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I'm losing it. I have no where to turn for help. I'm 24 and have been taking care of my 56 year old mom for a few years now. She is housebound due to severe arthritis and ulcerative colitis. I have never had a job or gone to college, because I've had to stay home to take care of her. I don't have friends and rarely leave the house except to go grocery shopping.

On top of taking care of her, I have to deal with my own issues. I have depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, and OCD. It's tiring enough taking care of myself, let alone another person. I've been sober and free of self-harm for 5 months now, but I still deal with suicidal thoughts. If it wasn't for my boyfriend, I don't think I'd have the courage to keep going.

Being a caregiver for so long is really taking a toll on me. Resentment has crept up on me, and I feel angry whenever I'm around my mom. I'm ashamed to admit that I lose it sometimes and yell at her, even for the smallest things. I try to be patient and understanding, but I'm not doing a very good job, and she doesn't deserve to be treated like that.

I can't even list all of the reasons why I feel so resentful. I just feel like my whole life has been stolen. I'm only 24, and I'm doing things that no one my age can understand. I should be finished with college by now and moving onto other things; not calling 911 for the 5th time because my mom has fallen or emptying her bedside commode or being woken up at 3am because she's hungry.

We have no family or family friends to help me out. I've talked to nurses, called in-home care places, called everyone I can think of/everyone that has been suggested, but she just doesn't qualify or we can't afford the extra help.

As for me, I'd love to be in therapy again, but we can't afford that either; not even sliding scale payments. I've been searching for over a year, trying to find a way to get back in therapy, but it's just not doable right now. I'm treating my problems via self-help books instead.

How do I stay sane? How do I keep this resentment from eating me up? I don't want this to ruin my relationship that I have with her. I love her. I just hate these illnesses, and I'm wrongly taking my anger and frustration over these illnesses out on her. What can I do? Any advice at all is really appreciated.

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I'm with Bermuda.

And Hijowashte, God seems to be MIA at the moment.
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have you tried social sevices for volunteers for respite care you need some time for your self to keep your sanity and first and foremost ask god to take over your situation he will answer I know
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Blackberrytea, to me it sounds like your mother is in need of full-time nursing care and you are providing it at the cost of your youth and your future. To me this just seems unacceptable. It is no wonder that you struggle with resentment. She's very lucky to have your love and care but there must be some balance restored.

Ulcerative colitis from what I've read is quite serious and debilitating - I'm guessing that is what keeps her from working and home-bound more than the arthritis. Have you looked into the option of getting your mother onto Medicaid so that she could qualify for a nursing home? It might require "spending down" all her savings, a hard choice. I know that suggestion is probably horrifying given that she's only 56 but her caregiving needs sound constant. There are laws in some states that would allow you to remain living in the house so you wouldn't be homeless while your mother is in the nursing home. I know this would apply if she was a senior but not sure how the rules apply given her age.

Maybe it would help people here to help you if you listed all the avenues of help you've already tried and what the results were?
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It's good to have a good attitude about whatever your lot in life is. But at 24, you do deserve more of a normal life. Please don't get down on yourself if you are not a "perfect" caregiver.

Are you and Mom on Medicaid? Is she on disability? I think the answer to both should be "yes."

If your Mom has any kind of caseworker, ask them for advice for yourself. I'm sure there is low-cost or free counselling available. I don't know where you would find it. If you had a therapist before, ask them where you could go.

We want you to be able to have a life. First, you deserve one. Second, as a US citizen, you should be out there earning money, spending to support the economy, and paying taxes! It is your patriotic duty to get a life!!!

Please tell us more about what you have tried to get help. Maybe we can think of more places to try.
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I think blackberrytea is saying that her mother has crippling arthritis. Some cases of arthritis are very debilitating and can rob a person of the ability to walk. Sometimes joint replacement surgeries can help. Blackberrytea, I wish your mother could qualify for those before she gets older. I have a neighbor with a degenerative joint disease. She has had her knees and hips replaced. I have to run to keep up with her.

Now about you -- you need to be able to get out. Talk to your mother about getting Life Alert and carrying a cell phone with her at all times. If she does fall, help is only a few minutes away. I know you will worry about her, but I also know that you need to build your life. Getting out of the house and productive will probably make things so much better for you. You may need some help from medications to start with, but maybe not for long -- hard to know. If you need help, call your county health department and see if there is anything available. If your family is low income, you will qualify for Medicaid. Use it!! There is no need for you to suffer this way.

Let us know what is going on with you. There is help out there. You just have to reach out for it. You need to be insured next year. If you haven't applied, go to the www.healthcare.gov site and start the process rolling. The site is working fine now.
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Blackberry tea...there are several different types of arthritis, I have degenerative arthritis of the spine and I'm the caregiver for my 91 year old mother in law...I'm 64...the more I sit the more it hurts...kind of like a rusty gate hinge, if I force it to move it is much better and doesn't hurt as much. With the colitis, is she as careful as she can be with the foods she eats?? I have niece with crones and when she does what she's supposed to she can lead a fairly normal life. I would love to be cleaning a bedside commode instead of changing soiled diapers. For your own sanity try to see the positive as much as you can...the glass is either half full or half empty. I'm a Christian and the self help book I rely on is the bible. I try to read a chapter every day along with the study notes that goes with the chapter. I pray daily for a good attitude and to be able to speak kindly to my mother n law. When I have negative thoughts, and they do come, I pray immediately to make them go away and strength to do things the right way. My husband helps with what he can but we are trying to preserve Mom's dignity as much a possible so all the changing and cleaning up is what I take care of. I had a pretty abusive childhood on several different levels...my mother n law has always been great to me, I met her when I was 15. I feel like I owe her all the loyalty I can give and that and my faith is what keeps me going. Best of luck to you...
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Captain, my mom is unable to work. She retired about 10 years ago, because she was in too much pain to drive to work and sit at her desk all day. It's only gotten worse. It's basically bone-on-bone arthritis in both hips and knees. She's in excrutiating pain 24/7. Every time she has to walk, she is reduced to tears because of the pain. She can't leave the house unless she's in a wheelchair and uses a walker around the house, but even then, it takes her awhile to get from room to room.

Even if she could walk though, she has colitis, which she will have to surgery to fix at some point, but until then, that too keeps her housebound, as she is prone to accidents. It's almost impossible for her to leave her bedside commode because of this. She spends at least 12 hours on it every day.
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theres a new cure for severe arthritis. it entails a swift kick in the ass and a job. dont mean to sound so callous but my elbows and wrists are junk and 4 of 5 of my lumbar discs are shot. i think your mom should take care of herself and in fact contribute in various ways to your future. everyone gets ill when they are too inactive. you lose muscle mass and tone and things ache. if you were pursueing your own dreams the phsycological snafus would find themselves so back burnered they would be forgotten in 3 months. my list of disorders and inadequacies reads like the dead sea scrolls but they dont impede my resolve. when im not cutting firewood im laying stone or working on homes or automobiles. all hard physical labor. im the same age as your mother.
my female renter upstairs copped a disability years ago for god only knows what and its my opinion she should step away from the beer mug, exercize about 100 lbs off of her lumpy blob and get herself employment.
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