How to deal with my depressed brother?

It hasn't been diagnosed or anything, but I've noticed that my brother has had quite a few symptoms of depression in the past few months... The only ones that really haven't shown up are suicidal thoughts or cutting, but how should I know if he has that or not? I'm really worried about him, and my parents are too, but they seem to think it's just a phase. They've tried getting several relatives/teachers to talk to him, but he doesn't seem to open up to anybody except for me, and it feels like I'm the only person who can see that this is a serious problem.It's hard to explain what he's like, because I don't know anybody like him... he's the most selfless person I know, and is nice to absolutely everybody, and has never talked badly about anybody in his life. That's why it's so hard to see him talking about how worthless he is, and how nobody really likes him or cares. Whenever he's absent from school, he's surprised to hear that people asked if he was all right. He doesn't believe me when I tell him that most people like him, and that we want to help him. Whenever he catches himself opening up, he immediately stops talking and apologizes for being rude and selfish for talking about his problems, and no matter how many times I tell him that I want to hear his problems and help him he refuses to burden me with his issues.He also wants to be perfect at everything. He's grown up with this idea that he has to get 100% on every assignment, and that he has to make every essay or paper or short answer response better than the last, and he puts so much time into making his homework perfect that he stays up until 3 or 4 in the morning constantly working and still doesn't finish. Whenever he doesn't manage to finish everything or get everything perfect, he's extremely disappointed with himself, and whenever he does do something well he doesn't feel any pride or sense of accomplishment. Whenever I try to explain that you can't be perfect at everything, he asks what the point of life is if you're just mediocre at everything. He doesn't think he's good at anything, and whenever he doesn't understand his homework he calls himself stupid; which is kind of ironic, since all his teachers and fellow classmates see him as a really smart person.He doesn't believe me when I tell him he might have depression. He tells me he doesn't think he needs to see a doctor, or take medication. All I can give him is my advice, and now he's even starting to ignore that. According to him, I have no idea what I'm talking about. I don't know how he feels, so why should he even bother listening to me? I'm a year younger than him, I'm optimistic and I make the same grades as him with little to no effort. He sees me and wonders why he can't do that, and then he feels terrible about himself, and I don't know what to do about it.I'm really, really worried about him. My parents have asked me about him, because they've kind of noticed that he talks to me more, but I'm not really sure what to tell them. Even when if I do tell them about him, I'm not sure if they'll treat the depression as a mental illness... my dad is the kind of person that has spent his entire life dealing with his own problems, and I don't think he'll be very happy about getting outside help or making such a big deal out of it.I'm kind of scared that the list of depression symptoms describes him so well. How on earth am I supposed to get to my brother if he doesn't trust me? How do I convince my parents that he seriously needs help? (Sorry for the huge rant. Thank you so much if you actually read all of that.)

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5 Responses to “How to deal with my depressed brother?”

  1. circumtabular says:

    Most of the failures with antidepressants are associated with prescriptions written by GPs. The most obvious explanation is that GPs offer nothing but presciptions, no therapy. I’m afraid your brother seems like the type of person who only gets temporary relief from a drug. A psychiatrist might prescribe and also refer your brother to a therapist, maybe a clinical psychologist.Your brother doesn’t want to settlle for mediocrity and we can understand that, but it doesn’t seem that he’s accomplishing great things, just burning himself out. If he could change his attitude from wanting perfection to wanting signifcant accomplishment or quality work, I think he’d do better and be happier. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.The two great schools of Chinese philosophy are the teachings of Confucius and Taoism. Many Chinese believe that you should start by following Confucius, the master of ethics and customs, and when you’re thoroughly disciplined in these rules, learn Taoism, which teaches intuition and spontaneity. Your brother seems like he’s all self-discipline and no spontaneity. He doesn’t trust his intuition, and it’s hard to be creative that way. It’s also hard to be a success in life without creativity.

  2. latescence says:

    It sound like your brother is depressed, he need to see a doctor

  3. balteus says:

    Well I have a depressed brother and he’s been in and out of wards. Basically the only thing getting him through it is church, spending time with his family and friends, and writing. He keeps telling me he wants to go back to school.I would def try not to act like “you have a problem I’m here to help you” attitude that may actually push him away. I learned to just have fun with him and be his sister not a doctorOnly when the time is right may encouragement actually be successful

  4. obeliskoid says:

    I read about half your story and your brother seems A LOT like how I use to be. You see the only difference between him and I is that he feels like no one cares about him. Obviously he is wrong cause he has a loving sister. Now, I’m going to try and go a little deeper into answering this question because I know how he feels. You have to understand that your brother probably feels like he just doesn’t fit into society and right now he is right. :( I didn’t fit in either. What you have to understand is to fix a problem like this you have to go into their head. You have to make them understand that they are no different from anyone else in the world other then the way he acts around others. To fix this you need to get him to invite his (guy) friends to your house and let them interact with him. He’ll feel much more comfortable in his own house interacting with the people he trusts (somewhat). Your not going to fix something like this in a week, I’m still working on my own problems after 2 months of self realization. He needs to get into clubs that force him to meet new people and express him self. I know how depressed he feels, in fact I had a knife in my hand once and had to look in the mirror and stop myself from cutting. I’m happy to say I’ve never cut myself but wish your brother the best of luck. I wish I could meet him, and be friends with him but sadly that would be creepy even for me :)

  5. quadriliteral says:

    Hey, by what I read you pretty much described exactly how I used to be. I don’t know if I can give you a right answer but if you would like to chat online or facebook or something shoot me an email at [email not allowed] and I will send you my contact info. I’m not a professional but I can tell you why I was always such a perfectionist and why I was always so harsh on myself, maybe that can help you help your bro.I was super insecure and thought I wasn’t worth while, even though I had great grades and people who liked me I couldn’t accept it, I too was super selfless to the point where I didn’t think my feelings mattered. In my case it had a lot to do with some childhood traumas and pressure to perform, i thought everyone counted on me and I couldn’t put up any emotional boundaries. A LOT of repressed anger, resentment. It takes courage to get in touch with those repressed feelings, it hurts a lot to express them and get in touch with whatever he has been avoiding for so long. But being perfect does not make it go away.Its hard for me to explain but feel free to contact if you want.good luck