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TW: What do I do about my brother

Hi all, I’m in desperate need of help. My brother is about the same age of me and I need some help with him. I love and care about my brother very much but at the moment he is to much for me to take. I need some help. He doesn’t do any schooling he smokes, he swears a lot and is always hurting me. I can’t stand it anymore but I just don’t know how to cope with him. I’ve tried to tell him that smoking is very bad for his health but he won’t listen. I’ve even told him he should go to school but he just yells at me and calls me names. Im old enough to be able to hit him but I just can’t do that to my brother. I’m only 16 and he’s 15. I want my brother to have a great life but I just don’t know how to get to him. Does anyone know what I should do to try and help him? He has anger management so it’s so hard. Help please 

Re: What do I do about my brother

Hey @Harleigh , this sounds like a tough situation .. I can understand your frustration and it sounds like you care a lot about his actions and the impact they have on your life because you care about him very much. It is a very natural feeling to worry about your loved ones. 


Have you considered talking to a parent or close family member about your worries? Only if you are comfortable to do this of course. Or is there anyone your brother looks up to in your family and he may listen to? It sounds like this situation is impacting you a lot and it is important not to deal with this alone. My only other suggestion is to be supportive for your brother and express your worries in a calm and collected approach. If you are comfortable, expressing your concerns to a trusted adult family member may be an option. Please let us know how you go, and I hope this situation gets better. Smiley Happy

Re: What do I do about my brother

Hi @Harleigh! Welcome to the forums!

It can be so difficult when you have a family member with issues, especially when they don't want any help. Smiley Sad Do you feel as though you are safe around him? What have your other family members done about this situation? Has his school offered him any support or suggestions?

Distance education could be a good idea if he is motivated enough to complete schoolwork but mentally or physically unable to attend school, although he will probably need a letter from a doctor saying that he has a mental or physical health issue which makes it difficult to go to school.

It has helped me to think about my family members' issues differently. For example, I try not to see myself as responsible for their health and decisions. Your brother's choices are his own and he has to be willing to improve his life. Sometimes, people change or get better in their own time. People usually can't be forced to change what they are doing. You can still support and love your brother even though you disapprove of his behaviour. This article has a lot of suggestions about how to support someone who doesn't want help.

Sometimes, I have found it easier and more helpful to look out for myself rather than trying to get help for my family members. These three articles have a lot of helpful suggestions for self-care and looking after yourself.

I think @lr8991's advice is good too. Smiley Happy

Re: What do I do about my brother

I feel the same. I am 21 and my brother is about to turn 18 and he is not okay.

He has been smoking illicit substances everyday for over a year now. I think he may have tried some other things too. He lives with me and so does my younger sister. His room stinks because he's smoking inside and when I ask him to stop he denies it. It's gotten to the point that I don't know what to do anymore. I don't think I can cope with the emotional roller coaster anymore and if 
I was looking out for my sisters best interests, I wouldn't have him living with us but I'm scared that if I tell him to move out he will turn up dead and I would never forgive myself. In saying that I wouldn't be surprised if it happened while he was still living with me. He disappears for multiple days and doesn't care about rules, curfews, respect or consequences. He's so paranoid and thinks the world is out to get him.

About three weeks ago, I found him after he had attempted suicide. Long story short we had to call the police, he ran out of hospital and we had to chase him and convince him to come back. They had to restrain him and sedate him. Then the next day the psychologist came in and he just told them everything they wanted to hear and they let him go home.

He was okay for two days after then went straight back into his old ways. I honestly have no idea what to do. 


Re: What do I do about my brother

Hi @stressedsister. Welcome to the forums and thank you for sharing. 


It sounds like you're going through a really tough time at the moment. You seem to be managing a lot with both your younger siblings living with you.  On the one hand you want to create a safe home for your sister by asking your brother to move out, but on the other hand you don't want to risk your brother hurting himself. That's a lot of pressure on one person! If you don't mind me asking - do you have any support at the moment? Such as parental support? Or professional or social support?


Also just letting you know that I edited some of your post as it goes against our guidelines. We just have to be careful with certain language on here so as to not trigger others. I'm aware that you're a new user and probably didn't mean it though, hence linking the guidelines to you here. Have a read when you can Smiley Happy


Re: What do I do about my brother

Hey @Harleigh


Wow, that sounds super rough. I can definitely understand where you are coming from - I had a very similar situation with one of my brothers when I was your age. 


It can be so hard when we see our close family members go through rough times. We want the best for our family, and it can be really discouraging to see them go down paths that worry us. We try our best to remind them of what we think is good for them, and it can be especially frustrating when they don’t want to listen.


It sounds like you are a very resilient person, and are trying your best to do right by your brother. Do you have a parent or guardian that is helping you and your brother in this situation? Or any other trusted person that you could confide in? It could be useful to share your worries with a support person to ease your burden and ensure you’re not tackling this all on your own.  I think while it is great that you care so much about your brother, it is also important to think about how all this is affecting you. Remind yourself that it's okay to sometimes take a step back and focus on your own wellbeing and mental health Heart


Re: What do I do about my brother

Hi @stressedsister! Welcome to the forums!

That sounds like such a difficult, stressful situation. Smiley Sad It sounds like you have to take on a lot of responsibility looking out for your siblings. You must care a lot about them. Heart

Is there any way you can express your concerns to the hospital or another service? Was your brother given some discharge instructions for follow-up care or treatment?

Re: What do I do about my brother

Hi @Maddy-RO


Yes! Sorry I didn’t realise!


I have good friends. They cleaned out his room while we were in hospital because it was almost unliveable. They were really great for that weekend but I tend to be the mum of the group and check up on them, whereas I don’t think they understand the ongoing stress everyday. I don’t want to be constantly bringing it up either as they all have things going on. 


My my parents are there. My mum came to the hospital but it has always been tense between my mum’s partner and my brother. So mostly we  do everything ourselves 

Re: What do I do about my brother

While we were in the hospital we begged them to keep him there longer as he was not okay. They told us that there was nothing they could do.

He was given the numbers of a couple mental health places and told to see a psychologist but I ha ent seen much follow up on my brothers behalf

Re: What do I do about my brother

Oh @stressedsister I'm sorry to hear that your brother hasn't been well, it must be hard to see him go through it. You sound like a very nurturing sister Heart 


It's nice to know you have supportive friends that were willing to jump in and help with cleaning your brothers room. You mentioned you mostly do things yourself at home and I can tell you are very giving of your time and energy to people you care for. What can you do to look after yourself while this is all happening?