Supporting someone in psychiatric care
August 30, 2012 9:38 AM Subscribe
My brother is being admitted to an inpatient facility. How can I support him, and can you calm me down about the long-term picture?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (22 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
My brother has agreed to be voluntarily admitted for psychiatric treatment. He proposed this while also verbalising the threat of suicide we've all known has been around for some time.
He's got a long history of depression (he's in his late 20s), not helped by a near-fatal head injury several years ago, and with a recurring element of addiction (currently just alcohol as far as I know). He's a very smart, highly sensitive guy who is often extremely angry but tends to be very close to animals, children and older people. He comes across as much stronger than he feels.
He didn't finish school and has a patchy work history due to not being able to cope, but every time he's taken a course or something, he's been singled out as extraordinarily bright. He doesn't care, though, and it feels like an extreme situation of failure-to-launch coupled with the apathy that comes from long-term depression. He has never been financially independent.
As support, he has some good close friends, me (older sibling) and my parents (divorced but amicable), all of whom love him hugely and are living reasonably addiction-free and stable lives. Depression and anxiety are common to the whole family.
So, two questions.
1. If you've been in psychiatric care or had experience supporting an inpatient, what would you recommend? Please assume he'll have as many visitors as he can have/wants to have and nobody's expecting miracles.
2. Long-term, I worry very much. I keep thinking that if only he could get over the hump, he'd thrive, but I don't know and I worry about (a) suicide, or (b) his welfare when neither parent can look after him. Any experiences, cautions or good news stories would be hugely helpful.
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