Ask an expert

30 May 2011

Brother threatens murder
I need some advise on whether this is just a figure of speech or if i should be really worried.

my brother is a complicated person - he gets very frustrated/aggresive when he feels people are treating him like a child but he still acts like it in certain ways.
He is almost 30 and lives with our parents (due to retrenchment) and while my parents do his laundry and give him 3 meals a day - he will still get demanding - never clean his room en just insist on having things his way.
He and my mom also fights non stop - he finds her irritating and childish and she finds him arrogant and lazy. I am usually the one who has to step in and sort out their issues which are mostly just communication gaps in any ways.
This past weekend was very bad - he was sick and really acted like an @ss towards my parents and grandparents and we all had a huge fight about it.
When speaking to him afterwards he spoke about his frustration with my parents and said ''ek sal hulle sommer in hulle slaap vermoor''...I was so shocked - he has also said this about me and my husband when he lived with us. We started locking the door, just in case.
I asked him if this is something he ever thinks about and he said no but I am still terrified that he may snap and do something stupid.
i love my brother so much and the above is only the bad things about him. He is also a great brother and person - 70% of the time. We all love each other a great deal so I dont know if I should worry or not. If this is just harmless but annoying family squables or a tragedy in the making..?
Answer 480 views

01 Jan 0001

Only someone who knows him well would have a good chance of knowing whether this is a figure of speech ( does he often talk in such dramatic and alarming terms ? ) or possibly a genuine threat. It's worrying and a bit risky to assume that all such threats are NOT serious - just often enough they are, such that we really need to take them seriously.
If he saw a skilled shrink, they could assess the situation more acurately.
He does sound childish and petulant, though it is hard to face a return to being dependent due to retrenchment, if you have enjoyed independence ( of course, not everyone does enjoy independence ).
Is it practical to talk this very reasonable concern over with him calmnly at a time he's not in the midst of a trnatrum or storm, and mention that he has made such threats, which he should expect people to take seriously, even if he doesn't specifically mean it. It was probably an expression of hos frustrated he feels, especially as he should recognize that not only would such an act, even of an attack they survive, would land him in an awful jail for life, and end any possibility of anyone helping to support him. explore whether he might consider seeing a counsellor to work on his frustration and his plans for returning to a more independent life style.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.