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ANGRY BROTHER
January 26, 2000
5:02 pm
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k7maker
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I am writing to you about my brother, I will call him Sean. Sean is 27 years old, Married, has 3 wonderful sons (8, 3, 1) but Sean also has a AWFUL TEMPER. This is nothing new he has had this temper for ever. Im Seans older brother. Im 33 years old so I have been around longer then him and have grown up under the same roof. Sean hates to lose and I mean he HATES it. Not like some spoiled brat or anything but he gets P.Oed!! His anger has got him into fights to many times to count. I have given up on him many times but always find myself trying to help with no luck. The sad thing is that he is a wonderful Son, Dad, Brother, Friends until he gets mad. Mad at a computer game, sports on the TV, playing in a sport (he is very good at everything sports wise), board games, you name it if it is a competition he has to be the best. He gets into some kind of inner rage and all at once he explodes!! Its like its not him at that time. He is always sorry for the things he dose or says. It could be a stranger, brother, parents, wife, kids and he still can not control himself!! I know he needs help but what should I do?? what can we do as a family to help him? Thank you

January 26, 2000
5:12 pm
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gst
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Hi k7maker,

I think I understand what you are going through. I have a similar reaction to things. I am the younger brother and have always wondered if it was some kind of a "brother thing".

In my case I don't really know completely yet but one question I have for you. You mention that he is always sorry after, but does he recognize there is a behavioral problem going on or is he in denial over it?

January 26, 2000
5:31 pm
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k7maker
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No he knows that he has a bad temper and I know that he feels like crap in a few hours after he calms down. I told him to go see someone that other people out there has to have this same kind of reaction and I am sure someone who knows how to deal with it can help but he just shrugs and blows me off and changes the subject.

January 26, 2000
6:50 pm
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gst
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Hi k7 maker,

That's interesting. I was thinking that maybe it was some form of denial, that maybe he wasn't accepting of the fact that he was "misfiring" to borrow from auto terminology. But it sounds as though he is aware that he does it, understands it is not "normal" ie most other people don't do it, and he feels remoseful about it afterward.

Then what is it about this that he doesn't like? What bothers him about it most?

I know my brother and I wind up reaching an impass with each other. He is older and feels as though he is theb "big brother". that's ok until your 20, then the difference begins to diminish - your turn will come. He is also more stable than I with money and more successfull with money - Something that bugs me alot because he only values what he is better at doing - I often wonder what would (will) happen when that tide is turned (I fully intend it to, but the diference between us is that for him it's a measure, for me it's just a practical matter.

On the other hand if the table was(when it does get) turned, I'm pretty sure it will be hard not to gloat over it at least for a while. A little brother thing. You see, the little brother expects that the big brother will accept his success. That's because by virtue of his being "the big brother" he also is bigger in accepting and enjoying the littl;e brothers success. that is not the case, it's some type of primitive threat - I don't make up the rules, just try to figure them out.

In any event, your situation doesn't sound to me like it's a brother/brother issue but something more universal. What do you think?

January 27, 2000
10:47 am
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Cici
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My boyfriend has the same problem. he's never abusive to me, in fact he's always very calm and controlled with me. But he gets angry at football games, videogames, he gets into fights a lot and has scars on his knuckles from busting them open all the time. I've seen him kick in windows, punch mirros and shatter them, punch walls and make dents, etc.

His father is exactly the same way, too. Although whether it's genetic or environmental is anyone's guess.

I set some limits on him. He isn't allowed to drink more than 4 alcoholic drinks in a sitting. He has to stop himself from shouting now and say in a calm voice why he's angry, which usually deflates him quickly because the reason is always stupid. We discuss his frustrations a lot right when they happen. I make sure to talk him through his fits, and that usually works.

The thing that worked the most was pot, though. It calms him down considerably. This, I suppose could be applied to your brother by considering medication. Talk to your doctor about halcion or prozac to regulate mood swings.

All this one on one therapy for my boyfriend comes from the fact that I'm getting a degree in psychology. I studied his problems, did some research and came out with an objective plan that would allow for behavior modification. Your brother probably has problems with impulse control and has learned the wrong coping mechanisms to deal with frustration. The roots can be anything from misapplied punishment techniques in childhood to a biochemical problem with calming neurotransmitters.

In any event, counseling will help. If he isn't into that, talk to the family doctor. He or she can prescribe a pharmaceutical, once given a thorough explanation, that will help him with impulse control and irrational outbursts.

I hope this helps. please let us know how this turns out.

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