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I had a pretty bad breakdown today. It just seems like this caregiving thing is kicking my butt. I totally understand that they get worse but when I'm having a bad day I tend to forget that. Anyway, my husband and I finally agreed that it's probably best for me to see someone about this. Bless my poor husband's heart. He works almost all day, comes home and has to hear me complain about his parents and take care of them because I'm going crazy. I need counseling. My emotions get to me. I get worked up over small things. I need someone to talk to besides my husband. It's been 3 years since taking care of his parents and I can only complain to him about them for so long...trying to figure out who I should be seeing. A therapist? Psychologist? Counseling? HELP!

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In your situation, I would first schedule a physical with your pcp, just to check as to whether you have any underlying physical stuff (thyroid, b-12, anemia). Ask your pcp if s/he has any recommendations for a talk therapist.

In my experience, it's less the title that the person has than the quality of the relationship and the "goodness of fit" that allows you to work of these sorts of issues sucessfully.

Arrange respite, and start thinking about your exit strategy when this becomes too much for you to do.
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Why is your husband using you as free help? It's past time for a heart to heart talk.
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Maren, the way I see it, you have a choice to make: your emotional and mental health and that of your marriage - or caring for his parents.

It is time to sit down and have a talk with your husband. There is no shame in admitting that you can't do this. Not everyone can be a caregiver, and you are extraordinarily young to be doing this. There is nothing wrong with simply saying, "I can't do this" and seeking help for two very, very ill people who more than likely need more care than you can possibly provide.
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my breakdown was so bad i was barely able to drive to my regular drs office. She prescribed escitalipram which is antidepressant with antianxiety properties. Truly, i should have been taken to hosptial but i was the only one caring for mom.... when the dr came in the room i was in true lala land playing with my coat zipper on the chair and leaving my body..... Dont let yourself get this bad- i should have gone to see a therapist. ask your doc, maybe all you need is counseling to give you the tools you need to express your needs or strength to press for help.
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"Break their hearts"? What does that mean, Marren?

My mom is in a NH. She is in poor health but gets great enjoyment out of people watching, some of the activities, watching the news, reading the NY Times large pront edition and hearing about what her kids and grandkids are doing. It sounds like your inlaws are isolated, stuck at home with no social stimulation at all. I have to ask, do you think you're doing them a favor?

My grandma lived with us when I was a teenager. She was terribly, terrible lonely and would occasionally say tjat to my mom, who would get incensed. Those 10 years of watching grandma's lack of social life and mom's resentfulness ( not to mention the fact that my mom, with two other kids and granma, had little time or energy to pay attention to an adolescent daughter) convinced me that this idea of taking an elder into one's home at all costs was going to be a bridge too far for me.
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Ah, Marren, I hadn't read past the first 10 responses. Sorry. I see that your MIL needs assistance too.

You say you wonder sometimes if you did the right thing getting married. I think that is a very appropriate question. At least, "Should I have gotten married and gotten myself into this position of caring for two very sick people in my own home?"

And I truly wonder if the kind of counselor you should see is a marriage counselor. Your husband has said that his relationship with his father is more important to him than your mental health or his relationship with you. Are you really OK with that?

His parents would die of a broken heart in a nursing home? Well, first of all they would not. After my mother's health failed to the point we could care for her in a private home we placed her in a nursing home. To our amazement, she thrived! She was content there, in spite of her dementia and mobility problems. Some people adjust more readily than others, but no one dies of a broken heart just because they need the level of care a professional care setting provides.

Your MIL's life revolved around her son before he got married? And she is a difficult person? Oh-oh. I think we are back to your question about whether this marriage should have taken place.

But it did take place. You are putting down roots. You are hoping to have children. Your husband is not a bad or lazy person. He tries to do his share. Presumably you love each other. So I sincerely hope this marriage survives and thrives and grows. I suspect some other arrangement must be made for the care of his parents.
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Taking care of two seniors in your home with one of them having dementia doesn't sound like a small thing to me. What does your husband say about it? Does he understand what kind of responsibility you have? I would think that going to a job would be a lot easier than staying home and doing what you are doing. Plus, you have it 24/7.

Great idea to see a therapist. I have no idea which is best. Do you have insurance coverage? I think I would check to see how that works and who is in-network, conveniently located, comes recommended, etc. I like professionals who have experience, simply because they have seen things and lived more and generally more comfortable with themselves, but, that's me.
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Why in the name of Pete are they not in a nursing home where their medical needs can be looked after properly?
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Maren, would he agree to see a marriage counselor? I think that is what you need now, an independent person who can explain that your breakdown is to be expected when too much is put on your shoulders. Maybe the counselor could offer workable solutions.
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You write that your "husband and I finally agreed that it's probably best for me to see someone about this."

What!? He's putting this all off on you!?

He needs to get real. The two of you need marriage counseling where you can address these issues and in particular healthy boundaries.
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