How to deal with irresponsible parents and brother?

I’m not a fan of presenting my personal problems to other people, and I don’t plan on going much into detail, and I would like to deal with this myself, but it seems I need a bit of help with this problem.

I have a problem with my younger brother not taking his medication, and it’s led to physical altercations and much verbal abuse from him several times. My parents have almost completely given up on him, having ‘tried’ to get him to take his medicine for years with constant failure (they make excuses, i.e. How are they supposed to do it when they’re not home? Should they do it first thing in the morning/Sit there and WATCH him take his medicine (yes)?). My brother even admits that the reason why he’s so… impossible to handle is because he doesn’t take his medicine, but he refuses to take it for some reason.

My sister and I have tried to talk down our parents several times, but my dad doesn’t care, and my mom has given up on trying to make him take his medicine.

Because of his horrible attitude, I fear he’s going to struggle greatly in life when/IF he graduates highschool, which I don’t think is going to happen (he’s already a loner and wannabe emo kid/weeaboo) :frowning: .

If anyone can offer me any advice, please do. I’m trying to be a responsible brother here and would like to help him, but he doesn’t let anybody help him, and won’t do what he’s told to do.

Of course, if this type of topic isn’t welcome here, I’ll request deletion and find help elsewhere (if you know where I can find help, please tell me).

Thanks, and sorry in advance for bothering anyone with my personal problems.

Please feel free to disregard anything I say regarding your situation.

I have known people who have been prescribed various medications like prozac, etc… My daughter’s mother (they live in California, I in Colorado) has had our daughter put on medication as well. I have heard from my friends on such drugs, and from my daughter, that when on the medication that is supposed to help you control your emotions, that one undesirable side effect is that you end up not being able to feel much of anything. In the case of my daughter, she has reasoned with me many a time that she would rather deal with the depression and still be able to laugh and enjoy things, rather than being doped up and not being able to feel the good as well. Because of this I allowed her to skip her medications when she visited me, and eventually we both approached her mom (who knew from the beginning that I was opposed to medicating our kid anyway) and eventually got her to see reason. Fortunately my daughter is no longer being medicated. Does my daughter still have issues with drepression that she has to deal with? Yes, but I take an active role in making sure to talk to my daughter about these things often, and have gotten her mom to be more active in the situation as well. She may still get depressed, but at least she’s not going through life numb.

I don’t know what medication your brother is on, but maybe the reason he doesn’t take his medication is because he’s going through something similar?

Unfortunately is very difficult to help people who do not want help, and in some case it may just be impossible to do so no matter how badly you want to. If your brother doesn’t want help, and won’t let you help, then can you be a loving brother to him instead of a respocible one? As far as responcibility goes, isn’t that your parent’s place anyway? (Even if they unfortunately don’t seem to want that responcibility) And eventually when he moves out on his own he’s going to have to be responcible for himself and live his own life, on meds or not as he chooses.

You and your brother are probably not going to live together forever, and eventually he’s going to stop taking the meds when he moves out on his own (judging by how much he seems to like taking them now). Is it better to keep him medicated until he moves out of the house, and then have to deal with his emotional problems, plus any withdrawl from the meds, on his own when he moves out and you and your parents are at hand as much to help him? Or is it better to ditch the drugs now, and help him find another way of dealing with the emotional issues that will be more long lasting and less dependent on a chemical fix?

I’m not saying “give up on your brother”, just that the medication may not be the optimal solution to the problem. I wish you and your brother the best of luck in getting through this. :slight_smile:

Thank you TKR for your response :slight_smile:

I looked through the cabinet, but there are various types of medicine in there. I will tell you that he suffers from ADD.

He’s told my mom before that one of the reasons he doesn’t like taking his medicine is because it ‘makes him feel different/like an outcast,’ and because my sister and I are constantly on him about taking his medicine. I personally do not see that as a reason that would deter him from taking medicine that’s supposed to help him. He’s never told us about any adverse side effects, like the ones you listed about your daughter.

It’s dang near well impossible to be a loving brother to him. I try and I try, and I do care about him/how he may end up if he doesn’t start acting responsible (he’s 16 (but acts like he’s 10), in the 9th grade (just graduated to 10th, and has failed a grade before), doesn’t pay attention or do his work, doesn’t care, etc.).

