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Old 11-17-2012, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,885 posts, read 32,642,286 times
Reputation: 57020

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eoin (pronounced Owen) View Post
What d'ya know Kathryn, we have something in common after all!




Eoin
OMG, Eoin - reading your story is like reading the story of my own life with my brother. I am so sorry that you too are dealing with this sad scenario.

Quote:
My brothers symptoms sound somewhat similar to your brothers. He went off to university aged 17, the friends he made in halls of residence (dorms?) seem to have had access to copious amounts of marijuana, and my brother (unbeknownst to the family) spent more time stoned than not during that time. We don't definitively know what his medical diagnosis is because he refuses to acknowledge that there's anything wrong with himself, the psychiatrists that his college friends coerced him into seeing can't speak to us because of Doctor/Patient confidentiality (and my brothers refusal to give the doctors permission to speak to us). If he was a physical danger to himself or others there would be other options open, but he's never threatened suicide and he's never physically attacked anyone.
In retrospect, my parents had the economic power to force my brother into some sort of treatment - and to give them access to his medical records - but they enabled him to live the lifestyle he led, with no ramifications for his actions. Like your brother, he was insufferably rude to my parents - but they kept him on the company payroll for TEN YEARS - a paycheck every month, though he wasn't actually working. Your parents DO have options but it sounds as if they are in the same emotional state as my parents - afraid to anger your brother, afraid he will go off on a tirade, move out and live in the streets, etc.

Quote:
I was compelled to leave my job (and career) in April and move home to help my parents cope with him, my mother was on the point of leaving my dad because they were in an impossible situation trying to cope with him and both have developed health problems because of it. As parents they couldn't kick him out because he clearly couldn't cope for 2 seconds in the real world, but living with him is an oxy-moron. You can't have a life living with somebody like this. We've had the shame of having the police out because of his behaviour's effect on those around him, but there's nothing they can do because he hasn't physically harmed anyone and he hasn't threatened suicide.
Wow, this is MY LIFE. I actually LEFT the family business - left a lucrative career and a great income - because when my brother graduated from college and joined the business, every bit of dysfunction in our family reared it's head. He was determined that he would not "share" this business with me - he was determined to force me to leave. I fought him, his deceit, his attacks, his twisting of events to my parents, etc, for THREE YEARS and then finally, at great cost to myself, told my parents that I was leaving and that he could have the entire thing. My parents even went so far as to change their will and specifically leave me out of any aspect of their business (they have since revamped their will but it stood like that for over ten years) and leave the entire thing to my brother. Meanwhile, he not only didn't work, he began to work AGAINST the profitability of the business, forcing other productive people, including managers, to leave, running off customers with his bizarre behaviors, etc. Still, my parents paid him - basically paid him to ruin their business. And I went on to build a successful career far away from that family business - and enjoyed myself immensely.

It was horrible though during that three year period. And then afterwards for another 8 years or so, my parents hid the fact that the business was failing and that my brother was driving them absolutely crazy, because they didn't want to admit that I had been right and he was THE problem. Eventually though, they ended up firing him. Now my father runs a scaled down version of the business, doing part time consulting only. My brother's actions cost my father literally millions and changed his retirement plans - and mine - and my other brother's - significantly. Now my parents have a comfortable enough income, but they are not what I would call wealthy anymore, and the nest egg that they planned to live on - and pass on to their heirs - is a fraction of what it would have been.

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It's probably impossible for me to explain to the uninitiated just how traumatic trying to live with somebody in this state of mind is. The only real term I could use to describe his behaviour would be 'self-righteous indignation', but that phrase is so under-descriptive that it doesn't even come close to capturing it.
Believe me - I know EXACTLY what you're describing. Look up Cluster B personality disorder. Pay close attention to the Narcissistic and Borderline personalities described. I believe you will find your brother displayed front and center. I know mine is.

