Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, see our mental health web guide which can point you to expert advice.
BIL has undiagnosed MH problem.(21 Posts)
In his late teens my BIL went from being a sociable, funny, loving chap to completely withdrawing, hearing voices, believing people were controlling his life and having violent outbursts.
In 2011 he came to live with us temporarily and ended up staying for nearly 18 months. I got a good picture of the extent of his problems. He will not admit that there is anything wrong and puts his outbursts down to tiredness or just says that someone annoyed him.
Years ago his mum managed to get a PLN to the house to make some kind of assessment and they diagnosed a personality disorder and he was given medication which he never took. We have tried countless times to get him to the doctor and he was referred to anger management at one time but refused to attend any appointments saying that he was too busy.
He amazingly manages to hold it together in public most of the time and runs his own window cleaning round but I often see him parked in his car shouting at himself and hitting things. He frequently hits himself as well and gives himself horrendous black eyes and bruises which he blames on accidents.
I really just wanted to ask if anyone has been in this situation with someone who will not admit to having a problem and what you did about it. I would really like to be able to help him but when you try to talk to him he just clams up and denies everything.
Is there anyone in his life he does take notice of?
And have you ever tried seeing if he would talk to a vicar?
I did. I also hear voices and hid it too. It took me hitting rock bottom and having hurt those I love to get it sorted.
My advice is you need to get him talking and he won't do that if he thinks you are going to push him into taking med or getting help. He also needs a judgmental ear the first step is get him to talk (never push him he needs to want to get help).
sorry should be unjudgemental.
amillionyears not really. He is very stubborn. His brother, my DH is about the only person who can persuade him to do anything but he usually ends up having to resort to being a bit of a bully. Good idea about the vicar but I don't think he would talk to one as he's very anti religion.
crawling you sound really brave. I have a friend who used to hear voices too but luckily her very supportive DH managed to help.
BIL has hurt just about everyone around him through his behaviour. Our marriage nearly fell apart while he was living with us but he seems totally oblivious to anything. He is completely wrapped up in his own life and seems completely unable to empathise with anyone ( I'm sure this is a symptom of his illness). Just one example, he recently asked his mother if she would get up at 4.30am every day to phone him to wake him for work as his alarm clock wasn't loud enough.
DH and I tried countless times to get him to open up about what's happening and I particularly tried hard to be non-judgemental. I told him about having been depressed myself and on AD's for a long time but it doesn't seem to matter what we say or do.
There was one conversation we had when he was living with us when we managed to get somewhere with it all and he confessed that he feels like the top of his head is being scraped off and he believes it's because of a practical joke that his other brother played on him back when they were teenagers. He also believes that this other brother is pulling out his teeth and taking control of his mind through the 'people'. We talked for a long time that night and I asked him to really think about whether all the pain and anguish he goes through on a daily basis is worth it and whether he could go and see someone at least about what he perceives to be his physical problems but by the next day he had clammed up again and I haven't been able to get him to talk again.
Do we just carry on waiting to see if he will talk? Is it the case that some people are just like this for ever? It's so sad to see someone like this and not be able to help. He's utterly exhausted. It's been going on for about 20 years plus.
In that case, I would go and see a nearby vicar yourself.
See if there is anything they can do or suggest.
Or you may be able to email one.
Then sadly I think you have done all you can think of him like a alcoholic he has to want to stop drinking and until he does there really is nothing you can do. I know that sounds horrid but if he is unwilling to change even though he has hurt others then your priority should be to protect yourself.
Most people run a mile at someone who hears voices, you haven't you've been patient and understanding and tried to help you sound lovely btw. Im sorry but I think you need to distance yourself emotionally (Im not saying stop contact) just maybe accept its his choice and leave him to regarding his mental health there comes a point where you have to let go and I think you have hit it. Take care of yourself
Thank you crawling. It did come to a point where we had to force him to move out because life was getting too unpredictable with 4 year old DS in the next bedroom and as you say, we had to protect ourselves.
I don't want to give up on him because it just feels like everyone has already so I'll try to keep talking to him I think, just to show that the door is open.
Thank you for your kind post
Amillionyears- i am curious as to why you would suggest seeing a vicar rather than a mental health professional?
