Low esteem? Depression?
My brother has been exhibiting signs of depression, I believe. He sleeps at very late hours and gets up late. He often gets very angry (if I or anyone in the family point out his weaknesses or urge him to go to work) and remains angry for a lot of time. He has stopped going to work for more than 6 months and it's hard to send him to work again. He also has an obsessive buying/shopping behavior - typically e-purchases. He also complains of pain in his lower legs. As a child and adolescent he was often teased and that sometimes makes me believe that he has low self-esteem issues. But it also seems like depression. Please recommend what do you think is the problem and how it can be tackled. We have never seen a mental health expert before and I am not sure how to bring this up to him. Though he is my cousin brother but we are very close to each other and hence I am seeking your help. I really want to help him.
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Dr. Sugandha Gupta
Psychiatrist 12 yrs exp Delhi
Hello dear, its heartening to see your concern for your cousin. You are definitely right that he might be suffering from some mental health issue. Howsoever, it will only be possible to make a correct diagnosis after interviewing him in detail. You can try to convince him to seek counseling by a psychologist by communicating the recent changes in his behavior in an empathic and non judgemental manner and relating that seeking support can help him to get back at being his usual self again. Sometimes, families can be quite judgemental about such situations(young son not working, sitting at home, spending money etc) and express hostility openly; this however will further push him away from sharing his problems with if such is happening, it needs to be regulated as a positive and motivating environment can push him to make positive changes. Consultations are also available via online chats, so you might seek them if he is apprehensive to go out. Hope this helps, good luck!
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