• Welcome! It’s great to see you. Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life.

    If you'd like to talk with people who know what it's like

Would really appreciate your help re my brother!

W

Womble

New member
Joined
Feb 20, 2010
Messages
1
Hi everyone, Can I first apologise for the length of this posting!! but I would really appreciate your input. In 2002 my brother was found walking outside the house we grew up in with no shoes on( we hadn't lived there for over 10 years) and was picked up by the police. He was sectioned and taken to hospital, when we were finally 'allowed' to see him :mad: the first question he asked was where my dad was, my dad had been dead for years - the doctors said he was experiencing psychosis. My brother had also had bulimia and has a tendency towards quite controlled and 'OCD' type behaviour from a young age (he has to run up and down the stairs a certain number of times before going into his flat) , he is also very private/secretive and does not often 'open up'. The professionals would class him as 'difficult to reach'.

After a fairly traumatic time in hospital (he was held down and tranquilised as he kept wandering around the ward) he was initially diagnosed with schizophrenia and given haliperidol. He said that he was not hearing voices but he once claimed to have seen the face of evil. He eventually saw a psychiatrist who he actually got on with (he has a deep distrust of mental health services due to his first experience in hospital) who felt that my brother was suffering from severe and enduring depression and anxiety due to my dad's death several years back. Unfortunately his psychiatrist was promoted and my brother put under the care of a psychiatrist that he does not get on with - this psychiatrist is about the meds and nothing else and I've always felt that there's a power stuggle going on between him and my brother. he does not like my brother because my brother has previously appealed against his section, made complaints about staff/services and asked for a change in psychiatrist. My brother is not the easiest person to get along with but when ever I have attended ward rounds I feel that this psychiatrist almost wants to 'break' him.

Over the years apart from a relatively stable period on risperadone depot my brother has had periods of taking meds consistently and then stopping suddenly(most recently olanzepine) as he does not feel that he has any mental health issues/the meds are having any effect. Just before Christmas he moved from where he had been for years to a new part of town, his benefits were messed up and he had lots of stress and worry re the new flat but he did not let on to me (I was starting a new job so I didn't see him for about 3 weeks). Eventually I got calls from support worker/home treatment team to say they were concerned about him. Myself and my sister spent a day wandering the streets and found him. I went back to his flat with him and there were clothes and food scattered everywhere, he had also stopped ringing family and friends (both relapse signs) . He also kept leaving the taps in his flat running and appeared to have filled several glasses of water up and left them on surfaces around his flat - he also did both these things when he came to my flat. He was also making jerky movements with head and arms (I'm no expert but I think that this might have been to do with his sudden withdrawal from meds after quite a long period of taking them consistently?). He was also laughing and smiling a lot during conversations when nothing funny had been said and at one point he reacted in quite a paranoid way to something I said - I mentioned that perhaps he should contact his team - I was with him for a total of about 4 hours.

He initially went into hospital voluntarilly as he felt that his move to his new flat had stressed him out and he needed a rest but he was then sectioned on the day he was due to leave as according to the psychiatrist he had indicated that he would not take his meds once he had left the hospital. I went to his discharge meeting last week and we were both informed by his psychiatrist that he had a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia - my brother and I were both surprised as this is the first we had heard of this. When we asked the psychiatrist how and why he had come to the decision he said that he had made this diagnosis years ago, I told him that if this was the case I was very surprised that this had happened to slip my brother's mind! When I asked him the basis for the diagnosis he said that altho my brother denied hearing voices he had been overheard talking to himself on the ward (true he does this but I have not heard him have a full blown convo with himself and if I'm honest I do this too), he also alluded to the fact that my brother had trouble sleeping and night and had nightmares, the taps were left running and glasses of water left around the ward by my brother. I spoke to my brother later who said that he had only heard vague talk amongst the staff on the ward about his diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia within the last couple of weeks.

I have no problem with my brother having a diagnosis but I want him to have a true diagnosis not one based on a power struggle and not one made by someone who very obviously can't stand the sight of him.

If you've managed to read this far :redface: then thank you! I just wondered what your thoughts and experiences are. I would be very very grateful to hear them and for any advice.

Womblex
 
SimonB

SimonB

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2010
Messages
938
Location
United Kingdom
I have met doctors who have been completely wrong in my own job and for various reasons from lack of knowledge to personality traits, arguing with a consultant is no easy task either!

Have you asked for a second opinion? What does your brother feel if he is able to express?

It is difficult to try to resolve these kinds of scenarios. There are things you can do, but whatever you do don't go in guns blazing!

Firstly you need information and clarification over his current management

You can arrange to meet with his consultant for a full and frank discussion about your brothers diagnoses and history, this is your oppurtunity to get clarification on things...always think about your questions before you go.

Depending on how that discussion goes it will help to decide what is in your brothers best interests from where you see it.

You can ask for a second opinion, I'm not ofay with psychiatry services, but you can ask for this, whether it will happen is another matter.

If you feel there is a personality clash or there is an abuse of position how will you demonstrate this? If you challenge on this you need to show this is what is happening.

If your really unhappy you can complain, which no one likes to do, but it can [not always] get things changed.

I am sure there are any people who could give advice and support on here besides my ramblings.

Good luck, its nice to see a brother looking after a brother
 
D

diddypinks

ACCOUNT CLOSED
Joined
Jun 7, 2009
Messages
1,946
if you go to your gp HE can ask for a another opinion on his diagnosis actually anyone can they have to by law.
 