This sounds a lot like my brother, but he has schizophrenia, not a personality disorder. He is happily on medication and very well now, but prior to the medication he was very paranoid about everyone he came into contact with. If you think he is a danger to himself you could contact SS to get an assessment done. We had to do this for my brother and it resulted in him being sectioned but that was the best thing that could have happened to him in the longer-term.
I never thought about the op herself going to see a mental health professional herself on behalf of someone. Yes, if she can. Is she able to do that?
I thought all her other options were closed.
I really think the suggestion to see a vicar is misguided. Vicars are not mental health professionals
and hear voices themselves.
Would BIL talk to a charity such as www.sane.org.uk ?
Or perhaps they could advise you.
slambang, I agree now.
I thought the op had no options left.
It appears she does, so yes, please feel free to ignore what I said.
I so agree that vicars are not mental health professionals.
Perhaps I should ask for my post to be removed?
Sorry op. What would you like me to do?
Ambrosia I agree about it sounding more like schizophrenia. He really is very very paranoid. At one stage he thought people on the TV were sending him messages and controlling him. I spoke to my GP about this and he agreed that something needed to be done urgently but said it needed BIL's consent.
Obviously there is the involuntary section but if we go down that route he will lose all his work as he is self employed. He is also able to very quickly appear normal when he is in the middle of one of his outbursts. I have never actually witnessed it, only heard it, as if you go into the room he instantly switches. I don't know whether for a section there would need to be some hard evidence witnessed by a MH worker or other professional. Obviously he is a danger to himself as he frequently hits himself although I don't get the impression that there is any sense of suicide or pre-meditated self harm with him.
Don't worry amillionyears. No offence taken! Currently exploring all options as I thought I had run out of options too.
My DB is like this. There's nothing you can do as long as he's not harming or threatening to harm himself or others. (not sure if the bruising will qualify but it could).
I'm pretty sure it's not a personality disorder. My Db has hallucinations, but they have a religious twist to them. It's the Beast who is trying to get him, and in this epic battle of dark and light he's the key player. It's pretty fascinating to hear about, actually.
I can talk to my Db but I can't suggest he gets help, because same as with your BIL, there's nothing wrong with him. he's pretty functional, has his own handyman business and generally gets along ok. But he does have lapses where he won't leave his room (he lives with my Dparents) for a few days.
It's hard to watch, but my DB knows he could get help, he just doesn't want it, and I do believe he has the capacity to understand that medication could change things for him, but he doesn't believe it will be better.
They won't just diagnose a 'personality disorder'; that is far too general. There are numerous types of personality disorders, all of which have different symptoms and diagnostic criteria.
Unfortunately if he is unwilling to submit to any treatment, and is capable of appearing competent, then there wouldn't be much you can do. GPs are generally very easy to fool when it comes to mental health, MH professionals less so, obviously, because they know more what to look for.
You could contact someone like MIND to see if they had any advice?
Take care of yourself too, this must be so hard for you and your DH.
I hadn't thought of that Sirboob. They probably could give some good advice. I don't know much about the initial 'diagnosis' as it was probably a good 15 years ago that he was seen and that was before I knew him. Apparently it was a battle then too. Every time the psychiatrist came in the front door he bolted out the back.
It is hard. You swing from utter frustration and anger at his pig headedness to feeling so sorry for the poor guy. It totally rules his life and yet he can't see it. DH feels that we have done all we could so literally only tolerates him now (just about) but I can't let it go. He has no relationships with anyone other than his immediate family now and is really very isolated.
The problem is that this is his reality. When my brother was first ill any sort of news report would become part of his reality e.g. A report on the IRA would mean they were coming to get him. He can't accept help because he doesn't know he is ill. My brother is exceptionally close to my mum but he became convinced that she was plotting against him and was very cold to her. He was sectioned via A&E after we persuaded him there because he had jumped off a balcony and hurt his foot. Could you try getting him to a doctor for a physical problem and then explain the rest? If he doesn't know he is ill a section may be the only way I'm afraid.
Yes I agree about the section being the only answer ambrosia. We may have to talk to people in the family about whether anything could be done about his business if he were sectioned. It seems that work is the only thing which keeps him functioning on a day to day basis so it would be a real problem if he lost his work.
DH has dragged him to see the GP but all they did was to refer him to anger management and he subsequently avoided or cancelled all the appointments.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.