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I have begun to feel lately as though I am losing my mind. Also, I feel very angry and I don't know what is wrong with me. I am not angry at my Mother by any means...is it possible to be so absolutely frozen with fear of losing my Mother that I am angry intead of letting grief show? Or have I already lost my mind? Does anyone else feel this way?

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Hope22, my wish for you is that you give yourself real permission for a few things.

- Take the respite break. You will be stronger and better after it. I promise. Your mom will be in good hands. If you are having feelings that block you from taking a break, you need to work on where they come from and why. Not taking a respite is bad for you.

- No guilt. The level of guilt you describe is unhealthy. It doesn't have to be this way, and a good doctor will help you. Journaling your feelings might also be a good way to let it all out, and a way to look at these feelings to find a way forward. Guilt is something we do to ourselves and it is possible to stop.

- Persevere. Let yourself try another doctor or therapist or counselor. It is absolutely 100% worth the effort. This is not optional/nice to have for you. This kind of support is as necessary as air right now, so don't talk yourself out of it based on a past experience.

- Plan ahead. Mom is going to be gone some day. (We all are.) Start envisioning that time period, and how you are going to fill it with positive things. Do not let your mind wander into that dark place where there is only despair. See yourself doing things that make your life better somehow. Gardening, painting, riding a bike, walking, taking a class, working, dancing, reading a book, helping with Meals on Wheels, volunteering at the Humane Society, joining activities at church, etc. Only you can decide what kinds of things appeal to you. I will say that pet therapy is amazingly healing. Visiting with the dogs and cats just does something for me that nothing else can.
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I can only re-emphasize what sandwich 42 has written. I don't know what you mean exactly by having reached out before and been swatted down. If it was your doctor, get another one. If it was a friend, get another one. If it was relatives, ignore them. I think you are repeating what you just acknowledged you tend to do- try and do it all by yourself. Use the support services that hospice generally has for the family if the patient. Best wishes.
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I do have hospice involved now. I wish I had been using home health care for the two years prior to Mama having to go to hospice care, but I am notorious for thinking I can do it alone. And it has almost done me in. Mama had a very bad weekend and I have been almost catatonic with fear and for some reason it is that way more at some times than others. I think I am over tired, I acknowledge that. It is hard for me to admit I can't do it alone, BUT I have reached out in the past and got promptly "swatted down", so I quit asking. I have been in this on my own emotionally and financially most of the entire two and a half years. This morning out of hte blue, Mama sat up and has been talking. I know this is all a part of it and will have good days and bad days and I had best get used to it.

Hospice asked me this morning was I ready to consider respite care. While I have reached a point where I truly was leaning towards respite care, with Mama's sudden and rapid decline now I am simply afraid to do it. If I should move her even for a few days and something happen without me there, I don't know if I could ever forgive myself.

So back to taking it one day at a time....But oh I love and cherish those thirty minutes or so this morning of getting to talk and laugh with her.. she's back asleep now....but I cannot express enough how thankful I am for those thirty minutes....you want to hold onto them forever don't you....thanks all for all of your responses....as I have said before, I don't know what I woudl do without htis website.
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I might have missed it, but Hope22, did you say if you have hospice involved? They can be an enourmous help near the end. They not only come and do for your loved one, but they can help you understand what you are seeing.

When your mom goes, there will be grief and sadness. But if you start planning *now* that eventually the volume will be turned down on those feelings, you will find the way forward. YOUR life has value and should not be thrown away in the process of letting mom go.

I found myself in a highly stressful situation years ago, where I felt like I had lost myself amongst all the other demands of life and my job. Talking to my doctor really helped. She had me fill out some questionnaires, and she got to the root of my difficulties and insomnia. The meds I got did not make my problems disappear and did not put me in a state of permanent euphoria. What they did do was enable me to handle my problems a lot more effectively, to prioritize what is worth staying up at night over and what is not. Finding support is the other oar to row, as others have said. You need to build your support network up NOW, before you need to lean on it.

I also suggest looking at respite care options, so you can get a break. Not taking breaks to recharge will do you in. It is not wrong or neglectful to take a break. Your physical and mental health depend on it. A lot of the senior communities and care facilities around me offer temporary respite care, and will talk with you about how it gets covered with insurance/medicare/medicaid, etc.

The life saver rings are in the water. You only have to grab hold and use them. Please check back in soon and let us know how it's going!
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hope, your name says it all. I've known two types of depressed people -- those who had hope and those who didn't. The ones who found hope always came out the other side even better than they were before. There is something about going through the abyss and emerging into the light on the other side that gives a sweeter appreciation of life. It also gives a better understanding of other people. Perhaps because it builds empathy in us.

If you are losing hope, you have to find it again. This may take professional help. It is definitely going to require a leap of faith on your part that things will be okay, and that you are not going to be alone because your mother dies. There is a world of people out there looking for friends to share their lives with. We just have to find them and share ourselves.

