Raquel from Washington

I'm Raquel and I've been a caregiver of my brother, Mario, for the passed six years. Before my mother died, she made me promise to always take care of my brother, and so far, I've kept my promise. From the outside looking in, you would think my brother was like any other average guy, and when he's not having a meltdown or running low on his medicine, he is. My brother has been in and out of psychiatric facilities since he was 17 and he's 28 now. Once, he was committed for almost a year to the state hospital. It's arduous dealing with a person who has a disability you can't see. My brother has paranoid Schizophrenia, which causes him to hallucinate, have suicidal thoughts, turn against the family, hear voices and sometimes harm himself. I have to make sure he takes his medicine. I won't leave the room until I see him swallow his medicine. My mother preferred me handling him over the state, and it's been an ordeal, but I know my care is the best option for him right now.

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