Your letter has provided a glimpse of what your brother is like. It’s clear that he’s struggling. What’s less clear is if his behavior is due to a mental illness or if he is responding to what you described as a dysfunctional family dynamic. You also said he is transgender, which adds another layer of complexity.
The fact that he vocalized suicidal thoughts is a concern. Being suicidal is abnormal. Other symptoms that are concerning include his talkativeness, his compulsion to clean, his inability to concentrate and relax, his poor memory, and his mood instability. I would concur with you that bipolar disorder is a possibility, but from my vantage point, it’s difficult to untangle what might be a mental illness, family chaos, and the challenge of being transgender.
I don’t know what your relationship is like with your brother or your family but if you feel comfortable, suggest that he see a mental health professional. A psychological evaluation would help to determine what’s wrong and if treatment is required. His symptoms shouldn’t be overlooked and they should be evaluated. Early treatment is critical in preventing the development of a mental illness. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice Blog