Is it common for caregivers to seek counseling if they think they may have depression?

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Exhaustion, isolation, overwhelmed, crying spells lasting for long time now that wont go away no matter what I do.

Answers 1 to 10 of 27
Yes. Seek counseling and be open to the idea that medication may also be necessary. Please take good care and let us know how things are going with you. My heart aches for you.
Top Answer
I don't know if it is common, but it should be! Whether you are a caregiver or not, signs of chemical imbalance in the body should not be ignored. See a doctor and also ask for a referral to a counselor.

Whether they are experiencing clinical depression or not, caregivers should be certain to have comfortable outlets to discuss their intense and contradictory feelings. For some of us, being able to vent anonymously on a site like this or having a good, patient friend who will listen without judging may be enough. For many of us it is good to have an objective and sympathetic outsider, trained in listening, to talk to.

A caregiving support group can be extremely useful, too. I hope you can find one locally, and that you'll keep using this site for contact with others who understand some of what you are going through.

I have major depressive disorder with recurring episodes, and I recognized that it was "recurring" while I was caregiving. I saw a psychiatrist who prescribed medication and referred me to a counselor. The meds helped. The counseling not so much. It was simply not a good personality fit (she'd assign homework, then never bring it up again; I did the homework and expected to go over it) and her career focus was "women's issues." Been there, done that, learned the lessons in my 20s, and was in a different stage in my life.

But even the not-so-directly-helpful sessions with her were affirming. I wasn't doing things wrong. There was no magic formula I was missing. I knew a lot more about taking care of myself than I'd taken credit for. So the sessions were not a waste of time.

Later, after my loved one died, I went to a different counselor. That was, in fact helpful. She was on my wavelength. Several sessions were enough.

I am still on meds; I am not currently in counseling, although I'm open to it if I feel the need or someone else points it out to me.

My take-away for you: What you are experiencing is not curable, but it is definitely treatable. Treatment may involve medication, lifestyle changes, and counseling. Pretty much all of it is trial-and-error. Even a very experienced doctor may not get the right drug on the first try. Not all counselors turn out to be a good fit. But the discomfort of the trial-and-error is worth it in the long run. You don't have to go through your days feeling isolated and having crying spells.

Please, take care of yourself!
Dearest MJ,
Your question is good and valid. My immediate answer to you is a resounding ABSOLUTELY YES, GET HELP IMMEDIATELY! Of course, the professional help from a psychiatrist. The meds help immensely. I have been under psychiatric care since I was an eye witness to my husband's almost dying TWICE while in ICU, after complications of open heart surgery, and quintuple bypass. I had post traumatic stress disorder, and my job at the time was to be working at a hospital, which I couldn't do because of the PTSD.
The following year is when Mom moves in with us.............and I needed my meds adjusted for the next chapter in my life. I have them both still, the 3 of us live together, get along fine. My hubby helps balance things out. But, definitely, I need my doctor, his advice, ........ he told me to read the book: "The 36 hour day". I have, and I have, and I will. Everyone else here has too?
yes absolutely, I think its essential. After taking care of my Mom for nine months I am seeking some help and hope to find a lot of good in it. Best of luck to you. Sometimes you just have to take a deep breath and step back to realize you need to be taken care of too.
Yes I go every week and will probably be going every week as long as my mother lives. I could not stay sane without counseling due to being so burntout with caregiving for 4 years with only about 4 or 5 vacation breaks during that time.
mj5167, please get help! I have been a caregiver for both parents (mom now deceased, dad 96 & living at home w/me & husband as live-in caregivers) since 2011 and I had a mental breakdown in the summer of 2011 because I allowed everything that you are going through now to continue without medical help....and one day I simply couldn't function any longer.

There is NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU, there is NOTHING WRONG WITH GETTING HELP. Caregiving is the absolute hardest job I have ever tackled in my life! It is everything that you are experiencing: exhausting, isolating, overwhelming and sad. If you are experiencing periods of crying spells--I did too! Very scary--this is a definite sign that your body and mind are crying for HELP from an outside, professional, nonjudgemental group of professionals. Do you have health insurance? EVEN IF YOU DO NOT, reach out! Call the Fire Dept in your community. This is what I did in 2011. Or go online to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation website: they have resources that will help you.

