Heather: Losing the Brother She Used to Know
Heather talked about losing the brother she used to have. She tearfully described his use of marijuana and the connection to symptoms—“I think it impacted my brother’s brain. I felt like it really changed him. He was a different person and I have lost my brother. She reflected, “I heard this phrase that tragedy is the difference between what exists and what could have been. That’s impacted me greatly with my brother. What exists and what could have been. The difference makes me so sad.”
With medication, Brad has stabilized. But, he’s not the Brad that she remembers before his psychotic break. Heather recalled, “During that psychotic break I couldn’t recognize him at all. His eyes were different. I couldn’t connect with him. It was like someone totally different had gone into his brain.”
Brad takes pills four times a day. In the past he stopped taking his medications once or twice, leading to worsening symptoms. Brad’s father fills the pill box with daily doses and checks to make sure Brad has taken them each day. Heather observed that Brad seems to being getting better at managing his symptoms over time.