Brother Have Something Other than Bipolar Disorder?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

My brother is acting weird. I don’t think it’s just bipolar. Hi. I just recently found out about your site on multiple personality list. I’m a little concerned that my brother Geof has it. At the beginning of age 12 he started getting interested in satanic things. His attitude got worse and worse where he was screaming and saying we were stupid Christians. He would take any cross hanging and turn it upside down. HE liked listening to Marylyn Manson. He used to paint his lips black and paint just one nail black. He used to drive nails into his ankle in band class. My brother, would get mad about the simplest things, and when I accidently ripped his handbook he pulled me by the hair, smeared crayon in my face, and he would beat on me. He had to go to 3 group homes, a hospital, and a wilderness camp. He has mood swings, and he is extremely mad sometimes. He can be your best friend and then want to be your worst enemy. He’s punched my mom in the stomach before. He makes lots of farting noises and is easily mad. If you talk against his satanic talk he will get very mad. He will say my Satan will kill your Christ. He is a compulsive eater, and constantly does drugs, drinking, and etc. He cannot hold a job because he ends up cussing at his customers or spooking them out by saying Satan was going to kill them. He says lots of references like, you know he’s going to get you girl. And he blasts his music on loud on the scary themes. He’s constantly laughing and talking about horror movies and gore. He acts like there’s nothing wrong with it. I’m not sure if he’s just proud of being this way or it’s because of a disorder. Heres a list that describes him.

1. disorderly
2. cant keep a job
3. severe mood swings
4. talks constantly about satan
5. compulsive eater, drinker, and drug addict. marijuana especially. Mushrooms.
6. said that he saw a dead girl walking up and down the stairs. I dont know if he was just faking it or if he meant it.
7. can be very mad if you use the wrong tone.
8. can be violent.
9. yells about the simplest things.
10. he is afraid of driving
11. has dreams that he is trying to fly and he gets tangled in telephone wires. IN almost every dream he sees telephone poles. I dont know if that means anything.
12. He used to wear black clothes, etc.
13. he hates anything with Christianity even in simple language.
14. his speech is disfigured sometimes
15. he scratches his crotch in public and you can even see a flash of something once in a while because he refuses to wear clothes and even goes out in his underwear.
16. He wishes he could eat someone.
17. He acts insane sometimes.
18. Hes proud of the way he acts even the gore, and everything.
19. Hes afraid that theres ghosts in his room and has said he has heard something.
20. He has done witchcraft.
21. Satan is the only thing he talks about. Other than gore, horror, and killing people.
22. He likes grateful dead.
23. Hes very sensitive.

The only disorder that doctors have said about him is that has bipolar but I think it’s more than that and my dad tries to make it sound like he doesn’t have any of these things probably because he’s proud of his son. Should I tell anybody? I think it could be a mix of multiple and borderline personality disorder. Please tell me what you think. A sister.

A. I read your letter very carefully and with great interest. What stood out most about the symptom list that you provided regarding your brother is his drug use. This is a major red flag.

You asked whether I believe your brother might have multiple personality disorder, known more recently as dissociative identity disorder (DID). Based on the information you have provided, he shows virtually none of the symptoms of DID.

You also wondered if he might have something other than bipolar disorder. He might but I cannot know that from reading a short letter over the Internet.

I think his main problem, and it is very likely the cause of his very bizarre and dangerous behavior, is his use of drugs. You said that he is a “drug addict” and uses marijuana and mushrooms. Both of those drugs are hallucinogenic drugs and can significantly alter a person’s personality and behavior, for the worse. I am familiar with cases of individuals who used these drugs and never returned to their “normal” selves.

I am aware of a specific case in which a young man was using drugs, mushrooms in particular, and soon thereafter began acting in a very similar manner that you described (very mean and moody, worshipping Satan, etc). He was later hospitalized and like your brother was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. His personality had changed dramatically since he started using drugs and he has never been the same. Thus his use of drugs may have led to his serious psychological issues.

That might be what happened with your brother. It is very possible that had your brother never used drugs, none of this would have happened.

You asked if you should tell someone. What about your parents? You mentioned that your father seems to be in denial of your brother’s outrageous and dangerous behavior and that he is proud of his son. He shouldn’t be. Not because your brother is a “bad” person but because your brother is in desperate need of help. Not only does your brother need help but you need to be protected from your brother. You mentioned that he has assaulted both you and your mother. His use of drugs, his moodiness and temper and his history of assaulting family members is a dangerous situation. I am not saying that your brother will necessarily hurt you and that you should be frightened of him but I am saying that the aforementioned factors make him more likely to hurt you or members of your family.

You also said that he has threatened his customers in the past. This makes him a potential risk to the general public.

I would advise you to try to talk to your parents. Can they find your brother help? Have they given up? I know they seem to have tried in the past to get him into treatment and maybe they can find him help again. It is very unwise for your father to ignore how your brother is behaving because is it not helpful to your brother and it also puts you and mother at risk for future assaults. Your parents need to proactively seek help for your brother and to stop ignoring the very serious problems that your brother is experiencing. Maybe you can show them this letter.

I hope this answers your questions. Please let me know if you have any follow-up questions.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 24 Nov 2008

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2008). Brother Have Something Other than Bipolar Disorder?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/11/24/brother-have-something-other-than-bipolar-disorder/