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My brother has depression and calls me all the time, if I dont pick up there and then he gets angry

N

nosliw

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Joined
Apr 6, 2015
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3
My brother has depression and calls me all the time, if I dont pick up there and then he gets angry

Hey Everyone Im new here...

My brother has depression, he's had it for about 4 years and can manage it ok. I do my best to speak to him and support him as much as I can but I work full time and sometimes he calls 3 times a day. I cant answer 3 times a day... he wont see anyone about his illness. Today he called me twice and I couldnt answer so I called him back when I could - he said he didnt want to speak to me and hung up on me - presumably because I didnt answer the first time. Im getting exhausted, I end up feeling guilty for not answering and angry that he's being grumpy and childish about me not being at his beck and call.

I have no idea how to deal with this kind of behvaiour anymore - Im seeing a counseller myself because of my feelings of guilt and my inability to just let the phone ring out and I cant let it go when he is angry with me I take it personally.

Any help / or advice would be great
 
katya

katya

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Joined
Dec 4, 2013
Messages
2,052
Location
England
Hey Everyone Im new here...

My brother has depression, he's had it for about 4 years and can manage it ok. I do my best to speak to him and support him as much as I can but I work full time and sometimes he calls 3 times a day. I cant answer 3 times a day... he wont see anyone about his illness. Today he called me twice and I couldnt answer so I called him back when I could - he said he didnt want to speak to me and hung up on me - presumably because I didnt answer the first time. Im getting exhausted, I end up feeling guilty for not answering and angry that he's being grumpy and childish about me not being at his beck and call.

I have no idea how to deal with this kind of behvaiour anymore - Im seeing a counseller myself because of my feelings of guilt and my inability to just let the phone ring out and I cant let it go when he is angry with me I take it personally.

Any help / or advice would be great
Hello and welcome to the forum.

Your brother has to understand that his problems are too big for any one person to deal with. It's great that you're there for him, but you cannot constitute his entire support network. He needs to incorporate other things so that you don't feel overwhelmed.

It's a common thing with people with depression - I know I've put way too much on one person in the past - because it's hard to reach out and get professional help, but that's what he needs to do at this point, because you have to look after yourself too.

Have you told him you're having to see a counsellor because of all of this? I don't know if you'd want to tell him, but it's important that he understands that he can't put all of this on you; you can't fix him, and he needs to be doing more for himself.

It's understandable he's in this position and I do feel sympathy for him, but I think your main priority right now should be you, then you can help him when you feel well and therefore properly help him.

Wish you and your brother all the best.
 
SarahD

SarahD

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Hi nosliw

Welcome to the forum.

I really feel for you. I suffer from a mental disorder which includes depression, so I feel for your brother. I also have a mentally ill friend who phones me every day in great distress and expects to speak to me for an hour, even when I am seriously unwell myself. So I can relate to your problem from both sides.

Your brother's illness is seriously impacting on your life and you have to look after yourself in all this. You obviously care a lot for your brother or you wouldn't be helping him like this and wouldn't feel so upset he gets upset you don't answer.

I think you need to talk to him about everything, but prepare what exactly you want to cover before you go. (You do say he is managing his depression, I wonder how he is doing this? It doesn't sound like he is, if he needs to phone three times a day.)

This is just an idea, but I would say you have to talk about him and his depression, and about you and your life. So firstly him - is there any other support he can get? How about counselling or therapy or a support group if he doesn't want to take drugs? Maybe get him a list of support phone numbers from mental health charities etc, and perhaps suggest some mental health forums like this one (there are a lot).

Then about you - you care for him and want to help, but you have a full time job and your own life and other commitments, perhaps set a time when it is convenient for him to call you. And tell him you can't take calls at work. I am not sure about telling him it is making you so stressed you need counselling - perhaps you will have to if he won't change.

I don't know if any of this will help, but I wish you well. Sarah
 
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nosliw

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Apr 6, 2015
Messages
3
Thank you for your replies and hugs. I don't think I want to tell him Im having counselling because I think its an extra thing for him to then worry about and also I don't want him to go into the spiral. My experience of trying to tell him that I have my own commitments and a full time job is that he reacts like he's not important to me which of course he is to be honest ( and this sounds bad) I sometimes feel like he's being really childish, I get emotionally punished for not being there and being upbeat whenever required.

And no he doesn't take any drugs or see anyone about his condition he went to see a doctor once but he's paranoid that his illness will go on his record and he will be discriminated against for things like work
 
T

Taffy

Guest
I agree with the advice already given, you need to make yourself a priority.
It's hard to do this I know, but he needs to help himself and see his GP at the very least.
You cannot carry this burden yourself, it is affecting you .
Sending lots of good wishes, hope talking here is helping.
Taffy xxxx
 
N

nosliw

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Joined
Apr 6, 2015
Messages
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Thanks Taffy it has helped actually, I struggle to talk to my other half about it because he gets frustrated that my brother is upsetting me and wants me to stop letting it make me feel guilty but its easier said than done xxx
 
katya

katya

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Dec 4, 2013
Messages
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Location
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Thanks Taffy it has helped actually, I struggle to talk to my other half about it because he gets frustrated that my brother is upsetting me and wants me to stop letting it make me feel guilty but its easier said than done xxx
It is much easier said than done - it's your brother, after all - but I'm so glad you have the support of your partner in this. You must put yourself first, and hopefully your brother will understand that - I think he just probably needs to feel more secure in other support systems so he can relieve the pressure he's putting on you. Wish you all the best.

I'm not sure how you'd go about it, really... Maybe just really push that he goes to the doctor, and remind him about doctor-patient confidentiality: work isn't going to know unless he tells them.
 
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