You are here:

Bipolar Disorder/How to handle my brother's mental issues and other issues ?


QUESTION: parents and I are trying to decide the best plan for helping my brother, who is 31 years old and currently in jail because we pressed charges against him for threatening us over the phone when he was drunk a month ago. He called us in the middle of the night, asking that we come get him because he was stranded in the city and had no money or way home, where he stayed with a friend. We refused to come get him at 4AM in a place we aren't familiar with and we aren't comfortable being around him when he's drunk or high on drugs, which he has a history of...and he has been a drug dealer off and on since he was a young teenager. He has a criminal felony record for drug bust in the past. When he doesn't get his way, he threatens us (his own family) and also his son's mother in the past. He had just gotten out of jail a month before this incident. He had been in there from Thanksgiving morning until one month ago...for alleged armed robbery on an individual and his girlfriend. My brother and his friend stole $58.00 and a cell phone from those people, but he case was dropped because the victim was also put in jail for something while my brother was in jail for this crime against him. But, then this incident happened where my brother threatened me (said it was his main mission to make me dissapear) beause I wouldn't come pick him up that night. He also threatened my parents and said he'd kill us...and so we called the police. We had not pressed charges on him in the past, partly out of fear and partly because we had hope that he would change for the better on his own. Now, we are realizing that this may not be possible...probably isn't. He has had a history of anger management issues since he was about 7 years old. He used to easily get mad at his friends and chase them around or hit them and he also got mad and pitched fits when his ball team lost a game. Then he got into marijuana and then selling it. He then got into Xanax, Ecstasy, Cocaine, etc...and always drinks too much. He always gets back into his old lifestyle of trouble and selling drugs right after he gets out of jail. My parents used to bail him out but they stopped recently. They want to see if there is some kind of court-appointed rehab and mental evaluation that the state may pay for or help pay for. My brother has exhausted my parents funds over the years. We fear him, although he has always seemd to be "all talk" with his threats, but we are not comfortable being around him, and he doesn't even understand why. He says that we overreact. We are afraid for him to get back on the streets without some serious help this time. He seems to get worse with age...and we don't know if it's just the drugs/alcohol, or a mental condition like Bipolar disorder, or if he was born this way...or if a head injury he sustained to the forehead at the babysitter's when he was a few months old...had caused some sort of frontal lobe damage to his brain, in turn causing anger management and decision making problems. I personally saw a documentary on Dateline or a show like it...back in the year 2000, which discussed a survey that was done on some prison inmates who were incarcerated for violent crimes. They did MRI scans on these individuals and also psychotherapy and determined that 80% of those tested...had frontal lobe damage to their brain when they were young children, and it was caused by either physical trauma or emotional abuse. I am wondering if it's possible with my brother, since he did have a forehead injury when a baby ? And he had the anger issues as a young child and all his life. he just pure evil ? We don't want to believe that, but we need to find out for sure and know how to proceed...for our safety and for his best interest. Thanks for any advice...we are desperate for answers.

ANSWER: Hi Jamie,

Your brother's personality is typical I had under supervision in the days when I was a Probation and Parole officer. You are certainly right in being very cautious helping him out at the moment because he does not seem to be in control of his emotions. If I were to treat him I would first of all  have him tested for hypoglycemia (,). This is a common disease that can cause the over-production of stress hormones, that can account for his uncontrollable anger, and also his needs to use drugs to counteract the symptoms of mood disorders, anxiety etc etc.  This illness can be treated without resort to drugs by the adoption of the hypoglycemic diet (

Of course, he needs to e motivated to undertake treatment and that is something we may not have control over. I suggest that he enters a drug rehabilitation centre that take into account nutritional aspects of drugs addiction. Please read:

Drug Addiction is a Nutritional Disorder at:

Anger Management: Nutrition and Psychotherapy

I hope i have been of some assistance.

Jurriaan Plesman, Nutritional Psychotherapist.
Hon. Editor of
The Hypoglycemic Health Association of Australia.
Author of "Getting off the Hook"
Freely available at Google Book Search
Skype: jurplesman

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello Juriaan Plesman...thank you so much for your advice. I was surprised to read your suggestion about hypoglycemia, but it may make perfect sense, because I, his sister, have been diagnosed with hypoglycemia. I always felt shaky or light-headed and moody when younger if I skipped meals. I finally had it checked a few years ago and my blood glucose went down to 51 with the last blood draw during the GTT. I have it under control now and do not skip meals if I can help it. My brother may have it as well...and another thing I was diagnosed with in 2004, was Mitral Valve Prolapse. I had always felt anxious and jittery with heart palpitations over the years, especially when younger. I found out that I have MVP and learned to control it. I read that usually if one sibling has it, they all have he may have MVP, also...adding to his anxiety and the drugs/alcohol making it worse. I have told our parents to have my brother checked for all these things but they never have. They have spent a great deal of money on attorneys and bailing my brother out of jail, but I have suggested on several occasions that they rule out other things such as the hypoglycemia and MVP. I also think they should have an MRI done on his brain to see if he has any frontal lobe damage. Thank you for the interesting info. and I appreciate your help...any further advice or comments are welcomed.

I hope you can motivate your brother to have a test for hypoglycemia as explained at:
Testing for Hypoglycemia,

You can find a home test at:

Testing for Hypoglycemia by Questionnaires
  Nutrition-Behavior Inventory (NBI)

  Hypoglycemic Questionnaire (short test)
If you score high it may be an indication that by ou are [url=]hypoglycemic[/url].  This is a silent disease that is responsible for excess production of stress hormones - like adrenaline and cortisol - and which may trigger depression, anxiety or a low self-esteem.

This can be treated by going on a [url=]Hypoglycemic Diet[/url].

Hope this helps.

Jurriaan Plesman, Nutritional Psychotherapist.
Hon. Editor of
The Hypoglycemic Health Association of Australia.
Author of "Getting off the Hook"
Freely available at Google Book Search
Skype: jurplesman

Bipolar Disorder

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Jurriaan Plesman, Nutritional Psychotherapist


Have worked as a psychotherapist for overv twenty years, dealing with many personality disorders


I have a degree in Psychology from the Sydney University and a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Nutrition. I am also the author of “GETTING OFF THE HOOK” which deals with the nutritional and psychological treatment of personality disorders. It is freely available on the internet at Google Book Search. I am interested in the relationship between nutrition and behaviour, and as a Probation ans Parole Officer facilitated groups for offenders, many of whom were alcoholics and drug addicts, sex offenders or compulsive gamblers, as well as the whole gamut of “personality disorders”. I am also the ex-editor of the Hypoglycemic Health Association of Australia Newsletter, a quarterly publication dealing with hypoglycemia and related health problems. Its web site, together with a shortened course of PSYCHOTHERAPY can be visited at:

Editor of the Hypoglycemic Health Association of Australia. Its web site is at:

Author of the book "Getting off the Hook", It is freely available on the internet at Google Book Search. My articles can be found at:

BA (Psych) (University of Sydney), Post Gad Dip Clin Nutr (International Academy of Nutrition)

©2016 All rights reserved.