How do I deal with severe depression?

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I am crying a lot lately and wishing that I was not even here. It's so frustrating. I wish that I could do things that I like instead of constant caregiving and babysitting. Cousin always has somewhere to go, so Aunty and I have to look after her kids (11 years old and 19 months). The kids' other grandma is away, so our amount of babysitting has increased until she returns. Aunty yells a lot if I do something with the baby that she disagrees with; she's from the "let him do whatever he wants" school, where I am a little more cautious because I worry about him hurting himself. The 11-year-old is not much help because he tries to avoid the baby while the baby screams to be around him, although I understand his need for personal space. He told me that he never gets any privacy at home (his "summer job" is watching the baby while his parents work; dad works days as a group home aide and mom works nights as an E.R. nurse, and his godmother and his dad's mom fill in as needed).It is almost back to school time and I am upset because I will never get to work with kids again.

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Hey Gospel Girl, I hope you are doing OK...Please don't wait to get help for yourself...a counselor, some meds, etc. Let us know how you are doing...depression can really cause major issues and you certainly have enough going on to cause it.... I found a counselor and a care giver support group have made a big difference for myself.

And I agree with KatieKay - we need a workshop on setting boundaries...
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Hi Gospel Girl!

I hope you are getting the help you need. I have a tendency to take on everything, put myself behind others, get into unfair situations where you could say I am being used. Please don't feel you are all alone in that! I think it is a personality trait.. for me it is anyway. This is something I am aware of in myself and am trying to work on.

When we get into these situations we just start thinking more and more I HAVE to do XYZ.. without examining.. why. Why do you have to time and again put others over yourself..could there be any alternatives or solutions? You shouldn't have to put your life completely on hold.

I know its hard to set boundaries and put yourself first for once. You are worth so much more than you are giving yourself credit. Your health and happiness matter just as much as your aunts or your cousin.. believe it! Don't let this take over your life!

Maybe we need a workshop on how to set boundaries.. I know I would sign up! :)
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So, GG, CA took the words out of my mouth. Your family appears to be casting you as the incapable idiot who can't take care of herself and needs to be taken in by family. So she is "pitied" enough that they allow her to make herself useful with the drudge work of child care and eldercare, but without the compensation that anyone in their right mind would de (com)mand. Clearly, you are intelligent, educated and have a work history. You had some troubles with your apartment 20 years ago, and Aunt uses whatever difficulties you had to keep your self esteem low (wonder what her parenting skills were like? Two children dead from addiction?).

And when you attempt to get yourself to the doctor to discuss these issues, family pressures don't allow you to go. Hmmm. Very interesting. They have apparently reinstated slavery in whatever state you live in. You are "allowed" to live there but must do the world THEY want you to without regard to what you want.

That's what it looks like from here. Maybe you can retell this tale so that it doesn't sound like you're being abused.

In my corner of the world, I would tell you that you need to find a therapist to undo the damage that has been done to your ego. You might need antidepressants to help you, short term. But your family should be shunned and shamed for using you.
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Gospelgirl, I'm going to wave my magic wand and make you disappear (temporarily LOL). How much would your cousin be paying for childcare if they had to use a day care or even just hire the local teen sitter? What about your Auntie, could she realistically stay in her own home without support? What would she be paying her caregivers, how much additional money would she be spending each month if she went to assistive living?
You seem to be saying they are doing you a favour by allowing you to live with your Aunt so of course you should be cooking and cleaning etc, yet you have stated you gave up paid employment and your independence to move in with her, so who is doing the favours?
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I'm not being paid; POA and I trade favors like rides to the doctor or hairdresser for the babysitting, although she will pay me sometimes if I really need to pay an important bill (she's paid my cellphone bill for me before). She and her boyfriend don't make that much money, so I try not to ask too often. The housekeeping is something I would have to do anyway as a member of the household-- I just have the added responsibility of the chores that she USED to do when she was well along with my own.
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GG, what keeps YOU there? Are you being paid for your caregiving, housekeeping and babysitting services? And if not,why not?

Your Aunt is only "independent " because you are there. Something you need to keep in mind.
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Oh Gospelgirl, nobody is angry with you, we just want you to wake up and smell the coffee. From the outside looking in it seems that you are allowing yourself to be used in a deplorable way, and it doesn't even seem that they are grateful for what you have sacrificed for them. At the very least you need to establish firmer boundaries with Auntie and POA cousin. How many hour/days of respite do you get a week? I think Auntie should be able to qualify for some bathing assistance etc that would give you at least a few hours personal time a week. No one should be expected to do it all, and it sounds as though you are putting your own health at risk.
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(This is one of those days. ..every time I start posting, she calls me for something else; I am supposed to be in the privacy of my room getting dressed, and she's called me 3 times already! !)I have always valued your advice and encouragement, and even implemented some of your tips. Everyone else is always too busy or unable to come over for whatever reason, or when they can it's only for a half hour or two, never a whole day. No one is ever available when I need to do something personal, so I have to rush out and back in.I am not that good of a cook, so Aunty helps me as far as instructions for what to do, but then complains when it might not turn out exactly like it should. She is still the owner of the house and feels as though she has every right to complain as well as to stay here as long as medically possible while she is still competent (she made that remark to her brother when he suggested about assisted living).
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(Sorry, hit post by mistake again)I am also getting worn out by the physical part...lifting her from couch to commode (a short distance of about 5 steps, but still tricky because of my own balance discrepancy), changing Depends (she is learning to help with some of it), and standing by as she dresses herself).I am the only one here to do the housework, although I do call on POA cousin and her boyfriend to help with major jobs
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Babalou, you are right. ..whenever we have conflicting appointments, mine is always the one to get rescheduled, because hers requires so much "pre-planning" (arranging with POA or another relative for transportation and lifting assistance, babysitting if POA cousin can't get anyone else; she usually prefers to go to most of them.I made the comments about anger because someone stated that why do I keep posting instead of just moving out of the situation I am in.Someone else said because I made the choice to stay here then I have no right to complain about anything. I can't just move out when Aunty refuses to think about going to a NH or AL yet.She wants to see how well she does with her outpatient PT, OT, and Speech therapy. She had the evaluation last week (there was an appointment mix up, so it was a long wait before we could get in again). So now we wait for them to tell us when she can start). I am also dea
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