Depression and sadness of a caregiver.

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The sadness of a full life lost in the thros of caretaking a dementia person is overwhelming, demeaning, seemingly sucks the very life out of a person. Especially if the person has always been verbally and emotionally abusive. Days meld into oblivian of sadness, depression, emotional overheating, bitterness, loss of any happy thoughts.


Days just pass, no hope, all sadness, no smiles, The constant act of why, why am I continuing to stay with and care for this person. I once had a well being center, where I was the helper of those in need of emotional support now, I am the one needing help, and it seems no one even recognizes my need. So sad it is really very difficult to carry on in this frame of mind...just now even discussing the situation I am on the verge of tears over the situation with no end.
That was my day in a nutshell. I woke up to an old rabbit that is near death, another rabbit with a bad neurological condition, and a mother who started complaining of her ailments. I am pretty tough, but I finally broke down crying. Everything around me is busy dying, and I wondered how I could keep going on without a single spark of joy around.

I'm better now. I guess we have to find our own inner joy generator.
There are people in this world who can take the sweet, juicy fruit that life has at least a little of in store for us, suck all the juice up and then spit it out on the ground. Why, why, why do they need to be this way? Occasionally the answer is their own untreated depression, sometimes it is just a sour attitude and need to blame everybody but themselves...if they have had lifelong issues, dementia is vrtually guaranteed not to make them any better. Sometimes they do it because they are so aware and so sad about all they have lost, and all they have not done with their life until it is too late, and they can count on you to stick around and be their dumping ground, even if they behave absolutely hideously to you. You don't hear as much from the people who have others who share the caregiving burden, or whose person they care for makes it a pleasure even if it is still a lot of work, but those people do exist.

If there is no changing or fixing the person who is so abusive, and many times there is not, you have to change something rather than simply be totally sucked into depression yourself. This person, no matter what their needs, does not have a right to destroy you while you try to meet them. Some people find they can set some limits on the worst behaviors - and suprisingly even in moderate to severe dementia they may have a sense of when the line is crossed and they will not have you there anymore to be yelled at, or trying to care for them at home. Some people find that the main thing they need to do is to stop blaming themselves, feeling guilty, and taking the bad behavior and negativism personally. You will find stories of some people on here who found that they could not keep doing all the caregiving themselves and were able to get help; some find they have an option and decide on an out-of-home placement, some have even had to greately reduce their involvement with the abusive person. If there is truly NOTHING positive about your being the caregiver it is time for a change, maybe a drastic one. It is no use the person being as unhappy as they would be if you weren't there AND you getting your life ruined in the process.
You may want to check out the thread on here, Questions/what-to-do-about-irrational-senior-mom. Don't be ashamed of needing help under these circumstances. It's not all unicorns dancing around the rainbows around here and most all of us know it!
you are so very right...its a day to day challenge, however I am now in a place where I am able to at the very least consider having my spouse, in at the very least a day care facility, (although I know it will be a huge challenge getting my spouse there) when he is in a lucid moment his comment continually is, we married for better or worse and in sickness and health, he is of the faith and mindset that it is a wifes duty to be connected at the hip at all times, go everywhere together, even when I am out of the room he finds me and says he's lonesome. I feel like I am sufficating!
Trust, I care for my mom who has dementia and PD. It's been 5 long years and there are days when I feel like I can't take it anymore! But it's not just Mom's behavior that is getting to me, my husband, who lost his job 2 years ago is very needy and constantly hovering over me when I am not with mom. He is in good health mentally and physically, but is a hypochondriac and has anxiety attacks when he feels "something isn't right"! I have to listen to his constant complaints about something hurting or his chest feels tight or his tummy is upset! When Mom is having a bad day, it's compounded by my husband seeking attention that I have no energy left to give.
I have Mom in an adult daycare program from 9-3 4 days a week. At first she didn't like it, but as the dementia progressed, she stopped complaining and now enjoys her time there. It's a lot of work to get her there and back as she is in a wheelchair and I have to get her in and out of the car by myself. No, my husband does not offer to help, or even start my car for me. He is usually still in bed when I leave.
Believe me when I say I know what you are dealing with and have those days too! As you read more threads here you will find that no one escapes the depression, anger, and sometimes humiliating treatment they get as caregivers.
If it was all goodness and light, there would not be a need for a site like this. I have been a member for 3 years and have made lifelong friends here that have gotten me through some pretty tough times. Like Vstefans said, if things are that bad for you, maybe you need to rethink what you have committed yourself to! Good luck!
Trust, I firmly believe in the "for better or for worse" vow. I certainly stuck through the worse, the sickness, and the poorer with my husband when he developed dementia.

