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Mental Illness

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  • Mental Illness

    My brother is mentally ill.

    He does not think he is mentally ill and therefore is not willing to get help. Short of getting the courts involved and trying to prove him mentally incompetent, there is nothing I can do about it. He is not mentally ill in the way that he would harm someone.

    We have always been very different. He has never believed he should have to work for anything and in these last 10 or so years, he simply refuses to. He spent many years a raging alcoholic and after almost killing himself (liver), he stopped and changed to smoking marijuana. In other words, he has spent his adult life self-medicating.

    Currently, he lives in a home he is not paying for. He will eventually be evicted. He does not work. He does not drive (he will not fix the flat on the old vehicle he has that already barely runs.) He never leaves his house. Ever. He has no relationships, no friends he socializes with. He had a girlfriend until a year ago and though it was very dysfunctional, he has gotten so much worse since being left alone. Over the past couple years he has developed an obsession with his non-belief of God. It's not enough that he doesn't believe and that his family may not agree (some do) but supports him in it anyway. He is obsessed with continuously making social media posts calling anyone who believes names, mocking them, making fun of them. The obsession has now expanded into politics. It's not enough to hate republicans, now he hates democrats too unless they make horrible derogatory posts like he does. He has isolated everyone in his life unless they are in full agreement with him. He claims to be involved with this group of likeminded others online and he claims he is building this business with them and that the reason he wont work is because all of his time needs to be dedicated to that. (The only reason he is even able to get on the internet is because our mom got him a phone card for his recent birthday.) This is just the latest delusion in a long line of them. But he truly believes them. And he will not acknowledge any of the past ones at all......now, the latest delusion is the only one that exists. My mom doesn't give him money, but he is constantly asking her for food, constantly saying "I'm hungry. I haven't eaten in days. My dogs are starving." The answer is "Get a job."....yes...I know that...and so does she....but at the end of the day when he simply WILL NOT....... it is hard for a mother to let her son go hungry.

    He is incredibly intelligent. But he is delusional in a way I can't describe. He has zero conscience when it comes to his family, to our mother who has spend the majority of her life trying to make him better. No compassion or love for me, and I have bent over backwards to be good to him and support his every endeavor. Up until a couple years ago he lived with our mom and emotionally abused her on a daily basis. I'm so afraid that when he is evicted, he will end up right back there. And she is a mother.....and she will let him even though she doesn't want him there. But...she's the only parent I have left and she is so deserving of a happy life. It absolutely devastates me thinking of her spending the rest of her life miserable and mistreated in the hands of someone she'd give her life for.

    I fully realize there isn't anything I can do about any of this. But it is SO incredibly difficult. I do not know what mental illness he has, but there is nothing "normal" about his behavior and it just continues to get worse. I hurt deeply for him while also being completely fed up with him. Similar experiences, anyone?

    "Be what you're looking for."

  • I'm sorry that your brother is this way. It sounds incredibly painful to all involved.
    I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.
    Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

    From a speech by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 at St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia


    • I do understand the feeling of frustration and helplessness. My family is a mess too.

      I've found nothing to give me any peace. Hugs girl


      • so sorry BD

        I imagine your mom will take him in again as the alternative would probably be him being homeless


        • Thanks you all. She came over tonight to visit and we spent some time talking about it his most recent decline. She admitted that she's been going to his house 3-4 times a week to get things for him or take things to him. She said the last time she did that, it was to take him to the store to buy some cigars (Yeah....he's obviously starving to death....) and he berated her the entire time and at one point told her she was f'ing stupid. She said that felt like the final straw for her. Enabling someone who will not help themselves is bad enough, but enabling someone who will not help themselves AND abuses you all while believing they are entitled to your help is a whole different animal.

          I admitted to her that the thought of him ending up back at her house, abusing her and mistreating her every day, making her life miserable is enough to just absolutely worry me to death. And it isn't fair. Yes, he is her child.....but so am I. My feelings in this have to matter too.

          I don't know what the answer is. I know that he's not going to seek help. She said shes going to tell him that if he reaches a low point and decides he wants psychological help, she will be there, but until then she will no longer be there. I would love to find some help for her.... someone she will listen to. I've considered writing to someone like Dr. Phil, definitely not to try to be on the show (I'd be mortified), but to just see if he can give me any guidance on how to help.
          "Be what you're looking for."


          • This sounds so horrid. I'm so sorry. Has he ever been on medications that have worked? Did he or does he have lucid moments in which he recognizes what he does? Is there any doctor that he has seen that would be able to intervene? This always puts such a burden on family. Your mother must realize it is not anything for her to feel guilt about and nothing she does at this point will help. I think social services should step in and provide some assistance.
            That which we forget may as well never really happened.


            • Hey Claret.
              -No, he has never been on meds. He does not acknowledge that there is anything wrong with him. He thinks there is something wrong with everyone else.
              -Sometimes I think he knows when he's pushed people too far and he backs off a bit. Lately, it seems like that has gone on the window. I read some of the things he posts and I think about what a smart guy he is and how truly many of the things he feels I agree with (regarding politics, etc...) but he's so obsessive about it and doesn't understand that his approach does NOTHING but push people away.
              -He is 37. I do think she realizes it's not her fault, but she will always blame herself a little bit I think...because she and my dad were SO nuts over him that they spoiled him rotten and did not ever deliver any consequences for his actions. But, he and I grew up in the same home with the same parents, and I did not turn out like he did. I remind her of that regularly because I know she is proud of me and proud that she raised me. I remind her that if his issues are her fault, then my successes are also her fault and so there should be a wash. I wish I could get her into some therapy. She has accepted a lot of this, just being the way that it is........but it is heartbreaking for me and so I know it must be incredibly gutwrenching for her.
              "Be what you're looking for."


              • I have no advice but I feel bad for you, your brother and your family. It obviously is an incredibly tough situation you are all in. I wish I had some advice, but I do not. Take care.


                • I think I have mentioned that I have a brother that is an addict. He has been funded entirely by my mom and/or dad for probably 30 yrs. Smart and talented man but his life is wasted by an illness my family refuses to acknowledge and support treatment for.

                  It's a long story, but I fully understand your frustration. Seems like your mom is able to separate the emotions from making a rational choice with him. Something my mom never could. So you have that in your favor, and his.

                  I have no idea whether your brother is suffering from an actual mental health condition or if the disease of addiction may be controlling him? Are you sure he isn't using other drugs?

                  In some cases, I think, people are just lazy. They don't want to be productive or anything, so they form strong idealistic values to support their belief system, and rationalise their choices.
                  Some are perhaps suffering from a form of depression. Maybe some touch of a schizophrenic component there with your bro?? Idk

                  I'm not trying to discourage you from seeking help for him, or even criticise your assessment of him. Sometimes I think we want to believe there's a mental illness influencing them, to make ourselves feel better. When in reality, they just make poor choices.
                  Not saying that's the case with him. I have realised that for myself in some relationships in my past.

                  Anyway, I do hope that you and your mom can stand firm and get him the help he needs. Regardless of the cause, he needs help to snap back to reality. It may require that "rock bottom" to be the catalyst for change in his life.

                  I gave up many years ago. I had my parents and another brother going to addiction classes with me, and my mom cut off funding for a few weeks. I thought maybe we were getting somewhere. But soon after the class was over, he got to her and she started giving him money again.
                  It's hard. It's hard to watch it. The helplessness and frustration are overwhelming. Whether it's poor choices or disease, the results are the same. It all sucks.


                  • BD I was thinking of you thru the holiday.

                    How is everything?



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