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As an example, I inadvertently left the toilet seat up once last year when I was home visiting, and my brother went absolutely crazy over it. I heard banging and smashing of things upstairs indicative of somebody in a terrifying fit of rage, he came flying down the stairs with the blood vessels in his eyes so red they looked ready to pop, he was screaming that I was trying to poison him with germs, he made derogatory remarks about me which were egregiously offensive and totally out of proportion to my 'crime' (as he see's it). When my mother backed me up, he refused to speak or even look at her (while living in the same house) for a year and a half, this was her 'punishment' for having failed to discipline me (a 28 year old guy) for having left the toilet seat up.
Oh yes, I can totally relate. My brother would make up absolutely OUTLANDISH stories about how I was mishandling the business (completely untrue) or doing things like showing up for work late (also not true), taking three hour lunch breaks (also not true), etc. and then INSIST that my parents "discipline" me or write me up. One time, HE actually went into our computer system (not realizing that the system time stamped every action) at 11 pm at night, on a computer that was at HIS house, and actually erased YEARS of client records - and then told my parents that he had caught ME doing this. The insane thing is - they believed him. They also didn't confront me about it for several months - all the while acting extremely squirrelly with me. Eventually I confronted THEM and told them that they needed to quit the veiled innuendos and tell me what the hell they were so mad at me about and when they leveled this absurd accusation, I was absolutely floored. Not only because they BELIEVED him, but because they had believed him and not CONFRONTED me (which led me to the belief that they didn't actually believe him - but were caught up in their own dysfunction). Even after I proved to them via the recorded history that this was impossible for me to have done - and that "someone" in my brother's house at 11 pm on a particular Tuesday night had done this - they still refused to confront him. Unbelievable. It was obvious to me that I had to leave the company in order to keep my OWN sanity.

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One of the side effects of his behaviour was that my mother was having difficulty sleeping at night (understandably). However, upon becoming aware of this fact my brother started brandishing it like a weapon. Even though he refused to speak or look at her, he would stride around the house pontificating of how 'lazy' and 'senile' she was, and regularly implied that my mothers increasing health problems were the results of her failure to take enough exercise and eat enough protein. (She's not over-weight and has a more balanced diet than 99% of the population.)
Yep, I've watched my own brother do this for years. My parents are very fit, very active, very attractive and savvy people in their mid seventies. They don't smoke or drink (well, my dad does smoke the occasional cigar but that's it) and they eat a very healthy diet. They walk several miles every day. They are involved in numerous social activities. There is not one shred of senility in either of them. But my brother constantly berated them, insulted them, sneered at them, accused them of dementia, etc. All the while, his own physical condition was deteriorating before our very eyes - almost DAILY he looked worse and worse. Long before his final psychotic break, he had wrecked his physical health and his former good looks.

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As I'm typing this I'm overtly aware of the fact that I'm not going to be able to explain in words just how horrible he is to be in the same house as. I can't convey the emotions that any normal person feels when confronted by someone who finds fault in absolutely everything and everyone (most of the time without the remotest justification), and who is so irrationally angry and vindictive about it. When he says something particularly cutting, he starts smiling when he realises that its hurt the other persons feelings.
OMG this is my brother to a TEE. His cruelty knows no bounds, and because he is intelligent and well read, his words can cut like a hot knife through butter. Eventually I had to completely cut off communication between him and my kids, even going to far as to refuse to spend holidays with my family if he would be there, because his words were so caustic and harmful.

Quote:
The only way I can maybe express it is by saying that there have been several times that I considered getting a knife from the kitchen, walking up the stairs and stabbing him to death. The amount of pain the murder trial and a life in prison would have caused me and my family, would pale in comparison with the prospect of having to spend the rest of our lives in his company.

In a choice between him having died of a drug overdose or turning into the monster that he has become, his death would have infinitely preferable. At least then we'd have a natural period of grief and a chance to have a life afterwards. We're an extremely caring, loving family, but whatever my brothers condition is, it's too much to cope with. On the one occasion that the police came out, one of the officers was clearly having to fight the urge to leap across the room and attack him, because in the 15 minutes they were speaking, my brother showed such contempt and indignation towards the officer, and was so insulting that it's only natural to want to lash out. After 4 years of him living at home, my parents decided that they would pay 1200/month out of their savings to have him live alone in the one apartment we could find that was to his satisfaction. (He refuses to sign on for benefits.)
Eoin, PLEASE share my story with your parents. I assure you that they are in for decades of grief if they continue down this path of enabling. I also believe that your brother will become increasingly dangerous to them - and to others. This is only going to get worse.

If my parents had called my brother's hand when they had economic power over him, rather than fearing his outbursts and basically enabling him to abuse them, perhaps he could have been saved - and at least my parents would have had more peaceful lives.

The police will be called out again - and again. That's my prognosis. I am so sorry you and your family have this looming ahead of you.

