Precursor self care for caregiver’s threatened mental health - AgingCare.com

Precursor self care for caregiver’s threatened mental health

Follow
Share

This is my first time posting on this forum. Honestly, its the first time that I’ve BEEN on this forum. My increasing anxiety and despondency agitated by an attempt at a honest discussion with my mother had my fingers doing the keyboard shuffle in Google which led me to this page. I apologize in advance for the length of this post: because I already know it will be long. This is the first time I will have ever really spoken to the depths of my fears of all of this to anyone: I don’t really have that option of unloading all of this on someone who could be that person to handle the load. The building pressure in my chest parallels the amount of questions that are only increasing in me and has contributed to one anxiety attack this morning, a first in a while. Depression is winking at me after an almost year hiatus. I’m mentally scared. I am a 27 yr old only child of my 62 year old disabled mother. My mother and I may as well be alienated on an island of our own: our family is not close and we do not converse often. Over the years the segregation got worse, especially after the passing of my grandmother (my mother’s mother), and everyone just sorta did their own thing and stayed off to theirselves, my mother included. To give background about my mother’s medical situation: she has a disabling back injury, and has a horde of medical issues such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, hypothyroidism, obese, neuropathy, mitral valve prolapse, and is a post cataract operation patient with limited vision who uses both a cane and a walker. I can remember way back to when I was an adolescent of my mother taking multiple pills a day, associating a pill with mom disappearing in her bedroom for about 8 hours. I learned to fend for myself early. Not to paint my mother in a negative light, she was a great woman in raising me, wanting to provide the best for me. However, it wasn’t until years later, well into my college years, that I realized that my mother was going through depression all those years of my adolescence through college. The ironic thing is, as my mother was going through her experience with depression, I also was struggling to understand my own dance with the devil who seduced me in his dark dance when I was about 13. To not get grotesquely off topic, as I feel like I could right a novella about everything that went wrong with my childhood, I generalize in saying, my mother and I have a complex relationship and we both have mental health issues. I love my mother, but I suspect (and have suspected for many years now) that she is a hypochondriac with a narcasstic personality discorder and hoarder tendencies. The only reason why I am tentative in labeling her this way is because she has never been officially diagnosed, however, a lot of the signs are all but hard to ignore (along with her constant refusal for seeing a therapist at my suggestion on addressing some of her issues). So in spite of our issues, and my pride, I moved back in with my mom a year ago last month after giving up my apartment in another town after a breakup, depleated financial reserves, and ultimately low mental health. I viewed the move more as a financially smart one those initial weeks: because I was (and still am, but less-ish) in a lot of debt and I needed a break to catch up with getting my bills current and not have to worry with keeping a roof I couldn’t afford over not only my head, but my mother’s as well (it was obvious where my flaw of financial budgeting came from). I couldn’t afford it, but who wants to hear her mom has no electric or is put out on the streets? Especially one who always did strive to provide for you, even if she made some poor decisions. Flash forward to a year and 3 jobs lost later (the stress of commuting an hour and fifteen minutes away and dealing with my mom’s everyday issues was not for good equation apparently), my mother’s health condition just continues to worsen with more general issues arriving: vitamin D deficiency, decreased mobility, GERD, etc etc. Days upon the weeks its constant battles getting her to get out of the bed to move, to do any type of exercise or stimulate some type of life back into her that was draining away from the depression I could see overtaking again. Which leads me to the number one problematic issue that has not gotten better in the entire time I have been home: my mother is showing signs of dementia and I don’t know what to do. My mind wants to chide it off as me having a hyperactive imagination and that its general just going through senior aging, but the coincidences of multiple symptoms of it appearing and not going away burns in my mind. And I want to cry because my first instinct is to go run and cry and ask mom what should I do. I don’t even know if I should express my concerns to my mother of her potentially decreasing mental status. But I can’t deny she’s not getting better and neither are my chances of living my life as free as I want.

2

Answers

Show:
Welcome to the site, Jade. I am sorry you are having such trouble handling this. Depression and a feeling of hopelessness is very common among us caregivers. And it’s made worse when it’s accompanied by financial hardships. I know. I’m in the same situation. Sleepless nights, loss of appetite, and a general lack of “get up and go”. If Mom hasn’t been to the doctor recently, she needs to go. You can’t self-diagnose dementia. There are medications she can take and lifestyle changes you both can make. If she is in the early stages, the doctor can advise you on what to expect and how to handle it. There are support groups in every town to help you. For all Mom’s health issues, as long as she visits her doctor regularly and takes her medications that’s about all you can do. Try to take time for yourself. I know, easier said than done.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Ahmijoy
Report

I just want to say welcome, Jade. Hugs to you.

That's a lot of issues, not going to solve them today.

You say you came to the forum as a result of trying to have an honest conversation with your mother. Okay, guessing it didn't go so well; but what would you say was the one key subject you wanted to address?
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Countrymouse
Report

Related
Questions