Christmas outburst

Hi, if anyone has read my previous posts they will know about my Brother-in-law Graham, suffering long term BI from an road accident in 1975 (he is now 59). He was stable for many years, supported emotionally and financially by my parents-in-law and lived with them til finally my mother-in-law died in 2009 (her husband died in 1994). Then Graham's mental health went down hill. He wanted to live in the family house on his own, which we all helped him do. I got him sorted with his benefits, until then he didn't claim Disability. We got him a cleaner/helper which we paid for. She lasted a year before he accused her of stealing, and being after his money. She was cleaner/carer for several others and through extensive research backed up by other people she cared for, we knew this wasn't true. He started saying crazy things like I'd appeared in his shower! and I'd stolen all his mother's jewellery, broken into the house and climbed over 8ft fences, shimmied up walls, over bins. ( I have never been able to do any of these gymnastics!!) All totally untrue, no signs of any break-ins. The jewellery was given to my neice in law by my husband Mike and his other brother Jim because thats what my mother-in-law wanted in her will. Graham knows all this and has been asked if he wants any thing from the jewellery but declined. He still continues to say I've broken into the house and taken random things. No one has a key except him, no sign of forced entry. He says he wants to save millions of pounds and everything in my mother in laws will should be his instead of being divided equally between her 3 boys. Wanted all the money from her car when it was sold, and wont pay anything when stuff goes wrong on the house, so we have to pay it to stop it falling into disrepair.Graham says his mum collected diamonds and millions of pounds worth of precious gems on holidays abroad. Her jewellery is only worth sentimental value to her grandaughters.

As mentioned previously the GP who took him off all medication for his BI says he isn't bad enough to take any medication. The social workers visit although we have no contact and no feedback. The house is a complete tip. My step-son Scott who is brilliant with Graham went to visit and was sworn and verbally abused as is any family member who goes to the house. He seems to act ok when the Doc or social workers come to visit. Scott won't visit anymore, he can't take the abuse and was shocked to discover Graham had a knife in the loft hatch which he said was to stop all the intruders that keep breaking in. Jim who lives abroad, won't go and see Graham, I think he's scared of him. Jim has also been accused of being a burgular to the house, so he wont go near the place or Graham and refuses to have anything to do with him.

All this means my husband Mike feels responsible for Graham. But he too won't go to see him because of verbal abuse. Because we couldn't bear to think of him on his own on Xmas day we invited him to dinner. However he started shouting that I had stolen all his mother's jewellery again, and I was knocking on the door at 3am every morning. I couldn't take it and burst into tears. My husband took Graham home, and on the way home Graham asked why I got upset. My husband told him why and he couldn't understand because he thinks it true. Mike told him its all silly but he just started going on about why he was owed all of our money set aside for his house repairs.

We have asked to see his social worker but she is on extended leave, so no one at Social services could help us. My husband is very good, but can't see how all these events have drained me. I am getting depressed about it. My step son understands as he says he thinks Graham takes it out on me to get at his brother, my husband, but doesn;t get a reaction from Mike. Mike says he is lashing out like a child would, and wants to hurt everyone. Grahams physical health is not good. He has a type of parkinsons brought on by the massive jolt to his brain all those years ago. We want him to stay independant but does n't seem to be coping. I stil lfeel desparately sorry for him, despite his outbursts.

Just needed to talk to someone. This forum helps when you need someone to talk to

thanks for listening

B

8 Replies

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  • I really sympathise with your situation as I've encountered this type of behaviour myself at close quarters.

    My friend who lives 2 doors away has a sister who moved house to be near him after her husband died. He shopped for her and looked in every day, as did his daughter, her niece.

    When the sister began repeatedly accusing both my friend and his daughter of stealing from her they finally refused to have any more to do with her and she now accuses neighbours, carers and other relatives of taking all manner of belongings.

    The woman is now ostracised as she's so vicious and aggressive toward those who try to help and reason with her.

