Something’s not right
22-06-2022 03:04 PM
Help getting a diagnosis for a family member
My brother is struggling with mental health issues and is seeing a counsellor, however he is not getting the support he needs. He has been very unstable and abusive towards the family, and he has been talking a lot about suicide. He is a single dad with a son in his care who is also struggling mentally and emotionally, and I am very worried for the health and wellbeing of them both.
I believe he may potentially fit the criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder, however getting a diagnosis is challenging.
Can someone please provide some recommendations on where he may need to go to get a diagnosis, and some suggestions on how I may be able to encourage him to go without making him feeling bombarded or overwhelmed.
Thanks in advance.
22-06-2022 05:23 PM
Re: Help getting a diagnosis for a family member
Welcome to the Forums and thanks for sharing a bit of your story.
It sounds like a really concerning situation with your brother. It’s so hard when you are also concerned about a child in his care.
It’s good to hear that he is seeing a counsellor. Although a diagnosis can be helpful in knowing which treatment path to take, if he has a good therapeutic relationship with his counsellor, that can be a huge help with or without a diagnosis.
A diagnosis can be provided by a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist. The best starting point is for your brother to visit his GP. They can give a basic mental health assessment and can refer him onwards as appropriate.
If you’re ever concerned about your brother’s immediate safety, it’s important to call 000 to have a welfare check from police.
Encouraging him to reach out without making him feel bombarded can be tricky. It can help to keep letting him know you care about him and are concerned. It’s also great to educate yourself about what options are available so that you can guide him when he is ready to take another step. You can also see if he is open to talking about his current counsellor and how that is going; and you can see if he is open to discussing how to keep safe when he’s thinking of suicide. I’ve linked a SANE fact sheet on this topic, as well as a safety planning app from Beyond Blue.
It is important to leave diagnosis to a clinician, but you have mentioned that you are seeing symptoms consistent with borderline personality disorder, so you might like to take a look at SANE’s information on the topic here:
There are a lot of members here on the forums that have supported loved ones with mental health challenges, so I’m sure you will find plenty of guidance and support here. Please keep posting 🙂