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She is now in nursing home a year now. Now my significant other is very ill with liver disease. Too much to bear. I have been off of work on disability pay for 2 years now as it was impossible to take care of mom and my job is very demanding. Have suffered financially with no help from siblings. They both live out-of-state and understand them not being able to help day to day but I pleaded with them to just give me a weeks vacation once a year since my caregiving began. They would not even answer my texts. It is the abandonment that hurts sooo much. I almost lost my house but have rented out for the time being as I am caregiving my significant other now. I do not want to sound selfish but my well is totally empty so to speak. I have lost myself. Now my disability thru work, which has been a blessing, still hard though as it is 50% of my pay is ending and they are helping me apply for social security disability which looks like it will be a positive outcome. I feel like such a loser and more depressed going this route. I am a people person and miss social contact so much but feel I have so much healing to do. My dr just prescribes medication and is not interested in talking. I pray that God takes me. Emotional pain too much to bear. And now my significant other is also very depressed. Any validation of my feelings and/or advice would be much appreciated. Sincerely, Nancy

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Yeah...I know. I posted one question and people are so wonderful to me. This is a great place.
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I am just amazed at the support and resources I am receiving from everyone!!! Thanks so much!!!
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Oh honey. I am so sorry for what is going on here. You're stronger than I am, for sure. Does your employer provide an employee assistance program for counseling? Or would you still qualify? I'd seriously consider looking into it. It would provide you with a wealth of support.

I don't have siblings or anyone that COULD help me, so I guess it infuriates me even more that your siblings won't even respond to your pleas for help. I can't imagine speaking to them anymore. That kind of abandonment would just be too much for me.

Hugs and prayers-
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nalexander, you have had so much from 6 years of being a caregiver..no wonder you are feeling burned out. But remember, there is only so much you can do and you have been a very wonderful daughter to endure 6 years of providing long term care to your mom and now a very loving significant other. Remember how his siblings ignore your text? But you, you stayed with him and is struggling so much to get through it, you are trying to perform many tasks at one time and that could be very draining. Please do not forget that caregivers need care for themselves too. Try looking for government programs that can help cover long term care expenses for your significant others. If you still feel depressed and stressed, there are caregiver support organizations to help you cope up with your responsibility, check this list:
infolongtermcare.org/senior-caregiver-support/elderly-caregiver-support-organization/
It contains the contact details of the organization as well so you can reach out to them. Good luck and God bless you...
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I also agree that if an antidepressant is strongly recommended by doctor it is wise to take it. Like everything else in life it 's a personal choice.
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Hi everyone! Thanks again for so many words of encouragement! No one truly understands unless they've been there. Everyone take care!
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When you suffer from depression you need medication for it if left untreated it will only get worse if you had high blood pressure and did not take medication at some point one would have a stroke why is there such a stigma associated with medications for mental health. No taking a pill doesn't cure all but it is a good starting point and then once a person doesn't feel so depressed then they can begin to make changes such as exercising or eating happy foods but when you feel that hopeless and helpless just getting out of bed in the morning can be a big accomplishment hang in there and know that others feel your pain
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My favorite doctor, Dr. Gregor, has a whole series of videos on how foods we eat can improve mood. Here's one: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/human-neurotransmitters-in-plants/ Some foods and herbs do better in double-blind studies than medications, without the possible side effects of pharmaceuticals. Dr. Gregor includes all of the supporting scientific studies under the "Sources Cited" tab so you can read for yourself. Do a search for depression on the site and you'll find a lot of videos about how plants can help you feel better. Truly "food as medicine". He's not selling anything other than the idea that a plant-based diet can heal or improve many of our current ills.
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Hah, no, but now I can tell you what foods cheer me up! and I'm not nuts, they really are finding that a bad diet is depressing. Anything with coumestrol is absolutely primo (hops*, apricots, alfalfa (but I can't eat that any more since I started reacting to canavanine) and maybe a little in celery and bluberries); dairy, especially whey protein - there is something very good in the lactalbumin fraction of that, good fats and good antioxidants, as well as a properly managed dose of dark chocolate. Believe it or not you can find low fat chocolate and even have a full meal of chocolate, which does seem to work nearly as well as Prozac. And then there is also exercise and hot tubbing which both work wonders. I've learned to take care of myself, the hard way. I have a horrendous family history for depression and anxiety, but I have been able to stay off SSRIs for many years now. That last time I did need the medication, I was prescribed fluoxetine and even a low dose was a bit of a weird experience - it worked almost right away and I had quite a "don't worry be happy" feeling that was a little unnatural. But I think it got my neurotransmitters back in order quickly and for that I was grateful. I suspect my co-workers were too. Few things are worse than being in an awful mood with no energy, putting on the best face you can, and having someone accuse you of making them feel bad because you aren't perky over an early breakfast, when you're also Not A Morning Person...well, that's another story.

