- 4 years ago
- Wedding: May 2015
My younger sister is 22 years old. She graduated high school in 2009 and started art school. She had a bit of a tough time freshman year, but seemed to really be enjoying herself during her sophomore and junior years of college. Then, at the end of her junior year, she decided to take some time off. There were a few reasons, but the main one was that she didn’t feel ready write her senior year thesis (she’s a creative writing major). I thought it was kind of weird, but whatever – it’s her life. She moved back home with my parents and started looking for work. During this time, she struggled with depression, but really didn’t want to get any help for it. My mom finally got her to see a therapist, but she only went for a few sessions. She started an anti-depressant, but didn’t like the side effects and refused to go on something else.
This was all about a year ago. Since then, she’s definitely been more isolated and erratic than usual. She has always had terrible sleep patterns, but things have only gotten worse. She is holding down an almost full time job working in a store, but doesn’t spend much time with friends or anything like that. Whenever my older sister and I reach out to her, she usually isn’t interested.
So, now we come to the real problem. A week ago, she came home from work and was really, really upset. My parents were trying to figure out what was wrong, but she wasn’t really making a lot of sense. Eventually, she told them that some guy she knew from high school had applied for a job at her work and that he was going to “take over” the store or something like that. Basically, she was acting really paranoid and obviously, it scared my parents a lot. She ended up punching a hole in the wall. They brought her to the emergency room the next morning.
At the ER, she talked with a few medical professionals, but because she’s over 18, they couldn’t tell my parents much of what she told them. They thought something was obviously wrong, but believed it was just severe anxiety. They set her up with an appointment at a 3 day, outpatient diagnostic clinic.
She went to her first day of the clinic on Monday. My dad went with her. At that appointment, she told doctors that she is hearing male voices. The male voices are basically making her feel like she isn’t good enough, etc. She said they have never told her to harm herself or anything like that, and she “doesn’t listen to them,” but the fact remains – my little sister is having auditory hallucinations.
She went back to the clinic yesterday, this time with my mom. At this point, they recommended inpatient care to better understand what’s going on. I don’t believe they used the word “scizophrenia,” but they were gravely concerned about her mental health. My sister said she wanted to think about it, which they agreed with.
Today is her last day of the 3 day clinic. I am hoping beyond hopes that she agrees to stay inpatient and get a diagnosis. But I am also terrified. I am so, so scared that she is schizophrenic and that this moment, this day is going to change all of our lives forever.
Most importantly, I am terrified for my sister. I am terrified that she is dealing with this and I am terrified that, for her, this may only be the beginning.
I am also feeling some guilt about not seeing any signs and being a better sister. I am a wreck.
I guess I am just looking for any support or words of advice in all of this. Has anyone else dealt with something like this?
I apologize for this being so long!