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01/04/2012 11:48 AM

dealing with bipolar brother



My older brother has bipolar disorder, but he is making me sick from the stress! He constantly criticizes me, for anything I do or say(even if I'm not talking to him). I try to de-stress from running, but with winter here running won't be an option much longer. His comments make me cry, and my parents tell me to ignore him(but it hurts so much I can't ignore him).

Most of the time I'm not home anymore, because my brother rules the house, and I am not free to do or say anything I want to. Home doesn't feel like home anymore. The stress he causes has been making me physically sick as well- he's slowly killing me. Does anyone have any suggestions for coping with him?

Any help would be appreciated!


01/04/2012 09:52 PM
Posts: 11217
Group Leader

lostsib, welcome to the group. Have you sat down and told your mom and dad how your brother is hurting you? Controlling your life and making you sick? (I am assuming you still live with your parents.) If you have told them and they won't do anything about it, maybe you can talk to a counsellor at school. Because you really need help, my friend.

You might look to see if there is a NAMI family to family class in your area:

Your brother's mental illness should not be allowed to run amuck like this. That is not right. You need to tell an adult about this and ask for some help. Start with mom and dad. Then try your school or your pastor/rabbi.

As for working off the stress in the winter: why not join a health club? I know of a bunch in my area that have 15 dollar a month fees, and they all have treadmills so you could keep running in the winter. Another option is your local YMCA, which has great rates for people under 18.

Keep posting. I hope something changes for you soon.

02/23/2012 04:18 PM
Posts: 2
New Member

Hi Lostsib,

I'm sorry that you are going through this at the moment and things are so hard. I think as marriedtoit says, do you think you could try and talk to your mum or dad, and explain that you're not feeling able to simply ignore your brothers behaviour and it is upsetting you. If that's hard to do, then is there someone else that you think you could talk to about your feelings?

It can be very hard because you might feel a bit like you don't want to stress your family out with your worries when your brother is unwell, but your feelings are also important and you also need to look out for your own wellbeing too.

I am part of a network for siblings, and have a brother myself with bipolar disorder. It can be really hard at times, separating what they are saying when ill and not being upset by it, but if possible try to remember that his criticisms are most probably not something he can control at that time and that things really can improve. I know that me and my brother had difficult times, but things are a lot better now.

If you want to hear a bit from other siblings, and get advice about some ways you can talk to your parents, sibling or others, you could visit the Siblings Network at:

I hope things improve. How are things going this week?

All the best, RS

Post edited by: rethinksibs, at: 02/23/2012 04:19 PM


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