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My Brother is Thinking of Commiting Suicide

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My brother just recently told me that he’s thinking of ending his life on his birthday 5 days from now. He says that he’s not depressed, but feels like there is no way for him to be happy living his life.

I feel that it’s all my fault. Almost a year ago, i invited my best friend over to my house to hang out, drink some beers and play cribbage with my brother and i. she had a boyfriend at the time and still does, and i had told my brother this, but that didn’t seem to stop anything. they really hit it off, and when i went away to school with my best friend, not far away from home, my brother would drive almost daily to visit her. i think he tried almost everything to convince her of his feelings, and i know that she has feelings for him as well, but doesn’t want to hurt her boyfriend.

I could see that my brother was slowly going crazy seeing her but not being able to BE with her, so i told them that maybe they shouldn’t see eachother. everything was going well, my brother seemed to be thinking of her less and got a girlfriend. but that didn’t last long.

One night my friend and i had planned to go out to a club, but we didn’t have a ride. she asked if my brother could drive us..my brother told me afterward that on the car ride back my friend had been touching his arm with her foot in the car. they ended up talking on the porch for a while, my brother told me that she had said how she missed him and was jealous of his old girlfriend, but then continued to say how her boyfriend didn’t deserve this and how he was such a good guy. They argued and made out again, and my brother took her home.

My brother told me that he had thought that she had made up her mind and had chosen him over her boyfriend and that was why they had kissed. he called her the next day to talk, but she wouldn’t listen, she said that they had nothing to talk about.

It has been a couple weeks since then and i’ve noticed my brother changing, at first he was always angry, slamming doors and hitting things. we live with our parents, and they kept asking me what was wrong, but i know they wouldn’t understand and there’s just so much that my brother doesn’t tell them, so i kept silent.

My brother told me that he doesn’t blame my friend, that there’s no hard feelings and he wanted me to tell her that. since what happened my friend was really distant until a couple of days ago. she really wanted to go downtown clubbing again so we made plans. my brother knew i was going out with her at night and while i was on the phone with her trying to make plans to get downtown he said that he could drive us. i knew her answer would be no, but he wouldn’t leave until i asked,
So i did and she said no and i could see he was upset.

That morning when i came home from the club, my brother came into my room where he told me of his plans to kill himself on his birthday. right away i started to cry, i told him he was making the wrong decision and that he shouldn’t be saying that. he told me that he had made up his mind and nothing would change it. he said not to tell my parents, that i could tell anyone else and he would be okay with it because he could explain it to them just not my parents. i tried to guilt him by saying that he couldn’t leave me alone here, but he just said that i wasn’t alone. i pleaded with him but nothing came of it.

I have five more days until his 22nd birthday. i havn’t told my parents yet. and i havn’t talked to my friend. my brother told me that he couldn’t talk to her becuase some how she would be able to convince him not to do it. he sais that she’s the one for him and a life without her would be pointless. i don’t want to tell her this and put it all on her shoulders, i think it would be a last resort.

It’s all my fault and i know he’s giving me time to fix it but i don’t know how!
– Little sister

My Brother is Thinking of Commiting Suicide

Answered by on -

A.

Dear Little Sister,

First – this is not your fault. Both your “friend” and your brother are playing a deadly game. She seems to be getting off on jerking your brother around. He seems to have an idea that if he threatens to kill himself, she’ll come to her senses and be with him. They both count on you to carry messages. Your brother wants you to tell your friend about his plans so she can come running and convince him to stay alive. Your friend wants you to tell her how she is affecting your brother. (By the way, you would not be putting anything on her shoulders that she didn’t invite there if you were to tell her. ) The whole thing is very complicated and very unfair to you! And dangerous. It’s all high drama but it could backfire terribly. Neither of these people seems very well balanced right now.

There are some confidences that are not meant to be kept. Killing self or someone else is at the top of the list. Go immediately to your parents. Show them the whole letter you sent me. They need to take him to be evaluated and perhaps hospitalized. (It might be helpful for them to show your letter to the doctor since you know more details than they do.) If your brother doesn’t meet criteria for hospital admission, your folks need to have him on a 24/7 suicide watch. That means someone stays with him every minute until it is certain that he has worked this crazy infatuation through. The girl and/or her parents should also be called. It’s not her fault that your brother has gotten so worked up by her but I do think she has a moral obligation to stop playing her games.

I wish all of you well.

Dr. Marie

p.s. You might want to think about what kind of person you are hanging around with. A real friend wouldn’t be targeting your brother like this.

My Brother is Thinking of Commiting Suicide

This article has been updated from the original version, which was originally published here on June 4, 2007.

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2019). My Brother is Thinking of Commiting Suicide. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 21, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2017/06/04/my-brother-is-thinking-of-commiting-suicide/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 27 May 2019 (Originally: 4 Jun 2017)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 27 May 2019
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.