Quote:
He's ruined my career in the short-term (I had to move home, I had no choice, things were beyond desperate.) He's ruined my parents retirement, their health, almost their marriage and in time he will destroy their life savings.

We've spoken at length to his former college friends, and all are of the opinion that the profound change in his personality was a reaction to the marijuana he was taking. He used the drug almost daily, and he was a completely ordinary teenager before he started using it. His symptoms match the scientific literature on drug induced psychosis, and we're fortunate to have a Psychiatrist in the family who (despite not being allowed to give a medical diagnosis to us for professional reasons) has likened my brothers condition to many of his patients who are diagnosed with drug induced psychosis.
Not sure what the law is in the UK, but can your parents have him involuntarily committed? Listen - if he EVER threatens you or anyone, take every ounce of legal right that you have - that's my advice. Do NOT soft pedal this like my family did for twenty years (I didn't - I called the police on him twice, filed charges, successfully established effective boundaries, and even met with his wife TWICE begging her to have him committed).

Quote:
I don't have a definite opinion on marijuana's legal status. It clearly is a slim minority who are affected by it in the way my brother has been. Furthermore, by making it illegal when it is such a widely available drug, will inevitably lead to other peoples lives being (at least partially) ruined by criminal records, and I don't like the prospect of that either.

While I'm glad I don't have to make a decision on where marijuana's legal position, I make this post solely so that people don't arrive at the conclusion that marijuana is harmless. For many people it probably is, but for an unknown proportion it will have dire consequences for them and those around them, and there's no way for any individual to know for sure which group they'll fall into.
Amen.

 
Old 11-17-2012, 07:34 AM
 
Location: Southern Oregon
2,833 posts, read 4,022,287 times
Reputation: 2997
As for the legalization of marijuana, I'll wait to see what happens in Washington and Colorado, I vote no on it here in Oregon. As far as medical marijuana goes, it does have its pluses, but as a recreational drug, well, we have enough problems with alcohol so why throw gas on the fire.

Does marijuana cause brain damage, to some extent yes, it affects the hippocampus and causes short term memory loss, yes, this is a form of brain damage, although temporary, medical researchers are still studying the long term effect on the hippocampus.
 
Old 11-17-2012, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,885 posts, read 32,642,286 times
Reputation: 57020
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terryj View Post
As for the legalization of marijuana, I'll wait to see what happens in Washington and Colorado, I vote no on it here in Oregon. As far as medical marijuana goes, it does have its pluses, but as a recreational drug, well, we have enough problems with alcohol so why throw gas on the fire.

Does marijuana cause brain damage, to some extent yes, it affects the hippocampus and causes short term memory loss, yes, this is a form of brain damage, although temporary, medical researchers are still studying the long term effect on the hippocampus.
However, my brother's brain damage is permanent. There is a definite link between long term psychosis, schizophrenia, and marijuana use.
 
Old 11-17-2012, 08:46 AM
 
Location: On the "Left Coast", somewhere in "the Land of Fruits & Nuts"
8,367 posts, read 8,267,829 times
Reputation: 5901
^^ Even if that were so, instead of going on like some drama queen, then speak to the solution. So how do we decide what to legalize and what not... especially since nearly everything can be harmful in the hands of the wrong person?
 
Old 11-17-2012, 08:59 AM
 
22 posts, read 40,742 times
Reputation: 44
Sorry to hear about your brother. I'm afraid that proving that marijuana causes schizophrenia is very tough. Separating the environmental and genetic factors can be close to impossible sometimes. The best studies that we can do are cohort, which are not very strong sources of evidence. RCTs would be able to give us better evidence but performing them would be unethical. Schizophrenic patients have very high overall rates of substance abuse and separating the correlation and causation can be very tricky. Somewhere in the ballpark of 90% of schizophrenic patients smoke cigarettes. Does this mean tobacco causes schizophrenia? No, but they are correlated. Same with alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, etc. You mentioned earlier that your brother was predisposed to schizophrenia. If you don't mind me asking, how do you know this? Family history, or genetic counseling?
 
Old 11-17-2012, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Up North
3,404 posts, read 7,250,918 times
Reputation: 3036
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil306 View Post
Kathryn,

First off, I agree with you.

Second, you are wasting your breath. NO ONE wants to hear the truth, including those who use marijuana.

