Scared and Confused: Depressed brother might be a danger.


New Member
Hello everyone and let start off by apologizing as I am not a parent, but seeing as how my mother does not speak English and is not computer savvy I decided to look for support. My brother is 22 years old and he is severely depressed. His depression has led him to develop certain health issues due to his lack of care for himself which has sort of turned into a cycle. He blames his entire family for ruining his life, says that he hates us, and refuses help (even though he admits that he needs it) from anyone of his family members who have hurts him. I admit that our family is very dysfunctional and we were rough on him but we never meant to hurt him, oh and no physical abuse by the way just to make that clear. He rarely leaves his room and does nothing but sleep, eat and browse the internet. My mother and I are the only ones that he allows to talk to him because he hates us the least. He will not speak to my father even though he lives in the house, my sisters no longer visit the house because in one of his many fits of rage he told them via text message that if he sees them again there is no guarantee that he will not try to kill them. Just about every day I come home from work and sit down with him as he verbally assaults me telling me and my mother how much he hates us, how we ruined his life, how there is no hope for him, if we are proud of what we have done to him and so on. I fear for his life but I also fear for the lives of myself, mother and father as various times during the verbal assaults he states that we wants to kill us, that he fantasizes about hurting us so that we can know the pain we have caused him. I am afraid when I go to sleep at night because that is when he wakes up. He has told me that being alone at night makes his anger and depression worse because its all he can think about. We have managed to get him to attend therapy with a psychologist even though he hates the fact that the help is coming from his family. He says that he doesn't want help from the people who have hurt him and that doing so hurts his pride. It doesn't seem like the therapy is working. There are occasions when he calms down and says that he isn't going to do anything, that we can continue to have him alive in the room forever but dead inside. I'm scared and confused and sometimes I stay up late just to make sure he doesn't hurt us or himself. I don't know what to do anymore.

pigless in VA

Well-Known Member
Welcome, Qbitt.

Don't worry about not being a parent. The people here totally understand that your family desperately needs help. If you read my signature, you will see that my late husband was mentally ill. He also became dangerous much like I believe your brother is. Mental illness is nothing to mess around with, especially when the sufferer is having violent thoughts. Family or not, all of you deserve to be safe in your own home.

I urge you to go to your police department and tell them what you have told us. I believe that you can get a protective order against your brother given all the threats he has made against all of you. I think if I were in your shoes, that I would want my parents to agree to this idea. Make sure you don't discuss it anywhere that your brother can overhear. You must be cautious. If your parents agree, go get that order. Then you need to have your brother evicted from your house. If you believe he is dangerous, he probably is dangerous. Has he said anything about hearing voices? Is he on any type of medications?

If your parents don't like the idea of evicting him, then the next line of defense is to get locks for everyone's bedroom doors. If you haven't already done it, remove all the sharp knives from the house and any firearms. I agree with you that he may be dangerous. Please treat him as kindly as you can and as calmly as you can. Please stay safe.


Well-Known Member
You have another option too, at least for yourself.

You can not control what your parents do in their own house and they may resist making him leave, dangerous or not. If they wont, you cant force it.

You can and in my opinion should move out yourself and save yourself if your parents wont make him leave or agree to a restraining order. All of us only have control over one person on earth....ourselves. if you were related to me I would urge you to get out of this situation. Hopefully your parents will choose the safe route. If not, you can still escape the danger and drama. And you should. You cant fix him or protect your parents if they wont cooperate with you.

Good luck!


New Member
Thanks for the support guys. If I move out I feel like I would be giving up on my brother and abandoning my mother to deal with the situation all by herself. He absolutely refuses to to take medication because he doesn't want to be dependent on a drug to make him better and once again he doesn't want one of us to purchase the drugs medication for him. I also really wish that he would work out with me to improve his health and from what I have researched exercise helps depression. I'm really happy that I found this forum, it makes me realize that I'm not the only one dealing with family issues.


