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I feel so lost that I do not know me anymore let alone act like myself, to point where I do not like me I feel I cannot find myself or do anything but st and now Christmas is here I feel horrible being feeling like a scrooge but HONESTLY CANNOT HELP IT I FEEL LIKE TAKING DOWN TREES THROWING AWAY AND WITH THE CLOTHES ON MY BACK NOTHING ELSE AND WALKING AWAY ON FOOT ANDE JUST KEEP WALKING AND NOT LOOK BACK I HAVE NEVERE FELT THIS WAY BEFORE.

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Yeah, You missed it, Crow. I was taken back when I read that statement also. Not nice.
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Hi only1child, u truly made me smile with your post! I can so identify with your need to find " your funny" again. As I sometimes find my funny despite being , tired, financially drained, etc. etc
As we all know! But still we persevere! I am happy today and I feel stronger than I did yesterday but ultimately Sandy we all find a way to continue to put one in front of the other and some how we have to believe that " this too shall pass". Hugs and much love
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Only1child, sorry to hear about your diabetes. Stress elevates our cortisol hormone, which elevates our blood sugar. Necessary for survival when we're chased by a tiger, but not pleasant in modern Western culture. Anyway, try to get more fiber. Even in capsule form, such as psyllium husk capsules. Fiber helps slow down the absorption of sugar, thereby reducing blood sugar. Blessings to you.
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Hi, All,
I just put Mother to bed and thought I would check emails before dragging myself up the stairs.
Trusting we can all have a better year than 2014 has been (for me, anyway). On top of the ongoing "mom issues" I have added health problems of my own.
I was recently diagnosed with diabetes (my dad was diabetic and at the tender age of 65 it caught up with me). Doc said stress probably triggered it. She told me I need to eliminate stress. I sat there and laughed. She began writing a prescription for a stronger anti-depression med. I never filled it.
If I don't laugh, I cry. That gives me wrinkles. :)
Sandy, you will definitely find love and support from those participating on this site. We are all paddling the same boat of frustration. Hang in there.
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Sandy, you are stronger than you think. You ARE still you. The fact that you are reaching out says to me that you know there is hope and relief, but you are desperate to find it. My thoughts are the same as those who have advised you to get help. Do you feel resentment, and then guilt because of those feelings? I ask, because perhaps that has led to anger at yourself? So much so that you feel you don't deserve the clothes on your back, or the joy of the holidays. I'm not a professional, but I can only imagine how exhausted you must feel. So many emotions. You are right to reach out for understanding and support. Use the advice, and resources that help you, (as each caregiver has their own unique set of circumstances) and discard what does not.
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I, too, have suffered from depression at different times in my life and it sucks. It feels as if it will never end....but now I know that it will, especially once I am being medicated for it. In fact it runs in the family. We have all gotten to the point where we are able to be up-front and talk about it, even laugh about it sometimes. We, as a family have come to regard it just if diabetes ran in the family. We are no longer ashamed to say, 'I'm depressed' or I feel a depression coming on.... When you have a lot of strain on you , and I think everyone will agree care giving is a lot of stress and dementia can hit the ball right out of the park, you can easily become depressed. I don't know all of my triggers but I get this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach and I know I need to get back on my meds. No matter how we say it here on this site, we do want you to feel better and the advice you have been given is sound. Blessings on you, Linda
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Yeah, Farris1 is right. Stigma. Not that I pay a lot of attention to that, having been told I have an IQ that is one and a half times "normal", and am supposed to be of super "sound mind". None the less, we all feel similar things, brought about by life, loving, feelings we may not be doing enough, we may be doing too much, or may not be doing the right things. Just say "depression" and most people figure they are crackers. We are probably all "crackers" at some point in our lives. So much for the weight of that theory. But yeah, there is a stigma. Dumb as it is. ;-)
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when all is said and done, it usually boils down to the practical. There is a short story, 'the cold equations'. I think a lot of situations fit that scenario..sort of no way out conclusion.
we all understand wanting to walk out. most of us can't. while pam got slammed for being cold and uncaring, trying for an equivalence to other horrors most of which we will never see, it will end up as practicality. Fate can be quite uncaring. We are still alive, I am alive for which I am glad. SANDY NEEDS A BREAK!!. And sometimes others arms have to be twisted before help is forthcoming. Sadly in many cases, there is little help from other quarters, other quarters that could da** well help if they would get off their own tails. Hang in there Sandy, pam,
but then, I am also regarded as blunt and cold at times as well.
