Am I depressed?

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I am the caregiver to my father and brother. My brother is a quad and my father has had mobility issues for the last 3 years. 2 years ago I lost my job which resulted in my losing my house. So I had to move back in with my bro and dad a week after I gave birth to my 2nd son. My brother gets 16 hrs of nurse care but I care for him from 3pm-11pm everyday. My father gets nurses care from 8-12 and 3-5 except on the weekends he gets none. Along with my 9 year old and my 1.5 year old I am taking care of 4 ppl. I dont work. Me and my kids share a very small room together and slp in the same bed. I have an older sister and she takes care of the final things but I feel alot of pressure from her bc I dont work. She wants me to work from home I blv the reason is because I can stil do the caregiving for them. I need to make enough money for daycare for 2 kids and to move out. She complains about the fact that we have so much stuff. Which we realy dont but its 3 of us not one. Taking on the fact that a year ago i found out that my bf was cheating on me while I was preg and didnt want to be with me and I havent been involved with no one at all for almost 2 years. I recognize im lonely. but am i depressed? I have gained weight and food is my bff. Im only 30 and I have no life. Even if I get respite then I still have nurses ard me and the kids all day unless we leave the house which really isnt a break or relaxing bc Im on the go. I am thinking about finding a doctor to talk to.

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Uh, Lauren - you ARE working. More than full time, I think. You just aren't getting paid. Some people have options to be paid a caregivers, but many don't, and if that's you, tell Sis if you are going to work, you'd need her to take caregiving shifts to make that a realistic possibility. Seems like Sis never heard the expression "EVERY Mom is a working Mom!"

In the mean time, if you are using food to stay undepressed, particularly ice cream and chocolate, and you don't like the side effects, switch to either non-fat chocolate options like hot cocoa, premixed puddings, chocolate Twizzlers OR do the one piece a day of super good regular dark chocolate instead. I find that plus high-antioxidant fresh fruits keep me perky and less stressed too, and the exercise thing is an awesome mood elevator once you can get over the hump to make yourself do it.

You could also take an online depression questionnaire or two...rule of thumb, if something good happens or you get a chance to do one of your favorite things and you can't enjoy it, if your constant thought are of nothing but failure, hopelessness, "what's the use" and personal guilt and inadequacy even though you are doing a Herculean job and most likely doing it very well; if you waken in the wee hours and can't get back to sleep and appetite is seriously awry; that fact that you have things to be depressed about does not rule out real depression and seeing the doc won't hurt. A little SSRI is sometimes just the thing to break the cycle of feeling bad and then feeling worse about feeling bad. If you find yourself suicidal, thinking of or planning for your death, seeing the doc becomes mandatory rather than just a good idea.
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Hi Lauren, You sound very mentally healthy to me. You are overwhelmed, but still seem to be multi-tasking very well. However, I think your sister is afraid to be "stuck" with the situation, since she is single, no kids. Of course, it is survival mode to try to overpower another to get one's way. You can't blame anyone for that. It's selfish, yes, but in a self-preservation way. We caregivers need to develop that characteristic more, as we all know:)
One thing I would add: I would file with whoever aids single Mothers in you area for assistance and let them go after the ex. Easier for you and kids. Let others do the dirty work for you. You/ the kids deserve it! Have a serious, unemotional, matter of fact discussion with your sister after you have made a plan, get a time frame, get financial assistance, figure out how to finish your classes, find someone you trust to help with your children-- why doesn't your sister babysit?!
I think your early years were very tough I you emotionally, but you are very smart. Once you feel more in control, the weight will come off. I don't believe in depriving oneself of anything comforting when you are suffering, just be reasonable. A little bit of something really good is ok. I don't think you are depressed in a clinical way: it is circumstantial. Don't worry about that. I think you could find a free group therapy/ support group for families of disabled. Call local hospital, community center, mental health office, etc. Try not to take any meds-- you don't need them! Take baby for a good fast walk and bring the 9 year old, fruit snacks, water, go to the park and be normal. I believe in you! Awesome woman;) xoxo
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I just want to add, that you are facing a series of complicated combination situations in your life that most people would find difficult if faces alone, much less all together at once. You are doing a remarkable job coping already. I do apologize if my other answer sounded simplistic or glib. In fact there are no easy answers for what you are right now facing. Your seeking from us on this website, from your doctor, from your community, and from your sister (after you start talking to her again) is warranted and wise. Your determination to change the situation by moving out is admirable. Doing what you can to meet that goal in spite of everything is even more so. Try not to feel guilty, but if you do, don't feel guilty about feeling that. Good luck to you.
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I am against anti-depressants unless absolutely necessary. Here is what I think might benefit you more: cut sugar and bad carbs. Eat more protein and veggies. Exercise regularly. Get adequate sleep (I know this is hard with a toddler).

