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How can I help my him?

(11 Posts)
musica Mon 23-Feb-04 22:31:24

I have been aware for some while that my brother is depressed. He's in his 20s and is fiercely independent. He's starting to look for jobs, and not really had much success yet - he gets interviews but then hasn't yet been offered anything. I'm sure he will find the right thing but he is getting really down. I've just found out he's on antidepressants, and I suspect he has self harmed in the past.

He is very bad about asking for help, or taking advice - what should I do? Should I talk to him about his depression, offer more positive help about jobs (which he won't take anyway) or just try to involve him in my life a bit more so he isn't so lonely?

I do try to help, but he is not easy to give help to. If anyone has any advice I'd be very grateful - I want him to be happy and I'm concerned he may be hurting himself.

musica Mon 23-Feb-04 22:32:05

Sorry, this title should read my brother, not my him!

musica Mon 23-Feb-04 23:04:39


Levanna Mon 23-Feb-04 23:34:21

Hi Musica, I'm sorry, I haven't really got any suggestions. My brother's seems depressed (though I'm not sure that he's ever sought help). I worry about him a lot too. He lives hours away, and I try to keep in touch as much as possible, but sometimes it's like he doesn't want to know. It's so frustrating! I'm sure someone'll come along with some suggestions and good advice.

Christinac Mon 23-Feb-04 23:46:23

Musica, I am so sorry to hear about your brother, to be honest he sound like my partner, he hasnt got to the self harm part but hes become so depressed, hates the world and walks about like the world owes him something.
You have to try positive talking, build his confidence back up!
involving him in your life is good but as hard as it is, you cant be to pushy!! they go in the other direction! Any ideas why hes become so down?

musica Tue 24-Feb-04 08:35:01

Thanks christinac and Levanna. I think he's so down because he feels that he's not good enough. I really sympathise with this, as I know how he feels. He's not got all that many friends, and what he'd really like is my parents to be proud of him, but they are, they're just not good at telling him.

Marina Tue 24-Feb-04 10:07:58

Musica, how is he with the children? Is he basically an interested uncle (I know depression might be muting his response to them at the mo), or has the potential to be, getting him to do some hands-on uncle stuff might be an unexpected delight for him and them. I don't know about you, but I find both my own and other friends' children a great source of cheer when I'm feeling down - cliched I know, but their uncomplicated reactions to things and their playfulness can be a tonic.
Obviously, as you've said, he's not easy to help and he needs a lot more than just a cuddle from his you think there is any mileage in spelling things out to your parents? My sister and I often act as mediators for each other as mine have the knack of only praising their children to the other sibling too...
I'm so sorry his illness is causing you concern and I really hope the self-harm worry turns out to be ungrounded.

musica Tue 24-Feb-04 12:25:31

Thanks Marina - he is quite good with ds - likes playing football with him etc. I was quite blunt with my parents at the weekend, and I hope it made a difference. I agree, playing with the children can make other problems seem less. I think one of his problems is he lives in a shared house, but isn't really friends with the people, so he is quite isolated. I try to include him in things we do, but he often doesn't want to. I hope the self-harm worry is unfounded too - he just seemed to be in that frame of mind. But then, I may be reading more into that than I should.

M2T Tue 24-Feb-04 12:31:20

Musica - Do you know what could be causing his depression? Is there anything that could have triggered it or still be triggering it?
Sounds like a very difficult situation, but your idea about reducing his loneliness is a good one. I felt incredibly alone with PND.
Perhaps just making him feel needed and useful will do wonders for his self-confidence.

Good luck.

karenanne Tue 24-Feb-04 12:39:01

hi musica
sorry i cant offer any advice but know exactly how your feeling my brother(22)is going through exactly the same thing at the moment after splitting from his partner hes tried to take his own life and is currently on ads he is getting better but keeps getting bad doesnt help that said ex seems to be trying to do all she can to make him not get better.he also is looking for a job as he hates the one he has at the moment.hes not self harming but he does dissappearing acts where he goes off and noone can get hold of him for hours at a time.its been so bad that its making my mum ill as well.
as i say no advice apart from be there as much as you can and try to get him to talk about it but just know your not alone .
if you need to talk anymore please feel free to get my email addy of tech.

musica Tue 24-Feb-04 17:10:53

Hi M2T and Karenanne. M2T - I don't know what has triggered it, but it is quite long term - I think at least over the last 2 years. Our parents had some problems,and we've both had times of depression etc. so I think it's a legacy from that. Karenanne - sorry to hear your brother is having a rough time too. Thanks for the offer of the email too! I might take you up on that. xxx

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