Aaron Carter's family thinks they have the perfect plan in place to get their brother some serious help, but the truth is ... they don't.
Carter family sources tell TMZ ... their hope is that the protective order recently filed by Aaron's brother, Nick, is the ticket they need to get an appointment with a judge. From there, they hope to convince the judge to force Aaron into treatment.
Thing is ... there's no way legally a judge can do anything other than order Aaron to stay clear of Nick. Aaron is an adult and the decision to get help is vested in him and him alone. If he doesn't want help, there's almost nothing the family can do.
There is one thing ... in extreme, extreme cases, the family could go to court and ask for a conservatorship, where a conservator could essentially force treatment and remove any dangers from the home, like firearms. As we've extensively reported, that was the case with Britney Spears and Amanda Bynes, but in order for this to happen, there must be compelling proof the person in question can't care for themselves.
That said, our sources say Aaron's erratic behavior has set off alarm bells within his family, and they believe he's in the grip of a mental psychosis. Aaron's been publicly shaming his brother and dead sister, and his fam thinks it's a huge red flag.
Sources say Aaron's family members were behind the attempts to place him on several psychiatric holds ... something he hinted at on "TMZ Live." We're told they've also reported him to the ATF in hopes of getting his guns taken away. So far, no dice.
We broke the story ... Aaron says he's giving up his assault rifles, but not his pistol and shotgun.
As you know ... Aaron was on "The Doctors" recently, rattling off a laundry list of what he's been diagnosed with -- bipolar disorder and schizophrenia -- and showing off his medications. However, he's since walked back those claims.
Our sources say Aaron's family reached back out to "The Doctors" to see if they could get him help, but we're told Aaron refused an offer to meet with a psychologist. Fact is ... the show can't force AC to accept any kind of help.
TMZ broke the story, Nick Carter and his wife got a restraining order against Aaron earlier this week. Nick says he needed court-ordered protection from his little bro because he claimed Aaron told their sister, "I have thoughts of killing babies."
For his part, Aaron denies threatening to kill Nick's pregnant wife ... and he says he wants his family to leave him alone.