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ferris1, oh I see that was near the end of the second post. I wondered what set you off this morning. Yes, that is a bad term. Have a nice day.
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The mere mention of "looney bin" is bad.
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When I was going through an especially bad depression in my younger days, I was pregnant and my husband had left me for another woman, I went to an astrologer. The psychologist I was seeing was not much help, but the astrologer helped me so much that I became a counseling astrologer (after several years of study and schooling). Counseling astrologers can help you identify your strengths and give timing as to just how to deal with your particular situation. I see 10 - 20 clients weekly in this capacity. I also do grief counseling and for some reason people are more willing to go to a holistic center rather than to a psychiatrist or psychologist. Whatever you need to do to get some help, do it. Astrologer's rates are comparable to licensed counselor's rates and we do not take insurance, so be prepared to pay out of pocket if you seek this kind of help. Also there are a lot of charlatans disguising themselves as astrologers or spiritual counselors, get a good referral or references and be sure that this person has a legitimate office and is educated and qualified in his/her field. Meditation and Yoga groups can also bee helpful in dealing with depression.
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ferris1, who has called a psychiatric facility a bad place on this thread? The posts that I've read here have been supportive of Sandy getting help for her depression. I must have missed that one.
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Sandy - I'm so sorry for your sense of being lost and uncertain what to do. While all of us are in different places on this journey, I can relate. The factors that have helped me most are my faith in God, getting counseling, reaching out to get some services in place, even though financial situations have made this more difficult. Initially, I worried and stressed that Mom would be unhappy with those services, now I realize that I can't do this alone (I'm an only child) and if she's going to stay with me, I MUST have some help. I've gone back to art journaling and sketching which usually relieves stress for me, although I realize that it is not for everyone. I try to talk a short walk everyday. Please understand none of these are magic fixes and I'm not trying to suggest they are. My caregiving journey is going on 7 years and these are things that I am learning as I go. Big hugs to you, my friend!
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Folks since when is the "looney bin" as most ignorant people describe a psychiatric facility to treat a mental illness a "bad" place? Getting help is the best thing she can do, and if she has to spend time in a mental hospital to do it, and receives the care she needs, then she should be congratulated for making that correct decision. Anyone who degrades or demeans another person for having a mental illness (such as dementia too) needs professional help themselves because they suffer from being a bully and a small individual.
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Sandy,
You've gotten a wealth of advice, most of it boiling down to taking time for you and getting some level of support. I definitely understand how you feel: hopeless, anxious, sad, exhausted...there were days I wanted to pack my things and put my entire life in the rear view and start over someplace. I didn't, but boy did I ever imagine this scenario! While therapy, exercise, etc all could help you, I just want you to hang on and take things a step at a time. If it helps to share, I got to a point (like you) where I was absolutely at my breaking point. Although my careguving circumstances didn't change, I worked to compartmentalize my mind: when I was in the caregiving role, I was there 100%; when I was at work, I focused just on that. It was hard, but it helped me separate and distance myself from the burnout I felt so that I could function in other parts of my life. It was hard, but it did help me. I know it's hard being in a dark place--but, there is the possibility of light and hope with each new day.
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Sandy22, You are showing signs of classic depression, although you don't know it (yet). There are caring, loving psychiatrists out there who will be able to help you.
You must let someone help you. Make the call, make the appointment.
