Online forums

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please complete your profile

Complete your profile

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please join our online community.

Forum membership is open to anyone residing in Australia.

Join the online community Community rules Coping during the Coronavirus outbreak

Forums / Supporting family and friends with a mental health condition (carers) / I’m scared for my brother but don’t know how to help him

Topic: I’m scared for my brother but don’t know how to help him

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. Tusphi
    Tusphi  avatar
    3 posts
    7 April 2018

    My brother told me he has been diagnosed as bi polar which no one in the family knew until his recent divorce. In the past 2 years his father ( whom he had a difficult relationship with) died unexpectedly, his mother was diagnosed dementia and has moved into a nursing home, his wife divorced him, his children have left home and don’t contact him, he was made redundant and has been unable to find work and he has accumulated substantial debt. His medication has caused his weight to balloon, his hands to badly tremor and to profusely sweat. Recently he has spiraled into a deep depression, so bad it takes him 2 days to muster the energy to go to the shop and get food. He has little savings but receives no centrelink support cos he can’t focus enough to register online. I have tried to help but he has cut himself off from everyone. He won’t answer his door, return calls or read sms or Facebook messages /emails and is no longer using social media. He says he needs ‘time out’ but this episode has been going on for weeks now .he just stays holed up alone in his flat. I am really scared cos if he doesn’t get help, worse case he might kill himself and at very least he will soon run out of money in which case will end up homeless cos he has burnt bridges with my husband so cant stay with me. I dunno what to do. Is there some sort of social worker I could call to visit him to sort out centrelink assistance’s a minimum? He won’t deal w me. He badly needs help. We live in a Regional Area.

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Just Sara
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Just Sara avatar
    3398 posts
    7 April 2018 in reply to Tusphi

    Hi Tusphi and welcome;

    What a dreadful situation. I can totally understand your worry; I'm so glad you decided to post. The helplessness you must feel would be horrible.

    As your brother's been diagnosed, I can see he has support for his MH issues. The fact he's staying on his med's tells me he's also self caring in this respect.

    There are options you can take advantage of like the Mental Health Hotline in your state. If you call, they'll help you find avenues to sort thru this mess your brother's created; namely financial support and assessing if he's capable of looking after himself, especially if he's suicidal.

    The other is Centrelink. They can refer you to a Social Worker; I believe they have them on staff and may help you make an appt.

    Another option if you're in NSW is the new govt program called the NDIS. (National Disability Insurance Scheme) Although there needs to be an application made to qualify, initially they can advise on what's available to suit his needs.

    If his situation is as dire as you fear, he needs to be registered as having a MH disability there as well as with Centrelink. (They're separate entities) Without these official 'labels', he'll fall thru the gaps so to speak.

    I'm also concerned about you in all this. Helplessness can eat away at people, so it might be a good idea to talk about your situation with your GP. There may be the option of him/her referring you to a psychologist for yourself.

    You've done well to find the courage to post here so good on you! Keep writing because as we've all learned, talking about our concerns with others who understand is completely therapeutic.

    Drop in anytime ok. I'd love to know how things pan out as well as chat; you obviously need to purge some of that angst and worry hun. I'm in your corner and will help any way I can. You're a good person indeed...

    Caring thoughts;

    Sez

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Doolhof
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Doolhof avatar
    8809 posts
    7 April 2018 in reply to Tusphi

    Hi Tusphi,

    I see that Sez has provided you with a wonderful response. All I can really add to that, is to try all that Sez has suggested, maybe talk to your brother's Dr if at all possible and tell them of your concerns.

    It may be beneficial to call Beyondblue 1300 22 4636 to discuss how you are feeling and also to enquire if they can put you in touch with any organisations that could help in your region.

    You also mentioned you are in a Rural area, the local council may have some suggestions for you. If you have a local telephone book have a look in the resource section of that and see if there are any groups that may be able to assist you.

    I too hope you are able to find some answers. Suffering from depression myself, I know there are sometimes when I desperately need help, but due tot he illness I am unable to accept that. Sometimes people just have to step in and take over if the other person is not able to help themselves.

    All the best, cheers from Dools

    1 person found this helpful
  4. Tusphi
    Tusphi  avatar
    3 posts
    8 April 2018

    Thank you for your support and suggestions. I have been reading up on BiPolar. I had no idea it was so debilitating. I also read in another thread on ur site from a Depression sufferer that writing a letter to the person may help. So I wrote him a letter offering support and explaining my concern for him. Last night, after weeks of a wall of silence, he sent me an email saying my letter made him realise how badly depressed he was, so he has left a message with his GPfor an appointment. So perhaps this is first step in his getting help.

    I am hopeful....

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Doolhof
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Doolhof avatar
    8809 posts
    8 April 2018 in reply to Tusphi

    Hi Tusphi,

    This is great news! Sometimes when we are depressed or suffering from any mental health issue, we may not realise how ill we have become.

    Hopefully the appointment will go well and your brother will begin to receive the help he requires.

    There is so much information available on the internet, on this site and through books to help us learn about mental health issues. I often find helpful books at the library too.

    All the best, cheers to you from Dools

    2 people found this helpful

Stay in touch with us

Sign up below for regular emails filled with information, advice and support for you or your loved ones.


Sign me up