    Surely this is paranoia resulting from either dementia or some form of psychosis and needs to be addressed by medical professionals, but she refuses to let anyone into the house. It's a dire situation with no obvious solution other than maybe a residential care order.

    Your brother in law's actions just don't sound like effects of a head injury ; more a psychiatric problem perhaps.

    Do you think he would accept help for his issues or is he oblivious to them ?

    Cat x

  • Hi again, Barney'spal,

    So sorry to hear that you have been unable to get proper recognition of Graham's needs.

    What you have written does sound like a form of psychosis/dementia, as Cat has said. I have a friend with Alzheimers and your description , with confabulation and obsessional accusations of stealing, ( even though access is mission impossible ) is something that is typical of this illness.Sufferers constantly hide things for 'safekeeping', then forget about doing it - followed by accusing others of taking them as they are 'lost'. What is Graham's short term memory like ? Does he forget what is said to him shortly afterwards/repeat himself often/have trouble keeping up with a conversation ? Can he tell you his age, the time of day, day of the week/month/year ? The messy house rings true too.

    For Graham, his Mother's extensive, expensive jewellery collection is his reality, as is your appearance in his shower and the stealing. I have found that trying to talk our friend out of such ideas is mostly to no avail, reasoning and logic are not working, - I try to change the subject to something he likes to divert his thoughts.

    Is Graham washing/ changing into clean clothes/feeding himself/taking any medication properly ?

    Until Social Worker is back I suggest you keep an eye, supply food if necessary ( leave a bag of goodies on his door step,with a note to say who they are from,maybe ' Hi Graham, just passing on the way back from the supermarket, thought you might like these ...' if this is safe and you feel happier not having direct contact ) and contact his GP. Definitely tell them about the knife, alongside his other behaviour. Our friend now has carers and meals on wheels.

    I know how incredibly hard it is to try to help someone you care about and get abuse in return. Please remember this is not really Graham but his illness talking - it really isn't personal.

    I hope to hear a better update soon,

    Take care all,

    Angela x

  • Sorry, meant to add this link :

    mentalhealthcare.org.uk/old...

    x

  • This sounds like a very stressful situation and I can understand that it can be very difficult to care for someone whos behaviour is having a negative effect on you.

    Even though his social worker is on leave there is always a duty social worker who will listen to your concerns.

    You could also raise a safeguarding alert with your local social services department. Explain your concerns and they have to at least investigate whether he poses a risk to himself (especially considering that he feels he needs a knife to defend himself).

    Hope this helps on a practical level but I also hope that you are able to find emotional support from those around you.

    Warmest Regards

    Angie xxx

  • Thanks everyone, good to know I'm not on my own out there. My stepson used to have a really good relationship with Graham, he was the only one who could go in and talk to him ( he's very good with people) but the last visit where Graham shouted and swore at him, and made accusations really shook Scott up. He insisted we contact the GP and together we drafted a letter outlining the incidents and the family's concerns. The GP has visited Graham at home, but is reluctant to discuss it with the family (patient confidentiallity) so we've heard nothing. When my elder brother-in-law accompanied Graham to the GP about a year ago, the Doc told us that the drug he had been on since the 1970s to prevent seizures was now known to cause small shinkage to the cortex of the brain and thats why he had to come off it, So this could have resulted in some kind of slow dementia, but we can't speak to anyone to confirm this, we keep hitting a brick wall. The neurologist that Graham sees every 6 months is a different one every time because they can't find any neurologist to fill the post permanently. Before this he had a guy called Bruce who again was brilliant with him, and saw him for about 5 years, and Graham really liked him, and took notice of him because he'd trained at Pinderfields where Graham was tranferred after his head injury. (He was allowed to call him Bruce, everyone else called him Dr!) Sadly he retired and the continuity stopped.

    We are hoping that the Social worker gets in touch after her holiday. My husband works really long hours sometimes 60-70hrs a week, with his electrical business and is flat out attending all the flooded properties up here, so as long as Graham is just about managing, he tends to let things lie. Graham does simple meals, pies, ready meals, but I'm afraid leaving stuff on the doorstep would just set him off and cause more accusations, I daren't go near the place. He goes to a lunch club once a week and they inform us if he doesn;t turn up, in case he's fallen or something.

