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Anna, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1945
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 29 years in addictions and mental health.
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I have a brother that won't grow up. He has lived with Dad

Customer Question

I have a brother that won't grow up.
He has lived with Dad tell he got kicked out, He has mooched off My Mother and Myself. He now lives with my youngest sister and her husband it is making it hard on there marriage.
My brother sits on the computer and plays games as much as he can he also has a problem with drinking he doesn't know how to make friends, he also has said things that make me believe that he would take his life what can we do?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Anna replied 7 years ago.
Hi kclovemill,

Can you tell me how old he is and if he's ever had any medication?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
no medication and he is 24
Expert:  Anna replied 7 years ago.
Was he able to finish high school and/or college?
Is he able to keep a job?
Do you suspect alcoholism?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
He has never had a steady job and he goes months without a job he says he wants to finish school but he never acts on it, he has the dream but no action.
Expert:  Anna replied 7 years ago.
OK, I think I'm getting the picture. There are 2 main ways that this can go: mental health issues or addiction (or both really, but you can conbine the two at the end).

If it's a mental health issue like Schizophrenia, he's at the age where people often have their first major break with reality and eventually cease to function. He would start getting wierd, maybe seeing things or hearing things, hording, getting paranoid, isolated, being odd...things like that. He might have one of the lesser variations of that: schizotypal or schizoid personality. I'll give you a link that you can use to read up on those & see if that might be it. You'll land on the Schizophrenia site, and can search for the articles on the other two diseases I've mentioned.
Mayo Clinic

While you're on that site, look up Bipolar, Depression, and Alcoholism.

If he is alcoholic and refuses to get help...go to a counselor, go to AA (free) or to a state s ponsored treatment/detox program, then the family needs some education on how to best help him.

As long as he's allowed to function at such a low level and be taken care of, there won't be any motivation to change. It sounds like he's going through the family members like a cold virus. AlAnon Family Groups is a wellspring of support and guidance for families in this situation. They can show you how to remain sane in the face of his problems, and not go down with the ship.

For you: you're going to have to understand that you can't change him, nor can you change the family members who may be "loving him to death'. It is extremely hard to do this, and there is no reason to go through that alone. Get on 'families of alcoholics' sites and read stories about what is working for others and what isn't. Share your story. There is a vast network of support for this out there, and you'll do well to tap into it.

As long as he's drinking, he'll get progressively worse if he's alcoholic until (if) he gets clean and recovers. If he has mental illness, then treatment by a physician will help him get better and enable him to get back into the game. He's going to need boundaries set for him by you and your family if he can't do it by himself.

Draw the lines and stick to your guns. Don't give him money. He needs help. Make it a condition of him staying. Life may be full of lemons, but not everybody sits there and looks at them. He needs to get started on his lemonade stand.

Games Families Play


Get support for yourself, and be kind, yet very firm with him. Setting boundaries around what you will or will not accept may be the nudge he needs.

If I can be of further help, just let me know. Please fill out the short feedback form after accepting. Thanks!
Anna and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thanks I'll try to do my best
Thanks for your time Customer
Expert:  Anna replied 7 years ago.
You're most welcome. Remember that you're not alone with this issue.