Wed | Apr 26, 2017

My brother is depressed

Published:Tuesday | December 2, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Q: My younger brother is all grown up and I couldn't be more proud of him. He has so much potential and is on the right track to accomplishing his goals. However, he has become extremely

negative and lacks confidence. No form of encouragement and support seems to be working with him. He was usually an optimist and an enthusiast, full of confidence and

passion and wanting to work hard. If someone told me he would change and become the opposite of who he was, I would have laughed. I admired my brother's character and work ethic. He was seen

as the golden boy of our family, always leaving us in awe at whatever he did. Persons gravitated towards him.

He has become a totally different person. It's heartbreaking and frustrating. I am worried as I do not understand the reason he has developed such low self-esteem. He is not the same person who has always been encouraging everyone around him to smile in the face of adversity and 'keep on keeping on'.

It seems he does not realise how blessed he is and how much he has to be grateful for. Despite how much my brother has achieved at the age of 23, he is distressed about not being as successful as he could have been. I think he is being rather pitiful and needs to understand how much he is hurting his loved ones. He compares his life to others and finds the smallest thing to prove he is not where he could be and stresses over these factors.

My family and I are convinced he is heading towards depression and needs professional help before it gets too late. We have tried to have him speak with a counsellor and a psychologist, but he refuses to as he himself has not admitted the problem. We have shown him tough love and hoped it was just a phase, but his actions have been going on for too long.

Please assist us in bringing our brother back to normal.

A: It is possible that your younger brother is suffering from envy. Apparently, he wants what other persons have, therefore, he is dissatisfied. It is very sad that he is comparing himself to others, which is a futile

activity because usually, there is always someone better than us and worse than us. To be envious is to feel we will be better off with what others have. Soon, he will become resentful of others, including family members. He was once a driven person, but the flip side of such a personality can be selfishness and being egotistic.

It could be that something has happened in his life to cause such a drastic change. If you ascertain what it is, then you might be able to help him. It is good that you and the family are so supportive and that you have tried tough love and are encouraging him to get counselling.

The answer is for him to get counselling because he is showing signs of depression. You can offer to go along with him because he might have fears about visiting a psychologist or counsellor, or does not want to be seen as a weakling. In addition, please watch him carefully and continue to talk with him and encourage him until he gets help.

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