Perhaps you’re familiar with Gaia Online. He spends about 25 hours of the day on Gaia, and does NOTHING but attempt to socialize with people he doesn’t even know. We see it as a way for him to escape real life, and try to start a new one online. He cares more about the people he doesn’t know on Gaia than about his own friends in real life. The fact that he suffers from ADD is a big part of this. Because of his addiction to social networking sites like Gaia, he’s become a loner, keeps largely to himself, and doesn’t socialize at all in real life.

And you’re right. If he won’t take his medicine now, chances are that he won’t take them when/if he moves out.

He’s told my mom that he feels like my sister and I are against him, but we really want to try to help him. At some point in that past, we would actually tease him because he didn’t take his medicine. Now, however, we tell him to take his medicine because we know it will scew him over later in life if he doesn’t.

That was perhaps more detail than I’d intended to present, but it’s necessary for you to know the full extent of the problem.

Thanks again for your help.

If his “medicine” MAKES him feel like an outcast, he shouldn’t be taking it. I don’t quite understand this current craze with psychological drugs…

I went to Boston recently to visit family and found that ALL of my cousins take a multitude of medications, what’s odd is that almost all of my friends/family living in the country(I.E. Farmland) don’t. Humans have this idea that psychological indifference is evil, and there should be a norm.

I was told that I suffered from ADD in middle school, as I would always be moving, and never spending enough time on one subject. I went to a psychologist, was given medication, and took some later that night…

This led to one of the oddest nights of my life. I had this idea that I would build a remote controlled airplane, and spent ALL night drawing up sketches, I seemed very dedicated… and yet, I hit a point where I began yelling and storming through the house, my mom wouldn’t be paying for the wood… and this provoked me.

The next morning I woke, only to discover that even though I spent that entire night working… I had only drawn 1 concept sketch, thrown 15 away… and spent the rest of the night yelling at my mom. I never took medication again.

I am now 16 and don’t seem to exhibit any signs of ADD, I do not take ANY medication… and don’t have the temper tantrums and social problems that my cousins(Who take medication) seem to. Another friend of mine who exhibited suicidal tendencies at one point in his life is now fine without taking any medication, as are my parents, and my brother.

Your brother is NOT flawed, he is HUMAN! Perhaps his social attitude and lifestyle is more reflective of the outside world, perhaps the reason he has failed a grade and spends so much time on a social networking sites is because of this idea which states that he is a flawed human being?

No prob. Sorry if I’m not all that helpful.

I don’t know anything about ADD. The only person I know that has ADHD I can’t stand and avoid being around at all cost.
Maybe you should do some research online as to what each of the drugs are supposed to do and what their possible side effects are. Maybe that’ll give you some insight into how they may be effecting your brother.

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Personally, and this is just my opinion here, I would say that if the drugs make him feel different and/or like an outcast, that that is an adverse reaction and a deterent from taking them from his point of view. Perhaps not so much of an adverse reaction to the drugs themselves, but at least to the situation. Ever know any kids that are supposed to wear glasses but don’t sometimes because they don’t want to be made fun of? or braces (although admittedly much more difficult to take off at your whim)? Humans don’t always do what’s good for them, especially when it comes to trying to be accepted by others. Smoking cigarettes are obviously bad for you, but how many teens start smoking in attempts to fit in and be cool? Drinking? Unsafe sex? getting tattoos?
Don’t take this the wrong way, as I’m absolutely not trying to place any blame on anyone in the situation, but maybe teasing him about his medicine in the past has added to those feelings and discredits your current attempts to get him to take his medicine.

Can’t be all that impossible. Your pursuit of help seems to be a loving and caring thing to do.

If you, his brother, have difficulty getting along with him and his ADD, then how difficult is it for him to get along with real life friends who don’t have a family bond with him? By interacting with people through the website, maybe he’s figured out that if he puts the internet barrier between himself and other people he can reduce the problems that keep him from getting along with people. Even if the drugs counteract whatever the ADD does that makes him hard to get along with, the fact that they make him feel different and like an outcast will prevent him from trying to build real life relationships too. If it’s difficult to get along with people in real life, then is it better that he have the simulated social interaction on the website and feel liked/accepted, or to have few relationships in real life because they get stressed by his ADD?
In the end I think you’re better off letting your parents worry about whether he’s taking his drugs or not, and focusing on finding a non-drug alternative for you to try with your brother.

