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My Brother

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My younger brother has major depression and he's suicidal. He has therapists and doctors but he doesn't want to talk to him. How do we help him reach out for help? ... :\


Antiquities Friend
Its very hard to make someone accept help especially if they are in a really bad place. All you can do is tell him how you feel and that you are concerned for him and be there for him as long as he needs you if you are truthful and tell him you think he needs extra help in a kind way maybe he will listen.


Mama Bear - TLC, Common Sense
I'm sorry he is feeling so badly, but I'm glad he has a family that cares. He has a good supportive sibling in you. I hope that you are taking care of yourself during this time. It is not easy to see a loved one in such a dark place.

When he is receptive, suggest he seek help. If he is a present and immediate danger to himself or others, call the paramedics.

In general, offer to listen to him, and then listen without judging him. (Comments like "Don't be silly/stupid" "Don't do that to us" "Snap out of it" "Pull up your socks" are not really supportive. Comments like, "I'm sorry you're so sad" "I'm here, I'm listening, and always will listen" "I love you" are more supportive.)

Distract him by going out places and including him...a walk, a movie, coming over to watch tv. Just "being there" for him.

Thinking of you...:hug:
Thank you so much for your advice :)

Yeah, I figured that saying things like "Pull up your socks" or "snap out of it" would just be all the more hurtful to him.

He doesn't want to talk to anyone right now, and he's driving himself crazy - and he doesn't take his medication either, unless we force him. Basically, he's stuck in a rut, and we're trying hard to get him out of it...

Thank you all for the well wishes <3

total eclipse

SF Friend
Staff Alumni
it is hard to see your bro suffer All one can do is listen and be there for him YOu can leave pamphlets around so he can read them like help lines crisis lines so if he feels need to call someone he has the number handy. Maybe just spend time together go to movies somewhere he is not overwhelmed but if he is in danger please have numbers ready to call okay so he can get help he needs hugs
Yeah, I would spend time with him, he just doesn't want to. We can't really leave him alone, but yeah ... he's in a bit of a rut right now.
I do have numbers and things like that. We're all trying to work towards understanding his needs and taking careful care of him, but it's hard when he pushes everyone away.

Thank you so much, btw.

total eclipse

SF Friend
Staff Alumni
YOur right it is hard you cannot force him to get help but perhaps let him know medication will help him will give him more energy Maybe there is a councellor at your school you can talk to okay. It is important to look after YOU too I hope he comes around but if you get too worried get your parents to take him to emerg okay so doctor can help him.
yeah, you're right. I can't force him to do anything, but it's so difficult to see him beat himself up like this. He's already seeing a therapist, but it doesn't seem to be working out so well for him. He's so closed up, and he just wants to be alone, and it's so hard for us to talk to him.

He had a bit of an episode today, with my dad, and it ended in a full blown fight over nothing - he just got so upset at the littlest thing that someone said. It was really stupid, my dad just told him to do something, and my dad was slightly frustrated, so he said it in a slightly annoyed tone, and it really affected my brother. It took a while to calm him down.

I have no clue what he's thinking, or why he's feeling this way, but it's really... hard to watch? I dunno. I've never personally had any of what he does, so I have no idea what to do. I' suppose I'm trying to be reassuring, but it's really not doing anything..

Emotionally, he's really all over the place, and it's so hard for us to take care of him because he doesn't want to talk to anyone about it. I'm not sure if it's because he feels that it makes him weak, or pathetic, or if he doesn't realise that he's got a problem. It's really taking a toll on everything at the moment. No one in my family's had anything like this before, so no one really understands what he's thinking, and he doesn't want to help us understand.

total eclipse

SF Friend
Staff Alumni
he doesn't understand either hun there could be no reason just chemical imbalance and it can be fixed so easily with meds or it could be he has a good reason i hope he can open up a bit more. if therapist not working then time perhaps get him a new one All this is so much stress on you YOU need to look after YOU too okay you talk to councillors at your school you get help t o deal with this The councillor at your school willalso be able to watch your brother closely if you tell them what is happening. Hugs to you
I dunno, I'm not too worried about myself at the moment ... maybe he needs medication, maybe he needs more, but who knows. He doesn't want to talk, and it's impossible to get through to him. Kinda wish that I know how he's feeling, so we could help him through it.

Thanks a lot. Hugs to you too!

total eclipse

SF Friend
Staff Alumni
when he is ready he will talk all you can do is continue to let him know you care and will be there if he ever wants to talk. I know it is hard to think about you with all this going on but you need care too okay to keep strong
Your a good brother Dulce.

The main thing with depression is actually knowing that people understand it. Both the sufferer and the people around them. Many who get depression think it is their fault - will see themselves as a failure and not open up to anyone. Some hide it - but you are right in asking how to approach him.

As his brother you know his nature - I mean some men will not want to talk about it - but if you tell him its just an illness - something that is biological, he might recognise you see him as someone who just has a particular illness or condition. Not as someone who is 'mad'. Depression is not insanity its more a condition which effects the emotions, makes it hard to become 'happy' not because we are miserable sods, but due to the brain not being able to produce the chemicals which give us a 'feel good' feeling.

Your brother might not understand the basic process of depression. Depends how much he has looked into it. Often people are just despondent being diagnosed and can do little to research depression which can be a great help.