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I understand... Have been through many a bad Christmas', etc ( holidays)?... You want to be 'happy' but you just can't get you 'happy' back... First, know you're NOT alone!... (This helps me immensely)... Know that we're just human and can only do so much while trying to maintain our own self/identity/life... Push ahead and keep trying to do something different for yourself... Slowly you'll go forward for your own health and 'happiness'... You deserve it all... It's very possible but as a caregiver we have to really work on ourselves... That's the nature of the beast (so I've found out also).... Love to you and big hug!!!,
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Sandy: I, too, hear you and understand. I am sure none of us ever saw ourselves in this situation. Prayers and hugs...Fran
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I have been taking care of family since I was eight. Most people are not aware of what this job really is. I was born to wipe my families a** my grandmother told me so it was different for me (I was molded for this) . I didn't see a future but most people have. You know what a life really is and when it gets taken away you feel trapped in their body with no exit. depression has taken over and you have to save yourself. If you wasn't there they will make it with out you. It is okay to just be a daughter and friend and just visit them. It sound like it is just to hard for you at this moment. Please call someone to help you even if their not your favorite person but you now that they will take good care of them. Stop in think about the one person you will be with until you die (you). if you keep going this way you will be lost many years after they are gone.Good luck
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Wow, there are so many great posts and suggestions here.

Here is my brief story about going to a therapist, a licensed clinical social worker. He was so experienced, he had see it all before, my story (which was really out there) didn't faze him in the least. He gave me so much good advice, and so much self-confidence. Thanks to him, I was able to take rather spectacular action that I have never regretted. I had only one question: why did I wait so long? Why didn't I do this twenty years ago? I still see him whenever things get weird. We are good buddies and he always helps me.

So, I would say to anyone: Don't wait! Don't do what I did. Go get help NOW!
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oh I get it.....when my father starts ranting about the news or something he saw on TV, he yells.....I was in an emotionally abusive relationship years ago so I can't deal with that....I wish I was a turtle in those moments so I could slide my head into my shell and get away....and at the holidays, it's worse....like on thanksgiving.....my brother invited me and my dad down to his family's house for dinner....dad didn't want to go....I wanted to go, but I also didn't want to leave dad alone....so I opted out and bought two turkey tv dinners for us.....then for Christmas, dad just doesn't care about it.....however, I was born on Christmas eve, so I naturally love it.....we ended up not decorating much...and since I am also unemployed, not many gifts either....was so depressing....plus my unemployment ran out in july and my savings is down to almost nothing....next step is to pull my IRA....this has been such a test of my faith....I am so tired.....I just want this nightmare over
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Whoa, folks. Why this beating up on poor Pam? She simply illustrated how we sometimes need to mentally step away from our problems to put them in perspective. Yes, sometimes things are bad, and sometimes we are overwhelmed. But things could always be worse. Remembering this can sometimes be a blessing. It's okay to ask for help. It's okay to say, "I've reached my limit." Pam pointed this out, and she meant it kindly. Take her advice in the spirit it was given.
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sandy22, I can't say that I know exactly how you feel. Each situation is unique. But I do know what depression feels like, and you've done a great job of describing it.

The very first response to your post (cmagnum) has sound advice. There are lots of things you can do for yourself, and many posters have mentioned some of them. But ultimately treating major depressive disorder is not a do-it-yourself project. Certainly not a do-it-alone project. I hope by now you have contacted a mental health care professional. Please let us know what is happening.

I'm sorry I don't recall your other posts. Is your loved on on hospice? If so, please take advantage of their respite program. If not, I hope your therapist can help you find other ways to get time to yourself. You need a break!
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Sandy,
Physical activity often lifts depression. In my studies on grief, I was taught that depression is a lower octave of anger. We suppress our anger about what has happened that is out of our control (this is a natural response due to societal conditioning). If you can get the anger up an octave and take it out physically by beating a pillow with a plastic baseball bat that actually helps. Lock yourself in the basement or a remote bedroom if you have one and beat and scream. I had this therapy with a psychologist. If you can't bring yourself to do this, then go outdoors and walk briskly with your chin up, looking at the sky rather than the ground. This is also a good healthy way to work out your frustrations and get your serotonin levels up. Get some help to come in and watch your loved one so you aren't worried while you are outside.
I quit putting up a big tree some time back. We have a small table top tree in Mother's apartment (in my house). We don't exchange gifts, we buy something together that benefits the household, like this year we're paying someone to do some work in the kitchen. It takes the stress off.
