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Question
Posted by: Lucy | 2004/01/12

How to deal with aggressive brother.

I am very worried about my 23 year old brother. He seems to have no direction in life and he is becoming more agressive every day. After he finished school he did a correspondence course from home - half way through he decided that Graphic Design was not for him, but since he could not find anything else he was interested in he completed the course. My father then bought my brother a video store - thinking that this will give him the opportunity to earn an income, develop some business skills and also allow him enough time to study part time. He's had the shop for 4 years now and apart from helping the clients he refuses to do anything else - my parents must do the cleaning, the orders, the books etc etc.

My dad has threatened on numerous occasions to sell the shop if he does not get his act together but then my brother gets VERY agressives. I visited my parents over the Christmas holidays and my brother confessed to me that he does not know what is wrong with him, but he feels aggressive all the time and if someone just looks at him the wrong way he wants to hit them.

He is also in a relationship with a very nice girl, but he is in total control of her - he decides when he will go and visit etc and they almost never go out together - if he wants to somewhere he will take one of his friends and leave her at home. She is totally blinded by him and will never leave him - which is sorry because I think that is exactly what I thinks he needs.

He has developed this attitude of being "the man". All the local high school boys gather at his shop after school and I think this makes him feel very important - but he cannot relate to guys of his own age.

This situation is putting a lot of strain on the relationship between my parents. My mom is covering for my brother while he and my father is constantly fighting.

I feel as if I need to help them but I do not know how - please help.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Dear Lucy,
Sounds like High School was the last time your brother felt like a Big Man, and as if he resents having to grow up and face the responsibilities a genuine Big Man would face, and to still be behaving like a spoilt adolescent ( on the good days ! ). This sounds like a personality disorder rather than an illness as such. It can be helped, by psychotherapy / skilled counselling, by an expert who won't let him use his regular excuses, and will confront him with the need to change and help him to achieve such change --- but this is impossible unless he accepts, sincerely, that he DOES have a problem and that he DOES need to change --- and that this requires both expert input and hard work by he, himself. If he can manage to face that and start treatment, then there will also be an essental need to change your mother's way of protecting him from the consequences of his bad decisions. Like weaning, though it may be resented at first, it is important to know when to withhold the teat and the bottle, and get the child to engage with the realities of life.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Been there | 2004/01/12

There are two things going on here from what I can gather...
1 Your brother may be depressed. Sometimes when men are drepressed they resort to violence instead of crying-its more acceptable when you are a man to get angry than it is to cry. He is obviously very frustrated with himself for not making something of himself-you must realise he probably feels trapped & useless & disheartened. When someone points out his failures (When he already knows them all to well) of course he would blow his lid-wouldn't you?

2 He also seems to have some serious "authority" issues (Controlling his girlfriend & using aggression to get his own way, not being able to be around people his own age but feeling comfortable around those younger than he is). You have got to find out WHY.
Does he see the strain he is putting on your parents & if so does he care? If he does maybe he'll stop acting like a spoiled brat & get his act together-I don't see how his girlfriend leaving him is going to make him wake up-she has nothing to do with his apathy its your parents who are coddling him (Well your is mom anyway). But your dads " Kick him when he is down" attitude is not going to help iether.
Yes he needs a wake up call-but maybe he needs help (Psychological) before he can see his way out of his situation & want to move forward instead of stagnating. He seems to be able to talk to you, so maybe you should sit him down (not in a threatening way-no blaming him or nagging him ) & let him talk. Otherwise it sounds like you guys have enough money to get him proffessional help if he wants to go.
Good Luck

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