Well-Known Member
If you dont move out you are giving up on you. You matter. Your mother can make him leave. If she wont, maybe part of that is brcsuse you are protecting her, which is asking too much of you. Your brother wont get help. So it wont get better. Do you want to be a casualty of this dysfunction too? You can certainly be a casualty if you choose to be. Or you can detach and have a good life.

This is a choice you have to make. No magic words from you will fix your brother who refuses help or make your mother safe. He can hurt her whether you are there or not. He is not your child. He is not a child. He is a full grown, strong 22 year old man whois refusing help, even though he is dangerous and knows it. Sounds worse than depression. Depression does not cause violence.

Do you not want a good life? The choice is yours. But you cant fix this and it is unhealthy for your brother, your mother and for you.


So sad, yes take care of yourself and your Mom and Dad.
Hopefully they will get some help. Hospitalize your brother get him stable and if not evict him move him out.
Its all very hard, and it does not happen over night.
prayers for your family and brother.

pigless in VA

Well-Known Member
Qbitt, depressed people are not a threat to others. They aren't motivated and may not participate much in life, but rarely do they make consistent verbal threats to kill other people. Your brother is scary. Yes, he needs help. Would your parents agree to calling 9-1-1 for police help the next time he threatens someone? Are your parents afraid of asking the police for help? If they are willing to call, I think you could possibly get him hospitalized. The problem is that it wouldn't be for long and your family would need to have a protective order in place to keep him out of you house. With that, you can call the police if he comes near your house and they will arrest him. I had to do all of this myself when my late husband became violent.

I know how it feels to live every day in terror. You and your parents deserve better than that. Please be safe.


Well-Known Member
It will be legally impossible to get your brother long term help and nobody can force medications on him. Could he be using drugs? That would not change my advice, but puts everyone at risk if there is a drug bust on him under your parents roof.

You are not going to save anyone by staying.

You deserve a normal life. The way you are going his dysfunction will only bring you down with the others. You can not change anyone except yourself. There is no way to help anyone, parents included, if they wont accept help.

Your brother hates you and is dangerous. Your parents insist on letting him live there. What can you do? You already spoke to all of them. Many times I am sure.

You are young and deserve to be safe, find love, focus on a career, raise kids. Dont give up your life for this. It isnt possible for you to save anyone here. Your sisters know this.

Unless your parents have dementia they are perfectly cspable of evicting this man, your brother. If they choose to risk their wrll being, how can you save them? Your brothers abuse of all of you IS Domestic Abuse. If your father talked to your mother this way, eould she be okay with it? Your brotheris a strong man. His abuse is the same as if a spouse would be stating the threats.

I sincerrly hope you leave and live your life. You can not save him or your parents because they do t want to make cjanges that would help. Its up to you if you want to keep engaging in this no-win slide of doom. Are you in therapy? It would help has helped most of us. We all once felt we could save other people. Love and light.
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Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
Hi Obitt, I'm so sorry for what you are going through. I'm glad you found us here.

You have received some very good advice from the others.

The main thing you really need to grasp and understand is that you nor your parents can make your brother change or go to therapy. Nothing about your situation will change until you decide to change how you are responding to it as that is the only control you have.

I will also add that you and your parents are allowing him to control you all by fear. He is using guilt as his main tool by accusing you and your parents for ruining his life and this is a very common thing that difficult adult children do. He is making a choice to hold onto his anger instead of working on ways to improve his life.
Whether he is suffering from mental illness or not, if he is making threats of killing you or your parents, it really does need to be reported to the police.

There is a fine line between helping someone and enabling someone. From what you have shared it's very clear that you and your parents have tried to help your brother and he has rejected it. Now it has moved from helping to enabling.

None of this is easy and you have some hard decisions to make. Again, nothing will change until you decide to change how you respond to it.

Your first priority needs to be your safety.