I'd say your brother could do with coming on here. I have what he has - so do many others. He might be feeling lonely as hell not being able to talk about this - and he would also learn so much about depression that is always a help. There are other forums and websites which help but this is ran in a manner in which people keep their privacy and the site is well policed, or moderated.

You have to know 'the enemy' as I call it. Understanding it can help us as we recognise the way it works and learn skills and techniques to combat it.

Print this off and ask your bro to read it. If he has a computer then he can read this website and dismiss it and us as a bunch of idiots if what he reads does not sound like what he is going through. Sometimes, when you feel like you are in a hell - it means a lot to know others are in it and looking for a way out.

We are unlucky - we got depression which will be traced in the DNA soon and mapped in areas of the brain (being done as we speak). We're at an age when we will defeat it medically, maybe with some simple procedure, but till then we still have many effective meds and ways and means to FIGHT BACK.

Like your brother, I pushed people away, but that is what depression does. It has cycles though and if you get your bro in some half decent mood, maybe he will open a little. Keeping this to ourselves is a bad thing - you have to tell someone but often as not we try to hide it from loved ones. Once you understand its just an illness like many others - you don't feel so wary about discussing what your brother may see as a failure on his behalf - letting you all down and so on.

He is not a failure anymore than someone who currently has a broken leg is a failure.

Broken bones heal - minds heal also and its amazing to see the change in some who have lived through hell but got their lives together step by step. You can get educated, marry, work and deal with depression. Hope your bro realises that when he does feel a little bit better in himself. Winston Churchill had it also - does he sound like a failure?

People with depression work in all areas of life. The stigma is still there but we are seeing a gradual understanding as EVERY family will have someone affected by depression at some time. Those who get help stand the best chance of getting better. Those who can talk about it - even just to a few close family members, will feel a whole lot better in themselves. It is a relief when you tell them - because when we suffer depression we can take it out on others without realising the hurt we feel. Once people around you know what you have - you tell them you love them but the depression might make it seem otherwise sometimes.

In the meantime, let him know that he is loved - but don't push the issue. Let him read this website - because if he is depressed he will want to be better in his heart of hearts. This can happen. Many people have done it and many are winning the struggle.

Your brother is lucky to have you as a brother - your family sounds real nice also. Many here have struggled without that kind of support and it makes it a lot harder - even causes problems especially if depressed people are constantly put down and made to feel its their own fault. Thankfully he does not have that - just be careful not to be too over-sensitive and treat him with kid gloves. The main aim is to just see how he feels about this depression - whether he understands the biology and the psychology a little. If he does its easier to talk about it because he will not feel 'embarrassed' about something that is just an illness.

Good luck and God bless also.

It is admirable that you show this concern and would take the time and effort to research it and come here.

Maybe its fate - you found one of the best sites out there for people with depression to hang out and chat about anything really. The main thing is just having support here off people who are either suffering from it or those who suffer and have it under control and those who kick it into touch.
Yeah ... thank you so much for your support.

Being his older sister, I don't think he thinks that I understand what he's going through. I'm not that much older than he is - so I dunno if he'd listen to me very much.

I really do like the idea of him coming onto the forum, but the thing is, he already refused, point blank. I mentioned to him that a support group with people who understand might be more helpful than he expects it to be. He wasn't too happy with what I said, for some reason. He doesn't want to fix this problem, or he thinks talking about it shows him to be weak. I'm not really sure, since he doesn't tell me exactly what he's thinking.

As far as brother-sister relationships go, we've always been relatively close. He's never really had this problem before - it's lasted about a year so far, and all it does is seem to get worse.

He seemed especially down today... I shouldn't even say today, it's a day, just like any other. I dunno, eventually, this might just heal itself, or he might need an extra push.

Anyway, we're trying to take care of him the best we can - or at least, as much as he'll let us. He had another stupid fight with my mother today, this time, and it's almost as though the tiniest of things will drive him insane. Like I said in my last post, it's almost impossible to get him in a positive mood, I don't think he's been in one in a while.

What are your opinions on physical affection? A lot of people have told me things like "give him support/be reassuring/tell him that you're there for him." Sometimes, he doesn't exactly listen when we talk, so should we attempt to do things like hugs, kisses, pats on the back - etc. etc. Do you think we should just give him his space, or should we stay with him? Since he has displayed suicidal tendencies, we can't exactly leave him completely alone.

He has another therapist appointment today, and from what I heard from my mother, he refused to talk to her at all. It's so hard for anyone to properly help him because he refuses to talk.

What are your views on therapists? I asked this in the chatroom, but I'll ask again - how exactly do you find the right one?

Thank you so much for your advice and your well wishes.
He used to love cross country running and going outside, but now, he just wants to be alone. How do I convince him to do the things that he once enjoyed?

total eclipse

SF Friend
Staff Alumni
Until he gets therapy or on medication that will be hard depression takes everything we once enjoyed away. Get some pamphlets okay about depression leave them in his room so he read them so he can educate himself . He will see it is an illness that can get better.
How do you get him to love the things he once did I think somehow get him out and get him doing them again hugs to you


Well-Known Member
Finding therapists depends on where you are. If your employer (your parents employer) supplies medical benefits that can extend to psych, then you can schedule appointments with them. They will usually have a pool of people that you can try out.
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