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(Might be triggering) I need help with my brother, please. I'm desperate

Kuri

Kuri

Member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
14
My brother (28m) has struggled with ocd most of his life. He has always had rituals, most of them involving me, but since last year it's been out of control. His psychiatrist says it's one of the most difficult cases he's ever seen. He often talks about suicide, and has to take so many meds that he just sleeps all day. He's basically sedated.

Exactly one year ago, we went on a trip and he forgot to bring his medication. Now, my brother is a big fan of anime. He has a crush on a girl from a show. It used to be an innocent thing, he would comment on that whenever we were watching the show together. But during the trip, while he was off his medication, he saw an episode where someone flirted with the girl. He flew into a fit of rage, and after many rituals, compulsively asking me questions about her, he made me look for any video where that guy flirted with another girl that wasn't her.

Ever since he got back from the trip, it's been the same thing. He insists on watching the show, but now it has extended to everything in his life. He compares every girl on tv shows with her, to make sure she is "perfect", according to his standards. He even makes me google pics so he can compare their bodies. Especially their breasts. It's embarrassing to say this and he would kill me if he knew but he doesn't want to tell his psychiatrist because he says it's embarrassing, he knows it's not a rational thing to do. I'm afraid to watch the show with him because if someone flirts with her he gets really mad, makes me google proof that they aren't really flirting, and sometimes it takes me hours to do so, looking up stuff on Wikipedia and forums and whatnot, looking for something that can convince him. sometimes I have to make stuff up, copy a Wikipedia page and photoshop the made up text so he can believe it without noticing. It's exhausting you guys. Also the rituals are way too many and too long, I have to stand still and answer the same questions, mostly about that anime girl, over and over again, while he stands facing the wall. Idk what to do.


Im aware that the rituals only feed into OCD. I've tried to explain this to him, his psychiatrist keeps telling him the same, but he just won't listen. He gets anxious and threatens with taking his own life if I don't help him, because his life will be miserable if I don't. I've had anxiety attacks because of this, I started having them last year, whenever I wasn't able to google the right answer for his questions and he would get more and more angry and blame it on me. That's when I started faking the answers with photo editors. It takes me an hour to do it on my phone, while he stares at me waiting for me to find the right answer on Google. But then I show him the edited page and he doesn't notice . I feel that my mental health is slowly deteriorating too. Sometimes, he even gets my dog involved, poor pup is so smart he already knows exactly what he has to do when my brother starts with his rituals. The rituals are almost automatic. Sometimes he asks me questions, lately about this particular tv character, the same every day, so he just makes a noise and I answer with another, like saying it super fast. At the beginning there were real questions, mostly about the topic he is obsessed with, but now he just asks them super fast and I answer automatically with a noise. Something like, he asks "mmh?" And I answer "mmh". Many times, while facing the wall. Those used to be real questions and answers but mow it's all a ritual, so it's fast. Its hard to explain. Sorry if this is confusing, or triggering to some people.

It's just heartbreaking to see him like this, he was doing great up until last year. He had a social life, lots of friends who cared (still do, but lately he doesn't want to hang out with people, just when I bring people over) about him, and was doing amazingly well. But then he forgot to bring the pills on the trip, and he didn't take them for a whole month. He's on more than 8 different pills at the moment, lithium, anti depressants, tons of stuff. But I still don't see any real improvement. I'm desperate. And there's no way to convince him to tell his therapist about those things he considers embarrassing.

I've tried to find info about similar cases EVERYWHERE, and I can't find anyhting at all that compares to what he does. Yes when he was little he used to flick the switch many times and sometimes wasn't able to touch his phone for months at a time, and stuff like that, but now it's a whole new level and I just can't find anything remotely similar online. Three years ago, he had a bad period of 5 months or so, where he would get mad whenever I brought people over. He would be angry up until they were gone, and then I had to answer lots of questions about the friends, that ended up being just noises back and forth, just like now. When I stopped bringing people over, he said I had to be home by 11pm or he would never speak to me again because that would hurt him so much. So I had a curfew, so to speak, and during those 5 months I had to make up excuses not to meet with my friends, partner, anyone. I've sacrificed so much, even if saying this sounds selfish. And now the situation is different, I can go out and bring people over but his mental health is even wose than before.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. I just don't know what to do.
 
