I feel like I'm losing my mind.

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I don't know what to do anymore, I have felt like a prisoner for 3 years now. I really think I'm about to have a nervous break down. I work a full time job, I have my mom with Alzheimer's and a step son that is special needs and my husband travels 1/2 the month. I'm lucky that mom has a caregiver so I can go to work its my only escape. I don't want this to be taken wrong I dearly love my mother and step son but I feel like I'm left all alone to do all this and I'm to the point that I have been letting my house go and that is so not like me, I go to work and come home and sit her because its hard to take mom out and a few times she has had panic attacks so just to go to the grocery store is a big deal for me. I have never been like this, I use to take such pride in my home but lately on my days off I just sit in my bed and stare at the TV. I can't seem to accomplish anything. My mom and stepson fight over attention its like having 2 kids that are about the age of 7. I have disowned my sister and niece, I had to get rid of some of the stress and I chose to let them go, they refused to help I have told them how I'm feeling and they could care less. I guess I could hire someone to come on weekends to get out of the house but I have no energy to go or do anything. I have gone to the doctor and talked to them but he just wanted to put me on medication and when I read about the medicine it sounded so bad that I decided not to take it, I have even talked to a councilor and that really did not do anything, I refuse to put mom in a home, she is not that bad but I just feel like I'm going to loose my mind most of the time, I don't know how to snap out of this, its really bad and I just seem to get more and more depressed everyday. Believe me I have though about a vacation but I don't think a week or two will fix this situation. I have now had 2 friends tell me they are worried I'm going to stroke out due to the pressure and length of time that this has been going on. I just really have no clue what to do anymore.

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Sunnygirl, the reason I chose not to take the medication is I don't think the doctor that I spoke to understood the situation. He tried to put me on an anti psychotic medication. I understand that when he gave me the depression test I scored very low and I'm depressed and feel hopeless but to think that I'm taking an anti psychotic medication was a little much for me to handle. Its very hard when people are not in your situation to explain how you feel, you guys all understand and are most likely going through what I am or have gone through it. I did take the med one night and I was so out of it, it kind of scared me. The last thing I need is to me messed up all the time mentally. I did seek counseling and again I think maybe I went to the wrong type of counselor, I had to pay about 200.00 and all he said was well it sounds like you have though this out well and the only thing I can tell you is you have been handed a bucket of crap. My family has disappointed me so much, it took me a couple years to just let go and realize my family does not care and will not help at all.

Sometimes I do get so depressed I think well maybe I should just give up and put mom in a home. My mom is not progressing the way you would think, she seems to progress a little at a time but its mostly just short term memory issues, she is very coherent, I know my mom well, she is very dependent on me. She never did anything without my father and I know that if she though I was going to put her in a home she would shut down and it would kill her. I do adore Mom, but its not good, I am so depressed I know she knows something is up and I don't want her to feel like a burden. I have wonderful friends one stops every weekend just to sit with Mom in case I want to get out. I have just noticed that I'm withdrawing more and more and just sitting there, I'm not really taking care of my house anymore and its just not me. I don't know what to do to pull out of all of this.

Jeannegibbs, Yes he will do that the issue is me. I just tend to sit and stare at this point. I desperately need to snap out of this I just don't have a clue on how to go about it. Its getting worse and worse that Is why I came to you guys, I just feel you understand where most don't.

Gladimhere, Thank you, I will try an elder care therapist. Maybe that was my problem I guess I just chose the wrong type of therapist.
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Your husband travels half the month. What about the other half? Can he give you a whole day to yourself, to relieve some of the pressure?

And then can you have a whole day for the two of you, breakfast up to bed time? This would require someone to stay with the two "kids" of course, but your mental health and your marriage are worth it!
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I provided 24/7 care for my mom and her hubby for four very difficult years. I made it without antidepressants but did find a wonderful therapist that even discounted her rates significantly because I did not have insurance. This therapist specialized in caregiver issues. They are out there. To find one in your area you may start by calling the Alzheimer's assn or google "therapists specialzed in caregiver issues" to see if they have a list of therapists that are familiar with caregiver issues.
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Aveeno, wow, you are an amazing individual. To be working fulltime, taking care of a parent with Alzheimer's and a stepson with special needs would be hard enough but to know that you're husband is gone half that time.. no wonder you feel you're losing your mind! From what you are saying about being depressed I think it's not an option for you to continue the way you're going. If you are opposed to moving your mom to assisted living then I think it's imperative that you hire someone to come in at least once day a week either in the evening or a weekend day so that you can have a mental and physical break. Even if you just go to a book store or out to dinner with a friend (whatever you enjoy doing) I think it would reenergize you. I don't know how you do it, my mom is in assisted living and I was going there everyday. It just proved to be too much so I have Visiting Nurses Assoc come on Saturdays.. just so I know she's not lonely and there's someone there that can help her or take her for a walk. They are great, it give me piece of mind and she loves it. She says, "my friend Sarah came to see me". I look forward to Saturdays and it has been such a blessing. I actually look forward to going to see her on Sunday. Also, I agree with freqflyer, I would encourage you to see a family therapist if that's at all possible for you. I've been going twice a month now and when I leave there it's as if I've taken a breath of fresh air and my stress level drops a notch or two. Please take care of yourself, if you aren't well, you won't be able to take care of the people you love. Best of luck to you!
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Aveeno, I know for myself Better Homes & Garden better not show up at my door to do a photo shoot about my house. Even though my parents never lived with me or me with them, I had to let go of something and that was the care of my house. What a mess!! My OCD kicks in big time as I use to have a nice orderly household, so that adds to the mental mess.

Once I went away for a weekend but I couldn't enjoy myself as I was worried about my elderly parents in their own home on their own [Mom refused caregivers or even cleaning service]. That weekend away just added MORE to the stress. That was 6 years ago, haven't been away since.

I also went to therapy and it wasn't that much help because the therapist wasn't familiar with elderly care, but I did learn one thing regarding my own parents that my parents had to take full responsibly for the decision that they make. And for me to stop enabling my parents because of their decision. I was losing my life to keep their lifestyle going.

I hate to say this but you may want to rethink about having your Mom move to Assisted Living or memory care. Remember 40% of caregivers pass away while caring for a love one..... then what? Your Mom would be moved into AL or MC and continue to live for another 10 years... but your hubby and son would be without you. Something to think about. Heavens, maybe your Mom might enjoy being around people her age, and even make a new BFF.
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Aveeno,
It's good that you are able to write down your feelings and share. That's a step in the right direction. It sounds like you are overwhelmed and depressed. If your doctor prescribed medication, I'd consider how it could help. If you are still against it, then I might seek some counseling. A counselor would be a start for more of a support system.

It sounds like you have quite a bit on your plate. Working full time, caring for your mother with dementia and taking care of a special needs child is more than most people could take on. No wonder that you are overwhelmed. Who wouldn't be? I think I might sit down and write out what is reasonable. As long as you insists on having unrealistic work load, then I can't imagine why you would feel better or have a better outlook. Is there any reason you haven't sought out outside help? I would look for resources of people, agencies, etc. that offer support for people in your situation. You can pay if possible, but there are sometimes resources for those who do not have funds.

People with dementia generally progress in the disease, so I would take that into consideration too. I'd try to make some plans to get help and make my responsibilities more reasonable. I wish you all the best.
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