My brother's girlfriend wants to leave him and I worry for his mental health

DEAR DEIDRE: I’M worried my brother is about to lose everything – his girlfriend, his job and his mental health.

He has always had obsessive tendencies and would agonise over insignificant things.

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He is now 41, three years older than me.

He’s always struggled to make friends and never had a proper relationship until he met his current girlfriend.

But now even she is on the brink of leaving. He has completely let himself go and has put on a lot of weight.

She has asked me for help, she is so worried about him.

Apparently, he has been given two warnings from his boss for incomplete work.

DEIDRE SAYS: It sounds as if your brother has been suffering with a mental illness.

If he has never been referred for specialist diagnosis, this is certainly worth doing now. You could offer to go with him.

A lot more is understood now about conditions and I wonder if the possibility of autism or Asperger syndrome has ever been mentioned.

You can get help from the National Autistic Society ( or call 0808 800 4104).

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