I have gotten to the point where I'm barely functioning. I'm out on medical leave, but I don't feel like my situation has improved. I was supposed to be getting stabilized on my medication during the month I was out; that hasn't happened. My psychiatrist said, "just go back to work; it gets harder if you don't and they'll find someone to replace you." He has a point, but I think that I have a good chance of having a hard time and losing my job if I go back in my current state.

My sleep pattern is out of whack; my short-term memory is gone. I forget chunks of conversations; I frequently forget what I intended to do when I go from one room to another. I'm irritable and stressed out. My mother also has mental issues, which she refuses treatment for. When she has delusions that someone is coming into the house or that something "funny" is going on, but "the authorities" are watching and will take care of it, it stresses me more.

My GP said that part of the problem might be that a combination of medications is leaving me too sedated, leaving to the oversleeping problem that I had for the last month that I was at work. At the psychiatrist's office, I complained that I was drowsy and having trouble getting up. The ARNP said that she "hadn't heard of that before" with the medication I had just started, even though it's listed as a possible side effect on the insert.

Ugh, I'm long-winded. Long story short, I'm scheduled to go back on Monday. I don't feel prepared to do so in this state. I want to check myself in to a psychiatric inpatient facility. The problem is going to be making sure my mother is fed. She's ambulatory and takes care of her hygiene, but won't/can't use the microwave. If I leave food in the refrigerator, she may or may not eat it. She is a bit of a hoarder though. She "shops" for things in the living room and kitchen, taking them to her room. But currently that's just things like dried fruit, dry cereal, and chips.

I'll probably be in for three days (if they admit me). She gets Meals on Wheels on weekdays. However, on weekends, no hot meals are available. I was going to have food delivered through one of those restaurant taxi services, then I realized: she doesn't open the door for anyone. The only thing I can think of right now is to leave her food that doesn't need refrigeration and that can be a somewhat balanced meal. I'm on my way to the store to get some of those tuna salad kits and whatever else I see that's suitable. The rest of the family is almost 1000 miles away, so I'll see if friends can call or stop by to check on her.

Am I missing anything that I should be doing before I seek admission? She has an Emergency Alert pendant, and typing this message I just realized that I need to put a corded phone in her room in addition to the cell phone and cordless phone, just in case there's a power outage. Ok, this is really long. Sorry. I'm in Florida, in case someone thinks of a service that might be applicable.

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Bless you B. Woods for your tremendous information in FL. And, God bless you for all that you do and all the caregiving we all do. Every day pat yourself on the back that you were able to finish the day having done your best. "One day your life will flash before you. Make sure it's worth watching." (That saying is on the new bracelet I wear.)
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Thanks Pat,

I very much appreciate your kindness and uplifting words. I do feel better than when I originally wrote this, and I am actively looking for resources today. Thanks again! Take care.
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tiredintally: Please remember that there is prayers and hope out there, and that you are trying with your family, yourself and affected loved ones work out the best safe arrangements interest. There is help, just decide what kind of help works out best for you. Good Luck, and get your life back soon!!
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Ugh, I had a really long reply typed out and hit the wrong button. Here's the shorter version:

I was admitted after relating how sad, hopeless, and anxious I was feeling. The psychiatrist at the hospital added an antidepressant to the other medications I am taking. Thanks to everyone who responded to my question.

ba8alou: I wish I'd thought of that. I'll call and ask about that so that I'll be more prepared if there is a next time.

ejbunicorn: Elder Care has been very helpful. I think calling them is a great idea. I haven't asked for any in-home assistance, although I did contact them for Meals on Wheels. They were able to provide Emergency Alert services, disposable medical supplies, and a companion as well.

angelwhyspers: You're right. I'm not much good to anyone if I let myself get into the state that I was in on Wednesday. And the psychiatrist at the hospital did say that depression was most likely the cause for my symptoms.

twotonne: A medication review seems to be exactly what I needed. I am going make inquiries about a CNA or LPN on Monday. I'm starting to realize it's not a good idea for me to try to power through it alone.

ferris1: I don't think now would be a good time to decrease my meds. My mother refuses to see a psychiatrist. She suffers from paranoia (diagnosed during involuntary commitments). There may be something degenerative like Alzheimer's or dementia involved. However, I have not been able to convince her to go to an optometrist, a GP, or a dentist for the past 6 months or so. I hope I am never forced to stop working or taking grad classes because of continuing mental issues, but I will keep SSI in mind if worst comes to worst.

ckaufman2000: I'm going to follow up with my doctor on that idea. It's definitely a possibility at my age, and my admission coincided with the start of my cycle; maybe it's something hormonal.

Patathome01: Thank you so much for taking the time to post on my wall. I am going to look at alternative living arrangements. My mom may not be happy in assisted living, but then again she says she doesn't like living with me, so...

Barb: Thanks for the list of resources. I really appreciate you taking the time, and I have cut and pasted them so I will have them handy on Monday. .
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I forgot to send you this...The Florida Department of Elder Affairs makes every effort to ensure that a Consumer Resource Guide and contact information is correct and up to date. Please call the statewide toll-free Elder Helpline at 1-800-96-ELDER (1-800-963-5337) for assistance.

