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Tootsieroll

Family member going through tolerance

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Tootsieroll

This post isn't about me but of my brother. I believe he's been in tolerance for the last year after ten years of Celexa use. He experienced these psychosis episodes with high anxiety and irrational thoughts about a job opportunity. It culminated in me calling the cops one night becus he was breaking everything in a fit of anger and i was afraid for my mothers safety. He was not admitted and let go.

 

Now that the job opportunity is taken away he finds new things to fixate on. He's pretty quiet for now except for sudden bursts when something doesnt go his way or dinner isnt made and his stomach feels like its eating itself. He refuses to seek help, listen to advice that it might be meds, suddenly agoraphobic, wriths around in bed in anxiety and watches the same shows on laptop to distract. However he did switch to zoloft for a month from family doc and it made it all worse.

 

Ive verbally read him success stories from this site but he still believes this is all him and not meds. I'm curious, how long can he literally stay in this state? How can one suffer so much and not search for answers?

 

He doesnt want to seek a psychiatrist becus ive drilled it to him that they will just drug him more yet he doesnt believe its his present medications??? O.o Ive told him to come here and read the similar stories and that it's not just him but somehow i'm met with a blank stare and it's as if i never said anything.

 

This house has been on lockdown for the last year or two. My mother is getting older and she seems to be the only one who can console him but we are all worn down. He sleeps in the living room on a mattress right next to kitchen. Becus we cant make noise and he sleeps 15-20 hours a day we are pretty much confined to our rooms :(. Our diets have become more processed from eating out and packaged foods. Im almost out of my own hell but hv entered another.

 

How long can this go on for? Will he have a sudden epiphany? Or will he always be in a state of denial in a little huddle on the floor? Will this anxiety level stay the same as it is sustained by the Celexa? My experience was so different in that I didn't experience major anxiety till I attempted a cold turkey or a med change so I was able to discern what the culprit was.

Edited by scallywag
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Tootsieroll

I'm writing this for a family member who is going through a hard time.  When did you know you needed to get off?? In my case, I was still experiencing panic attacks and became very isolated but also wanted to start having children, so I decided with the encouragement of my ex at the time, it was the time to get off after 10 years on.  That was my incentive and it was worth it to me.  The withdrawals broke that relationship up.  Now my brother has possibly hit tolerance and can't see the forest for the trees.  Keeps thinking the problem is internal and can't see the options that are external, such as getting off the poison and going to talk therapy.  It's been two years like this and I don't see it clearing any time soon.  Any suggestions or encouragement is met with screaming and how he can't do anything we suggest and that we don't understand, even though I repeat over and over that I have gone through what he's going through.  He's stuck on the thought that the anxiety is all him and that he needs to take pills for life.  When I refuted that, he thrashed around and almost broke a finger.

 

We are so tired of walking on eggshells.  He is 26 years old and is acting like he's 12.  How did you guys know you needed to get off.  Was it an epiphany?  Did someone outside of family wake you up?  Did it take the body to crash to come to realization?  We are all out of options.  We had to call the cops due to a really aggressive outburst.  Since then he came home after evaluation/release from hospital  and he hasn't moved from his spot since.  Its been 6 months since then.  He was very agreeable at the hospital when he agreed to get help and see a therapist that was recommended.  Then after that, it was as if nothing ever happened.  I just remember when I was deep in my situation, I still found the will to find the answers to the questions "why?" because who doesn't want to fix that which is painful.  For him, it seems like he's already made up his mind and won't bother to look further and wants to stay in his own pity party.  I hope this comes to an end some day soon...

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KarenB

Just in case you haven't seen it:  Tolerance or poop out  There are a few good posts by Alto in there.

 

As with anything this difficult, the decision and desire to taper will have to come from your brother, or it just won't work.  Which does leave you in a very difficult place also. 

 

It's hard to offer advise when I'm not in your situation, but I'd be inclined to provide reasonable support (like you've already done by offering him information) but stop tip-toeing around him.  If you can return to using the kitchen normally, make a normal amount of noise during day-light hours, then it may nudge things to a point where he realises his position is not sustainable.  It's about supporting genuine needs, but not enabling him to continue in his self-destructive and family-destructive ways. 

 

I'll move your other post out of Intro's and into this thread, as Relationships is the best place to keep this altogether. 

 

Karen

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scallywag

Tootsieroll, your brother is the only one who can the decision to deal responsibly with his symptoms and his medication.

