Sz Peer-to-Peer help for bff brother

I finally told a friend I’m sz…and it was only because she told me about how her brother went sz and they didn’t know what it was or how to help.

Her fam called the cops after her brother punched a hole in his bedroom wall while yelling to imaginary voices. That is the only “violent” thing he’s done. The cops talked to him for a long time, but he played normal. They left, nothing was done.

Other than that, he has reverse sleep problems (day sleeper), thinks that gov is coming to hurt him and his fam, has conspiracy theories, talks to himself, laughs to himself, and currently can’t work because of his sleep schedule and lack of caring.

I had her watch some Khan academy video on biology of sz. I had her listen to Elyn Saks. I called the outpatient intake clinic and got some info for her. She seemed to understand it more, but how to make her brother seek help voluntarily?

I tried talking to him once about pills but he didn’t respond (I knew he was sz before his fam cuz we talked in my car a few times about his life and his delusions of persecution came up, tried to tell him I used to be like that…he just sat there).

I don’t want him to experience the same things I did in the hospital. I want him to go in through the outpatient center, not the triage for mental patients place. How did you seek help? Anybody seek help before it spiraled into total panic? How can I, as a fellow sz, reach out to a sz who isn’t on medication?

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It’s a tricky one indeed, my family had to blackmail me into seeking help, but the help wasn’t of much help, I was floridly psychotic and the psychiatrist didn’t sit through the whole appointment and prescribed me an anti depressant, the psychologist signed a statement saying I should be hospitalized and so I eventually went to the hospital involutarly.

Maybe blackmail will work, for me it was the “we won’t help you financially anymore” guess I’m a sell out :smile:

Good luck, it’s a good thing you’re helping


brilliant! hadn’t thought of blackmailing him…that might work. Thank you very much for this suggestion!

Maybe we can give him a financial reward for going to the clinic and another for taking the pill.

or we can take away his PS4 and make him earn it back…good ideas.

The only problem is that he’s awfully good at making underground money…little odd jobs here and there, he’s gets out of his room to make money through his pals, but then he retreats with his newly acquired material goods he bought…maybe just taking his stuff away would work though!

I’m kind of smiling because knowing him we’d take away his 400 dollar gaming console and then a week later he’d have a new one…and then what would we do with his original? LOL. I swear, nobody gives sz credit for how resourceful we can be!!


True… I had three jobs while I was psychotic, only at the last one someone noticed :smile: I was able to maintain the second one for six months while hallucinating constantly and thinking I was god.

Maybe that will work, but first make sort of an intervention, like saying you’re worried about him that he needs help etc, with his family present. He might not be very pleased about it, but the idea will get stuck in his head.


wow! Impressive (if only you could brag about this on your resume, lol “can work despite constant hallucinations and extreme duress”)

I will try the intervention first, thanks for the idea. I guess we will be having an intervention at midnight, though, since that’s the only time he comes downstairs to forage for food (frustrated laugh)


Ahah! I should put that on my resume :smile:

Good luck with everyting, very nice of you to help another fellow sz


It’s really hard to talk to unmedicated sz’s who are having symptoms. I heard one guy once talk about, “Not being on the beam, and not knowing you’re not on the beam, because you’re not on the beam.” To someone with symptoms, it seems like he is the one on the beam and everybody else is trying to push him off it. You might have to pressure him to voluntarily commit himself, if that’s not an oxymoron. I’m afraid he is going to have to get more out of control for the police to take him in.


I agree, it’s like a tight rope walk just to get through to an unmedicated sz.
yes, telling him he’s imagining it won’t convince him…I think maybe telling him his life will be a hundred percent easier and less tortuous might be okay…but he’ll get defensive if he thinks I’m trying to take away his fixed beliefs about persecution…but then how to sell the pill to him?

Thank you for the analogy about the beam, I totally get that (after reading it a few times).

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I decided to spend the night at my friend’s house this weekend in order to talk to her brother. Spending the night because he’s a recluse until he gets hungry in the middle of the night—luckily, I barely sleep, so if I just spend the night I can catch him when he comes downstairs for a bite.

I kind of want to talk to him in private, first. I still need advice on how to prepare him for the thought that a pill could make his life easier.

knowing fixed delusions, just saying those delusions will go away will not help. He’ll say that he doesn’t want them to go away because they’re the truth. I am going for the angle of “it will help you hold a job, it won’t necessarily mind control your thoughts.” Is that good enough? I only get one shot at this, kind of, especially since I’m sz he’ll look at me like “hmm, so you’re what waits for me on the other side.” feels pressure

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Maybe don’t start by saying he needs meds, but by implying he has other options besides being so angry and talking to his voices, that you know its possible for him to live without voices, or at least try to.

yes, I really like this! I will most definitely mention how upset the voices get him! I’ll mention how expensive it is for him or his parents to repair the hold in his wall.
Thank you.