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There are so many nice folks on here but I still come back to one question -
Is it fair to throw out such stern and sometimes hurting comments until one has walked in those exact shoes? I have and every senerio is different..
I hope "everyone" has a Happy New Year" with peace love, and serenity.
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Many years ago, at least 30, I heard a sermon about what to do when you don't know what to do and you don't know where to turn, by Rev. Robert Shuller, founder of the Hour of Power Ministry. It has helped me "hold on" until situations improved or help arrived. When faced with anything where you don't know where to turn, Rev. Shuller said to stop and Count Your Blessings. First - just stop. Sit down, clear your head, give yourself a few minutes. Second, stay in the present - right here and right now. Third, look at anything that you CAN control or what you DO HAVE as resources. Taking these actions help break the downward chain of thinking in our brains and then refocus on any positive situations at hand. THEN, look at where you are and what YOU CAN DO. Sometimes all you might be able to think about when dealing with an elderly loved on is that they are still alive while many friends have lost their parents at a much younger age; you have a roof over your head and funds to put food on the table; you have family who still want to come and visit rather than some families where the elderly or infirm are left out of things along with the caregiver; and, on here, you have people who read/listen, have been there and done that, and understand at a deep level your situation. Yet, these same people are able reach out to you to point to resources, action plans, and other ways in which perhaps you will be able to make your situation more tolerable.

If you have given your CAN DO or DO HAVE lists enough thought you will most likely come up with a number of things you can do to make things better. The action is up to YOU. It is rare that someone would come to you and say "I know you are the caregiver and are overwhelmed, so I'd like to take your place for a day and give you some help", BUT you can and MUST reach out to family and give them small pieces to do. Will someone come over and do laundry for you? Can you afford to hire a housekeeper? Did you have a guests for holiday meals and you prepared everything? If so, you need to STOP. Tell them that they can come and you can fix a part of the meal but with your caregiver responsibilities you need their help prior to the holiday. Then, have the list ready. If they can't help, then you DO NOT continue. Don't try to do everything and know that you are in a different phase of life. Things must change and YOU need to take control even if that means saying NO to what you have traditionally done and insisting that others take on larger roles for holiday activities. If need to take care of yourself first. You cannot be a good caregiver if you are depressed, physically ill, and emotionally vacant.
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Sandy22, I remember one year I went to my GMA's house for Christmas. The usual destination since I was born, 30+ relatives, huge house on gorgeous farm ground, decorated to the hilt, all the great holiday treats, tree pilled high with presents, the sweet familiar sound of family chatter. But that year was different, when I got home a favorite cousin that lives to far away come called me to see how my trip went. I told him, 2 came with new spouses, kind of had to hand hold with them, didn't visit much with the rest of us, play any games in game room. Several had go into a big fight before the holidays and were still cold towards each other, so they weren't up to their usual antics that spurred on fun things to do together. GMPA had died earlier in the year. I missed him so much, kept waiting for him to appear from a hallway, as though he was just off doing something for a minute. So when I told my big couz all that he said, "ah, the good old days, hugh". Before I could answer he said, "THESE are the good old days". Hugh? He said one day I, and someday you, will be sitting alone on Christmas in a nursing home. And we will be thinking, remember when GMA had that big house and we could go there? Remember that great car we had, the picturesque drive, ...oh how I miss driving. Remember the beautiful tree, with all the ornaments we made in childhood still hanging on it. Remember getting home exhausted, that dog that was so glad to see us, he sure was a great dog, I really miss getting to have pets. So, little one, he said, "THESE are the good old days, right here and now."

That was long ago, but has helped me through a lot of changes as they took place over the years. This year, as I sat home with just DH, missing and remembering GMA, who recently passed, that home-that was recently sold, with my Sister deceased, and couple of Uncles, my Mom greatly change, my Dad sick and stuck at home 7 states away, no presents to unwrap, store bought treats, I did my very best to look at the tree and appreciate it. Spent extra time with the dogs, appreciated watching them play and be happy. I thanked God for my health and freedom and home and car.

