I don't know what to do with my life. Depression and mental illness related.

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As I've posted before I'm a 23 year old who has been struggling with mental ilness for almost 7 years, I live with my 54 year old mother who had an heart attack last year and since that day she's not the same person anymore, I also live with my grandma who has dementia. She's violent, can't hold her feces and urine, refuses to shower, doesn't let us sleep because she spends the night walking around the house, it's just me and my mom taking care of her but we need to rest, we can't be around her 24h. Last night when we were all asleep we woke up with a scary sound, it was her, she got up and fell, I'm so tired of this, it's not the first time this has happened, our nights are always a nightmare. I feel so ashamed for saying this because it sounds like I don't want my grandma around or something worse but two days ago she was behaving terribly and my mother was doing the night shift, she thought it wasn't fair to leave me alone with her all day so she called her sister (yes, she has a sister and a brother but they don't care) and after a while she convinced her to pick up my grandma and have her stay that day and night at her house, to be completely honest that night was the first night in almost a year where I was able to lay my head on my pillow, relax and sleep, it felt so good but I felt guilty for feeling that at the same time. My mother is going to talk with the social security services to see if they can find a nursing home for her, I don't know how much long will we be able to handle this because we're both in a really frail physical and psychological condition,I just hope they're quick, I also don't think my grandma is going to last for much long, I don't know,she seems so frail and keeps falling, I don't understand why that happens but my head is already too tired, I don't need more things to dwell on. I've written here before, I've explained my story, now I'm just writing because I feel like talking ,I want to be heard, I want to cry but I don't have no one to listen to me, I can't upset my mother because of her heart, she already has to take care of her own mother and of her mentally ill daughter. I suffer from pipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, chronic depression, generalized anxiety disorder which brought a lot of other attached issues with it to my life like panic attacks, social phobia, obsessive compulsive disorder, benzodiazepine addiction and the list could go on an on. My brain is basically a small living hell where no one would like to be and I don't know what to do,due to all my health issues I lost all my friends,I have no one I can call or talk to,I dropped out of school, I rarely go out and when I do I have to go with my mom because I'm terrified of going out all by myself. Where do I go from here? I wasn't always like this, I used to have a life, I went to school, I had friends, I went to school, I had a loving family that eventually fell apart. The main question in my mind is what's going to happen to me? My feelings are so contraditory, I feel like moving my grandma to a nursing home would be better for the three of us but when I think about her there it makes me feel so guilty, it's like I just want to get rid of her for my own well being and then I imagine myself in this empty house,without her presence, she's not able to have a conversation anymore but at least she's here, I'm so afraid of getting even more sick if she goes, I'm afraid my mind won't be able to take it. This all sounds so selfish, it's all so me, me, me, I've been called terrible things by someone who had no idea about my situation, they only heard we were thinking about moving my grandma to a nursing home and they began insulting me, telling me it was my obligation to take care of her because she took care of me when I was a child, they called me a monster, said I wasn't human, they made me feel so bad I wanted to kill myself. First I thought they were right but then I thought they had no idea what they were talking about, only a caregiver has! Am I being selfish? Are they right? Should I stick to my grandma's side until the very end even if that means damaging even more my mental health, perhaps to a level where there's no return? I have no doubts that if I was ill and dying she would stick by my side until my last breath. I don't know what to think, at the same time I still have dreams, I dream about me and my mother having our own house, just the two of us, doing mother and daughter things which we haven't done in ages because of our situation, we have no time for ourselves, I dream about getting better, going back to school, making friends,just small things that so many people have and take for granted. I've studied at home but I don't have finished school officially which makes me unable to get a job, I don't know how am I going to get through all this and still come out alive and well in the end. My only wish is to be happy. Sorry for my pointless post, I talked a lot and ended up saying nothing, it's just good to let all these feelings out.

