When I was younger, my older brother and I were very close. There was only a year and a half between us. I always looked up to him. Anything he did, I wanted to do. He looked out for me. His friends looked out for me.
Over the last few weeks, and since my meds have me pretty settled for the time being, I’ve been good. I’ve basically been experiencing the up-side of being bipolar; mild hypomania, with all its creativity, productivity, sociability and fun!
I wish I could say that my brother is getting better and that the care that he is getting from mental health services is helping, but I can’t I’m afraid. Worse of all I have to admit that very recently I think I came close to giving up.
I am not sure if I am experiencing something familiar to others but the subject of money and my brother’s finances is taking up so much of my time at the moment. I hope you don’t mind me getting this off my chest and I would really like to hear what other’s perspectives are on what is happening.
I have been finding it hard to know what to write about. Things are fairly calm, for me anyway, but unfortunately my brother is still very unwell and still detained under a section.
I just thought that I would share something about my experience of having a brother with serious mental illness. I am not sure his exact label but we have three to pick from Schizophrenia, Bipolar disorder or Schizoaffective disorder. I don’t really care I only know how it affects his life, mine and the rest of my family.
Linda is a well-loved aunt. She lives only a few miles away, but Harriet is rarely well enough to see her. When she was young, she would go with her brother to spend days or nights over there. There are photographs, countless photographs, of them both playing happily with Linda, and with children from down her street: happy and silly and carefree.
Once we realised the nature of John’s illness – which was some time before he was actually diagnosed - a big issue for me was finding information about genetics.
Despite our parents’ efforts to get help for him, John was un-diagnosed and therefore un-treated for eleven years.
Before he got ill, he was one of the most energetic and talkative people I’d ever met – full of life, cheeky and always taking the mickey out of me or anyone else he met.