I feel suicidal after taking care of my mother for 10 years with no support.


Does anyone else get so burnt out that they feel suicidal at times? I have been caregiving for my disabled mother for 10 years and my brother and sister do not help. I feel that sometimes suicide is a good option, but I know it would destroy my mother. I would never do that to her, but I sure feel like I want to. I see a Psychiatrist and they know..... the only help they have offered is counseling (which is only offered once per month at kaiser), and anti-depressants, and xanex. Although these things help, the core issue is that I am very disappointed by my brother and sister. They are the cold-hearted terribly self centered people, and I cannot understand how they could treat their sweet disabled mother this way. I also can't understand how they could let me be the primary caregiver (essentially I am forced to do this because they will not). I have even told them how emotionally fragile I am, and they DON'T CARE! I really hope that god understands how much I love my mother, and he has a reason for making my brother and sister such terrible people. I don't understand his plan.

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Julie~Please try to understand that you cannot focus on your siblings lack of caring. This will only make you feel worse. The truth is they have a choice to help or not just like you have a choice. I know this is probably not what you want to hear but unfortunately, family is not always there for us. You need to learn to emotionally detach from your siblings and just focus on you and your mother. Have you checked into respite care so you can have a break? The Area on Aging in the county or city you live should be able to help you this. It is very important that You get some time to breath. Google detaching with love from family members, if you can learn to do this, it will help you so much. Family lets us down during these difficult times and remaining angry with them only adds to your depression, anxiety and anger. They will have to deal with their short comings at some point in time just don't let it be on you. I am sure you will get others opinions and advise that may be more beneficial than what I have posted. Please know my heart goes out to you, I understand how you feel and God is not punishing you. He gave us "free will" to choose and your siblings have made their choice. God is in your corner supporting you, strengthening you and encouraging you to reach out to others who care and can direct you to help. Hugs to you!!
Helpful Answer (13)

I've been helping father caregive mom for 23yrs before he had a stroke and is now bedridden...this was 2 yrs ago. I have 7 siblings and during the 23yrs we have asked repeatedly for family to help. Nada. Then when father became bedridden 2 years ago , I truly believed the 7 siblings would help. I had this grandiose idea that we can split the days per person. 1 sibling per day, and I -the only one staying at home with the parents - will do the night shifts when I get off work. Those in the states would just have to pay for a caregiver for their share of the day. Nada! I had to ask my oldest sis to help babysit Mon-Friday, with pay. I lasted one year doing this. Mom needs constant suctioning, so I haven't had a true uninturrupted night sleep in a looooong time. In June of last year, I realized that I was living in a prison and decided to kill myself on Friday - when my bosses got back from vacation. I remembered it was a Monday morning, when I was crying so hard in the restroom for over 10 minutes. Then I remembered finding this site just 2 days earlier. So, I came on and asked for help. I got the help.

Julie, I was sooo angry and bitter and resentful towards my 6 siblings. Nobody wanted to help. I understood why they wouldn't with the parents - because we grew up from a Very Dysfunctional Family. But, I truly thought that they would help me out of love for me. I had told them of my suicidal thoughts - Nothing. I guess, they just got tired of my ventings for the past 24 years. They just didn't care.

Here on AC, I was told some very straightforward advice. Sharyn said it in a much nicer way than I would have told you. But, these words were said to me, and I DID get angry and denied the advice. But, I'm a thinker. Once you introduce an idea to me, I gnaw it left and right and I can no longer hide my head under the sand. My brother-who-lives-just-next-door and his wife and 3 grown children have a RIGHT Not to help with the parents. They have Their Own Life. Our parents should have prepared for this eventuality and not assume that their children would care for them in their old age. Everyone Has A Choice. Each caregiver here CHOSE to caregive our "loved" ones. I fought against that one, too. But, in the end, honesty won. I chose to stay home to help father with mom - due to the Bible's commandment to "Honor Your Father and Your Mother." I will tell you, that I cried on a fellow believer's shoulders because I did NOT want to do it. When I stayed to help the parents, I was so angry with God, that I stopped actively worshipping him. I only started praying to Him a lot when I started posting here on AC. Soooo many people suffering on this site. I had to just pray for those poor people. I have never prayed as much in the past 24 years of my life than when I found AC these past 2 years. I have vented here over and over. I no longer hold such anger and resentment towards my sibling. This site is a lifesaver for me. I hope it is for you. I still think that life sucks but I'm no longer suicidal.

