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Casual Contributor

Carer for brother - Brain Injury, Depression, Alcohol

Hi everyone,
I'm not sure if this is the right space for this, so I'm sorry if I'm wasting anyone's time. I'm very new to this.
Basic background, a year and a half ago my brother suffered a traumatic brain injury after a bad fall down a flight of stairs. With ICU, ward, and rehab all totalled up he spent 5 months in hospital. When he came home his wife left and took the kids after a few months, partly because of the injury and partly due to ongoing alcohol issues (he was intoxicated when he fell).
I took out a second lease on a unit in my complex to house him and I'm now his primary career, he's mostly independent from a physical side, it's more the emotional and cognitive issues that are the struggle. He's unstable, irrational, still alcoholic, and has complete contempt for therapies, despite the fact that he tells his doctors and therapists what he thinks they want to hear.
Add to that the absolutely acrimonious relationship he has with his (separated) wife, and it's just a huge bundle of stress.
I'm not sure if there's any advice out there, and I'm not even sure what to ask for. I guess I was just wondering if there's anyone out there in a similar situation that I could talk to.
Thanks everyone for reading.


Re: Carer for brother - Brain Injury, Depression, Alcohol

I just read your story and want to welcome you with open arms. I think carers deserve medals, or at least a willing ear late at night.
I am not a professional, but I have a big heart like you and have dealt with addictions like alcoholism and MI (Mental Illness). To help your brother it seems, takes a lot of energy (and financial burden).
My sincere advice is, have boundaries and let him know what they are.
Have yourself in mind first. You are no.1
I hope you sleep well tonight and write to me when you can.

Re: Carer for brother - Brain Injury, Depression, Alcohol

Hi Grasshopper1. Thank you so much for your reply, just to have someone say hello means so much. I wasn't even sure if I was doing the right thing. You're right, I do need to take care of myself first and I've been getting better at that lately. The guilt though, wow that's a killer. "What happens if I do this, what will he do if I'm not there all the time" etc etc, it weighs on you so much. Knowing what to say to him is hard too, the brain injury makes rational conversation so hard sometimes. And he forgets half of it most of the time too. I'm closest to him, so everyone looks to me like I have all the answers, but the truth is I'm flying blind here sometimes! Thank you again, I'll try to get some sleep now that it's all calm for the evening. Tomorrow is another day! Take care

Re: Carer for brother - Brain Injury, Depression, Alcohol

And I'm so so sorry I just realised I put a 1 instead of a 3 in your name. Typing with tired fingers!

Re: Carer for brother - Brain Injury, Depression, Alcohol

Its Ok, just for your info: the Sane Forum has a whole bunch of advisors working for you. They have different titles and they're a lovely bunch. 

Some more members might pop up later with very good advice and referals and links. Most important you will get listened to and receive encouragement, you are not alone at all.

You can also learn a lot by just reading other people's stories.

If you want to make sure a member reads your post, put a @ in front of the members name like this:


Cheers again, lovely chatting to you


Re: Carer for brother - Brain Injury, Depression, Alcohol


I only just joined so I’m not sure if you’re still reading this thread. 


I’m finding it really hard to find a thread to connect with but I connected to this. 


My dad is an alcoholic and I struggle with guilt and having all the answers. 

Im really sorry for your brother and that you have to see him like this. Have things gotten any better? 

My dads fallen multiple times and broken furniture as well as bruising and cutting himself and my worst fear is that one day he too will end up in hospital and that my mum will leave. 


Im not sure what I expected in telling you this I guess I thought it might help both of us just to talk. 


Hope youre coping well and taking care of yourself 

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