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

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Eventually I realized that I really needed medication for the depression, which had gotten worse this fall. Rather than taking a chance with my primary doctor, I eventually went to see a psychiatrist, since I figured that a specialist might have a better idea what medication might work as far as treating someone with ADD. I'm taking Prestiq now and hoping it works out. So far, so good. Had to pay out of pocket for the appointment, since he not only didn't take Medicare, but not any kind of insurance...will send in my own claim. Wow, talk about costing an arm and a leg! If I were him, I would work only one day a week and it'd be plenty of money for me.
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Please seek help. Your feelings are common to almost all caregivers, yet unique to your situation. Find someone soon who can help you. Please. If you work, there are often employee assistance departments that will refer you to a counselor for free. If not, then perhaps clergy. Some churches also have counseling centers that offer therapy on a sliding scale according to income. Please, there is help. You are brave and aware of your needs. Blessings to you, dear.
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Old, that is SUCH great news! Thanks for sharing what youve learned.
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Now I finally have an appointment with a psychologist that takes Medicare! I figure if I really feel like I need a medication ordered later on, I can always go to a non-enrolled psychiatrist like the Medicare person suggested and then file the claim myself! But the psychologist is a good choice right now!
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That's the website I've been having trouble with before. It's very slow and times out here, plus has some outdated lists of Medicare doctors. I actually called Medicare's 1-800 number the other day and eventually got through to a LIVE HUMAN BEING! Between the other info I've found and what they gave me, I believe I might actually be finally getting somewhere. They even said that if there's no psychiatrist in your area at all that takes Medicare, you can send claims in yourself after seeing a "non-enrolled" psychiatrist. I might have to pay money upfront if I go that way, then (hopefully) the claim goes through later and pays me. Plus I have lists of phone numbers for other kinds of providers I'm working on and will call the local Mental Health Association, which I found a number for. Too bad my cell phone doesn't work anymore! I've found in the past that phone tag works better if you have two different phones to work with.
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Oldandtired, Medicare.gov website was my source for that information.
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I assume you have some kind of private insurance to pay the psychiatrist? Although, I've heard that some of them have actually gone to totally boutique practices, not even accepting private insurance, guess they probably take credit cards or cash in that case.
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mj5176, please, GET HELP. There is absolutely nothing, nothing wrong in the emotions and hopelessness that you feel. This is the scariest job I've ever had in my life and I have experienced everything you mentioned. Four years ago I had a mental breakdown and ended up spending 3 days in a mental health hospital which helped me ENORMOUSLY. I literally wanted to die and caregiving for the elderly is far from easy. I have been seeing a psychiatrist every 4 months to check in about the antidepressants I'm on, and a wonderful, empathetic therapist every other week for an hour. I have no doubt that I would have either had another breakdown or have committed suicide. DEPRESSION IS NO JOKE. IT DOESN'T GO AWAY, IT JUST GETS WORSE. Please, please, please get help! If you don't know where to start go to a terrific website, stresscare
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Most psychiatrist do not also do 'Talk therapy'. Mine only does on the rare occasion he sees me (every 6 months for a med check) and he senses that all is not well. He does not charge more for these random checks. I see a LCSW for my talk therapy. She is great. I've seen 4-5 different counselors over the years and so far, this one is the most attuned to me. She doesn't just sit there and say "so, how does that make you feel?" she actually is invested in what I am saying and can put words to my crazy jumbled up thoughts. A lot of what I am going through is that my husband is aging a lot faster than I am and he is a pain in the butt to live with,. Approaching retirement and I don't think I want to be with him anymore--40 years of marriage and I'm ready to bail. She is helping me to say sane and not make rash decisions. I am terrible at standing outside myself and being critical w/o hating myself for being myself. She is great. She also doesn't charge $250 and hour.
Also there are simply support groups--my therapist runs one, I haven't taken advantage of it, but might. It's $35, just the copay for a visit and not run through insurance.
If you don't talk about how you feel, you will implode--and that's dangerous and awful. I do take anti anxiety meds and antidepressants. Been off the antidepressants for years and had some ill health and 3 major surgeries and had to go back on---I hope to be off them again someday--but mostly, like everyone else--I want to be able to live and enjoy life!!
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Having problems finding a psychiatrist who would take Medicare was a good thing for me... instead I found a talk therapist who did take Medicare and she is excellent. She is close to my age and been there done that with taking care of an elderly parent. Perfect :)

