A few things about me


I have a relative who is mentally ill. I am not exactly sure of the exact diagonisis but it is some form of schizophrenia. My limited research into the matter leads me to believe that the relative suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. All my life I have known this person and remember only one incidence of violence.

A few weeks ago this changed and of late the relative has become violent. This would not have been much of an issue to me if had not been for the fact that my mother has been the main and sole carer for this person for the past 2 years or so. Prior to that Mum was the main support and carer but from a distant. The violence has really disturbed the family and more more so mum because she is the one who has lost stuff and having to repair stuff around the house. The other relatives who are supposed to be “the men of the family” (useless kabisa!!!) have failed to step up or offer any support not even financial. Basically I have a lot to say about them and to them … but all this family protocol blah blah holds me back. As far as I am concerned they are menless useless men!!! I digress.

My question to you all… is: Does anyone know of any Private or NGO run mental health homes that would be willing to take a new patient.

The relative has been in and out of Mathare (main mental hospital in Nairobi) so many times that the docs and Mum are on first name basis. The drugs don’t seem effective or rather they are, but relative cannot be relied on to take them daily. Last time I was home, last year, I went to Mathare for the first time in my life and was left stunned. I applaud the work they are doing there, but the conditions are so not what I expected.

I talked to Mum today and she is stressed, tired and on edge. Relative was discharged and has promised to continue the violence and rampage of destruction. I do not know how else to help mum, I am stressed cause Mum is stressed. The whole situation just feels completely HOPELESS. So all suggestions are welcome. The only recourse is literally letting this person go to the streets, which is not an option!

Thanks is advance for any ideas.


Comments on: "Suggestions" (6)

  1. Hi,

    Have you considered Chiromo clinic? It is run by professionals.

    I am not sure what your budget is but their is also a home in Upper hill run by this family that caters for mentally ill patients. i will check and let you know.

    Thanks for the suggestion, I will talk to Mum about Chiromo clinic, I think they tried it lakini the expense was abit prohibitive, need to confirm if they have considered it. I look forward to knowing about the professional home. At this point things are thick. Asante

  2. acolyte said:

    Pole sana but you know how Africans deal with mental illness, we either hide it or deny it; so I can guess what route your relatives chose. Has it occurred to you that those peeps are no help because of their character and not their gender? I dont see you beaming in praise about your female relative either.
    To be honest if violence is getting into the picture and the meds arent helping it is time for your mum to let this person go. This sounds harsh but what happens if they get hold of a knife in the house and decide to turn on her and she has no-one to protect her?

    Aco, where do I start: let me stop hiding things and be out with it. The relative is mum’s sis so the question of letting her go is not an option. Every time I see a “mad” person in Kampala or Nairobi, roaming the streets, I always think, there is a family that “let go”. The peeps who are not helping are just being stupid and the reason I brought up their gender is juu ya the fact they like to strut around saying ati “as the men of the family”… bullocks.. step up then at least financially or something, don’t say ati “as the men of the family” and then not even offer a suggestion or some form of help. They are not even willing to say..”let us share the mzigo”…These men are her brothers. This is entirely a nuclear family issue and we do not involve the extend family. Mzigo ni wetu.. but right now it is killing Mum.

    Your last sentence expresses what has been stressing me. I keep thinking Mum is defenseless against her and Aunt is a big lady :-). Something has to happen and I have no idea what. Thanks for reading.

  3. Sasa Mrembo,
    First and foremost pole for what you and your family are going thru’. Like S&S said try Chiromo clinic my old man suffers some form of mental depression and every since he become a patient of Chiromo things has been moderate, yes it’s kidogo expensive however it help him kidogo.

    All the best.
    Asante: I will talk to Mum about that.

  4. Hi,

    I checked with the upper Hill guys and they say they do not have facilities for Schizophrenia and only handle psychiatric referrals. I guess then it has to be Chiromo.

    </em>Asante sana! Ubarikiwe for your kindness of making the effort to checkout this issue, for me, the stranger you have not met.

    On another note, I dropped by “your spot” and wanted to comment on one of your post but noticed that your comments page is not open to all, is there a possibility of you allowing comments for all and anyone??

  5. Hi Mrembo,

    You are welcome. I have allowed comments on my blog now

  6. I have enabled comments now on the site. Karibu when you next have time
    have left a little long comment!! 🙂

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