Caregiving for mom makes me depressed more than ever...

Follow
Share

I've heard that there can be triggers when you start to feel depressed, I'm not sure what they are though. I feel alone in this journey, I have a sister who lives near by but is not proactive in moms care I'm the primary caregiver. My husband helps when he can, don't ask too much of him as he works & very tired when he comes home he has a physical job and I guess I feel it's my responsibility to take care of mom. It's been about 3 years since I've been taking care of mom & it's not getting any easier, it was much easier in the beginning. I quit my job to take care of mom and I don't have a life, I try to involve myself in volunteering but it doesn't fill the void. Sometimes I feel suicidal or I wish I wouldn't wake up...then I wouldn't have to go thru these feelings of depression and anxiety...life seems really tough for me and can't climb out of this feeling of unhappiness. I know I need help but I don't even have the motivation to get it that would mean one more thing for me to do...I know I'm the only one who can help myself, but how other than the obvious...I find myself drinking wine to escape...Anybody have similar issues & how are you coping???
Thanks
Fran

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Find Care & Housing
36

Comments

Show:
1 2 3 4
I feel the same way, I am the only one caring for my mother and I do get depressed. Twice a month for 8-9 hrs I have visiting angels come in and I leave for the day to do something for myself. Also, I have a very good male friend that I talk with on the phone everyday several times, he is funny and keeps me going. My husband does'nt support me at all. Thank goodness for a good friend!
(1)
Report

So many wonderful, selfless caregivers here. So many hurting in the process. We need to care for ourselves first before we have anything to give to the loved ones we are caring for. One cannot refresh someone else by giving them drink from an empty glass! Problem is that many of us have drained ourselves so completely we do not know where to start making ourselves complete and worthwhile people again, hang in with one another, there's lot of help in this site.
Hey lefaucon - good to hear how upbeat you are. Done any biking yet?
(0)
Report

Dear fyarsly,
I am so sorry you are feeling this way. I too felt that exact way for about two years. For your depression and suicidal thoughts, I urge you deeply to see a psychiatrist and get medication. I am. If you feel that you have no motivation to do even that, pray to God to give you the motivation that you need. If you ask with all honesty and humbleness, He, the Lord will help you. The Lord knows you and your problem more than you know it. You quit your job to take care of your Mom, now that is so self-less and loving, please give yourself some credit. I too felt that way, didn't want to wake up in the morning, didn't even want to go to sleep at night, lost all my appetite, lost all interest in things that once gave me thrills, etc.....
Do you have the finances to hire in-home caregiving help maybe like 3x a week for 4-5 hours so that you can go out and do whatever makes you happy? Anything that gets you out of the house is perfect. You need to get away from Mom to keep yourself in good shape. If you do not take care of yourself physically and emotionally, you are no good to anyone if you crash and get sick, and sick you will get if you don't do something right now!!!!. I will be praying for you.
(0)
Report

The drugs are both very cheap too!
(0)
Report

I take 75 mg of doxepin per day. The first few days i was very drowsy and slept alot then that wore off and i felt like a normal person again. it's a very old drug,safe and non-addictive. 7 members of my family t
take doxepin. all for anxiety depression and panic attacks. you may need to block out some time for you to rework your meds. it's okay to baby the anxiety until the meds are adjusted. i also take 20 mg of citalopram because most panic patients also have some level of depression. screw the childhood issues...they are wasting your time and money. a physical illness cannot be cured with conversation. i'm so glad that i got to talk to you.
(0)
Report

To Fran and all you wonderful caregivers;

Please do take good care of yourselves as a priority!!!

Caregiving exacts a huge toll due to the daily emotional, mental, physical and financial stress involved. It literally drains your life away if are not careful! Stayed away from alcohol and meds, finding intense exercise a few times a week really alleviates both pent up physical plus emotional tension to maintain some balance.

Believe we as caregivers have to mitigate caring too much plus over extending ourselves beyond what is healthy. If we are "broken" then we cannot properly provide care to our loved one(s). Do make time for yourself, go out for a quiet meal, a stroll, a movie, the company of friends, a hobby, or anything as a break from caregiving duties. It is not selfish to do so, rather, it is a necessity!!! Doing so allows us to function better as caregivers.

If the toll of being a caregiver has led to depression, thoughts of suicide, alcohol or drug dependency, then please realize a caregiver simply cannot continue. It is not the lack of love or effort to continue providing care, but simply continuing to sacrifice your well being will not make your loved one better!

Perhaps I wrote this also to convince myself as well......Thank you all for sharing.

