It is extremely difficult for a teenager to have to deal with a mentally ill brother. As much as they may love him, they find his behaviour embarrassing, and their worst nightmare is that the kids at school will discover their secret and make their lives a misery by teasing them. As if it is not bad enough and sad enough to have a brother who is hounded by voices in his head that others cannot hear. Listening to their peers telling jokes about people with a mental illness can’t be easy. Our daughters would have liked to speak up; But, they simply could not do so and that made them feel ever worse. They were in a catch 22 situation.
I often wanted to shout; ‘Do you know how many famous people suffer from mental illness? Here are some of the illnesses – Depression, Bipolar Disorder (known previously as manic depressive illness), schizophrenia, OCD (Obsessive, Compulsive Disorder, as well as other phobias.
Mentally ill people can be found all over the world, even in the best of families. This is their family secret and instead of speaking out, they let the stigma get to them, so making it even worse to deal with.