 

The best thing you can do for yourself is to get support - a therapist, a support group, etc. If you live in either Vancouver or Toronto there are services available for people in your position of living with and caring about a family member with psych symptoms or on psych drugs. You have minimal influence with your brother right now -- he's not responding appropriately to your requests and other communication. 

 

Put your energy into learning how to deal with him.  Sometimes for a person around us to change, we have to transform ourselves and our interactions with him/her.

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Tootsieroll

Thank you for chiming in.  At this current moment he is crying and begging my mom to let him just end it all.  I understand that we need to draw our boundaries but how much is too supportive and how much is so detached that we push them into feeling completely alone and isolated?  It's such a delicate balance.  He's begging for help but no one knows what to do, even me.  I understand the anguish but I don't understand what to do on the other side.  I've tried to create space between me and the situation but theres always that worry of my mother being the pillar and the one he considers the safe person.  Theres not enough destruction to warrant anyone to come and take him away and if they do, he oddly can put on a show and look normal.  So that's out of the question.

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Tootsieroll

Tootsieroll, your brother is the only one who can the decision to deal responsibly with his symptoms and his medication.

 

The best thing you can do for yourself is to get support - a therapist, a support group, etc. If you live in either Vancouver or Toronto there are services available for people in your position of living with and caring about a family member with psych symptoms or on psych drugs. You have minimal influence with your brother right now -- he's not responding appropriately to your requests and other communication. 

 

Put your energy into learning how to deal with him.  Sometimes for a person around us to change, we have to transform ourselves and our interactions with him/her.

Thx scally, what are these services you talk of in Toronto.  You mean CAMH?  I even called to see if they do in-house counseling seeing that he won't leave the house.  They don't do it unless he gives consent.

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KarenB

If he is making suicidal statements then you probably do want to consider outside help - even if just a help-line.  It's a sad thing, but family are often unable to help a suicidal person beyond linking them to a counselor or suicide help-line.  It often takes an outsider to get through to them and help them make a plan for staying safe. 

 

If I ever have trouble communicating with somebody verbally, I usually have a go at writing things down for them to read in their own time/space.  Perhaps you could note down your concerns for your brother, as well as links to SA and help-lines etc.  Then he can digest it at his own pace. 

 

Canadian Suicide Hotlines  If you read down the left column of that link, you'll see other links with info on how to help family members you are worried about.  People who talk about wanting to end it all are not always suicidal.  Sometimes they are actually looking for options, and will accept a more positive option instead.

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Tootsieroll

If you read down the left column of that link, you'll see other links with info on how to help family members you are worried about.  People who talk about wanting to end it all are not always suicidal.  Sometimes they are actually looking for options, and will accept a more positive option instead.

 

You are definitely correct about this line.  This one I understand very well. 

 

I wish my situation was that simple.  If I offered anything of help, even if its as non threatening as a note, I will have something thrown at me cause I "should not have had the audacity" to think that he has the capacity to read something in his condition.  It's like living with an adult bully except we all know its not his intention.  It's as if his brain reverted back to the age when he started the medication with the addition of new anger.  I heard raised cortisol can cause massive anger in order to release it.  Right now hes on a blaming spree and he needs us to feel the pain he is going through.  And this is by the aggressive means.  He will calm down after his hours of tantrums and nonsensical crying, but can easily be roused if we do something not to his liking.  Worst is when he starts screaming and trashing things.

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KarenB

Will he consent to the in-house counseling?  Because, like you said in your first post, your family can't cope with that situation much longer.  You need help for yourself and your mother - this is equally important as getting help for your brother.  He's not leaving you many options - and you are allowed to put yourself first.  It might be that he has to go down a winding road in order to come out at a better place.  But you are not responsible - you don't have to take the fall for him. 

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Tootsieroll

Will he consent to the in-house counseling?  Because, like you said in your first post, your family can't cope with that situation much longer.  You need help for yourself and your mother - this is equally important as getting help for your brother.  He's not leaving you many options - and you are allowed to put yourself first.  It might be that he has to go down a winding road in order to come out at a better place.  But you are not responsible - you don't have to take the fall for him. 

Thank you for this.  I know realistically we cannot do it for him.  I think I just needed to hear that its okay to concentrate on what's best for us too and not feel guilty.  Tough when its close family who is suffering and you want nothing more but to heal it and make them better.  He will not consent to in-house counseling because he doesn't have the energy to talk or to listen to anyone.  How long do you suppose a venture down a winding road could take?

