Help me help my little brother?

Discussion in 'Braaaaiiiinnnns...' started by NonesuchSoul, Jan 4, 2019.

  1. NonesuchSoul

    NonesuchSoul New Member

    So, disclaimer here: This is based on double-hearsay. I was related a story told by someone else by the person to whom it was told. I wasn't there for the events that neccessitate this post but I have no reason to assume that any of this isn't true.

    I have a younger brother (both of us are in our 20s) who I've been convinced has been dealing with some kind of depression for a few years now. He takes after the other side of the family so he's a little self-absorbed and prone to fits of temper (which unfortunately he inherrited from our mother). He started smoking a little while back, drinks more than I'm comfortable with (but I'm not one for alcohol to begin with, so I'm not the greatest measure), he sleeps a lot and has a pretty short fuse in general.

    So today, on a two-hour car-ride with my mother, she told me that my brother had tried or was considering trying to kill himself.

    Last night my mother (we both still live at home, it being 2019 and whatnot) received a call from one of his coworkers, who had apparently gone into his file at work to get his emergency contact as a result of her being unsettled with an interaction they'd had. It's worth noting that the two of them did have some sort of relationship at one point, which has since ceased, and that my brother (and myself for that matter) both tend to do poorly following the end of those.

    He apparently had come by her house, had talked about wanting to end his life, and had a length of rope. I'm unclear if he'd actually tried it or if he's just walking up to the edge of that particular jump.

    We live in Canada around Toronto, to be specific. I suffer from depression which everyone but our fossil of a father is aware of, and medicated for it.

    He has a fear of being put under an involuntary psychiatric hold.
    We (my mother and I) are concerned of burning what seems to otherwise be a healthy relationship if we talk to him about this, since it might neccessitate explaining the call. And if there is a next time, we might not have that call.

    If it was up to me and that was the only concern on the table, I'd try to see him committed, just so he could get the help. He rocks the toxic masculinity stuff a little hard I think, and asking for help is not something that is going to come to him easily. We don't get on well, but we don't hate each other and I certainly don't want to see him dead, but I'm not sure if my talking to him is going to make a difference.

    I've been looking into what a psych hold constitutes here in Ontario, and the amount of paperwork to have someone in longer than the 72 hours (already requiring the usual "presents a danger to themself or others" to get it) seems to be significant. And if my little brother is like anyone else, his understanding of what psychiatric medicine looks like is probably badly informed by the media.

    Our family doctor referred me to a program with one of the local university hospitals that specializes in mental health and addiction, since the psych work at the local hospital was sort of terrible (not relevant to the story).

    Any advice you can put together here would be helpful. I'll try to answer questions as able, but as mentioned it's not my story.
  2. Chiomi

    Chiomi Master of Disaster

    I think calling the university hospital program would probably work really well - they'd be able to tell you what local resources are available and most recommended. They'll also be able to tell you more practically what a short inpatient stay would look like in these circumstances.
    • Agree x 1
  3. thegrimsqueaker

    thegrimsqueaker 28 Moribunding Mouse Aggravates the Angry Assholes

    yes this sounds pretty typical of depression, and possibly adhd? but don't take my word on that, definitely get both your brother and yourself tested if that's a concern, so you or he can can get proper help managing these things.
    these things tend to run in families. depression, addiction, executive functioning and attention issues and anxiety issues all have a habit of popping up at once, and rarely in convenient ways. which isn't to say all of them are always bad- I'm adhd and the way I think differently has been an enormous help in various jobs and activities- but they all take some managing
    that's understandable, but:
    1. three days in a hospital is infinitely better than dying
    2. those three days in the hospital aren't going to be anything like what he's read about/seen in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
    I've been hospitalized for suicidal issues. admittedly, I was a minor and in the US, and while it was scary to go in, it ended up being one of the best things to ever happen to me.

    also, I repeat, it's so much better than dying
    that's the hard part. I'd suggest talking to your brother, and being honest with him about it. but also, if push comes to shove and you don't know what to do, err on the side of caution and call 911 or a hotline

    if either of you need more information on what it's like in a psych ward, I can tell you more about my own experiences, as can a few other people here.
    it's very unlikely that they'll keep him past 72 hrs if he doesn't want to stay. he might be given the option of staying longer for inpatient therapy and monitoring, but that's usually voluntary after the mandatory hold, unless something serious has come up in the meantime. and the kind of serious that would warrant that is generally the kind where you'd want the person to have medical supervision (usually psychotic issues like schizophrenia)
    • Informative x 1
  4. jacktrash

    jacktrash spherical sockbox

    psychiatric hold is a valid lifesaving measure, do it if you have to. but i'm wary of doing it just on the basis of hearsay. he's being melodramatic after a breakup, not standing on a ledge; it may not be necessary.

    step one should be communicating with him. i know, it's been like a month since you posted and you probably already have. but drinking, smoking, and acting suicidal at his ex sound like 'twentysomething with adhd and emotional regulation issues' more than 'genuinely aboout to commit'.

    when i was that age, and acting like that, what helped me was for people i trusted to have their heads on straight -- they didn't have to be my nearest and dearest, just people who didn't flake on me or act like idiots -- to sit down with me for a bitch session and self care evening. watch some movies, drink some beers, throw a ball for a dog, shoot the shit. toxic masculinity plus impulsive youth means you have to be four beers in before you can admit you kinda hate yourself. another beer or two and you can talk about why. then, as your best friend is making you coffee and you're sobering up, you can go, "yeah, ok, i'm being a weenie trying to handle it without a therapist, everyone has a therapist, it's no big, i'm just gonna get one."

    not that i'm saying getting him drunk is the number one best solution. but a drinking buddies bitch session is probably more his speed than a Serious Face intervention, if you want to get him to open up.

    of course, if he's an actual alcoholic, that's problematic. but it sounds like he's just a guy.
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