*Yes, there is medical as well as theological truth in Benjamin Franklin's assertion that "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." My dad would be proud of me for remembering that.
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Vstefans, were you cured when you got the protean out of your diet?
(pun intended)
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Uh, PearyB, good non-pharm advice, but would you be one to wash away diabetes and high blood sugar with meds? And that diabetics who needed insulin are weak people who "can't help themselves"? Depression, particularly severe depression, is a medical illness with emotional symptoms, and often requires medication. It has nothing to do with personal helplessness or weakness. Feeling blue is one thing, but a major depression is truly a disabling illness that saps the strength and the hope that you need to climb out of the pit you are in...it even makes you feel unworthy of being helped. It is not a pull yourself up by the bootstraps affair, first of all that's actually impossible and second of all it takes away your boot straps, if not your boots. Go watch Ordinary People sometime. The hero gives the best description of depression ever - "it's like a big black hole that keeps getting deeper and deeper until finally you ARE the hole." That was certainly MY experience. Mine was many many years ago; the physical and the mental symptoms were protean, and I needed meds for a time, as well as what would be called cognitive-behavioral therapy today.
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I'm not one for taking medications for depression, that is an opinion in that washing away problems with medication can be helpful for those that can't help themselves. Focusing upon yourself and being creative to help yourself with talks with friends, walks with friends, and support groups if you can find the time. You've helped those that needed it and they are the ones you love so you've been in their hearts and minds so no need to be depressed as to your devotion. It will pass, break away if you can. At least for a little while.
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I was never one to try and wash away depression with meds, but that just my opinion. Continuously focusing on the bad, although real, can only create ruminations on self and how miserable it really is. Accept that, and focus on what can help you feel better. Production of creations that improve things, walk for an hour, call a friend. Get into a group if you have time. Online groups like this can help. Tim LaHaye a great source for treatment has self help book on depression and one of the best I'd ever read. You truly must work at helping yourself, and remember when its a different time you were there for them, so you can not feel guilty, ever, about not being supportive to those that you loved
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Hi Nalexander, I want to let you know from experience that there is light at the end of this horrible cloud you are under. Definately find a therapist that you can really talk to, they will help you work all this out. I am battling depression and have been where you are emotionally and know exactly what that feels like. I am so sorry you are enduring this. See if there is some help available for assisting in the care of your loved one. It's draining I know, and the numbness makes doing anything almost impossible. Notice I said almost. Dig deep. Pray for the strength beyond what is normal. The bible holds God's assured words that if we do so, he will listen and help. Take it one day at a time, and one minute at a time. If you feel as though you are going to do something to yourself, please call 911 and let someone help you. I have been there, and I know how lonely you feel. I too have dealt will my parents issues for 10 years alone. I have a brother who doesn't help at all. Now mom is in nursing home and fighting me tooth and nail along with my dad who is at home with me. Be assured, that God is not testing you. The bible tells us that "with evil things God does not try anyone." The reason for all the suffering in the world is Adam and Eve's fault, and Satan the Devil. They made the choice to disobey God after being warned of the consequence of their disobedience. God promises to end all this suffering very soon when His Kingdom ,that Jesus taught us to pray for in the model prayer, rules the earth. All sickness, pain, poverty, injustice, old age, death, will be done away with. Please seek more help with your doctors, and be honest and tell them exactly how you feel. You are important, very important. Learn more about these promises from God at JW.org
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Thank you all for your positive comments! I know this horrible winter weather hasn't helped either.
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You are a giver. You give and give til it hurts. You need to learn how to say no and realize saying no isn't being selfish. You need to take care of you before you take care of anyone else, take care
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Many years ago I participated in executive training at Columbia University. It was a business course led by behavioral scientist and psychologist. I learned something that gave me good insight. Introverts recharge in their own solitude. Extroverts recharge by taking energy from others. Your wards (mom and now hubby) do not have energy to offer you and you badly need a recharge. Ms. Social you are an extrovert.