You are a valuable, deserving human being who is getting beyond your limit quickly. I know; I've been through it. YOU DESERVE HELP! Please, please get it for yourself! And feel free to contact me for any reason. I've been there. It's scary, but IT GETS MUCH BETTER with help! I'm pulling for you!
After 15 years of caregiving, I'm considering finding a psychiatrist myself. I've been on an antidepressant for several years (prescribed by my primary doctor), and it really helps, but I'm finding I'm losing ground and becoming less functional, just avoiding dealing with things. I'm ADD, which really makes things worse!
I need to see a counselor if I can find time. I was in counseling as a teen, but they finally said they would not see me unless my whole family came. Well, you can imagine what became of that!
I have also had two nervous breakdowns related to my family and my 'role' in it. I am definitely going to try and find someone who has experience with caregivers.
I also believe that I may have ADD as some other relatives do.
Good luck!
Hi MJ. It's massive that you have recognised how you feel. Definitely seek counselling & in the meantime keep a diary of your feeling to help externalise them, rather than keeping them bottled up. Also, reclaim time for yourself... Take a step back & find YOU again. I was at breaking point, but I did this and feel & cope so much better. If you're physically able, take up exercise, walking, swimming, gym - it doesn't matter. Not only is it good for you but exercise is a key factor in combatting depression. Also try guided meditation, free on Youtube. I swear by it for stress relief and to help me sleep. Please only seek meds as a last resort, they don't cure the problem, they only mask it. Big hugs. Take care
Hi - totally relate. It is par the course in having a front row seat in age related decline - the role reversal in which stays until the leave us.

Our time will come as well, and I feel this is one of the most painful undercurrents of caregiving. For example, as difficult as my parents are - I know that if I were under my daughter's care, I would feel ashamed and embarrassed at my age decline...the fact that I had become another loved one's burden...or thinking she would see me as an unwelcome interruption of her life.

As children, we were dependent on them. They had hopes and dreams to look forward to relative to our mastering stages of development and growing into ourselves. I worry that "this is as good as it gets" when- or if -I reach old age...meaning, there is not many hopes or dreams that develop as our bodies decline as there was when we were young and developing. Our abilities decline. Our bodies break down. Our friends and family pass away, illustrating what is on our own horizon as we trek the last mile fairly solo. Dependent on others.

Morbid? Hell yes. But the undercurrent of their lives as elderly forces us to try on the "clothes of aging" in ways that may be expressed in fear, anxiety, denial, and even the rage of the truth that all lives must come to a close one day. And that facing it within ourselves may be causing tremendous conflicting states.

I have depression. I know what it is like for sure. No one helps me. I am the youngest, the daughter of a narcissistic father and alcoholic mother. I live and care for them. My safest friend was my dog that recently died from cancer. My siblings and my dad speak horribly about me and feel I have no rights to boundaries. They always have. If I enforce boundaries, it only gets worse. I can't change them so I change me in attending a 12 step ACOA program and weekly counseling. I run like a maniac and work out a lot. Work is slow and on a PRN basis. Money is beyond non existent. I was taking a Master class but no money to do it this quarter. I have been applying for FT work non stop but no one wants to hire a 50 plus woman to work.

So I pray a lot. Listen to nature meditation on youtube when I go to bed. I also cry a lot. I feel bad and anxious a lot - used to tell my dog but she is gone so I just talk to her as if she is still with me. Even if I worked full time my parents are getting worse and I wont have anywhere to live when they pass away. But that is something I can't fix today.

Binural beats on youtube helps equalize the mind through tones ,for example, which helps.

Sometimes I look up campfire and rain sounds to listen to. I pin things that give me hope on pinterest - even if I know they are not likely to happen to me.

I try to laugh as much as I can and learn to be my own friend in a hostile environment.

I hope this helps.

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