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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: What makes my brother so hard to tolerate?

 ang3839 - Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:06 pm

I don't know where else to ask about this. My brother is visiting from out of town, and each time I see him I find him harder to tolerate than the last. In a nutshell, these points are what make him difficult for me to tolerate: He is extremely, and I mean extremely loud verbally, he talks over you and verbally "beats you down", he thinks he is always right, even when he is grossly misinformed, he is extremely critical of everybody but himself, he takes criticism horribly, he has always been a liar, I think he really convinces himself that his lies are fact, he grossly exaggerates his talents/intelligence, thinks everybody else is unintelligent, he has done quite a bit of stealing from people over the years, including myself, he cannot keep a job, he tells the same stories over and over, he has always, since the age of about 3, been prone to bouts of anger and frustration, he is obnoxious, he invalidates everybody else's opinions, he is a huge hypocrite and does not even seem to realize it (for example, he will go off on a verbal tirade about people like Sean Penn, the actor, who "badmouth America" and have "no business" expressing their opinions against the U.S., one minute, and then the next is talking about how this country is the worst country in the world and he is moving to Australia the 1st chance he gets because he cannot stand it here anymore), he constantly tells jokes that require a lot of set-up and attention focused upon himself, he has been in many, many physical altercations with other men/boys throughout his life, although never with women, to my knowledge, he is 37 years old and has never dated anybody over the age of 24, he takes issue with any and everything you say, and he is just generally the most obnoxious person I have ever met, and seems to be getting more so the older he gets. I would like to know, in general, what type of personality disorder(s) he may possibly have, and also what I can do, if anything, to help myself be in the same room with him without getting so stressed out. He really is intolerable at this point, and I don't want to feel so negatively towards him, but he does nothing to make me feel otherwise. Also, if these 2 questions cannot be answered here, is there some place more appropriate where I can ask these things? I appreciate any help! Thank you!
 Tim W Latsko - Sat Mar 07, 2009 8:27 am

It is inappropriate to diagnose a person without a clinical interview, however based on your presentation of your brother's personality traits it sounds like his personality has a composition consistent with traits of the Cluster B Personality traits which are evidenced by dramatic, erratic behaviors and include histrionic, narcissistic, antisocial and borderline personality disorder traits.

Now with that said, it may be helpful for your to meet with a therapist to explore appropriate coping skills in dealing with your brother, as it is unlikely that he will seek treatment on his own volition. Besides what is more important is that you gain insight into how your thought process contributes to your emotional distress when dealing with him, albeit frustating, you can make the situation less troublesome by gaining insight and developing alternative coping skills......keep us posted and good luck....

 ang3839 - Mon May 11, 2009 5:41 am

I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my post. You were correct about the likelihood of him seeking any sort of treatment on his own - he thinks counseling is a "rip-off", as he has expressed when our cousin sought treatment for her anxiety disorder. I have a friend who sees a counselor, so I will ask him about her and see if I can speak to her and get some techniques. He is my only sibling, and my father has not been doing well the last few years, and I don't want to be at odds with him in the future, during what may be a difficult time for the whole family.

I have found out recently that marijuana seems to be an issue for him, as my mother found a pipe in her spare bedroom after he stayed there, although I have suspected for a while now that he might be abusing something other than alcohol; he is not a big drinker and never has been, but it just seemed something else might be going on.

Again, I thank you for your response, and I will definitely seek the help of a counselor, and that might help my mother, as well, as she has a very strained relationship with him at this point. And, although I understand that it is not proper to "diagnose" somebody over the net, the information you have given me will help with my fund of knowledge when I do speak with a counselor.

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