Hey Blade_Rain

I sympathise you greatly. I am also in a situation where five days a week and roughly slightly less than eight hours of the the said day I have to bear with a brat who is quite emotionally draining at times. I however get to go home to a loving family, and then spend the weekend with this gems without a care in the world.
You unfortunately are quite stuck with your issue and I feel for your plight. I would like to say that this is the way of the world and leave it at that, however I can let you know, I myself have been in a similar situation when there was no way out it appeared, but then afterwards, the experience made me stronger in dealing with other people of a similar nature, including that of my current “brat” (feel free to substitude this with any word under the sun of a negative nature).
Please let time be your incentive. You will in the future go on many great things, and maybe look back at this as an event that made you better. And just as your brother escapes the real world, you can also do the same. Live the present for the future - I know that times you enjoy yourself greatly with your brother, just as there are times when you wish you’d rather be in someone elses shoes.
All the best!

@Nikolaus

It’s not that taking the medicine itself makes him feel like an outcast, it’s the idea of taking medicine that doesn’t appeal to him. Personally, I wish he didn’t have to take medicine, too. I am currently the only family member out of five people in this household who doesn’t have psychological/mental problems, and I’m the only one that doesn’t need to take medicine (actually I have a physical problem, I’m fat :stuck_out_tongue: but I’m working to fix that problem five days of the week).

Personally, like you, I don’t believe there should be a norm. If you knew me IRL, I’m into some weird stuff, have weird habits… I’m probably the weirdest, non-stereotypical, abnormal black guy you’d ever meet (but I don’t care, because that’s just me and I accept myself for who I am).

I don’t think my brother is flawed. I think that… well, it’s actually kind of hypocritical to say this, but, I think a certain part of him is, eh, different… It’s his destructive, selfish, crude, ignorant behaviour that I absolutely detest.

I also don’t like the idea of having to adjust to ‘the real world,’ though honestly, it’s necessary to sort of fit in, in order to be somewhat successful in life. If he can’t socialize now, and if he acts the way he does now when he’s out on his own, what are his chances of surviving without the shelter of his parents?

@TKR

I really wish I’d never teased him about his medicine. You’re right, it’s one of the reasons he doesn’t take his medicine. Nevertheless, it’s advised that he does.

And my parents don’t worry about whether or not he’s taking his medicine. They’ve unfortunately completely given up :frowning: .

@kbot

I will reply to your post later tonight. My sister just gave me a ten minute notice that we’re leaving for the gym ‘NOW.’ Lol, so I don’t have time at the moment, sorry! But I will when I get back.

The fact that four out of five of your family members seem to have a mental disorder simply exemplifies the worlds current obsession with legal drugs, just as seven out of seven of my family members living near Boston claim to have mental disorders. What I find odd is why everyone(6) living in my household are completely devoid of such drugs? We are all happy, we can be pretty quirky… but nothing that will prevent us from functioning in the “real world”.

You believe that people should retain their individuality and quirkiness unless it prevents them from functioning in the outside world… Right? Well, what I take from you saying that is four out of five of your family members take drugs because they wouldn’t otherwise be able to function. Why isn’t this presented in the history books? Such a HUGE margin of the population (4/5) can’t function correctly without drugs. (A suppressing agent) That in itself should of prevented the rise of civilization!

It is absolutely crazy to think that 4 out of 5 of your family members can’t function without drugs… As 7/7 of mine (Living near Boston) can’t! I’m sorry… I can’t seem to stop thinking about that fact, it just doesn’t make any sense.

How old is your brother? Is he going through puberty? I was extremely depressed when I was 12 and 13… Talking about killing myself… Then my “ADD” came when i turned 14… Now I am 16 and fine. Please don’t force drugs on your brother… Let me grow up like he is supposed to.

A man only gains from his mistakes.

