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    Old 08-03-2006, 03:08 AM   #1
    srscz2005
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    3 family members with schizo

    I have recently became depressed due to a number of factors but I believe my family is one of them. I am on the verge of flunking out of school. My brother recently had a psychotic break. Everything I do, I feel guilty for having any enjoyment in life since my family is in so much pain. My mother deserves better than this and so do my family members with this disease. Although it could be my depression, I so no happiness in my life. No matter what happens, if I win the lottery, nothing can ever change my brother and give them the life they deserve. A part of me wants to go into isolation and concentrate and finish school but another part of me feels like I should do whatever I can do to help my family. My therapist tells me that I am not a professional and can not help them no matter how hard I try. But since 2 of them suffer from the paranoid type, they do not trust anyone except me. But whenever I tell them something, they nod their head and don't listen to my advice. It angers me a lot and I hate them and my life but at the same time I realize they are trying their best. If I did not have to deal with this, I know I could have done some great things but I have gladly given up a lot to take care of them but now that I am on the verge of failing out of school and depressed with no support myself, everytime I see them, I get filled with feelings of anger and hatred. Sorry for venting but I have no one that understands. My other sibling lives on with their life and disregards them as mental and lost hope.

     
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    Old 08-03-2006, 03:30 AM   #2
    thyraguselo
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    Re: 3 family members with schizo

    Hi srscz2005,

    A few questions rose in my mind as I read your message : how old are you ? Who exactly in your family is diagnosed with schizophrenia (And who is not...)?

    If three members of your family are schizophrenic, I understain your pain sincerely.
    But there is not much you can do except showing them you love them and make sure they take their drugs regularly... don't think you're the only person in the world who can help them.

    Another question : what did you do for them that made you failing at school ?

    Yours sincerely,

    Nicolas.

    P.S: don't hesitate to tell me if I make english mistakes, because I'm French.
    (I'm 28 and have been diagnosed with schizophrenia for almost 3 years).

     
    Old 08-07-2006, 05:39 AM   #3
    srscz2005
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    Re: 3 family members with schizo

    Hi Nicolas,

    Thank you for your response. I am sorry for venting so much during that last message, I was just really down and could not sleep that night with a lot on my mind. The bottom line is that I love all my family members very much. It hurts a lot for me to see what they are missing in life and what they could have done had they not gotten paranoid. My brother, father, and sister have it. I think your response made me realize that I really have not done much and there is no reason I should be failing out of school. The bottom line is that I have a guilt about being the one that can do more and also I feel hesitant to move forward in life and put up boundaries to my family members. My brother does not trust anyone and so I am the only person he feels comfortable speaking to about anything. But he calls me almost everyday and I get depressed hearing about his paranoid life. Then the days when I decide not to take his calls, I feel guilty about being selfish. All my family members (even those without it) are indecisive. Thus, I become involved in everything and it has been very unfair to me. Although I will not ever choose something over them, I just feel like I was born with no choice. I know that some others have chosen to move on with their life which is probably the healthy thing to do, but I am not able to do that. I can never abandon my family - no matter what. I am trying to muster enough to get through Law school but then I do not know how life will be. I have spent a lot of time and energy trying to give advice to those affected but they are all very stubborn. I am not sure if that is a part of the disease. Also, I really have no support as far as people I can speak to about advice and what to do. It seems like everyone in life has their own problems. I have no motivation right now to do anything, most of it probably due to depression, but the thought is that my only dream in life is for my family members to happy. And no matter what I do, that is not something I can control. My brother told me tonight that if I complete Law school it would make everyone happy and me failing out only makes everyone more sad. And him saying that just made me more sad inside because he is such a good person and very unselfish and he does not deserve this torture. Believe it or not, but on top of all this, I presented with depression and after doing some testing, it was revealed that I had a learning disability. My school wants to kick me out because of my grades and they have been very unsupportive. I am on anti-depressants but because of all this stuff. Thanks again everyone for listening to me vent. I am sure god has a plan in the end, its just hard to keep motivated most days.

     
    Old 08-10-2006, 01:37 PM   #4
    Janny123
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    Re: 3 family members with schizo

    Dear srscz2005,

    Having just read your posts I can in a lot of ways identify with your situation. Both my brother and sister suffer with Paranoid Schizophrenia and I know that as the only sibling without the illness life can be very difficult. I was having a particularly hard time with coping with my brother and sisters schizophrenia a while back. I found this board, had my own little vent and felt much better for it too.

    There are times when just like you I feel I cannot take anymore and have to have a bit of a break from their illness. Sometimes I don't answer their phone calls either and it has made me feel very bad as I feel they need to tell me what's going on in their world. But if I'm feeling particulary upset about it or I'm having a bad day myself I know that taking that call from them is going to make me feel a lot worse! That's not being selfish because if I'm not feeling my best, I won't be any help to them (not that I can really help other than listen and try to alleviate their worries by trying to explain different things that have happened to them or things that are happening in their world).
    I have to make sure I'm feeling fairly strong when I speak with them, and if I'm not I don't pick up the phone.

    We aren't trained to deal with all the complexities of this illness. It can easily wear you out, and if you get yourself too down about it you'll only end up making yourself poorly. Schizophrenia is a very complicated and difficult illness to deal with for family members who don't suffer as well as for those who are diagnosed with it. I know that only too well myself.

