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What would you do? Advice appreciated

Kamikaze558Kamikaze558 Registered User Posts: 98 Junior Member


I'm a 19 year old male who has depression (moderate). I was always socially awkward due to the fact that I was kept at home and not permitted to go out and play as a child by my mother. I was home-schooled during high school and never really had a social circle of friends for that reason. I have a few acquaintances but no real friends. As a result, I have developed severe social anxiety. I have never had a social life.

I currently live in a small/medium sized suburb and pretty much know no one outside my family in my area. I can't even work in an office/public location because I have a disabled brother I have to take care of. He gets home from school at 2 pm. I have been taking care of him since I was 9 years old. I, therefore, work from home.

I am also taking a leave of absence from college (to which I commute) since I hate going there. I just go to class and go home. I can't even join clubs due to my family obligations. I can make friends in class but can never hang out with them because I take care of my brother. That's not to say I don't do well: 3.8 gpa on a pre-med track. I just feel like I'm wasting my time.

There are a lot of problems in my home that hurt both my brother and I: parents hate each other, they fight daily, not much money (therefore have to work), brother, who is autistic, is in a negative environment all the time, etc.
My parents are not able to take care of my brother. He becomes violent with them, and my mom already has mild depression.

If you guys/girls were in my situation, what would you do? Should I advise my parents to send my brother to a group home? At that point, I can transfer to a college at which I can dorm?

I'm already seeing a psychiatrist/getting therapy but it doesn't seem to be helping much. I feel like my environment is just **** everything up.

If you were in my shoes, what would you do?

Thank You!

Didn't really know where to post this. lol.

Replies to: What would you do? Advice appreciated

  • erosemorinerosemorin Registered User Posts: 106 Junior Member
    It seems like the obligation to take care of your brother is holding you back the most. There are specific day programs for people with special needs that allow them to get out of the house in a group setting. You should look into that! How old is he?
  • Kamikaze558Kamikaze558 Registered User Posts: 98 Junior Member
    He's 16.
  • baktraxbaktrax Registered User Posts: 2,563 Senior Member
    edited February 2014
    I would say that you have to figure out what to do about your brother, considering both your well-being and his. It sounds like you're a primary caretaker and that he's not very high-functioning (although that could be wrong), but what you have to ask yourself is if you're willing to continue this situation into the foreseeable future. If you're on the pre-med track, then presumably you would like to go to medical school at some point and would have to leave home (or at least, would have significantly less time to take care of your brother). What would happen to your brother at this point? Start to seriously look at different options, and try to find something that will work for everyone. Has your brother had any behavioral therapy or anything like that? Could he conceivably live on his own at some point in the future or will he always need to be in an assisted living type situation? Look at options in your area (and in your price range). Talk to your parents about what options they would be willing to accept.

    But only you can figure out what you're willing to live with. If you don't ever want him to go to another home, then you (and your parents, although you make it sound like they aren't really helping) need to sacrifice to make this happen. If you are okay with him going to another facility for those with special needs, then try to figure out where he would go and how you could make that happen. Start now, before you start to really consider going to medical school, so that you aren't scrambling to figure out what's going to happen to him at the last minute. Once you figure out what's going to happen to your brother, you may have more room to do things that you like--make friends, volunteer, work, whatever. But it sounds primarily is that what's holding you back is your obligation to your brother. Look into other options and figure out what's the best situation.

    Also, if you haven't already, it might be helpful to post in the Parents Forum to see if anyone has any specific suggestions. There might be a parent there who has experience with taking care of a special needs child or other relative.
  • bomerrbomerr Registered User Posts: 1,956 Senior Member
    edited February 2014
    Don't worry about your parents problems, they are not yours. Definitely get out of that environment. To that end do well in school so you can get a good job and afford a good place to live. If that means not supporting your brother then so be it.
  • YoHoYoHoYoHoYoHo Registered User Posts: 2,001 Senior Member
    Definitely post this in the parent forum. You will get tons of advice there.
  • Kamikaze558Kamikaze558 Registered User Posts: 98 Junior Member
    Thank you. Will move it to the parent forum
This discussion has been closed.