Lance__

Lance__

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 21, 2019
Messages
257
Location
Spain
Seem you have a lot going on in your life right now :hug: I can feel from your writing that you are a goodhearted person and that you deeply love your brother. But your (mental) health comes first. Sorry if this sounds cruel, but you should be able to live your own life without lies, without spending hours in photoshop, the anxiety attacks, and so much distress. I know it's important to care about people we love, but not in the expense of your own health. Do you have other family members to support you and your brother?
Hope you can find some relief expressing your feelings in this forum
:grouphug:
 
Kuri

Kuri

Member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
14
Seem you have a lot going on in your life right now :hug: I can feel from your writing that you are a goodhearted person and that you deeply love your brother. But your (mental) health comes first. Sorry if this sounds cruel, but you should be able to live your own life without lies, without spending hours in photoshop, the anxiety attacks, and so much distress. I know it's important to care about people we love, but not in the expense of your own health. Do you have other family members to support you and your brother?
Hope you can find some relief expressing your feelings in this forum
:grouphug:
Thnak you so much for taking the time to read my post, and for your kind words. I know my mental health is important, but every time I try to talk to him about not helping with his rituals, he gets extremely agitated and threatens to take his own life. I wouldn't be able to live with that. It's like a black hole sucking me in, I know my mental health is deteriorating as well. I see myself doing things that don't make sense to me and now they are a part of my daily life, like photoshopping answers about a tv show just to soothe him. I keep them on my phone in case he asks the same question again, so I don't have to edit a new one from scratch.

But I just can't "abandon" him. We have our mom, and close friends who know about his ocd, but they don't really know about all of this. My mom knows a bit more because sometimes when we or she visits, she sees him doing rituals and she also worries a lot about my health. She wants me to move away from him, but I'm positive he will kill himself if I did. He moved to Japan when I did just because he didn't want to be away from me, and from my help. I'm almost 30, I feel like I can't have a life and I will never have a family because he needs me 24/7. I barely socialize lately, I miss seeing my friends more often. Confinement has only made things worse. I feel so selfish complaining because he must feel terrible inside, I know he does, after every difficult ritual he hugs me and cries and says I'm an angel. I can't abandon him.
 
Lance__

Lance__

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 21, 2019
Messages
257
Location
Spain
You are not selfish :hug: actually you seem to be the complete opposite, an empathetic and caring person. But sometimes this kind of people are the ones put others first, which is not always advisable and they end up suffering too much. Maybe starting therapy yourself will help you, and sharing with others, you mum included, more about what's really going on with your brother, because you are only 30, you are very young, and have all your life ahead. You deserve to feel free, to be happy, and not to carry all that burden by yourself.
:grouphug:
 
Kuri

Kuri

Member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
14
Thank you so much, really. It means a lot. I thought about starting therapy but then I always go back to thinking "he will get better soon so I will feel okay again". So I wait, and keep helping him. I don't want to share it with friends or my mom, because if he found out, I don't know what he would do. I'm pretty sure my mom has a good idea though, without the specifics. After all, he was diagnosed when he was only 8 years old, so she's witnessed a lot already...
 
Lance__

Lance__

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 21, 2019
Messages
257
Location
Spain
Therapy can be very helpful. And you don't have to see/wait if your brother is better or not in order to decide going to therapy or not for yourself. Therapy is about you, not your brother :hug: It is about yourself and your feelings, without taking into account how your brother is doing. You are already suffering. You deserve that time only for you.
:grouphug:
 
Kuri

Kuri

Member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
14
Thank you so much! I'll try and look for something, because it really is taking a toll on me and I could use someone to talk about it on a regular basis...
 
D

DaxxMH

Member
Joined
May 6, 2020
Messages
8
Location
Wyoming
This is my advice. I would ask your brother if he would commit suicide if you didn’t help him. If he says yes, then I would get emergency help immediately. If someone is threatening suicide, they’re not safe. Let a hospital take care of your brother where he’ll be safe. I’m glad I’ve gone to the hospital twice when I needed to because I’m still alive, and I got the help I needed.
 
