Supporting mental health of family members is labor of love


Lupita Ruiz, Staff Writer

One of the most important days of my life takes place in March. March 18th to be exact.  It’s when one of the most important people in my life came into this world. My brother is probably my favorite person on the planet besides my three sisters and my parents. Without him I wouldn’t be able to drive or ride a bike, but my brother has taught me way more than even he knows. Ever since my brother was 14, he has been suicidal. By the time he was in high school, he had depression and became very dependent on my family but mostly me. In two years, my plan is to leave the state of Oregon, but my biggest fear is leaving my brother with nothing. The worst thing that could happen if, when I leave him, his mental health gets worse and he ends up hurting himself.  I have never been able to comprehend my brothers suicidal thoughts and sometimes I get emotional thinking about how even when I tell my brother that I love him that it’s not enough. It’s tough situation to be in when you’re not the one with depression but your sibling is. I have had to adjust to a life in which my brother became a priority and I’m fine with that. However, as I grow up I need to realize that there is other resources for my brother besides myself and my parents.

I have to adjust my life.

My family has always been really close and as a family one of the most important things is trying to understand how my brother feels and what is going through his head in those certain moments in which he thinks his life shouldn’t continue. It’s hard to understand at times how he wouldn’t want to live on his life I mean he’s only 22 he’s got his whole life ahead of him. I cannot see life without him and when I’m alone for a split second I do think about life without my him and it’s too much to handle and I end up breaking down. Having a family member with mental health issues has taught me about patience and how every moment I have with my brother is important. If a family member, friend, or yourself is struggling with a mental illness there are so many resources out there and so many people to talk to. Mental health should be a priority especially when it affects relationships as important as family.