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Posted by: Puzzled | 2004/03/11

Update on schitzophrenic brother

Hope everyone remembers my postings......
Well I have news. My brother has been transferred to Ukushlangeni long term psychiatric facility where hopefully he will NEVER be able to get out.
Four months ago He stopped his meds & 2 months ago he stopped going for injections. He became increasingly argumentative, threatening, paranoid & violent. Last week Sunday I was making coffee in the kitchen & he wanted to make some too, he pushed my coffee cup off the counter & onto me (Filled with boiling hot water, burning my stomach & right leg) When I screamed he told me to shut up & slapped me across the face, rugby tackled me into the kitchen table & as I tried to run away he punched me in the back of my head, knocking me unconscious & breaking every bone in his hand in the process. (Bear in mind he is 5 foot 6 and weights 110kgs & I am 5 foot 3 and weight 53kgs) When I "came to" my mom & her boyfriend were in the kitchen standing between us & shouting at him to get out of the house.I went to find a phone to call the police but I guess due to shock I couldn't remember the number. I called my mother & asked her what the number was & she told me to just leave it & she would take him to Addington o4a psychiatric facility the next day! She said she didn't have time to deal with this now!!!! I felt betrayed my my own mother.
I managed to remember 10111 & called but I couldn't remember my address. They had it on computer anyway & said they would be there & asked if I needed medical assistance. My brother came in & ripped the phone out & threatened to finish me off but he was dragged outside by my mothers boyfriend. A friend of mine was coming over to fetch me to go to the beach & when she got there she took one look at what was happening & told me to go to the medical centre with her. As we were leaving she told my mom she was taking me to the medical centre & then to the police to file a report & that we would be back later to fetch clothes. The doctor told me I had heamotoma & concussion & gave me some anti inflamatory tablets & painkillers & told me not to even think of trying to sleep for at least 3 hours. I went to the police station & got a J88 form & took it back to the Doctor to fill out & then back to the police so they could file a report & get a warrent of arrest. However I as told that the police don't handle mental patients & they could not aresst my brother for assalut without a warrent of arrest! I've never heard such crap in my life! I had a protection order against him for assault that is supposed to be guarenteed for life! The police sadi they could do nothing without a case number so I told them to look the blady thing up on thier computer but they said it was Sunday & the regular staff who know how to do that weren't on duty-So blady what!!!! I couldn't believe their apathy! An older police man whom I recognised from all the previous calls we have made about my brother came out of of the office & he asked what was wrong & provided a police escort so I could fetch my clothes & to aresst my brother if he was still at home. Well, he had dissapeared & the cop gave my mother an earfull about being so apathtic to her own daughter & that she should never have been a mother with an attitude like that. I stayed at a friends place that night But the next morning I had a splitting headache & my visions was blurred. I also had trouble telling the difference between the colours blue & green. I had 20/20 vision before this! I went to Addington & waited for 4 hours to be seen. The surgeon wasn't very helpful, he did an X ray & said that seen as I was punched with a fist he doubts that there is any bleeding on the brain (Which would cause me to slip into a coma & die) But he said my retina may have been detatched & that would cause blurred vision. I then had my eyes checked & I don't have any detatched retina but I am colour blind in my left eye. He too cannot explain the blurred vision & said if the headache doesn't go away I will have to go for a CAT scan. My vision has become increasingly blurred-I cannot focus on anything farther than 4 feet away, I have a headache & I feel dizzy. I am back at work because everyone said I am exagerating & the blurring is normal. Somehow I don't think so! I am also suffering from post traumatic stress (Nausea, runny stomach, terrified of loud noises, crying ect) but my boss says I can't take anymore time of work (I've had 3 days off this year). Should I got back to the doctor about the blurred vision & headaches? I am so upset with my mother attitude towards all of this too. My ex boyfirend even shouted at her asking why it had to come to this before she got off her ass & did something about her clearly sick son who no longer has "episodes" but is sick constantly. He told her if she had done something sooner it wouldn't have happened. I totally agree. she knew he has been sick for months. She even got a form from town hill where the Doctor stated that his condition is so far gone that medication will not cure treat or even stabalise his condition & yet she let him live at home-without meds & without his injections & even let him drink alcohol! What do I do about all this?

