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Depression and Anxiety Ruin My Brother’s Life

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Apr 09, 2019

Question

My elder brother has been giving my family problems since he was in the 6th grade. He has a very low self-esteem due to years of bullying and torment and suffers from depression and social-anxiety, he also can be triggered at literally anything and will be like a rabid dog when he gets angry. There’s no limit in controlling him, he curses, and it’s like he’s literally possessed when he’s angry. If this was not bad enough, he recently told me that he sometimes feels attracted to men and I asked him on a deeper note if it’s sexual feeling such as would you have sex with them and he said no, he likes women’s bodies and finds a man’s body to be repulsive but he still sometimes gets attracted to them.

I checked his search history, most of it was random about women and then I came across him searching for a gay YouTuber on YouTube as well as watching a gay movie. I have lost all hope for him and it’s like he’s getting worse and worse, he does not like to sit down with the family at all and has a vendetta against my other older brother who has done absolutely nothing to him. He also didn’t fast at all this Ramadan even though he used to all the time.

He’s selfish and doesn’t see the pain he’s causing us especially my poor mother. We’ve taken him to therapy and youth groups and tried to get him involved with the community but nothing seems to work. I’m scared and so worried about what he might become in the future. What do I do? I feel so hopeless ya Allah.

Counselor

Answer


Depression and Anxiety Ruin My Brother's Life

In this counseling answer:

•Sister what your brother may be suffering from in addition to depression and anxiety is post-traumatic stress disorder. This is common in children/adults who have been bullied, tormented and/or abused.

•I highly encourage you to seek a therapist in your area who specializes in children who have been bullied.

•I would also kindly suggest that you seek counseling for the family as a whole if possible, to help you deal with your brother and his behaviors.


As-salam alaykum sister,

I understand that your oldest brother’s been giving your family’s problems since he was in the 6th grade. He was bullied and tormented as a child and suffers from depression and social anxiety. He also has anger issues which are uncontrollable. He recently told you that he sometimes feels attracted to men. When you questioned him, he stated he likes women but is often attracted to men.

You did search his YouTube history and found most women but you did come across a search for a gay YouTuber.  In addition, you said he didn’t fast for Ramadan and he used to all the time.

Sister what your brother may be suffering from in addition to depression and anxiety is post-traumatic stress disorder. This is common in children/adults who have been bullied, tormented and/or abused.  His anger management skills are very poor.  This may be due to holding everything in for the years he was being bullied and tormented.  Now he is older and the fear and rage he’s been holding inside may be coming out.


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As he has been to therapy and youth groups, and nothing has helped so far I highly encourage you to seek a therapist in your area who specializes in children who have been bullied. I am not sure to what extent his previous therapy lasted or if it addressed all of his issues, but it is imperative to get him engaged in therapy again.

While you didn’t say how old he is now, it is apparent that his past traumatic experiences have altered who he truly is to a point where he is a danger to himself and possibly others with his angry outbursts.

I would also kindly suggest that you seek counseling for the family as a whole if possible, to help you deal with your brother and his behaviors. While he is the one that is truly suffering, the family is suffering as well.

It is my feeling sister that he did not intend to stray away from the dean. He is suffering with mental health issues that need to be addressed as soon as possible so he can overcome the trauma, heal and go on to live a happier and more fulfilling life. Often times when people have been traumatized or they have a mental illness it does affect their relationship in regards to practicing Islam.

People who been traumatized often cannot grasp the comfort and the healing that is in prayer, submission to Allah, and our Islamic way of life. They feel so hopeless and trapped inside of their pain that the only way they can release it is by acting out in rage.

As stated please do look for a specialized therapist who can help your brother insha’Allah. Please do keep him in your duaa’s, ask Allah to grant ease and mercy; and to guide you in your search for a qualified therapist.  You are in our prayers, w wish you the best.

Salam,

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Aisha Mohammad

Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word poetry projects.

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