11 Comments

I am so sorry you are having to deal with these multiple situations. They are no ones fault and there is no way you should feel guilty about anything. Illnesses and old age are just a part of life. Take one minute, one hour or one day at a time, whatever you are comfortable with at this point.

First of all, if you have a doctor you see on a regular basis you NEED to call and make an appointment now. You are the most important person in this complicated equation right now! Perhaps it is time for an adjustment in your meds or even a gradual change to something different. If you are not seeing a doctor, get yourself to an ER and explain what is going on. GET THE HELP you need now. You are not alone but please contact a professional who can help you today.

Your post is not pointless! Much better to get it all out than to keep it bottled up inside. We are all here for you; so come back and vent all you need. Wishing you all the best. God bless!
You are always welcome to vent if it helps. It sounds like you are exhausted, understandably and this is compounding your mental health issues.

Obviously, you and mom need help with grandma. Center for aging, social services and grandma's dr should be able to help. Suggest that next time grandma falls, you call 911 and have her admitted to hospital -- then hospital case worker/social worker can help get grandma services she needs and/or admitted to residential care. At the very least, they can assess the situation, home situation and get in-home care services for grandma.

As for you, you should try to see a mental health professional, counseling, etc.to get an evaluation and have them help you get the services/meds, etc. you need to improve your well being. This will be work for you as well -- so you'll have to commit to trying to change how things are for you. Can you stay at your aunt's for limited time (say 30 days) to get the rest and respite you need from mom and grandma? Once you are physically rested, can you check with local high school or GED programs to get your GED and then a job? Have you thought about volunteering somewhere if you can't find a paying job? Animal shelter, hospital, church? Can you commit to finding and attending free group couseling?

You obviously are intelligent; and so young with a whole lifetime of opportunities -- but sheltering yourself at home is not a long term plan. You have to be willing to get help and stretch yourself one day at a time. Set small goals. Start with dr visit and mental health workup; be patient with meds and active in engaging with doctors on what is working and what isnt. Get outside, go to library, barnes and noble, a public quiet place during the day where you can study and prepare for GED; concentrate on your goals.

Let mom get and accept outside help for grandma -- you don't need to be the daytime or nighttime caregiver anymore. There are services that can help -- even free or sliding scale adult daycare for grandma.

Try one thing, and keep us posted on your progress.
3930 helpful answers
Hi Hannah,
Thank you for your post. You actually said a lot and mentioned things many caregivers feel. You have no need to feel guilty.

I'm glad that your mother called social services about your grandma.

Please see your own doctor. You have too much responsibility. You need to focus on yourself and getting well. Social services will help find a place for your grandma and your mom can get help, too, if she needs it. If you don't have a doctor you can call, ask social services to help you, too. If you are feeling desperate, please call your local helpline or even 9-1-1.

