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Worried about a family member, not sure how to help?


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I am really worried about my brother. He now has 3 jobs. He is in no debt at all so theres no reason for it. He makes about $170k a year on his regular job. He tells me that its no money to be making. Which does not make any sense to me.

Then he decided to take a weekend job to make more money. He works from 5am to 11pm on weekends, then during the week he has taken one more job after the regular job from 7pm- 2 am.


He has no day off. his apartment is a wreck, his clothes are messy, hes gained alot of weight, he also seems to have some social anxiety now. Hes single as well and has no social life because of this, he cant even get together at Thanksgiving because he says why should he waste a day eating when he can make double the cash. All he talks about is money.


I tried to talk to him but he gets ver angry and does not want to hear it. He tells me i dont want him making alot of money and im jealous.


What should I do? How do I talk to him into just having one job. I think hes really hurting himself. I dont understand it at all.

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Sounds like he might be a little obsessive about this and needs a bit of work/life balance.


Try talking to your brother and just keep it non-threatening. Tell him you are worried about him and his health and that you just want him to be happy. See if he'll open up and tell you why he's so nervous about having so much money.


Pressuring him won't work so try some gentle understanding.

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A story: A good friend of mine had grandparents that hated each other... Five minutes in the room together and they were bickering and being ugly. But you know His Grandpa had the most beautiful vegtable garden in the county. Some would say he really had a passion for it or that he really just loved to grow things. The truth is his garden was his escape and all the energy that should have been going into a positive relationship with his wife was instead put into his garden... it was his escape from dealing with other issues.


It sounds to me like perhaps your brother is doing the same thing... using work and making money as an escape from dealing with something else that is very unpleasant for him, or that he feels he cannot change. It's funny that in our society things like this are often considered positive like "He's a real Go Getter!" just as in my story it would be "He has a real passion for Gardening!"... but the truth is that it's really no different from someone using drugs, alcohol, sex or any other obsessive behavior as a way to escape dealing with other issues.


Getting your brother to see this will be difficult, but perhaps if instead of taking the direct approach (which has obviously met with stiff resistance), instead take an interest in his "Passion"... talk to him about work in a positive way and take interest.. ask him how he does it and focus on the postive side of what he's doing. and when you get a quiet moment ask him what things in life he is not happy with, or better yet tell him something that you were not happy with in yours where you compensated someplace else and realized what you were doing and decided to deal with the real issues and how happy you are that you did (hint hint). Of course this is all just my opinion from my experiences, but often for me I have found that the best way to get someone to see something is to plant the seed and let them figure it out and make the Idea their own.. Not someone else "Telling Them" what to do etc. Hope this helps.

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Altaleks makes some really good points there, and has an awesome avatar too!


Ok another cause could be that he is avaricious, that's pretty much a mental disorder that needs to be treated...was he showing signs of avaricion as a child/teen ? Does he spend his money or keeps it all in the bank ?


Perhaps you could try an intervention, gather all his friends and family and tell him straight up...not sure if it would work tho.


Right now it seems he has to hit rock bottom before going anywhere...he's probably going for a major nervous breakdown at this rate...assuming he's not Superman that is. Maybe after that he can wake up and realize what he was doing wrong...that or maybe a major family crisis like a serious accident or disease seem to be the only ways he can realize what's most important in life...

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Okay, I'll chip in with my armchair diagnosis: Let's try Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder on for size:


- preoccupation with details, rules, lists so that the point of an activity is lost;

- so obsessed with doing a perfect job that tasks cannot be completed;

- excessive devotion to work in preference to friends and leisure activities;

- overconscientious or overscrupulous about values, morals;

- inability to discard old or worn out projects or items (hoarding);

- reluctance to delegate or overcontrolling when delegating;

- miserly spending toward self and others (money is to be hoarded in case of future crises);

- demand resistance and demand sensitivity (does not play well with others);

- feeling there is one specific answer, as opposed to choices;

- hoarding tendencies may extend to include animals.


People with OCPD do not think they have a problem. They always think the problem is with the other person. They can become quite hostile when confronted with their behaviour (demand sensitivity). They sometimes lose jobs because they cannot control their tempers.


You are right to be concerned; if this is what it is. OCPD responds to medication, counselling and group therapy. Very often, though, they have to crash and have a breakdown before they will accept help.


You can try talking to him about his behaviour, in a supportive, not argumentative, way. Just generally discuss it with him. Family members tend to be very frustrated when they try to help relatives with personality disorders.


I hope, though, that he's maybe just a messy guy who loves to work.

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