DEAR ABBY: I'm afraid something is wrong with my younger brother. He's just turned 13, and he's become violent and angry. Before, he used to tease me and our sister once in a while, but now it's becoming an everyday thing. If we tease him back, he gets mad and starts yelling.
He directs most of his anger at our younger sister and our mom, and he has started to push my mom. She's worried that he might hurt one of us. If she confronts him when he gets out of hand, he starts yelling, "What? I didn't do anything!" Then later, he'll come back and try to push or kick her. I have noticed that he talks to himself, too.
We don't know what to do. We hear how kids sometimes harm their families. I'm afraid for my mom and my sister, but also for my brother. I love him and want to help him. -- AFRAID IN ARIZONA
DEAR AFRAID: If you want to help your brother, talk to your mother about getting professional help for your brother NOW, before he hurts someone. He should be evaluated to determine whether his problem is anger management or the onset of a mental illness. His pediatrician can refer her to a licensed mental health professional. If he doesn't have a pediatrician, the county department of mental health can suggest someone.