I’m struggling to live alongside my brother’s mood swings
My brother and I (both in our early 30s) are currently living together and work from home. He is a wonderful person – kind and generous – but at times he can be alarmingly silly. Singing at the top of his voice, bouncing off the walls, humming TV theme tunes and fizzing with energy.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appWhile it’s nice to see him so happy, it can be disturbing, especially when I crave peace and quiet after a long day. But it upsets him if I ask him to tone it down and I am fearful of flipping him into one of his bouts of depression, which are much worse. I wish I could just humour his “happy moods” but I struggle to cope with his hyperactivity, and end up silently screaming for it to stop. Is there anything I can do to make it more bearable?
Caroline, via email
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appThis is a classic example of being caught between a rock and a hard place, and I sympathise with you.
On the face of it, it sounds as if your brother suffers from what used to be called manic depression and is now known as bipolar disorder; a constant lurching between dramatic highs and extreme lows. But you make no mention of any professional diagnosis or treatment. Is your brother under medical care? If not, he should be – depression is treatable and the dramatic mood swings of bipolar can be managed. The obvious first step would be a visit to his GP for referral.
If he’s already receiving treatment then the situation you are in is probably as good as it’s going to get, so the burden falls on you to manage your own reaction to his “happy moods”. You acknowledge that these are less concerning than his bouts of depression, but all the same it’s understandable that you find them trying after a hard day’s work.
So, a couple of practical suggestions. Try to get out more on your own, especially in the evenings. Is it possible to work away from home, in an internet café, for example, even if only for an hour or two? If you lessen your exposure to your brother’s hyperactivity, you’ll have more reserves of patience.
You say you and he are “currently” living together, which implies the arrangement may not be permanent. Is it essential that you are under the same roof? Could one of you move out? For example, what would happen if one of you met someone and wanted to live with them? You must have considered this. Is there a plan B already in place? Perhaps it’s time you considered implementing it.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appWhatever; you are clearly a wonderful sister, Caroline, and your brother is lucky to have you. With a heart as warm as yours, I have no doubt you’ll work this out. Good luck.