Let us know how things are going. We are here for you.



New Member
Thanks for the support everyone. I'm sure everyone here is aware of the struggle going on inside my mind and the various conflicting emotions. Today was a particularly bad day, my sister came over to the house to see my mother and it made my brother go on his worst rampage yet. He threw a hammer at the wall after my mother and him were arguing about my sister being there. He punched and kicked holes in the wall after the hammer was thrown. My mother and niece went outside out of fear not knowing what to do. My mother decided to leave so she went around the house to the front yard to get in the car and leave. My mother texted me and my father at work to let us know what happened and she called the police. I didn't receive the text until lunch as I am not allowed to have my phone at work. I rushed home speeding on the freeway and arrive to my mother, sister and father outside with the police. The police told me that they have spoken with him but since he seems stable and is not an immediate threat to himself there was nothing they could do. The officer encouraged us to file a mental health warrant and have him forcefully taken to the county psychiatric center where they can help him. At this point I am in favor of taking the officers advice but I feel like I'm betraying my brother. My mother and I are the only people he trust and is able to talk with. My fears about this are that he will physically assault the constables who come to pick him up, he has stated that would do so in the past and this could lead to a disastrous situation. My other fear is that he will be released with a rejuvenated anger for me and my family and will try to come after us. My sisters are safe because he doesn't know where they live but he can easily come back to the house and hurt us. I'm very conflicted about what to do because I don't know what, if anything, they will be able to do in order to help him. I don't know if they will forcefully put him on medication but I am doubtful as it seems a violation of his rights. Sorry for the long update but I just needed somewhere to vent.
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Well-Known Member
Thats why you need to leave. If you dont, yes, he will hurt someone or worse. And nobody can force him to take medication long term. Its his choice. Not that it would work. Medication doesnt cure violent meanness. Your brother should not live with other people.

It is your decision if you want to risk your life for an out of control, very angry and cruel man who is so dangerous he cant even know where your sisters live. Your sisters are smart. I would do what they are doing.

Why are you so worried about this person, brother or not, who threw a hammer at your mother? He doesnt care about you or your mother and you cant make it better. You havent so far and never will. You dont have that power. He could and may end up in prison. Let him do that to somebody else. Whoa.

Again, I suggest therapy for YOU. For some reason you think you are doing good by letting him domesticslly abuse you. Same for your mother, but you cant make her go for help. You can not fix or control anybody but yourself. It is as if you are trapped in an abusive marriage.

Your brother is a criminal. If he was a son of mine, hurting me and my other loved ones and threatening to kill them, he would be gone with a restraining order against him. If he threw a hammer at me I would have also pressed charges. That is the only way he MIGHT get help...letting him act like a monster with no consequences does not help him or anyone. Maybe nothing can help him, but at least you would be safer and mom and dad too. Madness to just allow it.

Very abusive situation in which you and mom and even dad let a dangerous full grown man rule your life in fear and violence yet worry about HIS feelings. Do you see that this is twisted thinking? Were any of you abused in thebpast so that you started to think the abuser is a poor thing? That an abuser neefs your undying support and compassion? Something is very off here.

There is nothing you can do as long as you feel loyalty and pity for your abuser. Thats what he is. There is no excuse for his behavior other than some family allows it. Mental illness is no excuse either. He isnt that sick. He knows what he is doing and shows no remorse. Psychopathy? This is NOT depression.

He needs to be gone or his terror will continue. Or you need to go before he hurts or kills you. Yes, he could do either. Seek help at a center for domestic abuse. You deserve better than this scary abuse. Maybe Dad and Mom will actually follow your lead if you do it. The way things are now, nothing good will come of this.

Nobody should tolerate abuse, grown child or not. Nobody has a right to terrorize another. You need to wake up and realize that he is not the victim. YOU ARE.

I wish you a safe future with some good professional therapy and a new home without this man knowing your address.

