Posted in Marie's Garden, Men's Corner, Mental Health Advocacy

Somebody tell me what is wrong with my brother?

I miss my brother
I miss my brother

It is with a heavy heart that I write this post on my one and only brother’s birthday, I really wish somebody could tell me what is wrong with my brother?

I have an idea, l know some of what he’s been through, l have been with him some of that grueling journey. But that’s all l have – ideas!

l once wrote a post on my brother, whose brother? in which I reminisced or childhood and how l fought to defend my brother.

My brother wasn’t always sick 

My brother was and still is my mum’s favorite. I mean, that is her only son and our only brother. In addition to that, he was super intelligent. He could remember so many things and much more, an aunt of ours always says his brain is a computer which needs downloading. He was my best playing mate at home, I was the closest to a football mate he could find. My brother loved his mother’s skirts, and often hid behind them to avoid our dad’s ‘stare’.

How true?
How true?

Then, something went wrong

l sincerely can’t tell but l know something happened over 15 years ago. They said it was whatever then. We were in boarding school and l just recall my brother going into fits and l having to cry for help and go along as he was taken to the hospital. I would visit often and stay some with him, but l noticed my brother was changing and beginning to behave ‘queer’. For example, he would discharge himself and get lost just walking away in some direction.

It looks like a depression though no actual diagnosis to date?

Strange it may seem, I have still not heard what is wrong with my brother. l know for a fact that he suffered some nervous break down, several times, and is no more the brother l grew up with. l can’t tell what is the name of the mental illness, but l saw him suffer breakdown after the other, go from one hospital to the other, and behave in the most abnormal and violent of ways l could ever imagine.

Do l have a right to know?

For crying out loud, l am his sister, as affected by his condition as anyone who truly cares can be. l know l am not his mother and don’t want to be, but l think l have a right to know. l however know it is not witchcraft. This is a practice and belief still very much ingrained in the ‘African Mind’. l would be lying if l say it wasn’t initially considered a cause of my brother’s ailment.

Why all the Stigma?

l am beginning to find out a lot about mental illness and l am reading lots of stories and reaching out too. l now see why some people prefer not to know what is happening or better still, don’t want to identify with someone suffering a nervous breakdown. The stigma alone can make the patient and his family go real nuts.

Oh, please it will be more consoling attributing the illness to witchcraft or a ‘demonic attack’ right? l have always loved such ‘sick’ people like ‘mad men’, prostitutes, street kids, you name them. Maybe in them I see a little of myself and my brother?

I am on a mission

Whatever be the case, l am on a mission. l want to learn as much as possible about mental illness and how those ‘angel patients’ live it all. Men, l am sure l survived by a string. Now, many people are opening up and some good networks exist for patients and affected members alike. The Mental Health Talk blog by Trish, is my blog of choice for info and l am so grateful for my pal H&J  of the Bipolarbum for visiting me here and following me. Thanks to him, I learnt of the Skype Peer support initiative and l signed up to be a support peer.

Dear gentle readers and followers of mine, am l the only one with such a brother and tale? Sharing is caring! May whoever is going though a dilemma like mine or still affected by the loss of a loved one to mental illness or a changed life due that, find strength in knowing they are not alone. l just hope, sometime sooner than later, someone will tell me what is wrong with my brother?


Marie Abanga aka MAG likes to describe herself as a “Jacqueline of several trades”. She is an everyday woman and mother with a zigzag profile. Let’s give it a try! She is an Activist, an Author, a Coach, a Consultant, a Feminist, a Lawyer, a Lecturer, a Prince 2 Project Manager, a Psychotherapist, a Philanthropist, a minister of the Word of God and...! She just loves to sum it up by saying she is a person of passions and a tale of talents. Her life’s journey has filled over 6 books already and her three musketeers keep her busy at home. MAG is also the founder and CEO of the association Hope for the Abused and Battered, and the Country Director of the Gabriel Bebonbechem Foundation for Epilepsy & Mental wellbeing. The plethora of life's experiences and shenanigans she has lived through and learned from in near 4 decades of existence, have equipped her with such an arsenal to coach, train and motivate just any and everyone. She is so charismatic, dynamic and full of life, going by her designed mantra of 3Ds: Determination; Discipline and Dedication. These sum her+her quest to be the best version of herself and impact others perfectly. She attributes all her wealth of knowledge to her conscientious attendance of both informal and formal school.

21 thoughts on “Somebody tell me what is wrong with my brother?

    1. Thanks for commenting my dear June,

      You see, treatment at least scientifically, starts with the patient goinf for a diagnosis, accepting that diagnosis and acting on that. I had never thought l was one because l was only seeing my brother’s condition. So, mayne you just pray for us both?
      Love always, Marie


  1. I am so sad to read this and know that he has left us. Maybe it was his time. it almost sounds like a fast onset of dimentia. My grandmother had, and passed away from, dimentia. She would be disoriented, and one time cried for weeks straight asking for her husband (who had been dead for 30 years), until my uncle flew her to visit her deceased husbands burial site. It was very difficult for our family, and I’m sure this has been very difficult for yours. Please keep writing and keep yourself healthy, take care of yourself Marie. ❤


      1. Marie – Before every concert I prepare I have to receive coaching from a musical Counselor, after reading your blogs, articles, I am humbled. You should have your first book!!


      2. Dear M,

        I already do and am working on the second along with one on my brother’s journey. I think you will like that and so I will keep you posted on this very blog. I wish you great concerts and great physical and emotional health.

        Cheers, M


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