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My Brother’s Keeper

My brother is now 28 yrs old and was diagnosed with schizophrenia when he was 10yrs old. I was only 6 yrs and did not know what was going on. My family went through a very difficult time and it has been hard figuring out how to deal with and care for my brother. I had always been very close to my brother and took it upon myself to care for him. Because of this I grew up very fast and missed out on a lot of things my age do. I was sad and depressed many times and sometimes felt that life was unfair. I never talked to anyone about this and my parents and family pretty much kept it a big secret from everyone. Because my brother physically looks like an ordinary guy no one would know unless they spent long periods of time with him. I also kept it from even my closest friends. I never realized that keeping this all in affected me until last year. Luckily I saw very understanding professionals including doctors and counsellors. I now feel a lot healthier emotionally. I would just like to let all carers out there know that you are not alone. We are all amazing people and need to remember to take time out for ourselves otherwise it can affect you emotionally even though you are not aware of it. I appreciate organisations like Carers NSW that make it easier for people like me to share our stories.

– Young carer, 22 yrs