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Our expert says:
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Puzzled --- an atrocious story, and I'm sure you have the sympathy of all of us. It sounds as if your mother is locked into Denial, and irresponsibly refusing to face facts, about how sick and dangerous her son is. Investigate the extent to which you can ensure legally that he ineed IS NEVER released from hospital. Although most people with schizophrenia are harmless, probably less so that some of our neighbours ; when someone has the track record of intractability, failure to maintain treatment, and propensity for severe violence, then they should be kept in a high-security facility and in such a way as to prevent their being a danger to other people.
Sorry to hear of your ordeal and that terrible assault. If there's some counselling available for you, that'd be wise, as this may well be an Acute Stress Disorder.
I'm also puzzled by your persistent blurring of vision and especially I have never heard of sudden onset of colour blindness like this. I would worry about the possibility of some mild brain damage, and a CAT scan would be an excellent idea, as a skull X-ray shows only very gross damage. I'd prefer you to see a Neurologist. The punch was sufficient to knock you unconscious, and presumably hit your head against the floor, so damage is possible, and the wise doctor seeks to prove that there is no such damage, rather than assuming hopefully that there isn't any.
Under these circumstances, it is absolutely outrageous for your boss to complain about and not allow you further time off work --- I wonder how much time he'd take off it it had happened to him ? Surely legally, under regulations ( I'd check with your local Dept of Labour ) this cannot be allowed, and they may be able to intervene.
How sad that the local police proved to be so monumentally and wickedly incompetent ! And so totally ignorant of the law and of their duties. I'd be tempted to raise this with the local Commissioner of Police ( or whatever they're calling themselves these days, Head Waiter, or whatever ) as there should be disciplinary action taken against these goons, who themselves constitute a danger to human life.
It is a lie ( or dangerous ignorance ) for them to say that the police "don't handle mental patients". Several laws very specifically give them definite responsibilities and powers in such cases, and REQUIRE them to act so as to protect you. They were either lying wickedly, or dangerously ignorant of the laws governing their job and their role. They are speciically empowered to arrest / take into custody such a person, and hold them as needed, either at a police-station until he can be seen by a doctor, or to take him to a suitable mental hospital for assessment and whatever treatment was needed.
Similarly, if these idiots had to wait for a specific warrant of arrest before aresting anyone, they'd never arrest anyone ( maybe they don't) --- at any rate they'd be, as these were, totally useless in any emergency. And they were not only authorized to act but required by law to act, in any case, but especially because of the previously obtained protection order against him. What do they think those orders are for ?
Thank heavens you eventually encountered the older and sane policeman who acted responsibly and competently, as we all have the right to expect of every officer, but sadly can find only so very rarely. When there's time, it'd be good to commend him to the Commissioner / MEC for policing. Such rare good work needs to be encouraged.
Your mother was inded dangerously uselss too, from the sound of it, and failed in her duty to protect you.
I wonder whether a lawyer ( maybe the law clinic at the local university ? ) could act to further protect you, to obtain, maybe, a Court Order preventing yourbrother's release unless your safety can be guaranteed. Maybe he can notify the relevant authorities that they will be held responsible for any further suffering caused to you, if they allow him to re-enter the comunity.
So --- do all that you can to protect yourself and your health. Then make sure everything possible is done to keep him in hospital. that the police goons are disciplined and required to learn how to do their job of protecting the public, properly. As for Mom, she's probably still trying to pretend that it didn't really happen. Whether she can face the facts of what's wrong with him, and what she did ( and didn't do ) that was wrong, I don't know.
We can't really blame people for being sick, but it's not only nice people who get sick. Sometimes they're sick AND nasty, and it's understandable if we get really angry with the nasty side of them.


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Our users say:
Posted by: Lila | 2004/03/11

I understand everything you are going through. My brother is a Bipolar and when he has his "episodes" the only person he picks on is me & my mother. I stay with my mother, two brothers and a sister but he chooses to abuse my mother and I. I have several small scars in my body because of him, even one small one above my left eye. Yesterday when I got home ,out of the blue he called me a witch. He always wants money from me and if I don't give him he swears at me. I am starting to hate him. He stopped taking his medication and I smelled dagga the other day when I gave him a lift to the clinic. I think he is relapsing again. My mom has had it, every year we have to call police and go up and down to get the necessary documentation so that he can be sent to the mental institution. I am trying to be supportive of him because when he's stable, he is a good person and I seem to be his favourite. I will be staying at home for the next three months until I can find my own place but I'm really scared and worried about the kind of life I am going to live. I know these people are sick but sometimes they just take advantage and pick on certain people. I mean why does he drink and smoke dagga if he knows it's going to make him sick. Even when I try to avoid him, he sometimes makes comments that really get to me. Puzzled, I guess I cannot give you any advise except that I feel you. Let's hear what the others have to say.

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