    Thanks again for all your replies

    B x

  • I think the knife is key here. Very often the response from social services, including the mental health arm, is muted where clients express a desire to manage their own situation; this leaves families, neighbours and the community dealing with the fallout as people confabulate/fail to self care adequately/overspend and hoard etc. etc. I can't remember how many times I heard when I was at work that 'we can't intervene without the client's consent unless there is serious danger to life' when I was thinking 'how stupid...unless you intervene pretty soon it is obvious that there soon will be...'

    So I think that you need to write to anyone you think will listen and explain that there is an abusive, aggressive, man with an altered perception of reality, including the fact that everyone who comes through his doorway is attempting to burgle him, who has decided to keep a knife on hand for such incidents. This might (but only might) make them sit up and take notice.

    This is one of those 'what if' scenarios...perhaps his GP hasn't seen it that way yet. But what if the Dr. decided to visit again and Graham were to take it into his head that this is a bit odd and suspicious and perhaps the doc is really just casing the joint. A GP with a knife against his neck might be wishing he'd had the foresight to be proactive and get social services to deal with the situation.

    Really sorry you are having to deal with this situation. Care in the Community was a great idea in principle, but in many cases the care is lacking and the community takes the hit. The client who is supposedly at the centre of this wonderful new world doesn't always come out of it that well either. I hope the services respond adequately in this case and take the weight off you.

  • Hi Barneyspal, I can only agree with what everyone has said - yes it's gone way beyond a 'normal' brain injury!

    He needs proper in-patient physchiatric care to see if it's possible to get him on a proper road to hopefully better recovery.

    However It also sounds as though he has enough of something left, that he doesn't behave like thT and make those accusations to others, or have the outburst about anything else.

    Is he on medication do you know, because if he is and not taking it properly, it could well be toxifying his liver. Toxins in the live are carried via the bloodstream to the brain with some bad neurological effects.

    I say this because my doc insisted I needed antidepressants as support for my brain injury! I've said it before I'll say it again, based on what so many here have written they have great support to help recover from their brain injuries. I ended up with worse cognitive, multi-tasking, and organisational skills than I had before and immediately after my BI. I also ended with PBC,obvious reasons were ruled out! I eventually stopped taking them. I wouldn't even take the Propranolol prescribed by the Liver Consult, because it interfered with my Levothyroxin.

    I'd like to suggest you print out your post on here and send a copy to Grahams doctor, give one also to his Social Worked.,have you and Mike ever had before, a meeting at Graham's house, in the presence of either of them!

    I also think it would be worth asking the Social Worker and or doctor for a print out of the medications and when they were prescribed that Graham has been or is on now. Then check them out on drugs.com, singly and in conjunction with each other at the relevant times. Scroll right down the screen, and look at counter-reactions and side effects! It could be the answer may lie there. The liver and endocrine system play a very important part in both physical and mental health wellbeing.

    I wish you well in your quest, and hope you, Mike and Graham have a happ, healthy, wealthy and wise 2016.

    :-) Shirley x x

  • Thanks Sambs, I know you have followed my problems with Graham before. I don't know if he's on any medication. I think he's on just one drug to stop him shaking or freezing when he crosses the road, which has been a problem for him in the past. Sadly I have come to the conclusion my husband is pretty much a workoholic, and wouldn't take time off to see a Doctor for himself, let alone take time to see one with Graham, and if I suggested I arrange a meeting with the Doc he would think I'm interferring. He sees Graham as his problem alone, but as long as I've known him he buries his head in the sand about problems. Scott my stepson would agree a meeting with the Doctor would be a good idea. It was him that insisted I write and tell the Doc about all the incidents, Graham's delusions, accusations and verbal abuse to the family, but Scott would only do this with his dad's say so, which he wouldn't get.

    So until the social worker contacts us I just have to be patient.

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