Hi, my name is Amelia but everyone calls me Millie.
From the outside I look like an average teenager but I am that 1 in 10 person that is a young carer. This means that in my class, realistically, there would be around 3 young carers. Being a young carer has changed my social life and how people think of me, but it has positively changed how they think.
What is a young carer?
Being a young carer means that a person has to look after a family member or friend who has a disability or is sick. In my case, I have to look after my younger brother who has Oppositional Defiance Disorder (or ODD for short), ADHD and Anxiety; this means that he can be quite a handful at some times. Some disabilities aren’t visible and can’t be recognised as easily as others. For example, my brother’s disabilities could just be passed off as bad behaviour but in reality, he can’t control half of his actions. This means he can get into a lot of trouble for something he didn’t know he was doing wrong.
My brother’s actions can sometimes cause me not to be able to talk to my friends or hang out with them. I can’t just call up my friends like a normal teenager and ask them to come over, I have to plan ahead so that my brother isn’t nervously ticking or getting anxious about them coming round. It can cause me not to have a social life as all my friends get pushed away by him.
Why it’s helpful to spend time with other young carers
One of the things I have found useful is talking to other carers; knowing that we have common ground with each other. Some carers would rather not talk out about their role and stay quiet about it round their friends; this is ok. On the other hand some carers want to talk out about it and help others cope with the role and stress. This is why I’m doing this blog; as a bit of an insight to my life and how I cope.