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Great sort of news! My friend told me that she tried bribing her brother with the promise of free cigarettes to go to the mental health clinic…and he A-G-R-E-E-D!! The only thing was that she works days and can’t figure out when to take him, but he had even told her he was willing to go tomorrow (yesterday, but she couldn’t take him).

I just texted her saying that, if she wants, I can just drive him there myself and wait with him. I requested five for gas and that’s it. It’s the least I can do, he’s always been very kind and talkative with me when he was well. Hopefully, we can do this thing Monday. feels hopeful
Thank you @Minnii, great suggestion and it worked, just with a single cigarette!!


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Oh cool! I’m glad things are working out, hopefully he will agree to treatment.

Good luck @HQuinn

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Well, I couldn’t drive my car for months so I hadn’t been able to drive to my friend’s house.

I finally got my license restored and now I’m driving. Went to my friend’s house once this month, but I was in a hurry. Her brother was sitting by the door nodding his head. I didn’t see him. He yelled hello. I said hi, how are you? he said, “good, you?” then my friend came out and we left.

She told me in the car he was still waking up at midnight and that was the only time he was leaving his bedroom.

Yesterday she came over, very upset. Her brother had reached his breaking point. Thankfully, she’d put the idea of mental health treatment in his head earlier in the year, so instead of doing something horrible he called the police on himself and they admitted him to the ER two nights ago.

I sat with her and told her the way 5150’s and 5250’s work: one is a temporary hold for a few days, the other a longer term hold in a psychiatric facility. I told her he was going to come home feeling lost, and maybe even hopeless, but that she should remember that with medicine, he can be better than he ever was before. I told her he needs to be the one to call the family, that usually the hospital won’t accept calls from family members who aren’t “approved” by the patient, and that if he’s too psychotic, that is probably not on his mind at the moment. Her dad is trying to find a way to visit him. I told her about the recovery clubhouse and how he should go do art and hang out playing pool with the rest of us.

I want to visit him, too. I am thinking of bringing some outside food, like a taco of carne asada and an horchata (Mexican rice drink). He’s southeast asian, but he likes mexican food, and I remember how desperately I wanted outside food when i was locked up. might be a nice treat to get his mind off the hallucinations and voices.

I’m sorry it came to this, but perhaps his horrible experience will propel him through the denial of illness stuff and he’ll take medicine now. I just hope his hospital stay is calm. Feel a little guilty not checking up on him more often, although he only came out at midnight according to my friend. i have a chance now to make amends by visiting him in the hospital and i hope he’ll let me stop by and say hello.

Well, nothing went according to plan. They released him before his 5150 hold was up, as he is non-violent, and can kind of act semi-functional when he’s not yelling at the walls. Now, he’s back at home, yelling at the walls. My friend wants to kick him out of her parent’s house because she’s…i dunno…a normal? She doesn’t like his yelling and she is angry that he won’t “take the pills.”

The thing is, they didn’t even give him pills!! So, now she wants him out and we had a kind of volatile debate about what should happen. I told her to let him stay, that he’ll just end up on the streets or in jail for a public nuisance charge for yelling at nothing in public. She said he wants him to take pills. I said he needs to have a doctor to take pills, and that kicking him out won’t get him a doctor. I am frustrated that she would think of abandoning her brother in the midst of his disability, but I kind of get that frustration that he won’t seek treatment.

I want to offer to drive him to the county behavioral center, but I have a bad feeling he’ll either refuse to go with me, or worse, go and then disappear into the streets in a moment of denial. Dang denial of illness…

I’ll see what I can do. As a fellow sz, it hurts to see families abandon our kind. I’ll try to help again. I have a license now, plus some gas to get across town and back. I’ll text her about the possibility of driving him there myself, on the bribery promise of a pack of cigarettes. Thinking my friend shouldn’t go, since she is at her wit’s end and is impatient with him. Thoughts?

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What worked for me was the idea that taking pills: “what can it hurt,” because I was sure there was nothing wrong with me, so I didn’t mind trying pills because I “knew” they wouldn’t change anything.

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Isn’t your friends brother staying at his parent’s house? I’m not fully understanding how it would be her decision whether to kick him out of her parent’s house.

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Yea, but she’s been putting pressure on her dad to kick him out. At first, her dad said okay, go find out about the eviction process. Later, he didn’t have the heart to kick him out, so my friend’s just been putting more pressure on him.

They don’t speak a lot of English, so she’s the intermediary between the police/eviction process and her parents.

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Very good angle! I’ll put this into use!

Still waiting on her to respond to my texts…

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Maybe an injectable? That way he is forced to take the medication and doesn’t need to be reminded every day

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