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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Today, I got a call from someone who my Brother stays with,

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Today, I got a call from someone who my Brother stays with, who has been looking for a job for 3 years. I have found that he is clinically depressed and has talked of suicide over 3 times in the last three years. The first time he spoke of suicide, I called Mental Health Professionals in Austin Texas [MHMR] where he lives. He did cooperate with MHMR for about three months, but he decided that he would not cooperate anymore and quickly stopped taking the antidepressants they prescribed to him.

He told me that he believes that they give him the drugs just so he will think the way they want him to. He believes that all mental health professionals, doctors, government workers, politicians and pretty much all professionals are quacks. He believes he is an Ontologist and has a vast knowledge far above Earthlings about life and the afterlife. People like you and I are "Earthlings" and he speaks of us in the third party. He has placed himself in a different category from normal human beings.


The person he lives with called me today and said she would pay for the bus ticket for him to move here with me in St. Charles MO, (near St. Louis).


A year ago, the same thing happened, but he decided to sleep in a tent in the woods, and was drunk and a lantern in his tent exploded and he had severe burns. He called me 17 hours later and I called 911. Brackenridge Hospital flew him via Medivac Helicopter to BAMC in San Antonio [burn unit, US Army] and he was there for over 12 weeks.


I have several hundred e-mails (he uses the computer at a library, and I set up the e-mail account for him and taught him how to use it) that are perfect documentation of his bizzare way of thinking.


Anyway, I believe that he is clinically depressed and is definately a danger to himself and others. What do you do in this type of situation. I've talked to Mental Health professionals in Texas many times, and pretty much what I hear is that the state of Texas is overwhealmend with these types of people and doesn't have the financial resources to take care of them.


I, myself have gone to counseling regarding this situation, and my therapist has told me that it would most likely be a disaster if he moved in with me.


The person he lives with right now is being sued, according to her, for $ 3900.00 for the damage this person did to her last apartment by using a kerocene lantern as a heater, and it also exploded.


He has been given medication also for anxiety and OCD. I think he is in a situation where he can never get a job because of his odd behavior. I think he is mentally disabled.


Again, he is a danger to himself and others.

What can I do in this type of situation?

Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.


If your friend is a danger to himself or others, he can be taken to the local ER and committed. The only rule is that the person who brings him must have either heard the threat themselves or must bring the person who did hear the threat with them. A person cannot be committed based on second hand information.


Your compassion is great for your friend and I understand your desire to have him closer so you can help. From your description, it sounds like he may have Schizophrenia or a disorder like it. It is very common for people with these types of diagnosises to refuse treatment, not take their medications, and refuse all other help. You can offer, but unless they can be committed against their will, they have the right to refuse.


The mental health facility you contacted in Texas should not be telling you they cannot help because of financial problems. The state pays agencies to help individuals like your friend and they cannot turn people away. Once you seek care, they are responsible for helping you find that care, whether they see your friend personally or refer him elsewhere, they still need to help. They may have a waiting list, but they still must accept him as a patient.


You could try to move your friend closer to you and see if the state you live in has better mental health services. Your friend would benefit greatly from having a case manager, someone who can keep track of him, get him a home, be sure he has an income and even assign someone to track his bills and spending money. The case manager can also help him learn to take his meds, see his therapist and provide access to other available services. Group homes also provide a lot of support to those with Schizophrenia and similar disorders. Your local community mental health center can let you know what kind of services they offer and how to get a case manager.


Let me know if I can help in any other way,


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

First, he isn't a friend, he's my brother.


He lives in Austin Texas, I live in St. Charles Missouri.


I agree that his mental illness is severe and this is why I keep communication with him often. I provide his cellphone, and taught him how to use e-mail at the library. I have sent him hundreds and hundreds of dollars in the past but now realize that isn't helping.


I don't think I have the financial resources left, or the skills to deal with him in my home, and I would not feel my home is safe with him being here when I'm not. A counselor I went to see to discuss him here in St. Charles thought it would be a bad choice to have him move in with me.


He has been in the care of MHMR in Austin Texas and has had a case worker assigned to him in the past. They then moved him to NextSTEP, 6222 North Lamar, Austin TX and then PushUP Foundation in Austin Texas. So, there are alcohol issues in this mix of his mental problems. The only reason he doesn't drink now is because he has zero money for alchohol. Should I go back and contact the case workers or organizations that have been involved with him before?


The only one who can give professionals first hand information is the person he lives with. I have not met him in person since 1975 or so.


The person he has lived with for the last 3 years, except when he was at MHMR, Next Step and PushUP foundation is the one who knows about him more than I do.


Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

Thank you for the additional information. It helps.


Sorry about the confusion.


You can go back and contact the workers involved in his case before. See if they have any input about how you can help your brother. They may know of programs he might be eligible for that he would be willing to attend. You can keep talking with him about seeking help and see if it makes any difference. The person your brother lives with can do the same. Do you feel that he would object if someone made him an appointment with mental health and just took him there? You might try that as well.


With the law protecting a person's right to not seek treatment, it makes it very difficult to help someone like your brother. But it sounds like you are doing all you can to get him treatment. He just needs to agree to go along with it.




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