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Depressed Caregiver

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Old 05-06-2001, 01:18 AM   #1
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Conroe, Texas
Posts: 1
travelbug5 HB User
Depressed Caregiver

I will try not to write to much though I could go on and on.

I am so depressed, no one wants to hear my problems. I am so lonely if I do get to know someone I go overboard telling them. I have a 30 year old retarded daughter at home with me. My son lives overseas and my husband works away most of the time and is now overseas to. I am miserable, I feel guilty for complaining but I just want to be free for awhile. I have had no relief from our daughter for 23 years. After my dad died my mother never helped again and my in-laws quit years before that. I think I am going crazy. She does go to a center 4 days a week. I have been on a group home waiting list for 2 years, I had no idea it would take so long. They are saying maybe 6 years, maybe longer, I am 55 now. I have only a few friends and they have their own problems and let me tell you the quickest way to get rid of a potential friend is let them know you have a retarded dependent. I have already gone thru 6 years of caring part-time and full-time for an elderly parent so that is behind me. But doing the end I lost another job between her and my daughter, I have given up on my career. A lady I got to know well basically told me I need help, mentally, I'm sure that is true. I am drowning under this situation and I am feeling out of control more and more. But the help I really need is getting out from under this caregiver role. And that "ain't gonna happen" because there is no place out there unless you can private pay which we can't. I guess I need to see a psychiatrist but they will most likely put me on meds and tell me I just have to deal with it then I will zombie out. Can anyone tell me a way I can cope, I feel like my life is over. By the way I have in-laws yes they are 75 but in excellent health travel and all but forget help for me.

I am on some forums but most are younger people who still think their retarded kids will grow out of it. I can only say so much I don't want to destroy their hopes so I came here.

I just don't know what to do, I just want a life to, I have no brothers or sisters and the few aunts I have are very old, how can I keep going on like this? Do you think a psychiatrist would help?

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Old 05-06-2001, 02:28 AM   #2
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Australia
Posts: 32
Jaxxx HB User
Re: Depressed Caregiver

Hi TravelBug! and welocme to the Board!! <IMG SRC="">

Im very sorry to hear about your situation it must be very hard for you. The role of Carer is very demanding and hard. I was my mothers full time carer for a year before she passed away - I know that this is not quite the same thing but I do understand what you are feeling. I felt incredibly overwhelmed, as if my life had ended for me - but then I felt incredibly guilty for feeling so selfish. Its very hard - especially when your family wont help out. I know how frustrating that can be!

Im not sure how things work there, but in Australia they have a benefit from Social security called a Carers pension. So basically you get paid to look after someone who cant look after themselves. Does your govt have a scheme like that? A lot of people here to that, they advertise jobs for carers and the govt pays for them.

I do think you should go see a doctor and see what help you can get from them. Meds might help (im such an advocate of meds <IMG SRC="">) and perhaps you could also join a support group for carers where there will be others in the same situation as yourself.

Im not sure if I was of much help to you, but hang in there. I know its incredibly hard.

Take care


Old 05-06-2001, 06:39 AM   #3
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 140
joy HB User
Re: Depressed Caregiver

I agree with kerry. A support group with others in your position would most likely be beneficial. I would also see a good psych for medication to help you. You won't be a zombie with the right med[s]. Also, is it possible to get someone to come in for a couple of hours daily or at least a couple of times weekly just to 'take over' while you have some kind of 'fun'. The righ med will make this possible. Prozac has helped me a lot and I don't get irritated and anxious all the time, though I don't have your problem, but the right med could take the edge off. Somehow you have to separate your caregiver role with your other 'selves'.
Try to be with uplifting, positive people as often as possible. Do things you enjoy whethe rit be reading, shopping, lunching out, going to the park, walking, seeing light movies, etc. Good luck to you.

Old 05-06-2001, 07:58 AM   #4
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 2
Marigot HB User
Re: Depressed Caregiver

Do you have a community mental health clinic? Perhaps where your daughter is on the group home waiting list? If so, try explaining to them (social worker, psychologist or, preferrably, psychiatrist) how at the end of your rope you are feeling. Your needs have to be considered too. When I worked in community mental health, there was "emergency respite" available for people exactly like you who need a break. What you do is constantly demanding and can take a great emotional toll. They (the professionals) know that you will be of no help to your daughter if you have a breakdown (and it sounds like you're close to this), and at that point they will need to be responsible for your daughter's care. So it's in everyone's best interest to give you a break. Try pleading your case to them and remember- the squeeky wheel gets the attention. Don't give up if they put you off at first. Make sure they know the severity of your depression. Good luck.

Old 05-06-2001, 09:47 AM   #5
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Conroe, Texas
Posts: 1
travelbug5 HB User
Re: Depressed Caregiver

They do have respite care here, I have one lady who is director of the center where my daughter goes who will help some. But she already cares for her adult son, and took a woman in whose mother died. I don't know how she does it. Last year my husband took me for a short trip and we got some respite money and put our daughter in an assisted living center, its $75 a day. I was going to do it again but the funds were exhausted you are SUPPOSED to have 4 weeks a year. They have lots of programs but little money for them. Your also on your own to find caregivers. Even a week away doesn't help much anymore I just want out from under, I dread having to come back. I do love her very much so I am very conflicted. I have a degree and want to work but our daughter has also had some health issues. We live in the country and there are no close neighbors and like I said nobody wants to hear about my problems. I just get to where I have to tell someone but then so much has been stored up I overload a prospective acquaintance and run them off.
Also once they find out you have someone like that they are afraid you might ask for help so they are long gone quick. I know of others in my predicament and its awful. I have tried to find some chat rooms but everything I see so far is caregivers for the elderly. I burned out on that to, that was what really pushed me over the edge. I guess I need to see a psychiatrist but the only thing that will help me is a good group home placement for her.

Old 05-08-2001, 08:31 PM   #6
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Newcastle Australia
Posts: 0
henry7319 HB User
Re: Depressed Caregiver

I agree with Marigot. Your situation sounds critical and I think your first priority is "you".

I think you need to tell people what is happening i.e. offload everything on to anyone that might help eg. doctor, psychiatrist, charities, mental health organizations, churches, help lines...anyone!
Keep trying and tell them exactly how you feel and if they say "Sorry...." then emphasize that you think you're going to have a breakdown etc. I'm pretty sure that if you convey the severity of the situation you will get help. Best of luck

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