Please cut a part of your week, or of your day and spend it in some social activity. A support group, a cooking lesson at whole foods, book club, lunch with friends.

You need to charge up.

Best of luck.
L
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See if significant other can get some visiting nurses ordered by his MD. If he can get Medicare that would help too. Hang in there kiddo, god has a plan.
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sure wish you the best. as unsettling as it is, i like to read a few international newspapers every day to try to keep a perspective. my mind keeps coming back to africans surviving by burning e - waste along the niger river in order to recover the scant rare earth metals from them. a day of this scorching work will produce enough income to afford food OR shelter. that OR is the key word here. i hope this helps you in some way. it makes me look at my hunk of jowel bacon and chicken livers with a whole new appreciation.
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Hi dear, as I said the other option is TELL your current doctor what YOU NEED from them. They are getting handsomely paid. This is THEIR JOB. If you don't want to switch and "start over" right away.... take a chance to preserve the current doctor by speaking UP. Tell them what you need from them. If you are disappointed, then yes by all means, run to a new doctor. It's just like fish in the sea; there is always another. Some are great... lifesavers, even. Some are,.. well, just canned! lol Breathe in through the nose, out through the mouth.... remember to be grateful EVERY DAY for SOMETHING. Just one thing even. Remember the alternative to going on is not... good... ;) You will get through this and be okay in the end. We all will be.
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Vstefans, your comments along with everyone else on this site are lifting my spirit. Such words of wisdom ! Thank you so much!!!! Words cannot express my gratitude ! You are all the beginning of hope I have lost...
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nalexander, you are not a loser...when God asks us each, "Well, how'd you do at lovin' your neighbors during the time I gave you on earth" you'll be the big winner. Yeah, you need to care for yourself at the same time too, and stay out of the pits as best you can, and you DON'T need to feel selfish about that. Remember its love your neighbor AS yourself not INSTEAD of yourself. You are on the right track and your devotion is admired.
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Blannie and Nikki99, your words of understanding mean so much to me! Nothing can prepare us for the difficulties emotionally of caregiving and loss of loved ones in our lives. I find that doctors and counselors who have not walked the walk or have no empathy whatsoever just do not even understand to truly help. I am going to search for another dr and counselor to help get me thru this. Not easy in today's world of medicine... With gratitude I have decent health ins that my employer has allowed me to keep while on disability! Thanks again ! I wish you the best!
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None of us should feel like a loser; regardless of our financial hardships or our situations; because almost everyone here shares at least some of your feelings.... helplessness, worry for our future, loss of pay, depression.... wanting to pull our hair out and run away.
We know what it feels like.
You should be commended and we all empathize with you on this site.
I think it's time for a new doctor that "does" like to 'talk'.
I would find someone to listen to me and UNDERSTAND.... not someone who spends 2 min with each patient and really isn't interested in their personal struggle; because I find that a well paid doctor is very important. If you don't want to switch then you make him/her listen. You tell it like it is. You say, listen, I need you to hear me.
We are here for you unconditionally.
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Nalexander, you've got a LOT on your plate. No wonder you're feeling pretty low. If you can't afford private counseling, see if you can find a support group through a church or non-profit agency. And see if you can get out to do some fun things once in a while. Go for a walk in nature or get some movies (comedies would be great) from your library or read a good book. Books are a wonderful way to "get away" if only in your mind. It can be super draining to be a caregiver and now you've had to care for two people you love. Hang in there and keep us posted on how you're doing. You've got a lot of support here...we understand.
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JessieBelle, Thank you so much for your words of encouragement! You are right, I am numb and have stuffed my feelings for so long I feel if I begin crying I will not stop. I must find a counselor. I'm hanging on by a thread. Thanks again for understanding!
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Nancy, many people here share your pain. There is so much emotional numbing that happens with caregiving that it is easy to get depressed. Not having any money just makes it worse. The thing that keeps me going personally is the hope that things will be better in the future. Sometimes I think of the things I want, then look around to see it is possible. It can be so tempting to just leave things here and rebuild my own life, but I know I have to see things through.

I have the feeling you need to find something that will help you peer out from under the cloud that has settled on your life. After depression sets in, though, you need some help in getting started. Look around to see if you can find some psychiatric help that you can afford. There is a lot of hope out there, but we have to figure out a way to get to it.
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