I did have a fleeting thought of hopping in car, going off by myself unannounced too, to a favorite spot by the ocean where I haven't been in a long time, just to clear my head. I'm not sure that means you're nuts, (if it does then I am too), but if you do go, please take car and cash and phone, ok? :-) Hope you're feeling better now.
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Sandy, Order yourself this book as a 'Christmas Gift': Boundaries Book By: Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. John Townsend On Amazon you may even be able to get a really cheap used copy. It is a 'godsend' of information on how to make room for YOU when caring for others. I see from reading your history that you are caring for both your mother and a friend and have been doing so for over a year. Have you set up any resources to help you? Is there anyone else involved to help you? Somewhere in your history there, I read your mother is bed ridden? If, so you just cannot keep doing everything alone without destroying yourself. Is depression a long term history with you, or something new now? You need to get help. Have you started a Medicaid application for Mom? Once she is generally down to $2000/mo income and no assets other than a house and a car, she would be eligible for Medicaid assistance. They do pay for help in the home, including pay to you if you are the direct caregiver. But sounds like you need other helpers coming in, so you can get a break from all this and care for yourself. I know from my own experience that when you are in the day to day trenches and are already depressed, it is very hard to get started with a plan for help. I generally start by making a list of who and what I can do to get some assistance going. If I can only make one call or contact per day, then that's what I do. I get some energy out of seeing something crossed off a list, no matter how long that list is! AND, that list has to have something on it for YOU. Play music for an hour; take a walk around the block to get away and think and breathe some fresh air; if you like to read, take a book and walk to a park bench somewhere and read for a half hour and then walk back.... The first thing on your list should be to make an MD app't to discuss your situation and see if you will benefit from counseling or a medication to assist. Your doc may also be able to give you some resources for help in the home. Most towns have a Council on Aging, or the Altzheimer's Assoc. can help. My Mom gets volunteer help from the Council on Aging for many different things. If you Mom can be up in a WC even, look into Adult Day Program availability. She could go there for a few hours every day, thus giving you a break from direct care, and allowing you time for app'ts for yourself or just taking a nap. And if all this fails, or her care is too much, it may be time for nursing home or memory care placement for her. Have you ever gotten prof. help to look into all her finances to see if she is eligible for other kinds of help. For example, if your Dad was a veteran and he is now dead, she may be eligible for some money from the VA to help her in the home or in a facility. I just read so many on this site, who seem to have no idea of all the resources that might be able to help them.....and they seem to just struggle along and paying from their own money and setting themselves up for financial disasters later for themselves. I wish there were a 'resource book' out there that could be recommended to everyone when they first show up on the site. I feel so fortunate, because my parents had a trust and an elder care attorney with case managers and financial advisors to help me get all this stuff covered and taken care of...... It is for sure worth that am't of money to get an app't with an attorney or someone, who can get you started on this if you cannot get started yourself. Good luck to you.
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Sandy, please know that you are not alone. Many of us have experienced the same feelings, LOST. Please call your Dr. They will help you. Reach out to anyone that you know cares about you. Don't give up, things Will get better. Prayer helps. I will be praying for you today. Love yourself, we all love you and wish we could put our arms around you. Let us know how you are doing. WE CARE!
Melaine7 you are so lucky to have supporting sibs. 2 of mine have expressed deep hate for me over Christmas and I spent most of the time crying. How I wish I didn't have to deal with their hate. Back home with Mother. Feel like I can go on with the support of this group and my husband.
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I'm going to chime in here and agree with Glowkie. These answers show that we ALL are under stress like Sandy. We are a large and loving support group and yet you can see from the bickering going on how much stress we are all under, which is exactly what Sandy is looking for help for. We are all at one time or another lost! Sandy you asked is anyone else lost? Yes, yes we are and we ALL are hoping that you can find the respite you so badly need. Please don't be scared away from here, you will find much on this site to help you. I know I certainly have! Some of us are blunter than others, but all of us want to help and we need help also. I send you love and hugs, Sandy, and to ALL of those on this site looking/giving advice and help. Linda
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