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  • Very sensitive subject regarding my brother :-(

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    Old 03-15-2007, 06:16 AM   #1
    liz1104
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    Unhappy Very sensitive subject regarding my brother :-(

    hi,
    i need your help.....my brother has been sad and depressed for a while. our whole entire family has reached out to him to try and help and to express our love and concern. he of course will not respond. he refuses to see a therapist and refuses medical treatment. he was on zoloft several yrs ago for many yrs, but he voluntarily went off it and refuses to go back on it.
    i have not see him since our family Hanukah party in december, i have invited him over several times and never comes over, he has no relationship with my boys, they really do not know who he is. it is so sad.
    well here is the most recent event. passover is coming up and my aunt has invited us to her house, well she sent my brother an email, also let me mention that she is a psychologist. anyway, here are the string of emails that went back and forth:

    MY COUSIN:[/B] "Hey strager. It's been awhile since I have heard from you....I guess like the bears you've once again gone into hibernation. Anyway---Passover is coming up, hopefully, you will join us."

    MY BROTHER: "I'm trying to isolate myself from everyone. I think it best if people start forgetting about me.
    hope you and your family are well"

    MY COUSIN: "Unfortunately for you, that is not under your control. I will never forget how much you have meant to my family and how often you are in our thoughts. So hopefully you will change your mind and come."

    MY BROTHER: "I appreciate that, but I don't expect I'll be around very much longer."

    MY COUSIN: "I am truly sorry to hear that you are considering such a choice. Suicide, if that is what you are talking about, is never a good choice, so I hope that you reconsider and get some help. I still believe in medication and therapy, and from the very little that you have just said---that would be a rational, reasonable choice at this stage."

    this is where the email has stopped, she has not heard a response from him since her last email. i spoke with her for 1 hr last night. she told me that i have done everything right and everything possible, we all have. my dad has early alzheimers and now when his dizzy falling down episodes we dont know what is going on. my dad has tried and tried and tried to reach out to him and each time he comes up empty handed. my mom has also tried, she has cried to him and nothing, no response.

    i think i am going to try and find a counselor who specializes in this, bc i am at a loss and i am scared and sad for him. he is my brother and i love him. we really do not have a relationship anymore b/c he has just slipped through and made no effort. i am always the one to call or email, he has never picked up the phone to see how i am doing or my kids or husband, he is never the one to email me first. i keep trying to get through to him but he wont listen or respond.

    any advice or help would be greatly appreciated. i am so tired and drained between work, my kids, my dad and brother...
    thank you all for listening and please, any help would be wonderful.
    best wishes.
    liz

     
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    Old 03-15-2007, 06:51 AM   #2
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    Re: Very sensitive subject regarding my brother :-(

    this is a really hard thing for the whole family. Unfortunately, in all reality, there is nothing you can do apart from keeping the lines open for him. Nobody can force someone to accept treatment or counselling, and if you do try to push him he will disappear even further away. If the obvious caring and love that you send him has not softened him, I can't see what will. Care for each other, hope and pray. I think any counsellor you consult will tell you that they can only treat someone who is willing to be treated. Get one for yourself, I think your family could do with it to help you all cope.

     
    Old 03-15-2007, 07:12 AM   #3
    Dakota_Skye
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    Re: Very sensitive subject regarding my brother :-(

    hi liz,

    i believe that you are the one who is doing the best in terms of being there for your brother. even though your cousin is a psychologist, you should know that depressive people like us (like me, for example) don't respond to small jokes (i.e., "guess you went into hibernation," etc.), or to "rational" talks or conversations when we're deep down in the depths of hell. they don't mean a damn think to us when we think and feel like suicide is the last option. your brother is very much on the brink, from what you're writing in here, and he definitely needs more help than just a few words of "i hope you'll join us for passover." to tell you the truth, he probably doesn't give a damn about it, or about any other thing under the sun at this point in time. i'm just sorry for you, since you seem like the only one who is really caring enough to take the time to search and inquire as to how to help your brother-- besides the fact that you have all these other problems to deal with.