My best advice would be to make yourself get outside yourself and to reattach to the living. When we are caregiving, we are so attached to the dying that we can lose touch with the living. But we are still living and need other people. Some simple things to do are to get into counseling, go to church, attend support groups, volunteer at the senior center,... If you need to hire someone to watch your mother while you go, then it will be money well spent to help you feel better. Personally, I always feel better when I get out for a while. It lifts my spirits a lot to be around people who are doing normal things.

Someone who is dying can be much like a ship going down. If we don't stay out of the eddy, we will be pulled down with them. When they breathe their last, they will come out on the other side, but we will still be in that eddy. We have to find a way to avoid being pulled in. The best way I have found is through being around other people.
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Hope22, please see a doctor. Seriously. Get your thyroid and iron tested. Make sure you are taking care of YOUR health first. A huge mistake is to blow these symptoms off as something you can get over with time or willpower, or that something is wrong with you because you can't overcome it alone. There could be more than one reason for this level of sadness, paralysis, and difficulty, and some of it could be physical.

Please tell your doctor about your ongoing feelings. There is help. You must take care of YOU.

My dad died 28 years ago and I will never be over it, but life has to be lived. I have a hard time talking about it sometimes. Talk to a counselor, spiritual leader, somebody with qualifications to help you out. Neighbors and well meaning people can only get us so far with these things. Sometimes you just have to get a professional involved to get a good solution going. It really is worth pursuing.
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I can identify with all of the thoughts you all mentioned. This has been one of the saddest, strangest holidays on record. The entire week has been hard, as Mama is now in those phases of a really good day, followed by a really bad day, then a so so day, then a good day, then a horrible day..you get the picture...Every time the mood changes, my mindset changes.

Things i always loved to do I just cannot get them done. Sometimes I wonder if someone was driving towards me in a car whether I would have the energy to even move. I have ZERO energy to get anything finished. I start a million projects and my mind is on none of them as I am now so consumed with the thought of losing my Mama...I have been fairly strong to this point, or so I thought and now think I may have been in denial. No one else seems to be even thinking of what is coming. They all seem to have accepted it and moved on already.

I want to fix it. I want to make her well. I want her to talk to me the way we used to talk about life, politics, just whatever, and it was always like two best friends. I did not think I would ever feel pain the way I did when I lost my Dad and I now realize this is going to do me in...at least it feels like it is....Sometimes it seems like she is already gone and I feel so awful for saying that, but sometimes I watch her staring at me with a blank, almost mean look on her face and I can see she does not know me....then there are the few moments that I live for where I know she knows me...I know I need to be thankful I have those as there are some who no longer even have those....

I have been living in a state of loss, it seems, ever since my Dad passed away...and that has been over 18 years ago....once he passed, I started making sure I was always here for Mama and it has been to the point where now I fear I am so attached I will never survive without her...I don't know if I want to....I don't even know how I would go forward. Today has been a blur. I see all the pictures folks are posting of their fun Easter activities and all I can think of is the memories of Easter's past...that will never come again...I'm sorry I am such a bummer, I just cannot shake this and I know I must as I think she picks up on my "vibes"....My face is always swollen, from the crying I do when I go to another part of the house...my heart always feels broken....and it feels like the only way I get past it is to just be angry...

I don't know what I would do without this website as there is no one who identifies with me whatsoever...all I get out of "the rest of the world" are the standard platitudes..."bless your heart, I know it's hard, you are doing a good thing..." and then I feel like in their head they are thinking, "now let me get the heck out of here so I can get back to having fun and enjoying my life because this is entirely too heartbreaking to stay here.....thank you for you input...each of you...it means more than you can possibly imagine....
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Recently I am beginning to feel like I can't think or focus any more.

My parents are still independent in their own home, they can clean, cook and take care of themselves, and have relatively sharp minds... I should feel very lucky.... but the demands they place on me because they stopped driving five years ago is wearing me down. I feel like I am having memory issues, and that scares me.
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depression, agatation, frustration, slowed thought process. all a vicious cycle. every battle makes you stronger. youll be ok.ive been thru 3 hellish , unsuccesful hepc treatments in the last few years. im on a 4th right now. it aint that i want to live all that frantically its just that i dont take no for an answer.
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Frozen with fear means the person goes blank. Speechless, motionless with shock and denial. Then anger creeps up on you, the unfairness of it all. Further along is despair and grief over what is lost. It is a deep dark place. It can rob your energy and paralyze your thoughts. With time and distance, and distractions, you can refocus on accepting was is and move forward to a new task, a new goal. You are making progress.
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hope22, I lost my mind a long, long time ago. I have a lot of the anger that you're talking about, but it is normally directed at my mother, instead of dying itself. Something that I am finding unpleasant is that often I feel frozen inside, like I can't get the momentum to do things. It's like my muscles are resisting me getting things done. I end up having to make myself do things. Not fun at all.

I don't mind so much being crazy. I just don't want to be angry, anxious, or sad. And I don't like the frozen feel of inertia. It's awful.
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