Follow
Share

I cared for my Mom for 8 years and before that it was my father, brother in law and aunt. I hit the wall and began having severe panic and anxiety attacks due to the stress. I was hospitalized and told by the doctors that I had to go home, pack and leave my mother's home or the stress would kill me.

I did what I was told and I am living with a younger sister, while my older sister still lives at home and hired an IN HOME CAREGIVER for Mom. My panic and anxiety is severe however and it only seems to be getting worse. Going back to Mom's house is not an option as it gets worse when I am there.

I have only been gone since the 18th of April but I AM HORRIFIED OF BEING HOME ALONE. HORRIFIED. My sister gets home at about 8 pm and her kids are out of school at about 2pm and my daughter goes to school until 9pm at the local college.

This summer I am going to be home alone all day long. I cannot handle this and I am absolutely horrified! I honestly feel like I am going to go crazy as I feel like I am close to that anyway at this point!

I have Medicare and Medi Cal and I live in California and I really need some honest to God help!

I never thought loving my mother enough to stay home and take care of her would lead to this but I am literally out of my mind with fear!!! I am on Ativan to sleep and Xanax. I take Holy Basil for calmness but it feels like I am about ready to pull out my hair and run screaming down the street.

I was suppose to be Mom's POA but there is no way I can handle anything feeling like I do.

Is there help for caregivers who have burned out? I literally need an IN HOME CAREGIVER for myself at this point. Please point me towards help before I can no longer handle this! PLEASE HELP ME!!!!

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
I know exactly what your going through. I dropped out of high school at 17 to begin caring for my grandmother (I'm 25 now) so almost 10 years. She has 6 children of her own, who obviously would rather put their responsibilities on a 17 year old girl then step up and take care of their mother, instead of returning the favor to her, who raised and cared for them. The only person I got any help from was my mother, which was not a lot considering she was taking care of her ex-husbands mother (which was my step father who molested me for 8 years by the way) So needless to say I had an endless amount of anger and resentment towards my mom for not only continuing to be in my step fathers life, but to choose to care for his mother for him, instead of helping ME care for her own mother. Back to the point, my mom died about 2 years ago and my grandma has gotten 100 times worse since then. She is in the beginning stages of either Alzheimers or Dementia- Heres a quick story- A couple months ago she said my cat had caught a squirrel and it was hanging from the roof outside a bedroom window. It was a ROPE not a squirrel. So I took down the rope, and everyday since she says shit like "you need to take that squirrel down it's starting to rot I smell it." I've explained to her many times it's not a fucking squirrel it's a rope (that's gone now). She is completely bedridden cause she has broken about every bone in her body and has severe athritis, but fell walking outside at 4 am to go "get the squirrel down". Another time she was walking around the house in the pitch blackness checking if all the windows in the house were closed cause she "felt a breeze", slipped on a plastic bag and busted her head open. She goes to the bathroom and hides SH*T (and yes, I mean sh*t as in her bowel movements) in the cabinets, shower, shelves. She just had her 4th stroke last month and is severely dizzy ever since yet she has taken 2 bad falls because she is out of bed walking around for no reason laughing saying "I feel drunk". It's a huge battle very morning to get her to take her 14 medications she needs (and if she does I put them in her mouth, she pretends to swallow them , then throws them under her bed) I put a diaper on her and she takes it off refusing to wear them, so most mornings I wake up to find her, and her whole bed+ floor covered in either piss or shit. Like I said, I've been caring for her for almost 10 years cause nobody else wants to deal with it and I promised her she would die comfortable at home in her bed with her dogs not in a nursing home. I'm 25, I have no help,no friends, no happiness,no money or diploma/GED and my entire life has revolved around taking care of someone else There's a million other things I could also mention she does that have driven me past my breaking point, but just giving you a quick glimpse into my life and my situation. So while I absolutely sympathize with what your going through it might give you piece of mind to take into consideration that there are far more people in far more stressful situations then you. You are lucky enough, like you said to have a sister that offered you an escape, a place to live, and a chance to build your own life. Don't blow that by getting "stuck in your head" due to the emotional trauma and overwhelming stress, realise that you were given an opportunity to make yourself and your life better now, and don't rely on shit like xanax and antidepressants (I've been down that road- 10 mg of xanax a day from stress due to being a caregiver for almost a year, not worth it trust me, having a "crutch" that you feel you NEED to function and not completely lose it, but it's not worth it) You sound like a strong woman which I identify with, which is why I'm even taking the time to comment and share my story. God is obviously trying to convey to you that it's time to take care of YOU, so don't let your negative feelings and stress, fear, ect. ruin that for you. Good Luck and get out there and live life, a lot of people in your situation don't have that opportunity like you do now. Best Regards, Samantha
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

CBT. Get some. It's only a crutch, it will only help you superficially, but it will get you started on a new road and it works. Pick a down to earth therapist, focus on getting over the first hump, do it now. Good luck, big hug.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This morning I told my sister (through my tears) that I was feeling absolutely TERRIFIED almost all the time these days. I'm taking care of my mother with rapidly progressing dementia and increasing physical weakness and strange behavior. I don't know who I will find when I go to the kitchen first thing in the morning. Will it be some version of the mother I know and love or will it be a child demanding that I drive her to school or to go get her mother (who is long gone)? I take Xanax and Zoloft and other medications for the chronic pain I live in due to an old car accident and fibromyalgia. But, once again, my anxiety is making my chest feel squeezed and it has become hard to breathe. I know I'll make it through this, and I will be talking with my doctor(s) about this again. I might also call someone from Alzheimer's.org. They have people there at all times of the day who can talk with you and help you as much as possible. I wish you all the best. We're not alone in this struggle, and we need to remember to do whatever it takes to take care of ourselves as much or more than we are taking care of our loved one. Like on an airplane, "Put the oxygen on your face first and then on your loved ones." We're of no help to anyone if we can't even breathe. But since I just wrote all this down and got it "off my chest," I've been able to take at least one deep breath. Perhaps I will be able to sleep. One can hope!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Some of my panic attacks comes from fillers used in prescription medicine, these fillers are used to make the pills large enough to handle and to bind them into their round or oval shape. With your doctor's permission, try to get off the pills you are taking or dropping the dosage by half and see if that will help.