It is so good to have someone to talk to. I've been there only 3 times but am looking forward to the next session. It is so important to find someone you feel real comfortable with, to find someone you know is listening and can relate.

Now a talk therapist cannot prescribed medicine, but can give you names of meds to try but you need to contact your primary doctor.

I am now on meds, but it's been a lot of trial and error trying to find one that didn't give me the opposite results. I am pill sensitive, so that makes it complicated :P My doctor give me the smallest dose made, and has me cut that dose in half.
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Of course, I could ask my primary doctor for some medication, as I've gotten antidepressants that way in the past, but they didn't helped me much. I've discussed it with my primary and he told me to check around and try to find a psychiatrist, but as I'm not rich, I can't afford to pay much cash for treatment. Who told you that a psychologist or a PA would accept medicare for treatment? I haven't checked into whether any psychologists or a mental health PA might accept Medicare yet, but will do that also. I was just checking out a website earlier that I found. It said it would match people to find someone to counsel or treat them, but it turned out that they charge you every week for that. Probably a scam. I found a phone number for a mental health association in a nearby county, so I'll call them Monday. My own county is rural and has very few doctors or medical facilities, so people usually go into the next county for medical appointments.
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So, medicare will pay for a clinical social worker, clinical psychologist, nurse practioner and physician asssistant for counseling. I think I'd call the local area agency on aging and the county mental health association. With regard to your own doctor, have you talked to him/her about this issue? Most primaries are more than willing to write a script for zoloft or prozac these days.
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I did find out that the website that lists different kinds of doctors that will take Medicare is pretty much worthless. They have doctors listed on there that haven't accepted Medicare for a long time. I've confirmed that there really aren't any psychiatrists that accept Medicare here. I also know that I can't go to a simple counselor and expect Medicare to pay. It would all be out of pocket for that. I'll check on psychologists next. I already have a primary doctor who accepts Medicare, but don't think he's knowledgeable enough to help me much at this point. He agrees I should see a psychiatrist, but that isn't going to happen if I have to pay the whole fee out of pocket. My DD will be back from vacation soon, so maybe I'll get more info on the current status of mental health and Medicare from her. I hate to bring it up, however. We don't talk very often.
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I was exactly the same a few months ago, which isn't ideal with a young child. This has worked for me &, although I still feel stressed at times, on the whole I am feeling much better. Firstly, take a step back. Remember that you too are a person and have needs. Your help, mental & physical, is paramount... If you become ill how can you care for another? Take time for yourself every day. Go for a walk in the park, listen to music.... Whatever - just take time to be you. Also, don't laugh, consider meditation & mindfulness (free on YouTube). I do this every night & it really helps with stress. Seek medical help / counselling if you feel you need. It's not selfish & is better for your loved one because you will be happier. Good luck in moving forward x
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Okay, so if you are seeking counseling, go through your insurance website for licensed psychologists, SWs, mental health counselors. Those are the folks who do talk therapy these days.
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Well, that's that. I found out that no psychiatrist in this area is accepting medicare patients, so I can't get treatment at all. Don't know what I'll do now. I once had a psychiatrist a long time ago, but he left the state.
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My primary doctor says that a lot of psychiatrists are no longer accepting Medicare, so he couldn't refer me to anyone he knows. I'm on Medicare with a secondary insurance. I have to start calling around to find someone that will take Medicare.
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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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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
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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!
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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!
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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!
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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.
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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.
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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?
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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!
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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.
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