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My Brother and I both have depression. My parents think it's their fault.

Community Member
My parents think that just because my dad has bipolar, the depression my brother and i have is all their fault. I have tried to explain to them it's not them that bought this on, it's everyone else. All the teasing people that have taunted us for years. We don't want our parents to feel like anymore. It's making us even more down and my brother started selfharming again after 4 months without it just because of this.
2 Replies 2

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi and welcome

I'm sorry to say that some conditions are inherited. Having said that even if you and your brother did inherit your illness from one if your parents "blame" surely isn't appropriate.

Parents have an inner quest of perfect children. When that doesn't eventuate blame can come but it isn't realistic.

My suggestion is that you and your brother praise your parents for their good job of raising you.

You can also say that although your condition could be inherited, there is no foundation for blame.

Tony WK

Community Member

Hi Mrs Bucky,

Welcome to the forum!

I'm sorry to hear both you and your brother suffer from depression. While some mental illnesses are heritable or partially heritable, it is often environmental factors (such as bullying etc.) that can elicit symptoms of mental illness. So you are right not to blame your Dad. Depression is complex and identifying whether causes are genetic or environmental (or a combination) is something even doctors can't always get right.

The important thing is that you and your brother get help for the depression. Your brother's self-harming is of great concern, and I am glad you have come to this forum for advice. You and your brother can support each other through this difficult time, particularly because you both experience the unfair teasing and know what it's like. Making an appointment with your family doctor (GP) is crucial. You and your brother could book separate appointments one after the other and go together. I'm glad your parents are aware you both have depression. Sometimes sufferers will hide their mental illness from those close to them, which is unhelpful and can become dangerous if suicidal tendencies develop.

I don't know how old you two are, but I'm assuming you are at school still (please correct me if I am wrong). Telling a teacher privately about the teasing is a good idea, and ask that the teacher does not tell any of the bullies that you have done so. Unfortunately, bullies don't take well to being called out for their actions. I'm sure you're aware of this, but I thought I'd say so just in case! School counsellors can be very unhelpful to talk to as well.

Make an appointment with your doctor soon. It is crucial your brother sees a doctor too, and that he mentions the self-harm. It would be great to hear back from you.

Best wishes,