This might sound strange, but I found over the counter anti-histamines seem to help me feel better. So there must be something I am allergic to that is also creating these panic attacks. Again, check with your doctor. Something as simple as a food allergy could be the problem, too.

I also am afraid to be alone if my significant other is out of town. But that is side affect of having cancer and dealing with the meds. And throw in my aging parents' constant guilt trips for not driving them everywhere they want to go.... [sigh].
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I appreciate your answers. First I don't have a doctor really. I see a therapist through a Senior Program via the City of LA and it was a nurse practioner who gave me the Ativan and Paxil. I could not take the Paxil just 1/2 of a 10mg pill turned me into a Zombie and all I could do was lay around with a major "hangover." My GP gave me the Xanax but would not give me the Ativan as she said they were the same thing. Years ago my psychiatrist thought they were different enough to give me the Ativan to sleep and Xanax for the panic attacks. I have been trying to get into see a doctor from Cedars Sinai Hosp as this is his specialty and found out today it was a 4 month wait. I told her I could be dead by then.
PamStegman: I do not know about the Rescue Remedy you mentioned is it really better because I am willing to try anything.
JessieBelle: I don't want to be in the house, I do feel better outside, but how many hours in the day can you be outside? I do feel the fear 24/7 as this seems to NEVER LEAVE ME AND I MEAN NEVER, IT IS AN ONGOING FEAR THAT DOES NOT SUBSIDE. 24 YEARS AGO IT LED TO THE LOSS OF MY CHILD I WAS CARRYING, THE SECOND TIME IT HIT LIKE THIS I WAS PREGNANT AGAIN...AT 61 IT IS STRESS FROM CARING FOR MY MOM.
Gladimhere: I went to the hospital and did not tell them I wanted a psych evaluation but told them I was stressed, having chest pain, and panic and anxiety. They knocked me out with Ativan, did blood work, took an xray and released me the next day telling me to move out.

I still feel like I am going crazy and i need a health care giver to assist me. If I had a panic attack and it stopped that would be one thing but this is constant ongoing.

I've got to get my Ativan and Xanax and see if I can knock myself out so I can go through this h*ll again tomorrow.
I am not sitting around by any means. I have worked my butt off every day in my sisters garage trying to clean it out, do the laundry, wash the floor, just anything to keep me busy. I walk and walk and walk every single day, I speak to every single person I see. I drink water like crazy, I try to eat but many times I feel like vomiting so I have to take it slow. But I think I need protein or more of it.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I feel for you. It must be horrible. Have you considered medical marijuana? We have it here, in AZ. and it is helping many sick people. I don't know about your state, though.

Now, for a totally different suggestion, what about a trained therapy dog?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Stressed, I've had some bouts with severe panic disorder, so know how hard it is. Something you have to do is make yourself get out and about. Remember that panic is self-limiting. You won't die and you won't have a heart attack, though it feels like you will sometime. The strange fog and look of things are just anxiety. You are not going crazy. I wouldn't be afraid to bet you are more sane than many.

There are a few things that helped me getting past the panic. I ate good meals, so I didn't get hungry. I took water with me -- I still do. I adopted the mantra "Feel the fear and do it anyway" as my own. Saying that to myself kept me pushing to get better. I knew if I didn't, I would become housebound.

Antidepressants and Xanax can help you get back on your feet, but they should be coupled with getting out and feeling the fear. When you realize that the fear won't kill you, that the feeling of dread is only a feeling, you can work yourself back onto your feet. When you get to that point, get involved with people and stay involved. Ordinary people are the best medicine I know of for depression and/or anxiety.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

You can go to the ER. Hospitalize yourself, get psych evaluation, it sounds like it could be PTSD which is becoming more and more common in caregivers.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Call your Dr. 1st thing in the a.m. & be sure you are seen tomorrow. - no delay!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

my aunt , at 90 has gotten out of her wheelchair , using a walker and getting stronger every day. i think you should get yourself into some kind of physical work . as pam suggested , a physical workout keeps your mind and body regulated.
my aunt also takes 40 mg of zoloft daily and her mood is quite pleasant with a lot of light humor and laughter.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Please tell your Dr what is going on. There is help out there, start with your Dr. You may need some short term placement to help you learn coping skill and get your meds adjusted. you have insurance, take advantage of it. Its not a weakness to ask for and get help.. You don;t say how old you are, but I;m guessing not too young. Get help before it is too late!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I'm going to say if Holy Basil is not working, there are better things out there, like Rescue Remedy. Plus you need to cut out all the caffeine and sugary items. Talk to your MD about an SNRI med like Cymbalta or Effexor XR. Make an effort to identify the triggers that set the ball rolling. If you hate being alone, then get out, talk to neighbors, walk a dog, and ride a bicycle. A bike will help you burn off the excess adrenaline. Even going for a walk, then running , then slowing down to a walk and finally stretching the tightened muscles will help. You don't need an in home caregiver, you need to breathe, deeply and exhale forcefully. Yoga really helps if you can do it. Cognitive self discipline works better than any medication.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.