August 24, 2005

Sibling's Guide to Psychosis

Having a sibling that is suffering from psychosis can be very difficult on a person. That brother or sister that you know and love is suddenly dealing with something that you may have little to no understanding of. You might feel like you are unable to help them which can be an isolating experience for you.

The brochure "A Sibling's Guide to Psychosis: Information, Ideas, and Resources" is a great way to get the information you need as well as to hear what other people go through who are in the same situation. This brochure contains several excerpts from the life stories of the brothers and sisters of those suffering from psychosis. It goes over what psychosis is, the symptoms, treatment, and recovery. It also goes over the emotions that may be involved in this situation and how you can react to those feelings in a natural and positive way. Its okay to feel negative things like anger and resentment, and this brochure explains why you are feeling these things.

Here is an excerpt on how to cope with having a sibling who suffers from psychosis:
Talk honestly and openly with your family about your feelings.
“Don’t go hide in booze, drugs, promiscuity. Talk to someone about your worries.”
“I worry about my parents – I feel the need to protect them and worry about the impact on them.’
“He’s always been the big brother – always – he’s always been the wiser one. He’s asking for my help. Mum is asking for help to help with him.”
It’s important that your parents pay attention to your life as well –and it may be necessary to talk to them about this. It’s tough to talk about feelings at the best of times and parents may find it just as hard to talk about the wide range of feelings that they are experiencing. However, it is precisely this kind of talking that enables families to get through difficult times. Handled well, crises can and will strengthen all members of the family.

Dealing with psychosis is not easy for the individual, nor his or her siblings, parents, or friends. As a sibling the best thing you can do it to become educated on the issue and cultivate a sense of understanding for what your brother or sister is going through.

Original Source: "A Sibling's Guide to Psychosis: Information, Ideas, and Resources". Canadian Mental Health Association.

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