Once I accepted that my siblings have a Right Not to help, I then turned to look for alternate ways to solve my problem. I asked older brother if he can send extra cash because I have no babysitter on Saturdays and I work. Brother sent me the money BUT it is for ME and Not for the parents. (Of all us 8 kids, this brother got it the WORST while we were growing up - from both parents. As an adult, he CRIED as he relived his childhood memories. He will never ever forgive the parents.) I mentioned to competing-oldest-bro (he always has to beat younger bro who is giving me xtra $$) that bro was giving me $$ every month. Now, oldest bro-of-next-door is paying for our power bill $500/month.

Julie, when father found out mom had dementia, he started calling around for any and all programs that they would qualify. There was a college program funded by the federal govt on dementia study here on island. So, he applied - they accepted to service mom on the condition that they send a neurologist once in awhile and mom takes tests to see the progress of the disease. Father said yes - and we got like a $120 stipend for supplies like pampers, wipes, etc...and once a week a caregiver will come to sponge bath mom. Please, just call around. When someone gives you an answer, ask if they know of other places or programs that you can contact. That’s what father did. He got 3 organizations to help – even meals-on-wheels! Take care!
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Csarah, it's difficult when you have no outside help, outside job income and outside friends/family's help. I can just imagine how alone and abandoned you must feel. You would think that family would help - but they don't. I can have the full blown flu and no family helping out.

I've only been to therapy twice. My last therapy, the counselor told me that if I continue as I am (with no help from siblings) I will die from exhaustion or my body will protect itself and land in the hospital. I'm reaching the end of my stamina with caregiving 2 bedridden parents. I'm blanking out, unsteady, dizzy all the time, and just sooo exhausted. I finally texted to all my siblings (6 of 7) what is happening and what the therapist said. I told them straight out that if they continue to let me go "as is", then I will either die or end up in the hospital. It's okay if I die - no problem (always been suicidal - so not a scary thought about dying). But, if I go to the hospital and come out bedridden - major problem. They can decide my life - death or disability.

I'm just sooo tired but... this is life. Every time it knocks you down, you just have to get up and face it head on..until it knocks you down again.

Csarah, your sister or cousin can't even chip in so that you have enough money to buy a used car? Can you check if there's a program in your area where people who are moving away, gives their car to charity? Or some kind of program? I remembered reading a long time ago on Reader's Digest about something like that. Since your on disability, it might apply to you. Or, I may be getting it mixed up with another program that has nothing to do with cars. It was a long time ago.

@ Julie - you sound so angry towards your siblings. I was there, too. I never realized how awful having all that anger, resentment and bitterness inside me was affecting me. When I found this site in June of last year (I mistakenly said 2 in my earlier post), I vented and vented and vented. I think I was too detailed when I should have been a little bit vague in my venting. But, I was typing as I was venting. No time to be "political correct." I went to group therapy when I could. Then one day, I found myself bouncing while walking up the stairs. I felt so lighthearted...it surprised me. So I turned my thoughts inward while walking and ...I am lighthearted! I think holding all that anger and resentment Does Affect Us! So, please, if you all need to vent - just come here and vent as much as you can. Take care! HUGS!!
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Julie and all other responders to this post; my heart goes out to all of you. I have felt in the past how many of you feel and it truly can and will effect your health. It is so important to let go of resentments and anger against siblings who don't want to help. I did and it was not easy; but I was better for it.

The suicidal thoughts are there when the body is beyond fatigue and the mind is on constant overload. This site is a saving grace for so many. Who else can understand the extremes of caregiving more than those that actually do it and can relate.