Depending on which medication he’s on, each can have varying nasty side-effects he might be embarrassed about. Medication, as previously mentioned, does make you feel completely doped up. I’m on a handful of medications, and if anything, they make me worse in some respects. Sure they have with whatever problem you might be experiencing, but they just give you problems in other areas instead.

However, some people, like to think mental illnesses are cool, and that they shouldn’t have to be change. It is these people that forced medication should be necessary - if your brother is bad without them, your parents (or heck, even you) should give it to him, and not leave the room until you’re sure he’s taken it.

I’m not one for medication, but I guess it’s because I haven’t found any that suit me particularly, so my view may be biased.

Best of luck.

Dude, its all about positive encouragement…

Kind of seems to me that if he isn’t hurting anyone else then there’s really nothing that can be done about it, morally speaking, short of your parents getting into a battle of wills which they appear not too interested in doing for whatever reason.

So…my advice is to leave the kid alone and let him live his own life without the constant harassment. Probably also find that the less you hassle him about taking his medicine the less he will ‘act out’ towards you.

@kbot

Luckily for me, I’ve only got a year or two left before I finally move out (starting college in August)!! Things at home have made me want to just get away, and I’ll finally be able to, even if I have to deal with constant crap handed to me by life.
And great advice, too! I really hope my brother, my sister and I can be a tight knit group in the future.

@Nikolaus

My brother is 16 and should have gone through puberty now, but he doesn’t act his age. I don’t want for him to have to take drugs. I’d really like it if he would just learn to control himself, and eliminate the need for drugs in the first place.

@Unconscious

I’m not sure what exactly he’s supposed to take (maybe Adderall). It’s effects are something like drowsiness, a sense of being detached, feeling weird and slow (at least, that’s what he feels).
Again, I really don’t wish for him to have to take medicine. Perhaps some sort of meditation would help and he’d learn to focus and maintain himself…

@Uncle Entity

It’s ironic that you should say that. His not taking his medicine, and he directly told me this while it was happening, led to a half an hour long physical fight earlier today in which he tried three times to choke me to death (I’m not exaggerating), and several times to break my neck by elbowing me in the back of the neck as hard as he could.

I actually refrain from harping on him about his medicine, both because he doesn’t want to take it/care, and because it’s been a few years since the medicine was prescribed, and we lost the battle in the end.

However, I try to keep up with positive reinforcement.

I just really, really don’t want to see my brother end up on the ass-end of life like my dad (you DON’T want me to go into detail about him, trust me :stuck_out_tongue: ). I care very much for him, but it’s like he doesn’t want any help, and thinks he can manage without controlling himself…

SLap them fools until lthey are on the ground begging you to stop like babies. seriously, but DO IT METAPHORICALLY - DON"T Break any laws… do it with a smile on your face and with love in your heart and in a TOTALLY socially appropriate way, if there is one.

but talk to them first about it and see if they are reasonable… .use the littlest force possible to obtain the objective. but do obtain the objective… and do it with love in your heart and patience in your mind

I happen to be the most patient person in the entire house (self proclaimed but backed by both my mom and sister)! :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Of course, I will try to do everything with love, and never force my brother to change. I’m trying to help him, not hurt him.

@Blade_Rain how are you yourself coping, these kind of problems can be quiet draining on those around the person suffering from ADD or in my case a best friend addicated to drugs. Take care of yourself and maybe seek help from those around you. It can be an extremely stressful eniviroment which saps most peoples energies to the point they can just shut down and fatalistically give up on the very people the want to help.

good luck

I’d say that if he doesn’t like the way the medicine makes him feel then it’s time to head back to the doctor. Odds are that is not the only med available to treat his problem. If he is experiencing side effects from one then try another, maybe he won’t have side effects from it. Or maybe they need to adjust the dosing.
Unfortunately all of that depends on your brother and parents being willing to try. But I’d say if he’s physically attacking you then something needs to be done.

@tyrant monkey

It’s very difficult to cope with this situation. I have to deal with it almost every day, and the fact that my parents do nothing to help the situation makes it extremely frustrating. It’s very stressful, but that’s why I look forward to moving out :slight_smile: .
Thanks!