JessisMe

JessisMe

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2020
Messages
3,486
Location
Nashua NH
My brother (28m) has struggled with ocd most of his life. He has always had rituals, most of them involving me, but since last year it's been out of control. His psychiatrist says it's one of the most difficult cases he's ever seen. He often talks about suicide, and has to take so many meds that he just sleeps all day. He's basically sedated.

Exactly one year ago, we went on a trip and he forgot to bring his medication. Now, my brother is a big fan of anime. He has a crush on a girl from a show. It used to be an innocent thing, he would comment on that whenever we were watching the show together. But during the trip, while he was off his medication, he saw an episode where someone flirted with the girl. He flew into a fit of rage, and after many rituals, compulsively asking me questions about her, he made me look for any video where that guy flirted with another girl that wasn't her.

Ever since he got back from the trip, it's been the same thing. He insists on watching the show, but now it has extended to everything in his life. He compares every girl on tv shows with her, to make sure she is "perfect", according to his standards. He even makes me google pics so he can compare their bodies. Especially their breasts. It's embarrassing to say this and he would kill me if he knew but he doesn't want to tell his psychiatrist because he says it's embarrassing, he knows it's not a rational thing to do. I'm afraid to watch the show with him because if someone flirts with her he gets really mad, makes me google proof that they aren't really flirting, and sometimes it takes me hours to do so, looking up stuff on Wikipedia and forums and whatnot, looking for something that can convince him. sometimes I have to make stuff up, copy a Wikipedia page and photoshop the made up text so he can believe it without noticing. It's exhausting you guys. Also the rituals are way too many and too long, I have to stand still and answer the same questions, mostly about that anime girl, over and over again, while he stands facing the wall. Idk what to do.


Im aware that the rituals only feed into OCD. I've tried to explain this to him, his psychiatrist keeps telling him the same, but he just won't listen. He gets anxious and threatens with taking his own life if I don't help him, because his life will be miserable if I don't. I've had anxiety attacks because of this, I started having them last year, whenever I wasn't able to google the right answer for his questions and he would get more and more angry and blame it on me. That's when I started faking the answers with photo editors. It takes me an hour to do it on my phone, while he stares at me waiting for me to find the right answer on Google. But then I show him the edited page and he doesn't notice . I feel that my mental health is slowly deteriorating too. Sometimes, he even gets my dog involved, poor pup is so smart he already knows exactly what he has to do when my brother starts with his rituals. The rituals are almost automatic. Sometimes he asks me questions, lately about this particular tv character, the same every day, so he just makes a noise and I answer with another, like saying it super fast. At the beginning there were real questions, mostly about the topic he is obsessed with, but now he just asks them super fast and I answer automatically with a noise. Something like, he asks "mmh?" And I answer "mmh". Many times, while facing the wall. Those used to be real questions and answers but mow it's all a ritual, so it's fast. Its hard to explain. Sorry if this is confusing, or triggering to some people.

It's just heartbreaking to see him like this, he was doing great up until last year. He had a social life, lots of friends who cared (still do, but lately he doesn't want to hang out with people, just when I bring people over) about him, and was doing amazingly well. But then he forgot to bring the pills on the trip, and he didn't take them for a whole month. He's on more than 8 different pills at the moment, lithium, anti depressants, tons of stuff. But I still don't see any real improvement. I'm desperate. And there's no way to convince him to tell his therapist about those things he considers embarrassing.

I've tried to find info about similar cases EVERYWHERE, and I can't find anyhting at all that compares to what he does. Yes when he was little he used to flick the switch many times and sometimes wasn't able to touch his phone for months at a time, and stuff like that, but now it's a whole new level and I just can't find anything remotely similar online. Three years ago, he had a bad period of 5 months or so, where he would get mad whenever I brought people over. He would be angry up until they were gone, and then I had to answer lots of questions about the friends, that ended up being just noises back and forth, just like now. When I stopped bringing people over, he said I had to be home by 11pm or he would never speak to me again because that would hurt him so much. So I had a curfew, so to speak, and during those 5 months I had to make up excuses not to meet with my friends, partner, anyone. I've sacrificed so much, even if saying this sounds selfish. And now the situation is different, I can go out and bring people over but his mental health is even wose than before.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. I just don't know what to do.
I would do your best to tell your brothers psychiatrist about this. Oftentimes practitioners like this are unable to provide others with information about their clients or patients but they are able to listen to people’s concerns. I would see if this is something his psychiatrist would be open too.
Also, encourage your brother to talk about it. Of course it’s embarrassing. But honesty is the only way we can get real help for the problems we have. Many people have embarrassing things that they share with their counselors and psychiatrists l. That is why there are strict privacy policies protecting the patient/practitioner relationship. I might possibly even tell your brother that you cannot help him anymore with these issues unless he discusses with his psychiatrist. You might even ask to be out on a list so you and the psychiatrist can discuss your brothers case openly since you seem to be his main care provider. You need to be given the right tools to help him with his issues and behavior and it enable them. Your attention to your brother is beautiful and he is very fortunate to have you in his life like this. Good luck! xo, j
 
