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I went to an acupuncture clinic Once or twice a week , Biked, swam , went out to eat once a week, got a massage every so often , Got My Nails done or a pedicure - self care helps . Had a therapist and social worker - got support . Then I got help to come in ( CNA ) and meals on wheels
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Reply to KNance72

Oh. This is a touch one and speaks to so many of us. Thank you for asking.

As a person who believes(ed) that I had 'good' strategies in place for self-care FOR DECADES ... as my responsibilities changed / increased (for a friend-companion) and my ability to manage decreased (while still working with clients), the stressors were immense. It started with knowing I was burnt out and had to keep going (if I wanted to be responsible to my friend who had no one else. I was also managing all his legal affairs). I was responsible for his life. Quite a responsibility.

Managing / dealing w depression starts with an intention - then ...

I believe one of the best antidotes to depression is moving. E-X-E-R-C-I-S-E
That's exercise. Getting that oxygen circulating in the body. Walk, yoga, jog, whatever you can / want to do - get out in nature and enjoy the beauty of the trees (as I do), play basketball (?) or ping pong - move daily. Do CDs or join a group / gym. Swim. Do whatever you can do although add movement into your daily agenda / schedule. Even 5-10 minutes. Stretch.

Acknowledge it (depression) and consider options, i.e.,


meditation (even 5 minutes a day) - do research online. Lots of information (I joined Rick Hanson's Wed night 6pm meditation group. Been doing for 3+ months now and love it).

diet changes (healthier diet) / less sugar and crap


Keep a journal / write it out

Practice gratitude (google Greater Good - one of the best organizations in the country dealing with the human condition - and how to manage / help yourself.

Reach out and expend your circle of support.
- Include 'fun' even if you don't know what that might be - try different things.
Increase / change support networks, i.e.,
Next Door
hobby related meet up groups
book club
walking group

In other words, reach out and expend your circle of support.

If you can, lessen the work you do.
If you are a family member of a person you are caring for, get some respite / pay a caregiver to come in.

If you are a paid care provider to others (not family), listen to your body (and head) and be aware to:
* Set limits
* Take care of yourself.
* Be aware of the need to create boundaries.

See a therapist or MD as needed. Depression is no fun. It is very debilitating.

Gena / Touch Matters -
P.S. speaking of touch, get yourself a massage or trade with a friend.
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Reply to TouchMatters

jmr201031: Seek out a counselor. Caregiving is difficult.
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Reply to Llamalover47

Caregiver blues are just now starting to crack me. The heartbreak of watching her TRY to do things and remember things is a soul killer. She is still aware enough and knows her condition but it still goes on.
We are both in our 80s and have no family support. Finding friends at this age is nearly impossible as they too are at this age.
And now I'm whining. Aging is hell but we all get there.
Few care.
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Reply to Pyrite
Annanell Jan 10, 2024
I’m sorry I can’t help because I am in the same boat and have no good answer for you as I know things are only going to get worse. I guess we just have to feel lucky we are still among the living. Good luck to you.
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My DH is at the end of his rope dealing with his mother.

He is seriously depressed and the way he's handling it is to sleep, all day, for 3-4 days a week. Literally--does not get out of bed at all.

Not healthy.

I have 2 names of good therapists. I am hoping I can get him to agree to see one of them soon.

Also encouraging him to see his PCP to either change or increase his AD.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Midkid58

Your question is short and sweet, so I will answer in kind.

Start with your own MD if this is situational caregiving overwhelm. He may give you a mild anti depressant while you work out a plan for yourself. This can help bridge things and give you a more realistic outlook on your situation.

Consider seeing a therapist who specializes in cognitive therapy if you are "dealing with stuff" and need a way to handle it.

A Licensed Social Worker in private practice is often best for losses and life transitions work.
Good luck.

From what I am hearing I don't hear a lot good about "on line therapy" but others may have heard differently.
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Reply to AlvaDeer

Perhaps it’s time for you to put your LO in a facility. Your health takes precedence over your LO’s care because if you get sick or something worse then your LO will be without you. Studies have shown that some caregivers die before the person that they are taking care of because of the stress of being a caregiver. Do not be one of these statistics. Seek help for yourself ASAP.

Hoping that you will get relief and peace in this situation.
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Reply to Dupedwife

In my opinion, the only way to deal with caregiver depression is to not be a caregiver. It's soul crushing work.

My experience, as my mother's (96) caregiver, is that I can do this and that and go here and there, but I always have to return home to the reality that I'm still a 24/7/365 caregiver.

There are things that can help, but it's temporary until I return back home. So I've accepted that I am depressed and that I'll be depressed until this season has come to an end and I can focus on rebuilding my life. It's just the nature of the beast.
Helpful Answer (16)
Reply to southiebella
NeedHelpWithMom Jan 4, 2024
I hope that you are free from this soon. You have been at this for so long.

I feel your pain. Mom was in our home for over a decade.
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You deal with it by making sure you have plenty of help with your loved one and that you're taking time for yourself to do the things in life that bring you joy.
You don't give us much to go on, but I can tell you from experience that self care is just as important as the care you're giving your loved one.
You matter too! Don't forget that!

And if needed talk to your doctor about perhaps taking an antidepressant for a while, and also like already mentioned, getting involved with a local caregivers support group can be life saving, as there's something about being able to speak freely and honestly about what we're feeling with others that are in or have been in the same boat we're in can be quite healing in itself.

Best wishes in figuring out what works best for you as you continue on this journey.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to funkygrandma59

Caregiving is hard. It’s understandable that you feel depressed.

Please reach out to a therapist. Continue to post on this forum. Attend any in person caregiver support groups if possible.

Would you care to share more details about your situation?

Wishing you peace as you continue on your caregiving journey.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

Talking with a therapist is one way.
Would you like to share more information?
Are you living with the person you are caring for ? How much help does the person need ? Do you get respite time to yourself ? Do you still work, get to see friends ? Etc .
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to waytomisery

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