I truly believe almost, if not all, the mothers on this forum would have made him leave long ago. Many of us have and few are as violent as your brother.
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pigless in VA

Well-Known Member

I'm proud of your mother for calling the police.
The police told me that they have spoken with him but since he seems stable and is not an immediate threat to himself there was nothing they could do

That happened when my husband was psychotic over and over. He would be out of control, I would call for help, and he would manage to pull himself together long enough to talk to the police. You cannot fix this situation. Your brother will likely not be helped the first trip to the hospital. He sees nothing wrong with his life; he is in complete control and has no wish to give that up.

Do you think he blew his stack because your sister represents a threat to him?

Seek help at a center for domestic abuse. You deserve better than this scary abuse. Maybe Dad and Mom will actually follow your lead if you do it.

This is an excellent idea. SWOT is trying to get you to understand that you have zero control over this situation. All of you are in danger from your brother. I agree that he is ill, but when a person is a threat to safety, that is when you have to draw the line.

Please extricate yourself. I wholeheartedly agree with SWOT. I can tell that you are a loving, devoted young man. You can do so much good in the world. I don't want to see you destroyed by your trainwreck of a brother. He may be a blood relative, but make no mistake. He only cares about himself and his needs.

If you decide that you want to continue to help your parents, I have one more idea for you. I know you love them. I know you are terrified for them. I think you should be. Realistically, there is little you can do to protect them. My idea involves you calling your county mental health services. ( I'm going to ask a moderator to remove your county name from the post for your safety.)

Back to your local county mental health. I was able to get my husband hospitalized by calling them repeatedly. It didn't work the first time or even the second. I kept calling and calling and reporting all his bizarre behaviors until I finally got a county worker who listened to me. She, like me, believed that my husband needed to be hospitalized. She called the police and they swarmed my house and forcibly removed my husband. There is no need to worry about what your brother would do to the police. They are trained to handle these situations. If you managed to get him hospitalized, it would only be a temporary solution. It might buy you and your parents time to vacate the house in order to get to a safe place.

You are living in a hugely stressful situation; I understand. I've been there; it's horrible. I agree with SWOT that your whole family is being abused by your brother. The reasons behind his behavior don't matter. The important issue is keeping all of you safe, and you may only be able to keep yourself safe.

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
Thanks for the update. I'm glad that your mom called the police. It's a start in the right direction. I know it may feel like defeat when the police don't do anything right away but there has been a record started of your brothers violence. It is also very common for people like your brother to calm down once the police have shown up. Having these records on file will go a long way in helping to get him out of your parents home. Laws vary from state to state so even if your parents told him to move out may not be enough, they may have to have him evicted. I know it sounds crazy but I urge you to check with the police and ask them what the law is about getting someone out of your parents home.

As I said in my previous post, you and your parents are allowing your abusive brother to manipulate you and control you out of fear. You cannot allow him to do this.

My son was very out of control and had quite a temper. When he was destructive in my home I called the police. I called the police several times on my son.

Please understand there is no betrayal in calling the police when someone, family or not, is threatening you in your own home.

Seek help at a center for domestic abuse. You deserve better than this scary abuse. Maybe Dad and Mom will actually follow your lead if you do it.
I agree with SWOT. There are many organizations in place that can help you and your parents.

Back to your local county mental health. I was able to get my husband hospitalized by calling them repeatedly. It didn't work the first time or even the second. I kept calling and calling and reporting all his bizarre behaviors until I finally got a county worker who listened to me. She, like me, believed that my husband needed to be hospitalized. She called the police and they swarmed my house and forcibly removed my husband.
Great advice from pigless! I suggest you do this.

I know you are scared, I've been there! You can get through this and so can your parents. None of this is easy but you can move on from this and live a happy and safe life. I did.

I'll say it again, nothing will change until you change how you respond. You cannot allow your brother to control you with fear.

Let us know how things are going. We are always here for you.