Kuri

Kuri

Member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
14
Hi (again) Cris. How are you today? (Tell me, really)

I don't want to tell you what to think but I think (when I reread what you wrote): what you have is the Survivor Guilt, to the T. You talked about the life you live and subconsciously you feel guilty that you get to live the 360-degree full-round life while your brother's life is limited, restrained.

First, Cris, it's not your fault. What happened to your brother and what he has to go through now is not your fault. You do not have to carry the weight of the whole world on your shoulders. You seem to throw yourself under the crushing weight of nerve-racking responsibility day in day out to protect not only your brother but also your mom. Is a shared-responsibility not possible? Can your brother for example stay with your mom during the weekends so you can have your own life? Yes, of course your brother will freak out (he followed you all the way to Japan because that's the only thing he knows to do: you need to change this) because change is never comfortable even for us. What you need to try is to start a new "ritual" for him. Habit-forming. Once he is comfortable and adjusted to the new "ritual", he will even pack his bag when the weekend comes. Can you see this happening in the near future?

Another idea is you are the one who schedule an Alone Time in the weekends: c
an you find someone you can trust to spend time with your brother: start with once a week, establish the habit, pay that someone professionally even (sort of a sitter), train that someone to understand the "ritual" and all. To remember: do not back down on Trial and Error. As long as you know your brother is safe spending time with this person* (perhaps a trusted, vetted relative/friend with compassion); if he throws a fit, do not drop the plan (after all, he has learned what will work for you: him throwing a fit). Once your brother is comfortable enough with this person, you can start adding the frequency.

Habit is what makes us human feel safe. Habit is what makes us human not sounding the alarm of threat in our brain because it feels familiar. The key is to create a new obsession for him: try to start and instill a positive, helpful habit. I repeat: not a destructive/deranged obsession, but what can better him thus better your life. For example, when he's in a happy mood, you can casually say, "Hey, by the way, I've started taking this online class, OMG it's super fun and interesting and all, maybe we can take this together?" This way you will establish not only habit in his life, but also schedule. Sometimes we feel lost in our lives because we do not have schedule to follow.

It will help him as well to feel needed. It will put the power in his hand. It will make him feel he has a purpose in his life too. Obsessions often stem from a low self-esteem (therefore his insecurity and raging jealousy). Having one thing to do that he can call his own/to feel functional will help him to heighten his self esteem. So an alternative to the talk above can be, "Hey, by the way, I've started taking this online class, OMG it's super fun and interesting and all, but this (particular part) is sooo difficult. I know you are better than me in this. Maybe we can take this class together?"

Second: you are enough, and you have done more than enough. And no, you are not at all a bad person for thinking that you've had enough on some days. No, you are not at all a bad person for thinking that you want to get the f_ck out of here on some days, leaving everything behind. You are mentally exhausted. You are drained because the only thing you do is giving away all you've got for your brother. You need to start receiving too! With the current condition around the world, a Saturday Night out might not be possible. So stay home in your room for example*. Watch funny shows. Sleep long hours. Eat healthily. Date (start online perhaps). Take care of yourself.

Don't be too hard on yourself. You are better than the Marvel Superheroes for what you have been working on day in day out for your brother. And yes, you deserve a life too. Please think about it and find a way to live your life.

I'm here if you need to talk, rant, vent. Send me messages and I'll do my best to support you. Please take care! x
Just pm'd you! Thank you so so much for this.
 
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