My brother, whom I was extremely close to growing up, developed Schizophrenia in his mid- to late-20's. It started out with uncontrollable rage-he once threatened to beat my husband to death with a baseball bat as a result of an argument that ensured between the two of them when my husband physically stepped between us to prevent my brother from becoming violent with me after being "cut off" from drinking. Because that type of behavior was (extremely) uncommon for my brother at that time, and only manifested itself when he'd been drinking, we just wrote the incident off to that and started getting him help with a drinking problem. It was several years later before the schizophrenia manifested itself--in "magnificent" style, when during a failed suicide attempt, he narrowly missed shooting the 90 year old lady across the street in the head. By about half an inch.
Things progressed -- or should I say DIGRESSED -- very quickly after that, and I have watched my baby brother, who was once incredibly intelligent and possibly a genius, turn into someone I no longer recognize. He has isolated himself to his entire family through his behaviors, and no glimmer of the former genius boy-wonder has completely vanished.
He got to a point where he refused to take his medications anymore, which were controlling his symptoms so well that it was almost easy to forget he had them. His violent behavior returned, although instead of hurting others, he started destroying THINGS, like punching multiple holes in the walls, punching out a window in his bedroom, and breaking apart furniture. He quit showering - he would bathe, in that he'd sit in a tub full of water several times a day, but not wash his body or his hair. He also became incredibly introverted and even defiant. It has finally reached the point that my mother finally felt that she had no choice but to kick him out of her house until he is willing to start taking his medications again. Because of his paranoia, he refuses to go to a homeless shelter, so he has now completely transformed himself - the boy with the genius IQ and enormous wit is now literally the "crazy homeless man sleeping on a park bench."
Because my husband and I both work from home, we moved back into my parents' house a few years ago, when he first started to develop issues, like "forgetting" that he was cooking and almost burning down the house, so that we could be there to help out during the day, so I have had a front row seat to all of this. The stress and tension caused by all of this has given me an anxiety issue of my own, and (I am certain), a lot of deep depression.
Because of how intensive mental health laws are, and because he is an adult, there is no venue for myself, stuck between watching this happen and listening to my mother cry herself to sleep at night, or the rest of my family to get any kind of support. It is LITERALLY easier for the loved ones of an alcoholic or drug addict to find help and support than someone who loves and cares for a mental health patient.
I am at a breaking point - this has very deeply affected my physical AND mental health as well as my relationships with my husband and with my family. I am looking for someone now, a professional that I can speak with who can help me accept things, but it takes so long to get in and speak with anyone. I am an extremely empathic person, so I feel my brother's "pain" -- the night he walked through the house sobbing and screaming about how he used to have friends, and be well-read, and be an intellectual person, the only thing that I could do was lie in my bed and cry myself to sleep, because he won't talk to me.
I KNOW that my story isn't special, and that this disease has ripped apart more families than my own. Hell-my mother's great-uncle was affected, and it led him to murder his father. What I really DON'T know is how anyone else has ever dealt with it. Is there anyone who could suggest some coping methods, or could give me ideas on where my family and I can turn to for help. I'd even be happy for the titles of BOOKS that might give me some insight.
I really want to help him. I can't stand thinking of him living on the street, but once my husband and I move next month, it isn't like my brother can come live with us - I don't trust him around my husband and it's not like I could ever ask anyone who has literally threatened my husband with MURDER to come live in our home.
What do I do? Can anyone help?