Be aware that some published guide books/services information and telephone numbers change beyond an agency/department’s control and will inevitably occur after publication.

Any other caregivers or friends of caregiver, families, or seniors that may be reading this article and need help call your States Department of Aging, local church, AARP, senior centers, social workers or outpatient Behavioral Health.

Someone knows where you can get a community/consumer resource guide and or a list of advocate programs. Or if you are handy with a computer do a search on adult, family or senior programs for your state.

Caregivers don't get enough credit in taking care of our families, the disabled or elderly. It is exhausting work and you never have time for yourself. Caregivers get tired and need a break often. Don't ever give up!

This information should get you started and help on the way. Bless you all my thoughts and prayers to all.

B. Woods
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For help:

911 for Emergency
1-800-96-ELDER Elder Helpline (or 1-800-963-5337) Apply for services or ask about DOEA programs & services
1-800-96-ABUSE Elder Abuse (or 1-800-962-2873)
1-866-232-3733 Consumer Directed Care Plus
1-888-367-6554 Florida Medicaid Options (Medicaid Beneficiaries and Long-Term Care Information)
1-888-831-0404 File a Long-term Care Resident Complaint (Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program)
1-888-895-7873 Senior Legal Helpline
Locate Local Aging Resource Center (ARC)
Resource by Florida County including Telephone Numbers

Adult Day Care Centers (AHCA)
Alzheimer’s Disease
Assisted Living Facilities (ALFs) - Funding Sources, How to Select ALFs
Find Assisted Living Facilities/Nursing Homes in Your Area (AHCA)
DOEA Programs & Services
Nursing Home Guide (AHCA)
Senior Housing Facilities
Senior Living Map
Elder Abuse
Employment for Seniors
Florida Medicaid (AHCA)
Free Health Insurance Counseling (SHINE)
Memory Disorder Clinics
Prescription Drug Assistance (SHINE)
Long-Term Care (SHINE)
Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program


Advance Directives for Health Care & Forms (AHCA)
Benefits Check Up
Disaster Preparedness
Health & Wellness
Long-Term Care Guide (
Resident Rights
Resources for Seniors, Families & Caregivers

Hope this helps. Barb Woods
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Perhaps it is time to ask for help NOW with a geriatric care manager, and place the loved one in a proper board-and-care home before you get too sick to function. Remember, you have a future down the road; your parents had their lives but now require assisted living arrangements. Do not try to save their money for the sake of an inheritance - it may not work out anyway!!
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Is menopause a possible factor? It's hard to believe that no doctor would consider this but it happened in my case. I experienced what you described in your second paragraph and I was given antidepresents and ritalin. The ritalin was ridiculous and didn't do a thing. I know stress can account for all of this, but don't discount somatic factors.
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WOW! You do write like you are stressed, but unless you are a danger to yourself or others, most psychiatric hospitals will not admit you. They are not there for a person to get away for three days and rest, however, have you tried decreasing your meds? Only you know how you feel both with and without meds, and just because someone tells you a med hasn't been reported with a side effect doesn't mean your body isn't reacting differently. Listen to it. As a nurse and social worker I can tell you if your mother is not watched she will probably not eat the tuna packets, will not open the door for anyone (unless you give someone a key), and if you leave perhaps her symptoms will get worse. If your psychiatrist is just medicating you and not finding out the real issue with you, find another doctor. Why isn't your mother going to see a psychiatrist? If you feel, based on a mental illness, you can no longer work, then file for social security disability. All they can say is yes or no. Best wishes.
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I agree that medication can cause severe drowsiness. I was taking a generic anti-depressant and just couldn't get up. Have your psychiatrist review your meds and see if there is something else you can take instead of whatever is causing the drowsiness.
As to your mother, find someone to check in on her everyday while you are gone. If she doesn't understand what is going on, she may become even more mental. Give that trusted person a key to solve the locked door issue and make sure she has met them. If you can't find a volunteer, your area Agency on Aging might have a list of people that volunteer or for hire. Check with the hospital. Our local Mercy Hospital keeps a list of CNAs and LPNs who do home care . Many of them charge much less than an agency does. We also have volunteers called Project Compassion that visits the NHs and homebound. Ask around to see if your city has something similar.
I have been hospitalized three times in the last 6 years(bleeding disorder and surgery) and have used a combination of these resources.
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Stop using letters to describe the professional person. You can type in a few more letters when you write such a long reply.
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Severe stress has obviously got you in a deep rut. Over sleeping is a sign of depression because it is an escape for you. If you feel that you need to go into the hospital, then I think by all means you should. Asking friends or a neighbor to check on her especially at mealtimes sounds like a good idea. But you have to work on yorself and not worry so much on your mother. I know that it is easier said then done but you will be of no use to her if you are worn out. Maybe when you get out of the hospital they will recommend some type of assistance for you to help with your mother. Take care and best of luck.
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call your eler for agency in your county, they will give me both some help. I have having the same problems and i don't drive, will keep you both in my pryaers God Bless
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Most assisted living places have short stay options. Is that a possibility?
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