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Kick up the backside needed(9 Posts)
I've name-changed for this because it isn't about me.
I've been struggling with my depression and anxiety for a while now, on meds, seeing psychiatrist monthly, CPN fortnightly, crisis team whenever.
Got a phone call last night to say my brother had been admitted to the hospital. He has schizophrenia and is an alcoholic. He's been drinking again and stopped taking his meds. I just feel like I can't cope. Last time he came out of the hospital he had to stay with me and he stayed out until the early hours of the morning every day, drinking, and woke me and all the neighbours up when he came home (I get up at six for work). Threw up all over my house, called me vile names etc. This went on for 4 weeks. I ended up exhausted and suicidal. He got a place in rehab and I haven't seen him since but he has obviously started drinking again.
I know he's ill, I know I need to step up again but I'm just so low at the thought of going through this again when I don't feel well myself. I went to visit last night but he refused to talk to me, just wanted money for fags and some clothes. Just give me a kick up the backside and tell me to get on with it please. This is the merry-go-round and I don't get to step off, so I know what I have to do. Can't quite seem to get myself in gear to do it though, just want to sleep.
I will give you kick up arse but not in way you asking.
You need to take care of yourself first, you be no good for anyone let alone yourself if run yourself down.
Sometimes the only way to help is to take a step back. It seems heartless but also you cant help someone who doesn't want to be helped.
Does he have a support worker that you can chat to?
humphry I agree with ignoreme. You need to look after yourself first. If he's in hospital the nursing staff can help him sort out money, getting clothes etc. There are plenty of people in hospital who have exhausted their friends and family over time. Have you tried explaining your situation to the nursing staff? I'm sure they would understand, then they would know that your brother can't be relying on you at this point in his life. It sounds like you have already done a massive amount for him- you clearly need a break, and he's safely in hospital where they can look after his needs.
It's the MH team who put the pressure on though, last time they told me he'd be homeless or have to go to the Salvation Army hostel if I didn't take him in when he was discharged. I didn't have a room so I bought a blow up bed and gave him my front room, then he told the crisis team I was making him sleep on the floor and they rang me and berated me for that! I look after our mother who is very disabled, but because she is NOK they expect me to step up.
I'm just so tired of it. I have 3 other siblings but they don't give a toss about it. I know he's ill. He makes all the right noises about giving up drinking when he's sober, he's done 2 stints in in-patient rehab. Then when he's drunk he tells me I'm a "fucking imbecile" if I think he's ever giving up as its the only thing that makes him feel better.
I can't just leave him with no-one can I? It's just not right.
That's a really shitty thing the mental health team saying to you. I don't have any good advice dealing with them as they was shit when it came to my brother, they are forever letting him down.
Re-think where good with advice for my mum re brother they have a website. But honestly I don't think it should be all put on you.
Humphry gosh it sounds like you have it on all fronts; disabled mum, severely mentally ill brother AND your own problems. It sounds like you are a very caring person.
Are the MH team/hospital fully aware of your situation- already a carer, and with MH problems? If they know that, and are still putting pressure on I'd be disgusted. Mind you, I used to work for social services and I used to get told by managers to phone family and ask them things that I thought completely unreasonable —and then I'd tell people they didn't have to agree to it and then they would get offered something far better— Really, really, though the MH team would be legally obliged to sort him out. He is a vulnerable person. I'm assuming he is on a section 3 so that when he is discharged he will be entitled to aftercare (section 117) and that can include specialist housing/housing for those that are homeless but have MH problems (I have benefitted from such housing myself in the past…it was called a hostel but really was a house).
They can't just discharge people to sleep on the street- or if they did they would be failing their duty of care. I really would stress to them that you absolutely cannot look after him, despite what they may threaten. If you've ended up suicidal in the past through caring for him that is a very serious situation, and not one to be revisited. Have you been in touch with your local carers organisation? As often they are good sources of support and advice and have the benefit of local knowledge.
"I can't just leave him with no-one can I? It's just not right."
Not right for who? You taking him in is no help to him achieving independence or getting better. You have to draw a line in the sand and say enough is enough. Tell the nursing staff you are not available because you are ill yourself and are a carer to your mother. If the MH services see anyone willing to take someone off their case load they will encourage that to happen. You literally have to be cruel to be kind. That sentence was made for this situation.
We had to do this in our situation. We had to say 'No more' we are not looking after X anymore as our health is being impacted severely. This decision turned out to be the best for our relative long term as lo and behold the services found him a flat and helped him furnish it etc, called into him regularly etc etc.
If you keep taking him in you are enabling him to continue this behaviour, unchecked and unsupported by health professionals. They won't discharge him onto the street with nowhere to go. If you don't take him in, he might have to stay longer in hospital and the longer the better in these situations. He might learn independence and a better way of life.
So distancing yourself is the only way. You don't have the mental or physical resources, and family can't provide the right sort of support for someone with unmedicated schizophrenia and a drink problem. He's going to find it very difficult to give up drinking unless he is on the anti-psychotics and even then, the pattern may well continue. He sounds like he needs more structured long term care to get him back on a better path.
Because they keep giving up the meds as soon as they start drinking because 'I don't need that shit the doctors are poisoning me trying to kill me etc etc'.
You wouldn't accept this behaviour, (mental illness and alcoholic or not), from anyone else why would you accept it from him?
A lot of people keep taking in the person because they are afraid what others will think of them if they don't. You have to get over that. You know you are a good person. He'll go around lying anyway and saying all sorts about you because it comes with the territory of having a paranoid illness.
Thanks for your thoughts.
I didn't go tonight because I had lots of work to get done. I've got to take my mum up tomorrow evening but I'm going to be firm that he can't come and live here if he is discharged. I really cannot cope with that again. He's my brother and I love him, but I can't fix him can I? If he doesn't want to stop drinking then he's going to drink himself to death. I can't stop that. I'm so used to being the coper, the one in control, but I can't be that now because I don't have the resources or the control.
No you can not fix him, the best thing you can do in your situation is stand firm in your decision don't let them guilt trip you. My brother returned to my parents care and only support given is a phone call once a year asking to see him just to ask questions and pissoff again. I've seen effects it has had on them but they have been left with well he's in your care nothing we need do. If anything happens to them then it lays on my shoulders and I not in a good place at the moment so I know I would fail him and myself.
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