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DrJackiePhD
DrJackiePhD, Doctor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 362
Experience:  I have been doing research in relational/interpersonal communication since 1998. My Ph.D. is in interpersonal communication.
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My brother lost his job over 3 years ago. He has a history

Customer Question

My brother lost his job over 3 years ago. He has a history of being dismissed from his jobs over the past few years. He was working as a professional but is now having to do more menial part-time jobs like farm work for a friend. He always says everything is not his fault; it's because other people don't understand. Says that his former employers did not understand and that he can't work for anybody. So he is supposed to be working for himself and has set up a business that has had almost no customers and he doesn't seem to be applying himself to it but is earning very little doing the menial jobs instead. He is constantly moaning and complaining that he is unhappy and that he has no money yet whenever there is the chance of a holiday or weekend away, he will go, even when he can't afford it.When he has a more substantial amount of money, he immediately spends it on something extravagant like a car (not new but second hand). He has not contributed towards family expenditure like birthdays, Christmas or meals out in years and it has become his mantra to say he can't afford things. Most of his friends have drifted away and don't have anything to do with him. Relations have gone off him because he complains and is negative. He is getting our family down with his contant moaning and self-pity and it especially affects my Dad who has just turned 80 and can't cope with this any more.My sister often has a go at my brother but he is just aggressive in return and says nobody empathises with him. She says I should have a go too but I'm scared of his aggression. He has seen a counsellor in the past but got nothing out of it because he is so arrogant that he treated the sessions like an opportunity to get one over on her and show her how clever he is. He is a very selfish and immature person and it is destroying our family.We are at our wits end. We know he needs help but he needs "more" than a counsellor; we just don't know what to do about it or what to suggest. He usually shoots all our suggestions down in flames anyway. His counsellor told him he is emotionally immature which is obvious. However, is he more than that? Does he have a mental health problem? He takes antidepressants but they don't appear to be working.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  DrJackiePhD replied 1 year ago.
Hi, I'm Dr. Jackie, an interpersonal communication researcher/professor and relationship expert. And I'm really sorry to hear about your brother's issues. It must be overwhelming and frustrating to hear him complain and know that he is absolutely miserable. You know the old adage, I'm sure, that "Misery loves company." To be brutally honest, your brother cannot be helped unless he WANTS help or at least is WILLING to get help, if not for himself, but for the sake of his family. I believe you indicated that his former counselor was a woman. Some men are threatened by a woman treating them/giving advice. So my first suggestion is that you and your sister urge him to see a male counselor/therapist. I do not know how health insurance works in the UK, but if he is able, a psychiatrist rather than psychologist might be more helpful--you stated he needs "more than a counselor." A psychiatrist can prescribe medicine. If he is taking an SSRI or even more than 1 and it/they is/are not working, then it could be his doctor can try different SSRIs as there are dozens out there. While there is a wide variety of choices, the downside is that sometimes it's trial and error to find one or a combination that can really help. But just getting on that path is the first step. Here is what I think. Does he have a mental problem? I do not know. I don't have a medical degree (mine is a PhD), and I'm not sitting down conversing with him. However, from what you have shared, it does sound like his complaining and lack of motivation and job situation all are indicative of some type of mental health issue. Again, some type of professional like a psychiatrist would be able to appropriately diagnose him. Like I indicated above, just getting him to go and be willing to get help is the first step and the hardest. After that, with the right therapy and probably medication, you will see improvements if he is willing. My suggestion is to hold an intervention--get the entire family together and designate one of you to go pick him up and meet in someone's house (not his). Make sure someone brings him--that way he can't get into his own car and leave. Also, not having it at his place will help ensure he stays long enough to hear what you all have to say. And then, just like the show INTERVENTION if you have ever seen an episode or two, each of you can have a letter pre-written out to him. You read it and then wait for his reaction. Then the next person reads it and waits for his reaction. On the show I believe there is always a counselor present since the TV network funds it. I am unsure if you will be able to provide this. But even if you can't, you should each write a heart-felt note. I would use the "Sandwich Approach." That is, start out with some positive things to say about him. This is why it needs to be written out first, so that you don't forget what you want to say. So after you have mentioned any positive characteristics about him that you can think of, tell him that because you love him, you want him to get help. However, the family has decided to unite together and ban him from family get-togethers/dinners, etc. until he begins getting professional help. At the end of the letter, remind him you love him and think a lot of him and that is why you are doing this--like a good parent has to enact "tough love" sometimes so that the teenagers don't run wild. I hope this makes sense. Let me know what you think. I'll be happy to talk more if you would like. In fact, I'll send my contact information to you if you would like to talk on the phone or Skype. Take good care,--Dr. Jackie
DrJackiePhD, Doctor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 362
Experience: I have been doing research in relational/interpersonal communication since 1998. My Ph.D. is in interpersonal communication.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thanks for your advice. I've just sent you my Skype address for a discussion during this week.

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