BUT ...

When one party sets out deliberately to make it "the worse" I think all bets are off. I would not stick around for abuse in any form. Goodbye. (I mean abuse before the dementia. Dementia may call for some allowances.)

I would not abandon a spouse I had stayed with up until dementia, but I would not be responsible for 24/7 hands-on care. The farthest I would go is to find a great care center solution, advocate for his best care, and visit sometimes.

But that is me. I have never been of the faith or mindset the a wife is attached to her husband's hip.

Trust, if you can find an honest answer to the question that plagues you, "why am I continuing to stay with and care for this person?", then maybe that will help you decide what you should do next.

Those who have or are taking care of husbands are the best to answer you, Trust. There is different baggage and history than with caring for a parent. If a spouse was controlling and abusive from the beginning, I can imagine the resentment, the loss of hope for happiness again.
I am so sorry for your sadness, and will keep you in prayer. Try to see a light in your mind beyond the drudgery of now. I know it is there for you. Nothing lasts forever, and you seem to be a person who will give your best no matter what. Please decide to do something special just for you on a regular basis and savor it.
We live once they say, so don't miss anything that you might regret. Take care, xo
Trust, I am so sorry for your pain. I understand the deep, dark place you are in. My dad's wife broke her knee New Year's morning (of course, what would a holiday be without an emergency?) and has been in rehab since. She has early onset ALZ and loves it there, in fact, she thinks she would like to stay there instead of coming home. There are so many activities and so much stimulation, she seems happier. Her contentment has made it easier for me to consider placement for my dad. Of course, I go back and forth from one day to the next, but residential placement is not as horrible as one might think. Day care might be a great thing for both of you. Good luck and know that there are others who know your pain and get it.
I certainly understand trustpact4. I get up at 4 - 4:30 in the morning, raring to go. I do all kinds of things early in the day. I am filled with energy and hope. Then - Mom wakes up around 8:30 and I can feel the life draining out of my body. Just recently, I have been able to at short intervals, not let her crying, complaining and hypochondria get to my happiness. It helps on days when it is nice and I can just even go out into my yard and weed or plant or just sit in the sunshine. Mom has always been a joy sucker - LOL - and now it is of course accentuated. I have found little things to give me joy. I paly the piano, I do crossword puzzles, I go outside when I can and sit her out on the patio where she can watch the birds. I also, try not to think too much about what I am missing by having a 91 year old depressed, self centered mother living with me. I have no other family around so I'm it. My husband helps when he is here, but sometimes he is out of town and I'm really it. No one understands what it is like, but we do. If you can get him into the day program, who knows? A whole new world might open up to you. Just knowing you have that time to yourself could and probably will make all the difference in your life. I haven't done that yet. I was waiting to get her into a day program for depressed people that was paid for by Medicare, but it is not working out too well, so far. I think it would do her good to be with other people, but she is 91 and most of them are much younger. I haven't given up hope. I have a sister who has her one week a month so I have to look forward to, too.

If you can give yourself something to look forward to, and I've developed this ability to enjoy a few moments while Mom is taking a shower to kick back and chit chat with people on FB or texting. You need to get your mind, at least, out of the situation. good luck to you, my new friend.

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