The lessons of depression

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Growing up, I nicknamed my mom 'the Dragon Lady'. She had a strong personality. I used to think she was bossy or mean. After living at home for many years to help care for my dad, I came to realize that mom was passionate, passionate about the way she worked, about her family and life in general. I was a teen when she had her first bout with major depression. It was the start of a never-ending battle that we still fight. Over the years and through many types of treatments, mom's personality has shifted. She has become more childlike, and dependent. Some days she is so sweet, other days she can be very demanding. Dad has seen her through much, but now he faces his own end of life treatments. I once again find myself moved in with my folks. I have accepted that this time it's for the long haul. It's so hard to watch your loved ones suffer debilitating illness. While mom is a different person now, sometimes the old 'dragon' peaks through and makes me smile. I have siblings but they have kept a distance from the depression war. They do not understand what the disease has done to mom. When the illness 'speaks,' they often take it personally. I don't hold it against them, but it would be great to have their support some days. Both my brother and sister have families of their own, so I know they are busy. I try not to be resentful of all I have given up to be a caregiver. I will say for the most part it was a choice that I would not change. While I experience sadness, stress, frustrations, I also share a unique relationship with my folks based on trust and understanding. I have started compiling my experiences for a book someday. It's such a personal story, but I believe that these could give insights to others who also battle on. I am so grateful that 'love bears all things." I have learned so much and am learning still.

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pegofmyheart, Sense of humor is a must. Love it!
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pegofmyHeart, I don't see anything about husbands on here. My husband was not diagnosed yet but his Mom has this and is in nursing home 96 yr. old. His attitude changes all the time, he reminds me of the way his Mom was befor the NH. Sometimes I think it's me that he is allright, but other times no. He wants to spend money a lot, gets mad when I get phone calls from my family, can't have anyone over he will have a bad remark after they leave. He does nothing at home but the computer and TV and is board every day. He will holler in the stores and stand and stare at them. I don't know where to turn, I told the DR. but nothing was done and this is the way his Mom's was. I was their with him threw a lot of health problems and hospitals but he is not their for me. I gave up a lot for him and his Mom and Dad and it hurts a lot now. How did you get threw this with your husband? Their is a lot more but to much to write.
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Oh, I thought the subject was about "my temper tantrums" - just kidding! I am trying to keep my sense of humor here!!! Today I finally have come to the conclusion that my husband's Alzheimers is like living with a mentally ill patient. I have been in big denial about his illness - knowing full well what Alzheimer's is, etc - but shoving back the the fact that he really has no idea what is going on. He looks good, is friendly when we go out, but no one knows to what extent he is ill - it is like having a chronic illness that you are able to hide from the world. . . "Oh, you look so good" is what people say. . .and I know they think he cannot be that bad off (when they chat for 2 minutes and walk off). . .too bad I don't look as good as he does. . .I am a wreck after tending his every need and being housebound.
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I am the same way. Both my parents are disabled and my siblings live 1500 miles away. I even had to declare Chapter 7 Bankruptcy to help take care of my mom and dad. Love is what keeps me going when I get no sleep because of dad's Dementia, or mom's long list of chores. But in the end; I would do the same things all over again. I love my parents that much.
You are awesome and should be proud of yourself. It's okay to feel angry or sad. Just remember to take time for yourself. God Bless You!!!!!
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