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I am attempting to assist two 90 year old parents. I am currently on disability for bipolar disorder. My medications keep me "stable" but the environment here can be horrifying. Listening to fighting and yelling. I feel like I am being punished. Are there others out there with mental illness who are caregivers?

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Hi, my name is Cheryl and I take care of my husband who is almost blind, had triple bypass last year and has memory issues. He also needs help getting dressed, eating and at times has trouble with bathroom issurs. I have been diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety, I was also told that I show signs of schizoaffective disorder. I have agoraphobia which I deal with pretty well, but it does make it hard to go to the store and large doctor offices or anywhere crowded.

It is very hard for me to take care of my husband like I need to, take care of myself and do anything in my home. This is leading me to make the hard decision to move us from our home and children (grown) in Alabama to Ohio where I have family. There I will be putting my husband into nursing care which makes me feel guilty, especially since my husband is constantly telling me how much he will miss me not living with him. We went to look at a couple of places where we could move in together. Two problems: 1) He would still want me to do everything for him & 2) With agoraphobia living in a place like that with all those people all the time ... when I started thinking about moving into one all I could think about was suicide. When I explained that to his children from his first marriage (I raised them) one of them told me I would "just have to get over it" because you need to stay with dad. They don't help with him though. I should mention that I am disabled due to my mental condition and the boys work, but 3 of them live on our property with 2 of the 3 living in our house. Our children are 45, 43 and 24.

Sorry to be so long winded, but I really have no one to talk to. 😃
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Kthln, that link takes me to a website for grants to NPOs and healthcare facilities.

Hi Dreyfuss. There are tons of us out here with issues of our own. And for some of us, if we didn't have them when we started, we sure do now, lol!

I came into caregiving with PTSD, borderline agoraphobia and a couple of physical disabilities as well. I see a local mental health clinic that is income based, but the doctors there are fantastic! They provide counseling, 24-7 support and if I need meds, they can provide them at little or no cost.
I still struggle with the PTSD (it's based around crowds and driving) and while I am no longer anywhere near agoraphobic, I do have an anxiety disorder. Loads of fun trying to deal with the phone calls and doctor visits and setting up home nurses and the lot with all that, especially with neither parent actually understanding "what's wrong" with me.

The best thing you can do when it gets bad like that, is get out for a bit. Take a walk, a ride, a drive, anything to simply remove yourself from the situation. When mom's had a bad day and chosen to take it out on me rather than letting it go, I usually end up riding my bike for a while after they've gone to bed. We live in an incredibly safe neighborhood, half elderly and half brand new parents, so even that time of night there's usually someone out jogging or walking their dogs.

Even after a few years of this I'm still learning how to cope with it. Some days are easier than others, you just have to take it day by day.
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Yes, Dreyfuss, I suffer from major depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I'm on medication for both but cannot afford talk therapy, which would be tremendously helpful. HOWEVER, I did find a website that might help: it's called the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (www.rwjf.org) and they are involved in assisting people in "marginal" situations--and I would say my situation is definitely marginal and yours might be too. I can't urge you enough to check out this website! They even have a page where you can fill out info on your situation and they will get in touch with you either via telephone or email. Please do this! Mental illness only gets worse if it doesn't receive the proper treatment; I know: I have been hospitalized twice for breakdowns and come from a family with bipolar disorder and major depression. I am here for you. Feel free to write to me.
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