    your brother doesn't sound like he has a family of his own?! i don't know, im just speculating. he sounds very, very lonely, and there may be some animosity there towards the other family members whom he perceives are better off, if you know what i mean. how old is he, by the way?

    you are so wonderful for trying to find someone who specializes in this. the thing you can do is continue to be there for him, and tell him you love him and care for him (he may not say anything, or may even deny it, i don't know the extent of your relationship--but it seems like he trusts you the most, and i believe he sees that you are the one who really cares, since you're the one to reach out the most, with the phone calls and so on). it means a lot for a depressive to hear that from someone, believe me. even though we don't show it, it means a lot. also, if worse comes to worse, and you think that he is really, really serious about ending his life, or anything like that, i hope to God that you'll know about it somehow, or be there, and call 911. at least you can explain to them that he's been a depressive his whole life, and that he's been trying to put an end to his life. sometimes, liz, one's gotta take the hard way. they may take him in for an evaluation. i don't know this for sure, but i'm just supposing here-- as he would be considered a danger to himself. whenever someone is a danger to themselves, or to others, the cops and hospitals will usually intervene, at least for a little while.... maybe until you find someone who can take over, since i'm sure once at the hospital, they'll medicate him.

    i'm praying for you!!! god bless you and your brother. i really don't know what else to tell you. and don't forget to take care of yourself too, in all of this madness!!!

    p.s. there's always something that can be done, liz, when you truly care and love somebody. i'd never give up on my sister, if she were in your brother's shoes. i'd do anything imaginable under the sun, to help her!!!!!
    shalom!
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    Old 03-15-2007, 07:28 AM   #4
    liz1104
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    Re: Very sensitive subject regarding my brother :-(

    thank you both so much, i will continue to show him that i care and that i do love him, it really breaks my heart and maybe one day, by some miracle, maybe he will come around.

    dakota skye- u r right, he is not married. i guess my question is also this, he works for a huge bank in NYC and does his day to day routine, i dont know how is handling work or how he is doing, but is that a good sign that he can go to work? but it scares me that he is isolating himself from his family.

    thank you again and best wishes to you both,
    liz

     
    Old 03-15-2007, 09:03 PM   #5
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    Re: Very sensitive subject regarding my brother :-(

    hey liz,

    this estrangement from the family makes me wonder..... when did this start? i'm almost sure that besides his own "pure" depression, his issues have something to do with family dynamics here, but it's difficult to say what really happened, when, and why!?! maybe, if you really think about it, you may come up with an answer for yourself-- think about what in the family system may bother him so much, that he chose to distance and detach himself from all/most of you?!

    going to work every day is a good thing. it keeps him busy and may take his mind off of his sadness; he may feel productive there, like he actually means something in this world; maybe he gets some self-esteem from his career, and that seems to be the only place where he is getting any kind of reinforcement from, nowadays. like i said before though, you are a very good sister for keeping in touch with him and for watching out for him. continue to talk with him, and maybe even visit with him when you have some time. you said you have other problems with your dad, and you have your own family, but you also said you love your brother. it seems to me that besides you, there are few others in the family who are actually going to such great lengths to "save" this man/your brother from himself. i may not know what the heck i'm talking about, since i only base my information on the little that you're writing about on here. but, i truly hope that somehow, you will be able to dig through those very thick walls he has built around himself, and find out the truth. if not you, liz, then who? only you can answer that.
    God bless!!!
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    Old 03-16-2007, 12:19 AM   #6
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    Re: Very sensitive subject regarding my brother :-(

    Wow! You have a very close family and your brother is very lucky to have all of you. I think all you can do is just keep calling him and checking up on him. Dakota's right, it does make a difference to us depressives if someone calls or writes or shows any sort of concern. We may not smile, but it may keep us from crying. Hang in there. I think you're doing very well. Please remember to also take care of you and NOT to feel guilty if anything bad shall come of this. From what I see, you are doing your best. Only he can ultimately help himself. Let us know how everything goes.

     
    Old 03-16-2007, 07:18 AM   #7
    liz1104
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    Re: Very sensitive subject regarding my brother :-(

    thank you, thank you and thank you.
    you all have been so kind and helpful.
    i will keep you posted...
    all the best to you!
    liz

     
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