Difficult 17y/o addicted to video games & refuses school & jobs(5 Posts)
I'm writing on behalf of my mum.
My 17 year old brother is making her extremely depressed and I am worried about his future and her mental health. We are a family of 6 but me and my sisters have all left home so it is just my mum and dad left (my dad does not have a good relationship with my brother which means my mum finds it difficult to discuss her issues with him and finds herself feeling alone).
My brother is very intelligent and did well in his GCSEs however he is in his final year at sixth form and has suspended his studies. He originally blamed this on anxiety however this appears to have got a lot better yet he is using controlling and bullying behaviour in order to get out of doing anything he doesn't want to do. I think he is addicted to video games as he spends 95% of the time in his bedroom staying up late and refusing to socialise with anyone except his friends online. He gets angry and aggressive if you turn off the internet or take away his computer.
My mum tries to take my brother to psychotherapy but if he doesn't want to go then she is unable to make him. His sixth form have been very helpful and allowed him to suspend on condition he attended a few classes and went to the school in the afternoons for independent study yet he refuses to do so and will lie in bed all day pretending to be asleep and then spend all night awake playing games.
My brother has threatened my mum with suicide yet this appears to be another control tactic of his. I am very fond of my brother but it makes me extremely unhappy to see the way he treats my mum. She is at a loss as he has never held down a proper job (the rest of us had all had part time jobs at this age) and never turns up to school. He only appears to want to play video games and gets aggressive and vile if you try to monitor it. My mum is threatening to kick him out however we don't know where he could go. I really want him to get through school but he is refusing and it is taking its toll.
We are very much at a loss and wondered whether anyone had any useful ideas about what to do or whether anyone has been or is in a similar situation.
Remove the video games/console/TV/smartphone and all teckky stuff.
He will then have to find something to actually do with his time.
Not much you can do. Your parents need to sort this out. Is your father also your brother's father? If so then it is no good him just bowing out because they have a bad relationship. Your father needs to fix their relationship. He's the parent, it's his job to do that. Your parents could ask for family therapy. And if your mum is depressed about all this family stress then she may need some therapy herself to help her cope.
Anxious people are often controlling, it goes together, and they are often avoidant too (so sticking to his computer games instead of college or work) So it doesn't sound as if your brother's anxiety is really any better. Only socialising online is normal for an unhappy teenage boy (and many happy ones come to that). Of course he'd be angry if anyone tries to take that away from him. It's like taking the phone away from a teenage girl.
You can't force him to go to therapy, or school, or get a job, so don't waste your energy trying. You could try building a positive relationship with him yourself based on not trying to change him but just enjoying some pleasant time together playing games or watching telly or whatever, but that might not be possible so don't stress yourself if it isn't.
Your best bet may be to keep your own distance, lead your own life and don't get sucked in. You can't solve your parents' problems.
And also - you asked (on your mother's behalf) about kicking him out. From what you've said I don't see enough reason to justify it. Potential reasons to consider throwing him out would include violence, drug taking, illegal activities at home, stealing from family, that kind of thing. When he's older not contributing might be another reason, but not now, and not if he is unwell and with nowhere to go.
Sorry i can't be more help. Your mother might get better advice if she posted here herself.
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