I was scared of whot I dontknow I walked miles outof my way because I could nt cross the road in the usualplace I thought that everyone was waiting on street corners to getme on film whot for I dont know I had all sorts going off in my head n yet all this consultant suggested was I get stoned or drunk to cope with it.

I was solucky that the spirtual care advisor tookme on n really did take up the slack from the cmht nad fo rme things in this particular time zone has worked out well and much more positive than ever Icould image in the overallpicture when myletter came fro psychological assetment n I see this persons particular name signed on the form Ithought I dont want to deal with you again in my life.

It is all about getting the best care you can for yourself in this life that you can possiably get and trying to get somekind of quality of life which is really difficult but honestly relying on this nhs is a night mare n the mh trust/service are full of false promises and being medicated up tothe eye balls isnt the answer even if the only alternative is a resource centre thren take it these places are so calming I have found n the staff mentality is much better.

One group of people that I have always found to be so helpful and much more understanding and positive etc is psycolgist them selves they are such lovely people,someof the nurses are the worst because they are just failed doctors I have found in themost full of their own self importnace thats the ones within the hospitals n cmht, though I have one good one once who was able to adminster hypnotherapy for me, but there one in mylife that enticed me into his bed n then denied it on oath when Iput in a letter of complaint so watch them, there was one also that used to watch me bath whilst on the ward because I was on specialwatch but believe me he was getting off on it, he did offer to transfer wards perhaps I should of ASKED HIM TO.

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