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So worried about my brother

Community Member

I love my family but sometimes I feel guilty about how anxious they make me feel, there is always tension and I take on other peoples stress.

i lived out of home for the last 18months and would feel anxious the entire day on the days I went home for dinner, worried that people would be fighting and I would just be waiting to leave the entire time.

i worry so much about my younger brother. He drinks to the point of passing out, spends all his money on drinking, and last night drove home drunk. I chronically worry (to the point where my chest is tight and I've lost my appetite) that something bad will happen. I'm back living with my parents at the moment and switch between being glad when he isn't home because he isn't fighting with my mum, to being worried because he is probably at a bar somewhere. It's something I'll chronically worried about, on and off.

im soon moving interstate with my partner and I'm worried I'll be constantly anxious as I won't know what is happening at home and how everyone is coping (when we chat on the phone everyone will pretend to be fine). I also feel guilty like I shouldn't be leaving my family to be happy and everyone else has to deal with so much anxiety.


1 Reply 1

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Ellj~

Welcome, and thank you for posting here. I can see the difficult position you are in and the worry and frustration you feel.

Im not sure that there is an ideal solution to the matter. You do not control your brother's behavior, nor that of you mother. From what you say there seems to be a great deal of friction between them, and your brother's drinking is, as you show, harmful to him and dangerous to others.

You also say 'people would be fighting' which implies there are other tensions in that household.

Unfortunately, no matter how much we love someone life forces us to be in the sidelines, just watching and giving what support we can.

Looking at your message I see you are personally not in the best of positions, with the worry reaching the stage of having physical symptoms, together with miss-placed guilt. Also you anticipate that moving away will not make things better for you.

You did not mention if you were under any form of treatment for this anxiety? If it was me I'd go see my GP, book a long appointment and set out exactly how you feel, together with how long it has been happening. Asked to be diagnosed for anxiety and see what happens.

In my own case I found writing down everything first was necessary as I'd not been able to give a complete account face to face.

I'd also suggest looking at the information about anxiety in The Facts menu above and also look on this Forum to see how others have handled similar matters.

Moving away may in fact be the best thing for you, with constant reminders absent. I realize there will still be problems at home, but you may find you are able to deal with it better as time goes on.

As I mentioned a difficult and upsetting situation. Please post back and say how you are getting on