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Question
Posted by: Brother-in-need | 2008/05/28

Please help my brother pull through

My brother is nearing a break-down. He is 28 and has not done a thing for himself. He lives for his friends, even moves from his bed for him, pays their rent, pays for their entertainment, etc.
When he has a girlfriend his friends always make a plan to get rid of her whilst they continue with their own relationships which are maintained by my brother. He becomes defensive and is always protective over his friends. He takes money from the business which he does not account for. He is the youngest therefore my mother feels the need to protect him. She built a recording studio for him which he lets everyone use without payment. I work hard and for this reason he feels that I hate him as I would ask questions. Recently he has been drowning his sorrows in alcohol. He is overweight and seems to be a loner even when he has his crew around. He called me last Saturday crying uncontrollably asking for forgiveness for things he's done to me. I responded by saying I accept his apology and saying that we can work through his problems and ensure that he functions. He is not independent in thought from his friends and allows them to manipulate him. The next day he called me, charging at me asking me why I hate him so much. I fear that he might do something stupid like end his life. I feel that he can benefit from speaking to a shrink who's around his age group who can help him iron out things and give him options. What do you think I should do? How can I help him? Please help me.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

He is adult, and entitled to be foolish. And unless HE recognizes that he has a problem and needs help, its really not practical for anyone else to intervene. Your mother should stop sponsoring him when he wastes what he gets by giving it to unworthy others. She shopuld rather sponsor him seeing a shrink. But she probably wont stop, from what you say. Sounds like he has terribly low self-esteem, and feel he can only get "friends" by buying them. Which of course need not be true at all. And he doesn't need a shrink of his own age, with limited life experience, but someone older and more mature, more of a role model

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