I Am Out of My Depth With My Brother

  My brother is a TV. he never told me he was - but I have seen his clothes and make-up and my brothers and my parents have seen him dressed up.

He was diagonosed with schizophrenia when he was 29 - he was put on heavy medication and he had a bad few years - he is now 44 and his doctor has said he is well enough to come off his meds. He came off his meds in September of 2008.

my old brother who we all love dearly has returned to a great extent. he is speaking lucidly and is very much his old self.    I should add that he had a girlfriend who he broke up with - shortly after this he developed his Sczphenia. could his Schezephrenia be caused as he cant express his feminine side?
However he has now started dressing up again and yesterday he called up to me and stole quite a lot of underwear and a dress of mine. he was wearing a dress under his clothes too.   He has also taken to drinking a bottle of wine every morning which is totally unheard of for him - we all love a drink but he was the one who never got drunk and could drink socially. Please dont be side tracked in to thinking he has a drink problem.

We just dont know what to do - he lives with his elderly mother and she is worried sick. he also suffers from emphysemia from smoking so cant work.

what should we do? I love him dearly but I have 2 small girls and i dont want them to take against him should they see him dressed up or even going tru my wardrobe and nicking stuff.

Should I say it to him?
The most important thing is that we live in a tiny village - a gay man was burned out of his house last year - that kind of place.
If it gets out that he is TV his life and his mums wont be worth living. He doesnt seem 100% sane alot of the time and sometimes he still talks rubbish but the voices etc have stopped.

please answer if you are a TV and know what i am talking about
  • with my brother regarding his dressing up - everyone in the family knows but we never talk about it. there is alot of addiction in our family and we think we have no right to impose our views or worries on him as we all of us have had our moments in the past.......
susan98 susan98
4 Responses Feb 5, 2009

I would imagine he wants to be loved and accepted for who he really is. Just like everyone. That is a very powerful gift you can give to someone.

I assume he broke up with his GF because of his desires to dress up, as for a cross dresser or transvestite, it is hard to hide it and there is a need to find out if your loved one will accept you wearing dresses. He probably just wants to be accepted as a cross dresser but doesn't know how to go about it. He drinks so he doesn't care what people think. Alcohol provides that courage to do what you want to do and not worry about being accepted or not. Ask him this… "I'm going shopping for dresses would you like to come along?" If he does, shop for yourself at first and see if he is looking at dresses on his own. If he is go slow, carefully walk to the same rack he is at, hold up a dress and say, "Hey, this is your color, what do you think?" Read his body language and level of engagement and slowly suggest this dress might fit him, etc. See if he starts to suggest a dress he likes -- eventually buying him a dress will be the least costly therapy you can do. It tells him you are ok with him wearing a dress, that is is ok to wear this dress, be your sister sometimes, and make him feel like he is ok and has someone close to him that understands him.

Tell him, "I'll buy you this dress and you can wear it whenever you want with one exception, not when I come to visit with my daughters. You know how girls are, they just like to tell everyone everything."

Have you tried being supportive of your brother? This may be a very important factor. While you may not understand his need to dress, do you accept it as a part of him? Crossdressing is a widespread lifestyle with most of us not having support of understanding from those we care about such as family. Have you tried talking to him about his dressing? Maybe that will help him come to terms with it and if you are supportive of him with his dressing, he will not feel the need to steal from you. In my youth, I often stole clothing from my sisters, I would say I was just borrowing it, but the fact is I was stealing from her and invading her personal space by going into her dresser drawers without her permission. A crossdresser desires support and understanding, yet we never know how to go about getting that from family members. Crossdressing is NOT a disease or an addiction, it is a part of the whole person. Nobody knows why we start crossdressing, all we know is that we find comfort in clothing of the opposite gender. My whole family knows about my crossdressing, and there are only two of them (besides my wife and children) who are supportive and understanding enough to talk to me about it and even contribute to my wardrobe by giving me lingerie and other feminine clothing. Try talking to him about it and see where that leads you. Who knows, it could bring the two of you closer together. I have to agree with the others regarding the claim that his doctor told him he could stop taking his medications. A diagnosed schizophranic needs to be medicated in order to keep that disorder under control, I know of no psychiatrist that would tell one to stop taking their medications.

Did his doctor *REALLY* say he could discontinue his meds, or did your brother just tell the family that's what the doctor said? <BR><BR>Schizophrenia is an organic disease. It's not caused by traumatic life changes, such as a broken relationship. For most schizophrenic patients, their medication needs may change over time, but in fact it's *very* rare that any are advised to discontinue all therapeutic medicines completely. <BR><BR>From your description, your brother doesn't sound like any of the usual cross-dressing folks I've encountered in my life. It may be that the clothes (and the drinking) are just manifestations of a more fundamental disorder. <BR><BR>From your vocuabulary, I take it you're in the UK? I don't know enough about how things work there, but it certainly sounds like your brother needs psychiatric attention -- not because of any compulsion to cross dress, but because of the totality of his behavior as you describe it. Best wishes.