{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I just learned that my younger adult sibling has been severely, deeply depressed. This surfaced when sib said they needed help moving and the family showed up to find that the entire apartment was under 3-4ft of trash, including a significant amount of rotten food. (Sib has no sense of smell due to past medical issues.) We are floored. Sib is very private and no one knew. With COVID, no one has been in the apartment. Sib’s supposed to be moving across the country, and we’re worried…", "post_id": "6103732a58626f0021288f2d", "reply_count": 7, "vote_count": 3, "bowl_id": "59d02db312fe2f0011e02215", "bowl_name": "Depression/Anxiety Talk" }

I just learned that my younger adult sibling has been severely, deeply depressed. This surfaced when sib said they needed help moving and the family showed up to find that the entire apartment was under 3-4ft of trash, including a significant amount of rotten food. (Sib has no sense of smell due to past medical issues.) We are floored. Sib is very private and no one knew. With COVID, no one has been in the apartment. Sib’s supposed to be moving across the country, and we’re worried…

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This happened to me. I just kind of gave up. I had moldy food, falling behind on work and bills. It took a long time to not feel depressed anymore. And even after moving my new place gradually became like my old. Definitely need to talk to a mental health professional. Until their depression is healed they won’t be cleaning their apartment.

likehelpful

Thank you so much for sharing. I hope things are better for you now. 💗

It looks like hoarding but my mother is a hoarder and this doesn’t feel the same. My mother attaches sentimental value to every little object . Sib is OK with throwing things away but just doesn’t do any of it - like perhaps its self-punishment somehow? We aren’t sure the cause of the depression, but we suspect it may be due to a few failed romantic relationships that we weren’t aware of. Sib just got a new job, which is spurring the move… it’s tough because they’ll be several hours from the nearest family and we can’t check in now that we know about these issues. I love sib so much and am just not sure how to help… I live about 14hrs away, soon to be much further, and soon to be with my first child. Is there anything can I do? 💔

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Is there any ability to get them some local help, perhaps a therapist or something similar? That’s really tough, I’m sorry OP. Maybe more frequent calls/ video chats? I’ve personally never been in such a situation but it sounds like it would be really difficult. I hope you, your family, and your sibling are able to find a solution and some way to help your sibling get better

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I think that therapy makes total sense and is clearly the right place to start. I’m not sure sib sees the situation as one that needs addressed. My family mentioned that sib kept saying there were probably “way worse apartments” in the building. (Very unlikely given how new this complex is.) I think video chat makes a ton of sense - I will try that. The irony is that we have been doing that through COVID but sib always sits in front of a blank wall so I never knew. 😔 I think therapy sounds like a very necessary next step. The mess is just an externality I think; they need to address the underlying mental health issue that’s causing it, or there’s no way this gets better.

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Not the same situation, but similar had an adult sibling in a very bad place a few years ago. Be there for this person. Have them stay with you if can and help establish a healthy routine. Set reasonable boundaries and try to help keep them accountable with things like getting back to work. My sibling is doing amazing (maybe better than me). This is tough, but you’re already doing what you need to do by being there.

I think living with me is not an option because I’m so far away and sib is moving the other direction. (I hate to say I would also be very reticent to have that kind of mess around my newborn if things do not get better. All of the mold certainly makes it a health hazard.) To make matters worse, sib has a dog that has been living in all of this mess too. It is totally attached to sib, but reeks of urine, and we can only assume it was spending most of its time in the one bathroom without stuff on the floor. It’s a heartbreaking situation.

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