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scallywag

Tootsieroll, your brother is the only one who can the decision to deal responsibly with his symptoms and his medication.

 

The best thing you can do for yourself is to get support - a therapist, a support group, etc. If you live in either Vancouver or Toronto there are services available for people in your position of living with and caring about a family member with psych symptoms or on psych drugs. You have minimal influence with your brother right now -- he's not responding appropriately to your requests and other communication.

 

Put your energy into learning how to deal with him. Sometimes for a person around us to change, we have to transform ourselves and our interactions with him/her.

Thx scally, what are these services you talk of in Toronto.  You mean CAMH?  I even called to see if they do in-house counseling seeing that he won't leave the house.  They don't do it unless he gives consent.

 

Toots, I was talking about services for YOU not your brother. 

 

Living with someone who is having psychological or psychiatric problems is demanding and draining for YOU and for your mother. Caregivers, family members, and housemates are all subject to burnout dealing with someone who is functioning poorly. You are all three -- a caregiver, a sister, and a housemate.

 

You need support to make sure that you are taking care of yourself, someone to listen to what you're going through who "gets it" and may help you problem solve. The best people to be with in these situations is someone who's been there before.

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Tootsieroll

 

Tootsieroll, your brother is the only one who can the decision to deal responsibly with his symptoms and his medication.

 

The best thing you can do for yourself is to get support - a therapist, a support group, etc. If you live in either Vancouver or Toronto there are services available for people in your position of living with and caring about a family member with psych symptoms or on psych drugs. You have minimal influence with your brother right now -- he's not responding appropriately to your requests and other communication.

 

Put your energy into learning how to deal with him. Sometimes for a person around us to change, we have to transform ourselves and our interactions with him/her.

Thx scally, what are these services you talk of in Toronto.  You mean CAMH?  I even called to see if they do in-house counseling seeing that he won't leave the house.  They don't do it unless he gives consent.

 

Toots, I was talking about services for YOU not your brother. 

 

Living with someone who is having psychological or psychiatric problems is demanding and draining for YOU and for your mother. Caregivers, family members, and housemates are all subject to burnout dealing with someone who is functioning poorly. You are all three -- a caregiver, a sister, and a housemate.

 

You need support to make sure that you are taking care of yourself, someone to listen to what you're going through who "gets it" and may help you problem solve. The best people to be with in these situations is someone who's been there before.

 

See how hard it is not to direct my thoughts towards him?  I tend to negate my own needs.  I'm not sure if there are many people who have gone through this.  I have even tried depression groups and they find medication withdrawal a little perplexing.  They have "heard" of it but have never experienced it themselves.  Also it seems they are all on long term medication themselves and have yet to discover the other unwanted effects.

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scallywag

The fact that it's difficult for you to think of yourself and not to think of your brother is exactly why you need to think about and take care of yourself. It could make a huge difference for YOU to figure out how to deal with this situation without losing yourself, how to be understanding and compassionate with your brother and his suffering while standing for him to take responsible action. Working on this and developing solutions will decrease your distress, though not your concern, and probably benefit your mother and your brother.

 

If you get compassion fatigue or burnout, or perhaps in your situation more compassion fatigue or more burned out, it will become difficult for you to function.  I know about this because it didn't take long for me to "go under" while my dear partner struggled with intense depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation.

 

CAMH does have family programs "tailored to the nature of the loved one's illness." I've never attended these programs. I only know that they exist.  It appears that they offer many programs throughout the GTA for families of persons dealing with psychosis and schizophrenia.

 

CAMH Support Groups for Family and Friends

 

A pleasant, distracting aside:  The first result that came up when I searched for CAMH was the Contemporary Art Museum of Houston. If only we were talking about that, eh?

 

Family Outreach & Response Program, based out of St. Joseph's Health Center in west Toronto (Roncesvalles, Parkdale); their website says they have groups and online support. There's an 8 week online training starting on July 15. It might be worth a look to see if it's a fit for you.
 
Toronto Meetup group:  a support network for friends, family and caregivers related or close to people with mental health challenges
 
Call 211 - local services and see what you can find ( you're paying for it with your tax dollars)

 

I did a web search a few years ago that turned up local groups for family members of people dealing with psychiatric symptoms/issues. I didn't save them. :( I'll see if I can find them again. 

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