Brother May Be Schizophrenic

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I need serious help please. I think my brother is literally gone crazy. mental illness is a genetic issue on my fathers side of the family and im afraid my brother may be schizophrenic. this is what happened earlier tonight. And keep in mind he was very aggressive and angry and violent the entire time this was going on. my brother told me that God came to him and told him that he was the chosen one and that the world is going to persecute him and that God wants him to give up his soul on august 3rd. that God wants my brother to take his place on the throne of Eden. That he is Mary Magdalenes son and was born in 1780 and that God and Mary came to him and told him this. He told my mom that Mary wants revenge on her and that my mom better watch out. He also threatened my mom about hitting her. He said that Obama is contacting him for a place in heaven. that we have snipers on our heads at all times waiting to shoot us as soon as he signals them to. He said something about how He said that God and Einstein and Mary and others talk to him. He also said that he brought our dead dogs soul back and put it in our new puppies body and that now our puppy is our dead dog. that he sees our dead dog when he looks at him. He got extremely upset when he saw that I thought he was crazy. He said that this is why God told him not to tell anyone cuz people would think he’s crazy and persecute him. He had tears in his eyes when he said that. He was violent and aggressive. He told me that I have no right to call myself a Christian and that if i ever touch a Bible again I’ll regret it. Threatened my mom in a similar way as well. Told us that God told him that my parents and I are going to hell and that he can’t help us to go to heaven. There was a lot more to what he said but thats the jist of it. I don’t know what to do. I know that even the slightest mention of him seeing someone will make it worse as he’ll assume we think he’s crazy.
He mentioned to my older brother about 3 weeks ago about how he sees things (such as spirits) and that he can’t talk to anyone about it because they’ll think he’s crazy. He started crying when he was telling my older brother about it.

About a year ago, my parents and I weren’t home. the next day he told us about how he saw and heard my parents in the house but they were miles away at my aunts house. He than began to believe that he saw spirits.

I don’t know what to do. I’m afraid he will hurt himself or us. I want to save him but I don’t know how. I know he’s always felt lonely and has never had any friends. I’ve called the cops on him when he was under 18 because he was being violent with my dad who has parkinsons. i feel like that may have added to his feeling of loneliness and being unloved. and that those feelings may have gotten him to this point.

A. This is undoubtedly a difficult situation. I have worked with many families in a similar predicament. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to handle this situation.

Here are the facts. Your brother seems to be actively psychotic. He’s experiencing several delusions and hallucinations. He has threatened you and members of your family. His behavior is out of control. He has a history of violence. A history of violence is the most reliable predictor of future violence. The fact that he is actively psychotic is a sign that he is not taking medication. All of those factors make this a very volatile and potentially dangerous situation. The potential for violence in this situation is high.

The most difficult solution to this problem is also the only correct way to handle it. I would advise you to either call the police or the local mental health crisis team. Most communities have a mental health crisis team. Members of the mental health crisis team can come to your home, assess the situation and determine the appropriate intervention.

I understand that you do not want to call the authorities or a mental health crisis team. As you stated in your letter, you feel that having called the authorities in the past may have contributed to your brother’s feelings of loneliness. It is never easy to call the authorities to report a loved one but by not calling, you and your family are potentially in danger.

The reality is that you have few options. Your family is not trained to deal with mental health crises. Your brother needs professional help. As difficult as it may be, it is necessary to seek assistance from trained professionals. The risk is that your brother will harm your family or himself. Individuals who are psychotic have difficulty controlling their behavior which is why your brother’s threats should be taken seriously.

I would also recommend that you contact your local National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) office for advice and support. Many of the members of NAMI have dealt with similar situations. They are seasoned veterans when it comes to dealing with mentally ill family members and navigating the mental health system. They can offer you very good tips on how to handle your situation. I wish you the best. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 4 Mar 2012

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2012). Brother May Be Schizophrenic. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 29, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/03/04/brother-may-be-schizophrenic/

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