I have a brother 11yrs of age that i believe is showing signs of homicidal tendencies. He has held a butcher knife to one of his other sisters back. A journal was found saying that he hated my grandmother and wanted to slit her throat and watch her bleed.He very inappropriately touches people.He started randomly licking people any place he can.My mother will not do anything about it.I am very worried that he will hurt someone and want to know if there is a way that i can get him in to therapy. If maybe there is a way to force her to have to take him to get help.

A: Your brother sounds very troubled indeed. The time to get him help is now, before he hurts someone or threatens someone and gets himself into legal trouble. He certainly sounds like a kid with a conduct disorder. However, I can’t make a diagnosis on the basis of a letter. You are right to want to get him into therapy.

You can’t force your mother to do anything. You can talk with her about your worries. You can remind her that something can be done now before something really bad happens. You can suggest that it’s very possible that if she waits, she’ll be visiting him in juvenile hall or a psychiatric hospital. Please don’t say these things in anger. Just lay out the reality and ask her if that’s what she really wants.

On the other hand, it may be that she is overwhelmed, not in denial. In that case, she might respond if you do the research to find an appropriate therapist and figure out how therapy can be paid for. You could also offer to go with her to take him to appointments. She may be more able to manage the situation if you are there to lean on.

You didn’t mention if your father is in the picture. If so, he could take on the responsibility of getting your brother the help he clearly needs.

I hope you will persist. At 11, your brother can be helped.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie