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Something’s not right

New Contributor

Looking for guidance/ advice

Hi all 

I am new to the forum today, and have spent some time this morning reading many of your helpful, generous and supportive posts - thank you. 

I have joined in order to ask for some guidance and advice about my family's situation. 

My younger brother has BPD, depression, anxiety, OCD, issues with alcohol, prescription drugs and gambling. He's 38 and has suffered with these issues since his teens before being diagnosed (with OCD at first) about 18, and then in and out of hospitals in his 20s. Despite the many challenges he faces he has managed to hold jobs for much of his adult life. Late last year he lost his (quite senior) job. In the ensuing months he has spent the redundancy that he received. He has now moved in with my parents who are in their late 70s (this is about two hours from where I currently live). My parents are supporting him by providing a place to live and meals, but I have now learned that they are also supporting him financially (paying his debts to a short term money lender, paying for phone bills, paying for cigarettes/petrol etc). I understand that he has also used my mother's credit card (without her consent). My brother has a psychiatrist who he sees and is on medication (though query if he is taking it according to instructions).  

I suppose I am reaching out because it is very hard for my parents (and us as a family) to know how to set boundaries in relation to my brother. My parents have committed to giving him a place to live for 3 months, but are really unsure about how much financial support they should be providing - with my brother's interests at the forefront of this decision. They are extremely generous, gentle and loving people. They do not have much, if any, disposable income, but are able to draw down on their mortgage, which is what they have been doing. My mother and I tend to think think that if they keep bailing him out then he is not going to try to improve his situation. At the moment he has no job or prospect of one, and is not really looking. He has gradiose ideas about the type of work he could do, but it doesn't translate into action. He has debts (including to money lenders) which up to now my parents have thought they would meet for him. If they don't meet them he will get into a worse financial situation, but is helping him out of that the best thing for him? 

Finally, my brother has never been violent but he does get angry, and I do worry a great deal about my elderly parents. 

I welcome any guidance or insight into how we could approach this difficult task. 


Thank you in advance. 


Re: Looking for guidance/ advice

Hello @BecM 


Recently I came across this article and while the scenario is different, the underlying principles are there.


The potential is there for your brother to access and use all available redraw funds leaving your parents with no financial back up. Your mum might be wise to cancel her present credit card and not give your brother access to the replacement one. 

If he is stealing there is the elder abuse line.


Family help is available through gamblers support groups and this might be of help to you and your family.

Re: Looking for guidance/ advice

Hi @BecM 


The issues you are asking about are outside my personal experience, but I support what @Darcy @has put forward. 


Relationships Australia might be a good place to contact too -


I just wanted to say to say welcome to the forums.  Finding a community of people who are living / dealing with a range of issues in the mental health arena helps us to understand that we are not alone ..... sticking together and supporting each other helps us al to get through the rough times.

Re: Looking for guidance/ advice

Hi @BecM and welcome to the forums.

This is understandably a difficult situation and it is clear you are worried about how your parents are managing. How do you think your brother would cope with receiving outside support?

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