Bipolar Disorder Community
Is my brother bipolar?
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Bipolar Disorder is also known as "Manic Depressive Disorder". This forum is for questions and support for people with, or for loved ones of people with Bipolar Disorder. The forum covers topics ranging from Aggressive Behavior, Affect on friends and Family, Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Appetite Changes, Chronic Pain, Denial, Depression, Difficulty Concentrating, Euphoria, Guilt, Manic Depression, Medications, Mood Swings, Poor Judgment, and Sleep Disorders

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Is my brother bipolar?

I am at a loss for ideas.... My brother has always had anger issues. From the time I can remember. As adults I have seen him blow up on his wife (no ex) his girlfriends, my parents and me. He usually doesnt blow up on his kids but I have seen a few instances that he has gotten angry but not like he does with the rest of us. Two years ago he was on top of the world, making 120k at least a year, had a big house and things seemed to be going well. He had gone thru some anger management therapy and I thought he was doing much better i could tell he had learned to control his outbursts. He quit his job and went to a new company in hopes of having more opportunities both financially and professionally. It was going to be a tough transition tho and his fiancee was going to have to carry the weight for a few months which i didnt think was unreasonable seeing as they had been living on his income for years. Then him and his fiancee broke up. Which seemed to be for the better because she had her own mental issues and honestly i didnt feel they were good for each other. After awhile things were not going well at his new job. He wasnt making the money he used to and he didnt like it i guess. He decided at this point that he wanted to open his own business. After a month or two of getting some plans together he quit his job (btw at this point he didnt have a lot of money saved in fact i dont think he had any but thought his "investors" would carry him) Everyone in my family supported him although nervous and we all thought he was going to make this happen. His drive and belief in himself was infectious. Fast forward- last christmas he had to move in with my parents. Things were taking longer than expected with the new business and he was getting evicted. I watched and helped him move out of his amazing home and see everything he owned. My parents had set up a reasonable rent plan for him but said he could have the first month for free and they would buy groceries and stuff for his boys as well. i since then had moved out of state but for the first 4 months they all loved living together. Then i came home for a visit and there was a blow up. I watched my brother yell at my terminally ill mother standing over her bed saying awful things. My mom although sick is very strong and she said some things back and before I knew it i was yelling at him to leave the room and never talk to her like that again. As per usual when he calms down he acts like nothing happened. We didnt tell my dad of the incident because that would have caused more issues. Apparently unbeknown to me this continued the little spats with my mom and my brothers outbursts. My parents tell me he was yelling at the boys too. So one night my dad left him a note saying they needed to talk about him getting a job (because now 6 months into living there he still hadnt paid a dime of rent, my parents paid his car payment a few times bc my dad was a cosigner, and my parents were paying for food as well. In a time that was not financially sound for my parents either) being a better parent to the boys and helping around the house. I guess things got heated and my dad said some really awful things to my brother (like he was acting like a loser like his father- "my dad" is really our stepdad, that he was a moocher and other things that really set him off.) since then my brother has completely lost it. He packed up and dragged his kids out of my parents house. He stayed with friends on their couches and stuff for a few months until he finally got a job. IN the meantime he was sending my dad on average 30 text messages a day saying really awful things. He told my mom she was dead to him among many other incomprehensible words. He even verbally attacked me one night when i couldnt get my dad to apologize. He mentioned to me being off of his ADD medicine helped him clear his head but now is back on. The angry outburst keep getting worse and worse. I thought i had gotten thru to him but thats the thing every time i talk to him he makes me believe he is fine or he tries to blame my parents for everything. His car got repossessed and he blamed that on my parents and said he did it on purpose to get back at them for my dads mean words. I have been telling my parents that something mentally is not right with him since i found out that i thought he lost it. Like reallly went off the deep end and seriously needed mental help. Most recently tho, he wrote my dad a text that said if he ever saw him again he was going to "put a bullet in his head". My parents are now considering pressing charges because they dont know how to help him. My mom thinks he has bipolar. I just dont know. Its ripping our family apart and most importantly his poor kids have been through so much. Does this sound like bipolar or just a spoiled rotten, angry brat? I hope some people can give some insight and some ideas on how to help him get help. Thank you for reading i know tht was a lot.... and that wasnt even half of it.
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I have just read a few articles that talk about how ADHD is often misdiagnosed instead of bipolar.... I think that this is really the problem with my brother. The real question is how do i get him to seek help????
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I think you should sit him down at a time when he is calm and explain to him that he should see a therapist or a mental health pro. He might get angry or mad but at least he might consider it! If the situation is really bad it might help his kids to live with their mother or you parents, away from him. I hope things get better!!!!
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There are a number of classic flags for bipolar disorder in your account (we have seen all of these in our adult bipolar son):

Your brother's idea of starting up a new business via investors, when his capital is too low to swing it.  That's grandiose thinking.

Infectious drive and belief in himself at that unrealistic point--again, classic bipolar behavior.  He's out of touch with reality.

Screaming at his terminally ill mother is beyond inappropriate in anyone older than about eight.  It's not just spoiled behavior; it is another sign that his self-control is gone and that he cannot control his behavior.

Sending *anyone* 30 angry text messages per day is also classic, but threatening to shoot his stepdad may indicate that your brother is flirting with real violence.  Your parents may have to file a restraining order against him, unfortunately.

None of this behavior is ADHD.  It is most likely bipolar disorder, but it could be schizoaffective disorder of the bipolar type.

We have been through all of this with our son, and I believe the only solution is to convince your brother to get a psychiatric evaluation.  Unfortunately, the patient has to accept that he's in trouble and has to want to get better.  That can be difficult when he's in a manic phase.




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