@PixelAlien

We can’t figure out the side effects if he won’t take the medicine! :no:
If I had my own car (I will soon), then I’d take him up to the doctors myself, or do something to try to help him. I can’t move around much today, because my throat is sore from him choking me, the back of my neck is sore from him trying to break it, and the rest of me is sore from lifting weights at the gym, lol.

The least I can do when he gets physical is exercise restraint. Even though he wouldn’t stop for a second, and even though he was trying to kill me, I refused to hit him or injure him. It doesn’t work like that for any other family member…

If it is really as bad as you claim then all you are doing is enabling this sort of behaviour through showing restraint. He acts out violently and there are no consequences to his actions so why shouldn’t he act out violently?

Personally, I’d put his ass in the hospital the next time he attacked me…tough love and all that. Assuming that you aren’t exaggerating or embellishing here of course.

There really is no acceptable level of violence one must tolerate IMHO.

Maybe try taking self defence classes? Not to strike back, but to avoid being hit yourself. It’s also a good source of exercise.

I know a couple of kids with ADD so I kinda know what you’re brother is like, though everyone is different. One kid was regularly hitting his mum (once gave her a black eye) and on one occasion woke me up by throwing a 2 litre bottle of lemonade at my head when me and my girlfriend were staying over there visiting his mum. I was not impressed and had to pin him to the floor until he calmed down. Hitting back (even gently) will just wind kids like this up and give them more motivation to keep going.

I know it’s a cliche but attention is often what these kids seem to be looking for. If they feel ignored unless they are playing up then this will have the effect of giving them positive reinforcement for their bad behaviour. Since they only feel they are the centre of attention when doing wrong, they will deliberately do wrong to get more attention. The kid that threw the bottle at me also used to spend a lot of time on the net. I’m guessing that his reasons and your brother’s might be similar. Namely, they get to chat to people with similar things to talk about and recieve attention from these other people whenever they go online and ask for it.

Exclusion is not good for anyone, but sometimes leaving him alone might be better than reinforcing his bad behaviour by giving him attention and reprimanding him for it. After a certain amount of reprimands for something, the reprimand becomes unimportant, possibly even a kind of motivation in itself.

It’s a hard situation you’re in and I hope you manage to deal with it ok.

Best of luck to you.

Edit: Like Uncle Entity said, you shouldn’t let him attack you, but I still think that hitting back will only make things worse. Kids that genuinely have ADD quite simply do not respond like other people. (In my opinion, it is very often misdiagnosed or diagnosed just to keep parents happy or for other reasons.)

I’m against taking any medicines unless they are absolutely necessary and if your brother won’t take his then perhaps alternatives are available. Perhaps you could also go to some sort of help group (with your parents?) and see how other people deal with the situations. Sometimes growing up is all that’s needed and if your brother can do that without getting dependent on drugs (prescribed or not) and without seriously screwing up then he’ll probably be better for it.

The kid that threw the bottle at my head is now fairly chilled out and did ok in his grades in the end.

@Uncle Entity

You have a very good point there. That’s exactly what my brother must feel. Since my sister and I are older than him, there’s some sort of double standard where he doesn’t get in as much trouble, or gets in no trouble at all, for saying vulgar things to us or hitting us, and we get in a lot of trouble. So really, in his mind, why not attack or curse? He’s used to not getting in trouble.

And I’m not exaggerating at all. When I described the fight to my mom, she told me it was a ‘gross exaggeration,’ but she’s never there when it happens, and never will be.

My neck and throat are still very sore from him trying to choke me…

@FunkyWyrm

The only thing I really did in retaliation was pick him up, and throw him onto a couch and pin him down and try to calm him.

We’ve always thought he gets positive reinforcement/encouragement from his friends online, like they might try to urge him to act out, or he might vent his anger to them and undoubtedly get sympathy from them. I’m not sure attention is what he craves. He keeps to himself all the time, and when he’s on the computer (always), he has his isolation earbuds and listens to music at high volumes so he can’t hear anybody. Maybe he wants to live online or something… That can’t possibly be healthy, though.

Luckily, things have since cooled down, and my brother and I are on equal terms again (surprisingly, considering it normally takes him a full week to stop being mad and seclusive).