    This is a really good place to vent when you're having a bad day, it's healthy to get it all of your chest. Please don't ever feel like you're the only one that's experiencing all these worries and difficulties. You certainly aren't, I promise.

    Are your father, brother and sister being seen by doctors or psychiatrists and taking their medication?

    Is your school/college/university aware that your father, brother and sister are suffering with this illness? If so, surely they would have some sort of understanding of how difficult your situation is.

    May I say that I think you have done remarkably well to even get to study Law in the first place! You've had all this to cope with but still you've found the motivation to get as far as you have! That is truly amazing!! I know you mentioned that your studies aren't going so well at the moment but that's only natural. People who don't have half the worries you have still suffer with their studies!

    Maybe you could ask if you could have a break or a year off if you need to-or even give it up altogether if you're not enjoying it anymore. It's not the end of the world and you might be able to pick it up again in the future if you wish. Maybe you could have a chat with your course tutors or see if you can discuss all this with a school/college counsellor if you have one? You also mentioned that you've just been diagnosed with a learning disability too, is that right?

    Please keep posting back here and let us know how you get on. As I said, you're not alone in this. This is an ideal way to vent when you need to, it really helped me! You take care of yourself and all the very best to you!

    Kindest regards,

    Janny

     
    Old 08-12-2006, 08:26 AM   #5
    srscz2005
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    Re: 3 family members with schizo

    hi Janny, thank you so much for the very nice post. It seems like you have been through a lot and are on the other side of the journey. I think my thing now is I have to accept that this is not something I can completely fix. My whole life I have always been very energetic and narcissistic (but not arrogant) in the sense that I thought there is always something that can be done. But this disease has definitely taken the life out of me and now I don't really care to do anything. If I can get out of this depression, I feel like I can start moving and help in whatever ways I can. The thing is we were all raised and accepted my sisters condition. I did not know about my dad's highly contolled paranoia until about 5 years ago as I was applying to law school and there were times when it came out, probably due age, diabetes onset. But the biggest blow has been my brother developing it when he went off to college. I know I should be proud of myself for making it into law school but only a few people can understand what kind of person, especially with a learning disability, can get where I have. I somehow convinced myself that once I got into law school things would change and everything in my world would be so much better - it was a false hope that I stuck to that got me to where I am. Although I don't want to practice law, I feel I really want to finish my degree because I have sacrificed so much already and know that I will regret it for the rest of my life if I don't atleast finish it up. I thought for some reason by doing great things I could make my family happy to compensate for the unhappiness we have all had to live with. On top of it all, I feel like I had a very large part in priming my brother so that this happened to him. I know I had nothing to do with the genetics but growing up I was basically the "father" of the house and really made all the major decisions by 7th/8th grade. Because I did not get to have a normal childhood, I obviously had a lot of internal anger that I vented at my brother and mother. My brother has always acted like he didn't care about the family but instead it was that he was so sensitive and started blaming himself internally - which all I feel set things in place for him to develop the paranoia once he went to college. I wonder what would he be like if I did not scream at him constantly and "abuse" him emotionally. Maybe he would have still developed it but it would have never been as bad as it got at certain points. My therapist tells me it really was no ones fault because it should have been my parents roles to do the disciplining and set boundaries. And on top of that, I should not have had to run the family and miss out on other things. It all makes sense now though, my dad was passive and indecisive because of his condition. Sorry for venting, I know I should not blame myself. My family regards me as the "golden child" but that makes me so sad because they could have all been so much more than me. Despite my learning disability, which was undiagnosed until last year, I have never given up because of this drive I had with seeing my family suffer. I have decided to try to focus and finish the rest of school, my family does not want me to quit. I have already taken 2 years off to try to figure out what was bothering me, it took 2 years to diagnose my learning problems (the first half year I was more in denial and severe depression... heavy drinking, sleeping, gambling). But now that I found out a large part of why I could not study because of dyslexia and ADD (since my family stuff has always been a motivator not something that has distracted me), my school is trying to push me out. They have not supported me at all other than granting me leaves of absences. They have actually hurt me everytime I tried to get advice and direction from them, the administrators all seem to have a bitter life (main dean was divorced twice). Thanks again Janny and Thy. Before all this happened, I used to always give so much of myself in providing support to people like you, people that are good people... I hope to be strong enough again soon so that I can do that again in my future instead of sucking up resources like I have been the past few years.

     
    Old 08-12-2006, 11:50 PM   #6
    emeraldeyes114
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    Re: 3 family members with schizo

    You should be proud of yourself for just getting into law school and with a learning disability that is even more kudoes. I have Bipolar with some other things and I am lucky in that none of my siblings were cursed with it. I do have a son who is also Bipolar and a nephew who is Schizophrenic/Bipolar. For them I cannot make the world the perfect place. And no matter what neither can you. It is hard watching those we love suffer in any way. We wish to help and to make it better but in the long run we can only do so much. It is not selfish to take a breather and to put yourself first once in a while. If you don't it doesn't help them and it adds to your depression. I have found that for me it does anyway. I have friends who have massive issues going on and I am always there for them. The thing of it is when I am in a bad jam they seldom can be there for me well mostly I just don't let them. I feel guilty if I try to explain why I am so down worried it will be too much for them. So I often sit alone and suffer which makes it not so fair to me too. So with school do the best you can with what you have and what you know. It is all anyone can really ask of you including yourself. Graduate for you not everyone else since you have to live your life and they don't.
    Emerald

     
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