Steve Sieren and John Sieren

Could you imagine having 2 babies back to back, we’re 9 months apart. It’s as close to twins as you can get. There’s a term for it, Irish Twins. While kids we were kids we were very close but we physically fought each other almost once a day. Call it hill billy or redneck but we were always close at the end of the day. We were both really into art as kids until one day he was diagnosed with Schizophrenia shortly after we got out of high school. Such a bad topic for families to deal with. Levels of Schizophrenia can vary from high to low and often spike at times. It’s a disability that is hard to deal with. My mother never wanted anyone to know about it.

The Movie “A Beautiful Mind” is a good example, so is “The Soloist” with Jamie Foxx of how a mind is altered by this condition. We are proud he hasn’t decided to cut off any contact with the family. My dad lives close to him near the Tahoe / Reno Area and visits with him regularly. I also visit as much as I can, you can tell by my portfolio of work because most of it originates somewhere between Los Angeles and the Lake Tahoe Area. He is and always will be a good brother to me. He is doing good and until this day people I haven’t seen in 15 years accidentally call me John, he always made a good impression with people.

For any families dealing with Schizophrenia during the holidays hang in there and do your best to keep your loved ones connected. Schizophrenia is out there more then you may expect, 4 out of 5 the groomsmen in my wedding party had a relative with this condition. Life isn’t always perfect but we make the best of it!!

This photograph was taken on the Truckee River just north of Tahoe on the California side in 2005.


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3 Responses to “Brothers”

  1. Says:

    Hello Steve, thank you for sharing your family story with us. I have a sister who is like your brother. she does well when she takes her medicine. I am happy that you have maintained a relationship with your brother and your words are strong and kind and well receivedHappy Holidays,Karen

  2. mizzy Says:

    this was really cool to read, i like when photographers actually open up about real life. It struck me perhaps, as i’m watching frosty the snowman with my family, because me and my brother are very close as well, although now separated by 3000 miles of united states. Brothers rule. Here he is… he always inspires me.
    anyway, really cool pic of you guys hangin.
    happy holidays!

  3. Victoria Manning Says:

    My mother was diagnosed with Schizophrenia when I was 12 years old, just starting 7th grade. Because she was no longer able to work, we were unable to keep our home and we started moving around, living in a tent. I don’t blame her, not at all – it was unfortunate that she had a mental breakdown. She had fought against her past for so long, it finally tore through the walls and destroyed her. She was a poet, an emotional writer, and was constantly journaling. I know the way this disease affects families, no matter the time of year. I was diagnosed Scizo-Effective at 15, with borderline DID and chronic depression. My heart goes out to your brother, and your family is courageous and strong, more-so than most who have been in your position. ❤

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