SimonB

SimonB

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2010
Messages
938
Location
United Kingdom
Sorry Diddypinks your wrong, see the qoute below from MIND:

'You have no legal right under the NHS to change your psychiatrist. Your present psychiatrist may agree to transfer you to another doctor. Psychiatrists will not usually agree to a transfer simply because you do not like the treatment he or she is prescribing, but they should consider a transfer if the relationship between you has completely broken down.

Under the NHS you have no legal right to insist on a second opinion. Again, this requires your existing doctor - GP or consultant - to agree to refer you to someone else. At present there is a great shortage of consultant psychiatrists so getting referred to someone else may not be easy to achieve. If you have the financial resources you may need to consider paying privately for a second opinion.'
 
SimonB

SimonB

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2010
Messages
938
Location
United Kingdom
Its exceptionally difficult to fight your case in the NHS, at the very least know your rights and be articulate.

Some people are fortunate enough to have a GP that will consider this, but not all will, they have no obligation to, unless your willing to pay.

:)
 
D

diddypinks

ACCOUNT CLOSED
Joined
Jun 7, 2009
Messages
1,946
gps are well placed to liase with others in the mental health team if someone is dissatisfied with there treatment if a person wants a second opinion they can REQUEST they have to request this by law doesnt mean they'll get it tho.:p
 
A

Apotheosis

Guest
I have no problem with my brother having a diagnosis but I want him to have a true diagnosis not one based on a power struggle and not one made by someone who very obviously can't stand the sight of him.

If you've managed to read this far :redface: then thank you! I just wondered what your thoughts and experiences are. I would be very very grateful to hear them and for any advice.

Womblex
Hello, & thank you for sharing yours & your Brothers story; I found it moving. You obviously care for him deeply. There is a lot that I identify with; in what your brother is experiencing.

I have a brother who I am very close to. He has seen me go through a lot too. I also was labelled with 'paranoid schizophrenia', & voices hasn't been a big thing with me either.

Sadly the psychiatric system is about 'breaking' someone - (sorry to others who see it differently); but that is the way I see it too. I also have had very bad experiences of hospitals. The psychiatric system is about control & conformity - of accepting that your 'ill', of accepting what the Doctor says; of taking meds. Of being a 'good patient'. If you differ from that - then you are at odds with the system; & they are the ones with all the control & power in this.

As for labels - 'schizophrenia' is a word; & that's really all it is. Yes it's loaded with all kinds of connotation, assumptions, judgements, stigma & discrimination. But when all is said & done; it's just a silly word.

I think that the important things in your Brothers life is to know that other people are there for him & that they care & understand.

It is very therapeutic & powerful to simply acknowledge the experiences & the subjective reality of another; however 'Crazy' they seem or sound. To see them & accept them for who they are. What he is experiencing is a part of him; it isn't what defines him.

You may find this guide useful for helping your Brother to work through what he is experiencing -

(Free Download E-Book)

http://www.antipsychiatrieverlag.de/foreign/beyond-belief.htm

Tamasin Knight

Beyond Belief – Alternative Ways of Working with Delusions, Obsessions and Unusual Experiences

About the book and author

Tamasin Knight's first book Beyond Belief explores ways of helping people who have unusual beliefs. These are beliefs that may be called delusions, obsessions, or another kind of psychopathology.

*Psychiatric treatment attempts to remove these beliefs by medication and other methods. The new approach described in Beyond Belief is different. It is about accepting the individual's own reality and assisting them to cope and live with their beliefs.

*Beyond Belief explains the new approach in a very readable format.

*Many psychological techniques to cope with unusual beliefs are described. These include strategies to reduce fear, strategies to increase coping and problem solving techniques.

*Ideal for mental health professionals, service users/survivors and carers.

"Beyond Belief offers us a ground-breaking way of helping people deal with unusual beliefs. In Bradford we have found this publication it to be extremely helpful to service users, workers and as the inspiration for a new self help group. I am sure that this publication will enable more people to benefit from this knowledge and approach and help us change the way we as a society approach beliefs we find unusual." (Rufus May; Clinical Psychologist, Centre for Citizenship and Community Mental Health, Bradford University, England)

Tamasin KnightDr Tamasin Knight has degrees in psychology and medicine, she has worked as a doctor in the UK and is currently working in South America. This book describes her research to develop new ways of helping people who have delusions, obsessions or unusual experiences.
It took me a very long time before I started opening up to & chatting with people. This is still an issues 20 years later after first being in hospital. Society & psychiatry doesn't exactly encourage or provide the environment for people to open up & try to work through these things - quite the opposite in fact. I leaned to shut myself down & push everything deeper.

Med's are a complex & very individual issue. Yes, sometimes for some people they can help, & other times I don't think that they do. I maintain taking a low dose of one med, & I hate taking it - but I've learned that at the exclusion of any proper psychological & social support & help; that there is very little choice in taking it. IMO - Meds are far too widely & over prescribed.

It is very interesting with what you say about the water. I also have had such behaviours around water. I used to drink a great deal of it - & I still do.

Water is very healing. Running water is used in many healing practises. I would say that your Brothers behaviour is Not pathological - but instead is based on his own instincts & desire for healing.

This forum is a very good resource for peoples experiences, & for information.

Depending on area; there are other resources & ways of getting help; although that can often be difficult.

Thanks, Please continue to post.
 
Top