Desperately need input from anyone who has been through a major burnout.

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Long story short...
I hit rock bottom about a month ago after a long period of time (12 years living with my hubby & I) of caring for my mom. (mom is staying with a relative during this time.

Between dealing with major anxiety, panic attacks, stressed out, depression, its been a pretty rough ride. I'm doing better then I was when this started, but I still have a ways to go to get over this hump.

What have you (or anyone you know who's been through this) done to help get through and past something like this?

Please know that I am not pitying or feeling sorry for myself so theres no need for the tough talk kind of answers that I've seen some give when others have hit a low. I just want to know what others have done to get through something similar so I can get life back on track again.


I have not (yet) experienced burnout as it pertains to caretaking but I have been through some things that have left me with anxiety/panic/PTSD.
First, it is really best to get a therapist.
Second, I found journalling to be helpful.
Third, I cry in the shower, in peace
Fourth, sometimes I rip up paper or punch a pillow (per my therapists advice)
Fifth, I dig in the dirt, garden, be as close to nature as possibile, it does not disappoint nor talk back.
Sixth, I take a bath, and play scrabble on my Kindle...or read a magazine, or a chapter of a book.
Seventh, get involved in something that REALLY interests you.
Eighth, it's OK to have a Pity Party...just remember that all parties have a start and end time. (and they usually include cake)
Nine, go for even a short drive, music blaring and scream til you feel a release.
Yoga has helped. I find Lexapro to be helpful with my anxiety and depression. It is not pleasant to withdrawl from so perhaps other meds might help.
If you can do it with out meds, eat really good (I used to drown all in brownies around oh, ten PM) and still do from time to time, but have attempted to clean up my eatting habits by looking at my food as actual fuel. Can I run on lower octane, yes? Can I rev my engine by prepping better, natural foods, indeed I can. It's not a race it's a marathon...Don't beat yourself up, don't be afraid to seek help...If we were intended to go anything alone, we would have never been designed to communicate. I hope you have a good Best Friend, if not, a sweet pup is THE single best friend I have found on Earth (they don't talk back either, they just "get" you, love you and make you feel like a million bucks) Plus, petting a dog lowers the blood pressure.
If it's too much to own a dog, you can volunteer at a shelter or visit a dog park for a good walk with an abundance of pupper-pies.
Oh, and may not be a cure all, but if you focus on deep cleansing breaths, you cannot think of anything other than your breathing.
You are doing an AMAZING job...even if it does not feel like it. I'm glad you are getting a break. Plan something, even if it's a slow supper and an afternoon nap. Feel can do this.

You ask a very thought provoking question (at least for me). I have been sitting here thinking about when I first began helping my folks in 2008 and how gradually it's become more than I could handle by myself (emotionally).

I became co-power of attorney with my sister and that, in itself, helps to be able to have some control over issues that affect my folks. It's important to be able to have a say in what's happening.

It was agreed that we hire enough caregivers to assist both parents throughout the day. I realize I'm fortunate that my parents have the income in order to do this. I'd be interested to find out what others do to get help. I think it's the most important thing of all to get a break on a daily basis.

Another thing I've done is get myself into counseling. I, also, have depression and just taking meds was not enough. I live in a town with a university and fortunately they have a clinic that operates on a sliding fee scale.

I have a good friend that I get together with once or twice a week. She is a wonderful listener and has a lot of empathy. Many times I feel like I've recharged my batteries after one of our visits.

Looking forward to reading everyone else's suggestions!
Thank you for your words of encouragement ladies. Your kindness is greatly appreciated.
I hope at least one idea has been helpful. I cannot even explain how much better the people here have made me feel, or have given me sage advice in the few short days I have been here. For all the articles/research out there, there is NOTHING like hearing actual experiences (from people with MANY years under their belts) who GET what you are going through.
At a time like these, where masked crazy men are shooting up movie theatres, it's so comforting to know that there are so many wonderful people in the world who want to help and not hurt.
Take care.
Well, to make matters worse my 2 dogs passed away earlier this week within 3 days of each other. One from natural causes (she was 16) and the other of cancer. Life sure has gotten crazy over the past month :-(
I agree thisnweb site has been the best medicine. I read several times a day. Sometimes I realize I don't have it as bad although I'm sole caregiver for 7 years in my home, ended up in the hospital last winter. Just reading and the support of others really help. Sometimes when I feel like there is nothing left to live for I really rely on this site. Stick around. There are wonderful insightful ladies on here
I'm not a big poster like a lot are but the advice and just knowing you aren't alone is so very healing. Hugs to you.
golfbhard, what did you do to help regain yourself?
I am so sorry that you're going through such a rough time Jasmine.

I know of a couple of people who've gone through what you're going through, and I dont know what your circumstances are but theirs was due to lack of help which lead to no respite time for themselves. I hope that you're resting as much as you can right now, eating well and pampering yourself. After 12 years of giving of yourself to another, you definitey deserve quality time for yourself.

I get no help. Its even very rare that any family comes to visit and when they do I only get an estimated time within hours that they'll be here and never how long they think they'll be staying so that I can go do something during their visit. I have 3 siblings, but they refuse to be of any help or even chip in for someone to come in to help now an then. When I realized that i was getting worn too thin, i literally begged people to come and help and those who said that they would help never even showed up even once.
Unfortuanatly it seems to be all too common that the responsibilty falls on one person. I'm that person too, as are many others who are on this site. I hope that after some much needed rest you'll be feeling better real soon.

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