Hugs across the miles to all of you above - blessings to you and will keep you in my prayers.
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My mother broke her femur in june of 2001. I spent three months helping her while she healed and she was so afriad that she would fall again that she never walked without her walker. This caused me to help her do things that she could not do because she did not have her hands free. I myself have cerebral palsy. While I was physically helping my mom I started to notice that she was showing signs of dementia, and the type of dementia that she ended up getting was Fronto temporal dementa that changes her personality and her behavior. It is not like Azlheimers. I had to quit my job, and take care of my mom until and after she was diagoised with dementia. I went broke because I was only living on what disablity gives me and I had a place of my own. I had to file for bankruptcy, and after that I got into a car wreak on my way to a David Cassidy concert. I killed my car. I find it hard to carry out my duties as trustee, and my own life while takening a cab.

My sister has refused to help and so has her family. My cousin refused to loan me money to buy a different car.

The worst part of this is I have had no time to cultivate friendships and have people to talk to. I have no family of my own.
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Wow it was like I have placed this question, like you I also am my mothers full time caretaker, she lives with me, my siblings don't help at all, I have had major depression all of my life and the last few years high axiety, I gave up on the anitdepressents as I have tried them all and none worked, I take 6 mg of zanax a day that does help the axiety and helps me sleep, there are respite agencies out there that will come in for 3 or 4 hours a couple of times a month free of charge is your county has been given a grant, I am just getting ready to start to take this help, I did not know it was there until after another illness with my mom, was told by the social worker that I would benefit from some respite care, if you don't take care of yourself, you won't be able to care for them, My first time having someone come in will be tuesday, the first few times i will stay and watch to make sure everything is going ok but after that taking 2 hours just to sit outside by myself or take a nap while so one else cares for her will be a blessing, reach out, there is help, call your county and ask what resouces are avalible to you. God Bless
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Hi Gsw, I'm about to sleep real soon. Brain is very sluggish. But I was still able to find some stuff for you to read about your mom paying you...Try the 1st one - an article from this site. and No. 3 - is the Search results for being Paid. You can click on the different discussions under #3. Hope it helps narrow down your question. I hope these help....

1. Article by AC

2. Question from a reader

3. Search Results
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I'm sorry that your siblings choose not to help you Julie, but mostly I am sorry that you feel under pressure to take care of your mother all by yourself. It sounds to me like you are having difficulty seeing any alternatives. Your desperation is very clear and I understand your resentment towards your siblings but I agree with the others, resentment is a destructive force that makes life so much harder.

The people around us do have the right to make their choices. A spouse can choose to cheat on or abandon their partner. Sometimes people make choices that really hurt others. Sometimes people make irresponsible or truly selfish choices. The bottom line is we have no control over the choices of others. The good news is we do get to chose how we go forward in your own life.

Like the others have said allowing anger and resentment to fester will only hurt you and you deserve better than that. I'm really new here but already I can see there is tons good advice on how you can find help and relief with caring for elderly parents. If you can, try and focus on that. Finding help is what you need.

One more thing, I find moderate venting to be very therapeutic but it works better for me if I talk in terms of my feelings of fear, loneliness, sadness, and frustration not just my feelings of resentment. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
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At least when someone works with someone, (a job such as in an office, store, etc.), and that employee does not do their share, a person can go to the boss and complain. Perhaps, what's especially frusterating about siblings not helping out with their elderly parents, it that the selfish siblings know that nothing will happen to them if they do not help out. In other words, it's not like a job situation, where they may get fired. It is most frusterating. On a different note, possibly reducing (or eliminating) caffeine can help.
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Julie, You just can't dwell on what they are not doing. It will just make you more sick. You are not in their shoes and they have their reasons for not helping. In my case, I am the one that is accused of not helping. It is not b/c I am heartless etc. As for you, just concentrate on your own health and well being. A big does of forgiveness of your sibs would help you a lot. They are doing the best they know how, however flawed it may be. I was under the impression that Xanax made the depression worse, but I may be wrong. Your counselor should be visiting with you about forgiveness, about concentrating on your mother and you and not them, letting them go about their ways. The counselor should be saying stuff like live one day at a time etc. The "hate" you feel towards your sibs is poisoning your life, not theirs. I say all these things in a loving way and most supportive way. Brandy.
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