: Drugs, alcohol and mental health

Discuss the twin challenges of mental health and substance use

Desperate to help! Mental illness + drugs

Hello. I am new to the forum but am desperate for guidance from anyone who might be able to point me in some sort of direction. I know that I am opening myself up to criticism or judgement but I ask that you are kind.

My brother (33yrs) has serious mental health problems and is addicted to drug use and alcohol. I am his Appointee. He desperately needs help but he is pushing back every time I try to arrange medical appointments or offer any help.

Does anyone have any suggestions of where I can turn to and how I can show him that there is another life out there for him?

Our story is a long one so I've added it below as I didn't want my main request for help to be missed.

There is a history of mental illness (rapid cycling bi polar, clinical depression) in our family. There is also a history of psychological abuse and the use of aggression and violence as the norm.

My brother and I lived with our dad for the first 12 years of my life. Dad was an angry person and shouting was used as the answer. The relationship between dad and my brother was very volatile, shout shout shout and then they would make up; it was quietly controlling and anger was the only way either of them could communicate.

In brief, mum & dad divorced, dad threatened mum (who has bi-polar1) if she took the children he would claim she was an unfit mother (she absolutely wasn't perfect but she was more able to look after us than dad was) and then told us both that mum abandoned us. I have been privy to correspondence between them as an adult and have formed my own opinion, despite mum ensuring that I know her opinion.

Because of mum's problems, dad was set against allowing my brother to get help. My brother was diagnosed with ADHD and given some medication. Just from talking to friends of their experience growing up, my brother was very poorly and our family situation was far from "normal" or healthy.

As a teenager he began drinking and smoking - the usual stuff. I understand that he found relief from these and became dependant on drinking. Drug use soon followed. Unable to control his rages (or even recognise these were something to be recognised), he's ended up in prison and been arrested/had police intervention on multiple occasions.

Fast forward about 20 years. My brother never moved out from dads. My brother became entirely dependant on dad. Despite mum's best efforts and her battles with illness, they lost each other and my brother became convinced all his problems were because of mum. Dad did everything for my brother, looked after his money, answered any rages with more rage, threw money at him to keep him quiet. I understand why as my brother can be very frightening.

Dad was diagnosed with cancer in 2018. He died last August. My brother is entirely broken. We are very close but he is convinced that now I am the cause of his problems. He lives 2 hours away from me in the town he has always been in with the drug dealers that know just how addicted he is. He has a girlfriend (who also has mental health problems and no close family) who has a little boy. My brother is so good with children so I do not worry for him at all.

When dad died my brother's girlfriend found out she was pregnant. Yesterday she gave birth and because it was so quick, my brother delivered the baby. This has traumatised him beyond belief. Not only the day he becomes a dad (which he is absolutely not ready for) he doesn't have his own dad to turn too, but he delivered the baby with absolutely no preparation - they didn't go to antenatal classes because "conventional" things are very difficult for him.

Mum and I went down to help him but ended up making it 100x worse. I asked what help he wanted and I did as he asked but it was wrong. I know that his anger stems from pain, but his anger is made so much worse when he drinks and is on drugs. He does not live a moment being sober.

He won't admit anything is wrong. I know who he is and it isn't this person. I am not afraid of him but I am afraid of not being there for him when I can see how much pain he is in and how desperately he needs help but is stuck.

Who can I turn to? I've tried the local mental health services. I've spoken to his (condescending) doctor. I am absolutely desperate.

If you've read this far, thank you.

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