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Luann, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 158
Experience:  Licensed Psychologist, 24 years experience working with children, adolescents, families and adults.
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I have a family history of abuse, and most of my siblings are doing fine; except my bother

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I have a family history of abuse, and most of my siblings are doing fine; except my bother. He is a 49 yr old who has been in trouble with the police, done drugs, been in jail, drinks, fights with everyone, has 3 children and never married the mothers. He lost one of his children at age 18 because the child was drinking and driving. Recently, my brother was beaten up so badly that the doctor told him he should be dead. He experienced a servere head injury during the beating. When I saw him this Christmas, his personality was not the same. He was angry and wanted to agrue all the time about everything. I noticed that when he would drink it became worse. All of my family has written him off except my father and myself. My question: Is there hope for him, and how can I help? My biggest concern is my brother will die missing out on a lot, and my father, who is 80 years old and who had to live through WWII as a refugee at age 13, will have his final days with this concern.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Luann replied 5 years ago.

Luann :


Luann :

What you are describing is difficult and distressing. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there with similar concerns about a family member. It is common for a brain injury to cause a change in personality like you are describing. As you observed, drinking alcohol typically makes things worse. Is there help for him? That depends on how much the brain injury impacted him and his willingness to receive help. All you can really do for him is love and support him. Keep expressing your love and concern for him. When he expresses an interest in getting help, like counseling or psychiatry, know what the resources are in your area that are available for him. So do some research if you haven't already. In loving him, you need to set boundaries. You do not need to put up with bad behavior. If he is being angry towards you, ask him to stop, if he doesn't you need to distance yourself from him but set these limits with love. For example, "I want to hang around you but you need to stop yelling at me." When the moment is right express your concern for how unhappy he seems, tell him he deserves to feel better, if he is open to suggestions, give him resources. If he is involved with medical providers, offer to go with him to his next appointment and share your concerns. Keep involved. Keep spending time with him, do activites that are enjoyable and maybe limit talking. Just being with him will be positive. And be sure to take care of you too! Good luck.

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