See when medical marijuana was first introduced, it was for "medical reasons." Sick people needed their "medicine." Plus, look at the plus side too it: Medical marijuana sellers will be providing much needed tax revenue to the cities.

Well, its now 10+ years later and even left wing Obama has been raiding and shutting down medical marijuana plants. Why? Aghast! They haven't been paying the much talked about revenue in taxes.

However, the pro marijuana crowd never cared about the "medical" uses of marijuana. They still don't. They only want the drug legal, so as a way for them to smoke it, without fear of any legal action.

What happened to your brother, not slamming you is, of course a fluke. However, it does occur. So, if a million of dope smokers can smoke dope and 10 of them this happen too, the rest don't care. They can get stoned out of their minds and not care about the criminal or societal backlashes.

All they care about is getting stoned. And once its legal, and it will be, this is just another stepping stone for legalizing all drugs. That is coming too.

I agree with this post 100%. As someone who half of the people I grew up with moved to California once they were 18, I think I have an eye in on the situation.

They pretty much all moved there because "It's Cali, and like you can smoke pot whenever, everyone does".

They say things like "You can get pot prescribed for everything. You can get it prescribed for PMS" followed by bursts of laughter.

The people who are for medical marijuana are the people who want to use it recreational. They think "Oh well, if medical is approved we are one step closer to legalization"

I used to be one of those stoner kids. I even helped petition to get it decriminalized. Now my stance is changed completley thanks to stories like the one I posed above about a friend's ex-husband and comparing the lives and psyches of my friends that do and don't smoke pot as adults.

Most pot smokers I know don't smoke on the weekends or only socially like with drinking. They smoke everyday. They smoke before work. They smoke before class. They take jobs they know they will be able to go to stoned and it is their lifestyle. "It's not just about pot it's about a laid back lifestyle, man". Yeah whatever, you wouldn't even know how to be laid back WITHOUT pot.
 
Old 11-17-2012, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,885 posts, read 32,642,286 times
Reputation: 57020
Quote:
Originally Posted by goblu View Post
Sorry to hear about your brother. I'm afraid that proving that marijuana causes schizophrenia is very tough. Separating the environmental and genetic factors can be close to impossible sometimes. The best studies that we can do are cohort, which are not very strong sources of evidence. RCTs would be able to give us better evidence but performing them would be unethical. Schizophrenic patients have very high overall rates of substance abuse and separating the correlation and causation can be very tricky. Somewhere in the ballpark of 90% of schizophrenic patients smoke cigarettes. Does this mean tobacco causes schizophrenia? No, but they are correlated. Same with alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, etc. You mentioned earlier that your brother was predisposed to schizophrenia. If you don't mind me asking, how do you know this? Family history, or genetic counseling?
Family history - there is no genetic test that shows this, to my knowledge.
 
Old 11-17-2012, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Up North
3,404 posts, read 7,250,918 times
Reputation: 3036
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terryj View Post
As for the legalization of marijuana, I'll wait to see what happens in Washington and Colorado, I vote no on it here in Oregon. As far as medical marijuana goes, it does have its pluses, but as a recreational drug, well, we have enough problems with alcohol so why throw gas on the fire.

Does marijuana cause brain damage, to some extent yes, it affects the hippocampus and causes short term memory loss, yes, this is a form of brain damage, although temporary, medical researchers are still studying the long term effect on the hippocampus.

I agree that it should be available for medical purposes for those who conditions are severe enough and researched that marijuana will actually help them, such as cancer patients.

When I heard in California you can get it for PMS, that is when I learned they were using "medical" as a way to let everyone get it to smoke recreational.
 
Old 11-17-2012, 10:00 AM
 
2,222 posts, read 9,137,109 times
Reputation: 3225
Schizophrenia is known for showing up in the teenage years. I have a family member who this happened to. He had all the symptoms spoken about in these posts and we went through the same heartaches as others as we watched in horror unable to help. He was not a marijuana smoker.

I think it would be difficult to determine the exact cause. My heart goes out to anyone who has had to deal with this, but blaming marijuana is difficult for me to accept. I do not condone the use by children or teens just so this is not misunderstood.
 
Old 11-17-2012, 10:03 AM
 
2,222 posts, read 9,137,109 times
Reputation: 3225
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pear Martini View Post
When I heard in California you can get it for PMS, that is when I learned they were using "medical" as a way to let everyone get it to smoke recreational.

Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth used marijuana for PMS.
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