Don't wait any longer to get help for yourself. When you are more well you can help others.
Carol
God bless you dear child....if you are a Christian I suggest calling your church for some respite and time away for yourself. Many churches have social committees that have volunteers who will come in and give you/mom a break to get out and do something for yourselves for short periods of time. Going back to school is extremely important and you should try to address getting your GED as a major priority since without a high school diploma chances are you won't be able to find a good paying job. As the other posts suggest, get help from your mental health doctor who can evaluate your meds. Go to counseling, join a support group anything to be around other people who may be going through similar situation as you are. Pray and believe in hope that time heals all things. God bless you and I will keep you in my prayers.
Thank you all for such support and great advices, it's heart warming to know that I'm not as alone as I think I am and that there are always people who will read what I write at least. Like I said above I really have no one to talk to, I closed myself to the world years ago and now it's going to be hard to get back to real life. I used to see a psychiatrist, I had my medication, in fact I've been on medication ever since I was 16, first it was for anxiety then when I finally went to this psychiatrist and was diagnosed stronger meds followed, I've taken everything you can imagine literally, nothing really improved my condition but two years ago I found an amazing therapist and therapy really helped me, after a few sessions I felt confident enough to start taking walks in the park which was a big deal for me. My therapist was really dedicated and was trying to help me to go back to school, I was supposed to go back to school last September but my mother had a heart attack in July and everything fell apart. She had to stop working for a year, there was no income, her meds are insanely expensive and I decided it was better to give up on my therapy and my meds because her meds were more imporant, I also had to stop with the therapy sessions and slowly depression came back and now I'm drowning in it, I know you all told me I need to act but I don't feel the energy, I don't have the motivation, all I see is sadness wherever I look. Living in this house is terrible, I wouldn't wish this upon anyone, I wish I could live in a normal environment, without any of this constant drama. I know a lot of people told me to ask for help for me and my mom to the social services but I already did that, they denied us, apparently my mother's salary was too high, we were denied because of a few euros. Her salary is not high, she works at this huge supermarket, it's a very hard job and the doctor said she shouldn't be doing it but she needs the money and almost everything she gets goes to medication. I still can't get past the feeling of guilt, sometimes I get so annoyed at my grandma, whenever I have to repeat stuff all over again, whenever she drops food, the smell, to be honest sometimes I'm completely disgusted and I feel so bad about it because she's my grandma, I should do everything for her.
My dearest Hannah, as I read your story, I swear I was reading about myself. I am in the same predicament as yourself. It's extremely difficult to make that first step in making yourself THE priority in your life. It's as if you're in a black hole and nobody is throwing you a rope to help you out. It's also very difficult to break away from a routine you've gotten yourself into. I understand and know exactly how hopeless you feel right now. But, making that first step is horrifying. You simply MUST carve out a little time each day just for you. Even if it's putting your ipod on and locking yourself in your room and dance. Put your earbuds in and listen to some upbeat music that makes you smile. Just giving yourself a chance to breathe and regroup. It's a start and you are going to take baby steps. One issue at a time and one day at a time. Also, ask your therapist about any grants that may be available to you as a result of your situation. That's the route I had to take. Good luck to you my friend. I hope the next time you post, you will have a smile on your face. Sending you a virtual hug Hannah.
i have said that dementia ( late stage ) care is like watching a 5 yr old but im prepared to back that up to a 2 yr old. near the end the patient has to borrow your mind because theirs is gone and everybody knows that you dont take your eyes off of a 2 yr old.
if your g- mother is suffering dementia and subsequent mobility impairment . she may not have long to live. maybe she is eligible for in home hospice care. they visit so frequently that you get little breaks while theyre amusing grandma for an hour or two a day.
Hanna, I'm so sorry for what you're dealing with. Please know that you aren't alone. If you read through this site you'll find that it's stuffed with a whole lot of frustrated people taking care of the elderly who deal with a lot of guilt and frustration for what they're feeling. It's normal. People here have given you great advice and you'll continue to get the support you need here so don't hesitate to vent when you need to. There's absolutely nothing wrong with taking care of number one. In fact, it's a necessity. When it comes down to the wire there's only one person in this world that you can really count on...yourself. So, do whatever it takes to invest in YOU.

And I don't know who that person was that called you a monster, etc, for thinking about a NH for your grandma, but I'd like to kick their ass for you.

Take care. *squish!*
Dear Hannah I feel for you dearly you are certainly suffering I have OCD also and I carry a lot of guilt for no reason sometimes but if I were you I would get a second opinion find a good doctor love and hugs
My Dearest Hannah, I do hope this finds u doing a bit better? As I read thru the comments and replies to your situation, all I have to say is there's some great advice being given. However, I can relate to being so very burnt out on a mental and emotional level that just taking a shower or brushing my own teeth was exhausting and the fact I was too tired to take care of myself added a lot to the guilt I was and still am feeling. I'm very glad u have found a place here to vent. Getting all of that crap out of your system will do u more good than u think. If u keep that stuff bottled up, either the bottle will break or u will. So keep venting Hannah and know u r never alone.

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