My brother tried many medications for his schizophrenia before he became stable on Clozaril. It was a miracle of science to have a drug work so remarkably. For my brother, it was the removal of a fog that had covered his brain and relationships.
Prior to starting Clozaril, he was very paranoid and often combative. He would accuse people including his family of trying to get him or do something harmful. He could not hold a job. He was married and the strain on the relationship was palpable. His wife unfortunately, didn’t believe in mental illness. It is fair to say, he didn’t have much support at home.
As he got older, he began to know when he needed to be hospitalized. He would get stable and then the cycle would start until the next hospitalization. Until Clozaril. The medication broke the cycle after 15 years of psychosis.
I was thrilled he was no longer so paranoid. I thought I would have my brother back. But what I discovered was he had returned to the cognitive thinking and memories of before his first psychotic break at age 20. The time spent in the hell of paranoid schizophrenia allowed for no cognitive development. I had changed and grown from experience and age. He had not
My brother wanted to talk about high school. I had few happy memories and had chosen to not remember. He wanted to talk about the trouble we got in as kids, I had resolved those issues and had no interest in revisiting it.
His last true memory is from college and being in Montreal. He wanted to tell me about it. He wanted to return to the relationship and conversations we had as teenagers. I just couldn’t do it. It was very difficult for me. He didn’t notice.
Today, he still talks about the same things. This is the sadness of when Clozaril works. It gives you back the person but the starting point is from the first break. I am happy he can work and go on with his life. I still miss my brother.