Is your sister helping with caregiving? Does your dad and bro have medicaid? Can you call upon a volunteer agency in your county to offer help? What about extended family members? Pray and ask God to help you. He sees the extent of your real burden - and it would be hard for anybody. But taking an anti-depressant is not going to change your circumstance - and you need REAL help.

Where are the fathers to your children??
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Thank you everyone....I have been a caregiver since I was 11 y.o. helping take care of my brother and my mother was alive then and she had MS and I helped her. She passed when I was 17. When I was 21 I moved out. So alot of the care fell on my dad (he wasnt sick then) and my sister. in 2010 my sister asked me to help her cook meals for them and take it over there house on plates. She felt overwhelmed bc she was the only one going over there as much. I had my oldest son who was 7, a full time job and I went to school. She has her on business at home and no kids, no husband. So I would go over there and take food. before I lost my apt she was telling me how she wanted me to come back home giving me the angle that I could save money. but I knew better I knew it was bc she wanted me to pay bills. I told her then no because I would have no freedom and I would have no privacy. She understood and then i lost everything. She understands what goes into caregiving but she doesnt understand how hard it is for me I have kids. I have a small child so while Im doing certain things he's all over the place and I have to get my 9 yo to watch him for a 15 mins so I can get certain things done like feeding my brother or turning him. Then she doesnt understand that I cant take a $10/hr job its not going to pay enough for child care. Once the nurse leaves at 3 I am cooking,feeding, when school is in trying to help my 9 yo. its alot of work and then I have my baby up until 8 or 9. no one is on a schedule. Its just alot and she doesnt full understand after numerous conversations. I am done talking at this point. Its extremely hard finding respite for both. If my son wants to go somewhere at the last min we cant go. My main goal is to move back out ASAP i cant live like this. We have no room. I have no peace. And I emotionally block things out for me not to have to deal with them. my ex cheating I still havent dealt with that me losing everything, the way ppl are treating me, etc its just pushed in the back of my mind So i can just get thru it. I am going to go see a doctor. I was looked at Psychologists last night after I posted. I try to workout while my son takes his nap in the afternoon while the nurses are here. but I cant workout in the living bc thats where a nurse is and the room is too small so I have to g outside and its been kinds hot so I might have to start working out late at night.after my son goes to slp but before 11p before the nurse gets here.
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Seeing a doctor is definitely a good idea. Anti-depressants can be temporary. Also, you said several times you don't work. But of course you do. I like Ismiami's idea of taking some training combined with Touched by Angel's idea of having your sister take a turn with caregiving while you are out. Once I took a class as a break from stressful things at home, and I really got a lot out of being away from home for a few hours twice a week, and the class itself. If your sister is not in the area, perhaps she could help pay for the caregiver to substitute while you are out.
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Depressed? I do not know.
You are facing a very difficult situation. If you had a job outside the house would it pay enough to cover rent and day care and raise 2 children? I hope ex is paying child support.
Not sure what kind of work you have done in the past, or what your skills are.
Would job training / certification help you?
If you work on yourself, you will feel hopeful and shine light on what has become a dreary life. Any sort of training class where you spend a few hours a week away from home to work on bettering yourself can be up lifting.

My personal approach would be to avoid medical labels, they only lead you to take pills that enable you to accept a situation. Change the situation instead. You sound strong. Some people truly need the meds, but that would not be my first resort.

Oh yeah, from one stress eater to another....put down the Twinkie and escape a couple of times a day to your room. Jillian Michaels has great 30 minute "burn". There are tons on exercise videos at the library, a good alternative to detour yourself from the fridge, even if you just do a few minutes.

Be Strong and best of luck to you,
L
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Yes, you sound depressed. Who wouldn't be in your situation. Please go see a doctor.
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Lauren3206 , Your sister wants you to work from home ? I'm some what puzzled does she have any idea what goes into care giving ? I don't know if you get paid for care giving a lot of people do , myself I had no one interest in getting paid to care for my brother , Mom , 2 sisters & Mother in law but I don't see any problem if someone does want pay . Anyways regardless of that when does your sister think you have time to squeeze in another few hours in a day ? Sounds like your overwelmed due to stress , don't let her do that to you . Is she doing any care giving ? If she's not maybe you should let her take over what you do for a week , anyways talk to her maybe she will cut you some much needed slack . Yes if you have nurses came coming in and your their tell them what they need to know and they will just do what they came for tell them your going to go relax for awhile they can handle the situation . Every time I had a few minutes I'd go outside and do my gardening , maybe you should decide what you would like to do when you've got a break during the day but get outside it will get you away from the kitchen and food if you still feel a doctor can help give the doc a call . Good luck
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