Take care and be well.
(0)
Report

Careful---Thank you for your kinds words and the info. I've not heard of doxepin. It got RID of your panic attacks??? Why in the world did my doctor not order that for me years ago?? Nothing works for mine. The Xanax is a controlled substance and costs me 20 dollars per month since now I take three a day when years before it was just 1 or 2 a day and the mg have increased now as well.
If it wasn't for the Xanax, I would not even be able to function at this low level I'm at. I don't have any health insurance so can't see a neuro-psych. I see my therapist once a week (for two years now) and I'm such a mess when I get there for my "visit" that we still haven't talked about ANY of my issues from childhood, teen, adult years. I told her one day that I felt I was not getting any better at all in the past 2 years and she said that I just have too many problems and we'll have to tackle them slowly and one at a time. I am highly sensitive and "thin skinned" as they say. Mom was just like this when she was in her 30 's and was taking 15 or so meds a day. She's 76 now and still takes 18 a day. I don't want to be like that but mom never had any panic attacks. She was just always extremely nervous and shaky all the time. However, she had no problem getting up on stage and singing, playing the guitar and piano, etc. I could NEVER do that. My doc who prescribes the meds said that I am probably getting worse instead of better. Hmmm..is that something he should say to me? Isn't he supposed to be prescribing me medication to actually HELP me? Yes, the anxiety is with me constantly...non-stop day and night. The panic attacks are daily and happen even if I am on the phone. I stay home and don't go out except to grocery store when I have to ....VERy early in am when nobody is there. Or, I go to see mom at the NH. That's it. My life has come down to this. I will ask my doc about the doxepin. I just can't see me ever getting rid of the anxiety but if it got rid of yours, maybe there is a chance for me. How I would LOVE to work again and be able to leave the house more often. It's a lonely world but I have my doggies. Thanks again for the info!
(0)
Report

Oh teachergear I'm so sorry to hear you are having a rough time. I have taken doxepin for over 20 years for my panic attacks and the med gave me my life back. I fought the agoraphobia before I got diagnosed and lost all kinds of weight because I couldn't eat. Once they got the attacks under control then my phobias lessened and lessened as time progressed. I found a specialist in Orlando, Florida by the name of Dr. Richard C.W. Hall. He took care of me for 9 years. An amazing physician. Anyway, he told me that our brains send a thousand more stress signals than the average person and that the medicine blocks these signals. They have actually lit up the attacks on ct scans. When we have an attack we associate what we were doing at the time with the attack and this is how we get phobias. I have to tell you though and I don't want to scare you, but Dr. Hall told me that Xanax is a highly addictive drug and should be pulled from the shelves. I'm concerned that you are taking it. There is also a book you should get. It is older, but has information in it that we haven't discovered here in the states about panic and phobias. It is called, "The Good News About Panic, Anxiety and Phobias" by Dr. Mark Gold. It isn't because your mother didn't love you enough. It is an illness just like epilepsy or diabetes. If you're not going to a neuro-psych then you need to. So good to talk to you and if I can help in any other way let me know. If you are still having anxiety then the meds aren't working. You should be able to venture out once the meds have the attacks under control. I haven't had an attack in at least 20 years.
(0)
Report

Hi Fran and caregivers,
Since taking care of my 89 year old mother who has Dementia and other illnesses, I feel as you do...Depressed and anxious. I cry constantly mainly because I miss the days when my father was alive and together he and mom were pillars of strength. Now I am the one who has to be the tower of strength and I feel just the opposite. I am unemployed and the sole caregiver to my mother as my brother and his wife are deep in denial. They never come to visit and rarely call to show support. I feel like I have already lost my identity and when I am not taking care of mom, I sleep and just feel so numb. I am a Christian and try to attend services, pray and read the Bible and this does help pull me up out of the pits of despair. I know I am not alone and there are many who are much worse off than me. Finances are low, so I have been hesitant to hire a CNA or other caregiver to help me and my mother does not like strangers in her home. Sometimes I feel as though I am literally going insane and wish I could just drift to Heaven and peace. My husband died in 1987 and I have been caregiving ever since I was laid off from my job about 5 years ago. Hope seems to be non-existent at times and I wonder if I will ever be able to pull myself out of this state of mind. I just don't have the energy I once had and find little pleasure in doing things I used to do. I have tried to attend a caregiver support group, but the needs were so different than mine. I know we are doing this for the Lord and he will more than bless us when the time comes. Meanwhile, you are not alone friend, and this group usually pinpoints my exact feelings every time I look at others' stories. Take good care of yourself and know that God is with you through these difficult circumstances.
(2)
Report

Careful---I thought I was the only one who was familiar with panic attacks!!! SO good to hear of someone else who knows about them. I had my first one in 1993 at age 35 when I started my first year of college. I couldn't even state my name and my major in class that day. As it got closer to me..to where I had to state my name and major, it started.......about two people before they got to me, I got up and ran out..went to bathroom and had the full blown attack which lasted 40 minutes. It is horrible living like this. I had to go to the doc back then and was put on Xanax which got me through college. Then, they started again in 2003 after I'd been teaching for 6 years and they have not stopped since then. Now, it is PTSD, Panic Disorder w/ Agoraphobia and Bipolar II. I never dreamed I would have all of that!!! Paxil worked for 9 years then stopped working a few weeks ago. New med now is Prestiq. So far, it is helping as I'm not having the suicidal thoughts as much and not nearly as much crying. I just can't do anything...including taking care of myself. This is what happens if we IGNORE our feelings. We must FIGHT...find the courage way down deep inside and FIGHT for our lives. The Prestiq is FREE and the xanax never will be as I take three each day...just waiting and praying that I get a favorable determination from SS disability which I just applied for about 2 months ago. I'd give anything to be NORMAL and be able to work as I always did. Don't let yourselves get like me. It's a lonely place to be. My dogs are what keeps me here and going every day. God Bless you all for giving all that you have every day!!
(0)
Report

1 2 3 4
This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Related
Questions