How can I help?

One of the most frustrating things can be trying to help someone who refuses your help. My brother has needed help regarding his mental health for years, but has always refused. When he was younger my parents took him to various psychologists and counsellors in hopes that someone would be able to help him, or at the very least get him to open up. But every time it was the same thing. An hour would pass and he would walk out of the room having not said a single word. He would then repeatedly tell my parents how much he hated them for forcing him to see a “shrink.” We also tried family counselling, but here my brother felt as though he was being integrated and threw a fit. We left the session early and never returned.

Once my brother got a little older it became impossible to get him to even go to his appointments. And now that he is an adult he still refuses to seek help. He has been told by numerous family members and close friends that he should talk to someone and get the help he needs, but he still refuses. It has gotten to the point where myself, as well as my parents have stopped trying to convince him to speak to somebody, as it is too frustrating of a task and always ends the same way.

If anyone has any suggestions as to try and help someone who constantly refuses help, please leave a comment below. I would love to hear any and all suggestions you may have!



5 thoughts on “How can I help?

  1. Perhaps I might have something to suggest. I apologize in advance if I seem harsh. I only mean to offer my understanding as someone who has been counselled in the past, and to provide insight.

    It sounds to me like you are trying to force a thing that cannot be forced, and in doing so your brother is now resentful of your efforts to help.

    “When he was younger my parents took him to various psychologists and counsellors in hopes that someone would be able to help him, or at the very least get him to open up.”
    But he didn’t open up. As far as I am concerned, he has no reason to. Who are all of these psychologists and counsellors? More random people. Each counsellor is just another person trying to insert themselves into his affairs.

    How often did your parents change the counsellor that your brother was sent to? If getting your brother to open up is the goal, he needs to trust the person. Not everyone is the type of person to open up to anyone about anything. What he needed was stability – the same counsellor for a long time who he would grow to trust. Preferably one with interesting things to do so that he could warm up to the counsellor over time. This is not the kind of thing that happens overnight.

    An hour is a long time to be forced to do something that you do not want to do. I can understand if your brother had the sense of mind to go to a counsellor on his own initiative. I have both been forced to go to counselling and have voluntarily gone for counselling. When I was little, I did not want to be counselled. I wanted to play. My parents made me go. I am glad for this, but only in retrospect. At the time I considered it an interruption from my agenda of “play”.

    As for the family counselling, it does sound like an interrogation. How many people are involved in the family counselling ritual? Any number greater than one is lopsided. It’s bad enough that he is already uninterested in counselling in the first place, but family counselling sounds like your family is ganging up on him.

    My advice is that you offer to help him whenever he is ready for it. Let him know that you are willing and able to help or offer advice at anytime, and that he need only ask. I’ve seen this advice offered a lot in posts about depression, and it seems the best way to help. You can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped, but you can let them know that if/when they de feel like they need help, you will be there for them. After that, no more counselling until he decides he is ready for it.

    It’s going to be a rough journey. It’ll probably take a long time before he decides he wants help. Based on the temper issues that you described him having in one of your earlier posts, he will probably destroy many relationships before he is ready to ask for help. It doesn’t matter, because if he doesn’t want help, he will only see your efforts as an intrusion.

    Let him know you are available whenever he needs you. When he does need you, be available. Otherwise, wait and see. Don’t force it anymore.


  2. I feel like I am going through the same thing right now! I have a brother who in the last year has developed some anger issues. He gets explosive at times but he does not think anything is wrong. I can tell there is something going on, my parents can tell something is going on too, but every time we bring it up he thinks we are “bullying” him. It is so difficult because I do not know how to get through to him!

    All I can do is be there for him and attempt to understand what he is going through. Besides that, I am lost as well!

    I hope everything works out for you and your family, fingers are crossed over here!


    • It is so stressful sometimes. I’m happy you are able to relate. I hope everything works out for you and your brother is aware that you are ready to talk when he is.


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