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???
Hey lefaucon - good to hear how upbeat you are. Done any biking yet?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
I'd like to set aside a minute,
To see if there is pleasure in it...
To take a cleansing breath so deep,
That I'll forget my lack of sleep.
I'd like to set aside an hour,
To prune a shrub, to plant a flower...
To find a hidden shady nook,
Where I could sit and read a book.
I'd like to set aside a day,
To give myself some time to play...
To take a stroll around the park,
To linger out way after dark...
I'd like to set aside some time,
To paint a picture, pen a rhyme...
Regain a bit of sweet control,
To do those things that soothe my soul.
Not everyone thinks I'm doing the right thing as a caregiver, that I ought to put Mom in a home, get a job and a life. And that I should be ashamed of myself for being a "mama's boy" by allowing Mom to manipulate me into this corner.
They don't know the details of what's going on and it's none of their business.
A good movie to watch and study is Twelve O'clock High with Gregory Peck.
That was two years ago. Mental health is AS important if not more important than physical health.
I like the way you think, JessieBelle. My mom is like a robot that cannot do ANYthing without being told and not just once but 5-6 times. If she has to go to the bathroom, I take her to the room. She stands there looking at me. I tell her,..mom, you had to go pee. She still looks at me waiting for me to tell her to "pull your pants down so you can sit on stool". She will BEGIN to then stop and look at me again as she's already forgotton what she was supposed to do. This goes on and on and on and on and on...you get the picture. It is the same with anything..not just bathroom.
When I was outside a while ago, I had a feeling of fear grip my chest. I think it was completely natural to be afraid, but I was uncomfortable with the feeling and pushed it under. I wonder how often we suppress our fear and anxiety because they are uncomfortable and hard to work around. Depression is easier to deal with on the short-term level.
And I wonder if we allow ourselves to feel our fears in some way, would it keep depression at bay? And how could we allow our fears and still function?
I sometimes wonder why people believe another person is suppose to sacrafice themselves to the point of their own health for someone else minus their minor child?
You MUST get into a support group NOW!
I too became suicidal, but I personally feel that it is a very selfish act and woke up to the realization that I am not a selfish person who wants to complicate the lives of those I love in order to free myself of a BIG issue that will in all likelihood pass...given enough time. The torment and pain that I felt gradually passed once I realized that I was not able to handle this alone and took that first step in asking for help. I still cry from time to time...I'm human, but now that I know there are others out there who want to help, the weight has started to lift.
I have now taken the bull by the horns and TOLD my brother "I need your help and here is what we are going to do...come with me to tour facilities and lets decide together which one will be best for mom". He doesn't seem excited about it, but I don't care, am not an only child and refuse to carry this responsibility alone any longer. My mother is his mother too. So as in life we shared her as a mother, we now can share in caring for her as she cared for us when WE were in need of care at the beginning of our lives.
I expect some resistance on the part of my mother once she is placed. I know I will feel guilt, cry, get depressed again BUT this time I will not consider suicide as a way out and I will know in my heart that I have done the right thing, with the help of my brother and all of the help that is out there...all I had to do is stop being so stubborn (like mom) realize that people are out there who want to help and then let them.