DEAR ZELDA Your prob­lems an­swered

Our re­la­tion­ships ex­pert Zelda West-Meads an­swers your ques­tions

The Mail on Sunday - You - - In This Issue -

This sounds in­cred­i­bly stress­ful, but you can’t put your life on hold to look after your brother. Your part­ner sounds un­der­stand­ing, so you should tell him how much you want to be with him and that you are work­ing to­wards that. You should both talk to your brother about your con­cerns, and tell him that you want to live to­gether. As­sure your brother that you love him and tell him how much you want him to stay alive. Make him prom­ise to con­tact the Sa­mar­i­tans when he feels sui­ci­dal (sa­mar­i­tans.org, 116 123). Tell him that he was not re­spon­si­ble for the break­down of his re­la­tion­ship. Be­cause his part­ner was abu­sive, he has felt that ev­ery­thing is his fault. En­cour­age him to be open with his psy­chol­o­gist, who will only see him as ill and des­per­ately in need of help. He should also see his GP for an­tide­pres­sants. Have his men­tal health prob­lems been iden­ti­fied? It may be bor­der­line per­son­al­ity dis­or­der, which makes you feel ex­ces­sively wor­ried about peo­ple aban­don­ing you. Can your par­ents help more emo­tion­ally, too? Per­haps you can per­suade your fa­ther to come home. Suggest that your brother shares a flat with peo­ple his own age so that he has a so­cial life and, in time, meets a new part­ner. You can visit of­ten. Al­ways re­mem­ber how much you have done for your brother, but also look after your­self.

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