I can't believe I'm dealing with depression

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EyerishLass
I can't believe I'm dealing with depression

For over 4 years I took care of my dad in my home. When he had to go into SNF we all experienced a lot of changes. Financially my dad was my roommate so my 19 year old daughter and I had to move and move fast and I accomplished that. We found a great little place that I really liked. Then I got a job--something I was unable to do while caring for my dad--and I enjoy the work I do and am good at it. But the caring for my dad hasn't stopped. My brother and I work almost full-time on advocating for my dad. Getting him on Medicaid, getting his teeth fixed, taking him to an outpatient clinic for a paracentesis on a regular basis, and the list goes on and on. Recently I've noticed that my capacity to deal with stress has changed. At the first sign of any kind of stress I become very irritable. Then the crying started. I've cried more in the past 2 weeks than I have in the past 2 years. I've lost a substantial amount of weight because I have no appetite and my clothes don't fit anymore. I'm a recovering alcoholic of 16 years so I'm in touch with my sponsor. I'm thinking I should probably call my Dr. but I have a regular check-up with him later this month. I'm on antidepressants as it is, I don't know what more he can do for me. I've always had a rich spiritual life. I'm a practicing Catholic, or rather I was. That's kind of fallen by the wayside. My dad is in such bad health and we've been told that he could pass away at any time. Now as a result of his diseases he's losing his mind. He calls me "Christine" and I don't know who Christine is! My brother took over all of this stuff from me a few months ago when I'd had it. I'd been doing it for years and just couldn't do it anymore so my brother stepped in. Before that he wasn't really involved. And he's doing a good job but I feel like he's on his high horse. He calls me names. From my point of view he's become very judgemental of me, but that could just be me imagining that. But the namecalling is real. I've asked him to please stop calling me names and to please try to be a little less judgemental but I never really got a response from him when I wrote him these things. I get stressed out and he stops talking to me. That's the merry-go-round we're on. He just gives me the silent treatment! I'm at the point now where I just don't give a damn. I did, it really used to upset me but it doesn't now. I don't talk to him unless I have to and that's a shame because we used to be fairly close. I know this can happen in families where there are siblings trying to care for an elderly parent. It's just a shame it's happened to us. Anyway....now I'm turning down work because I feel so depressed. I need the money.

I didn't have anyone to talk to so I decided to come here although it looks like a ghost town around here. I just had to vent, even if it's to no one. I had to get it out.

EyerishLass, I know how hard

EyerishLass, I know how hard that all must be for you. You are dealing with your relationship with your brother as well as what is happening with your father. I can relate to a lot of what you are going through. I have been taking care of my father for years, and I cannot deal with stress at all anymore. When I am confronted by a stressful situation, I get very anxious. I don't take any medication but I probably should. I find that exercising helps a lot with the stress and anxiety. I hope that things improve for you. There are no easy solutions because having a sick relative and watching our parents age is the hardest thing to deal with.

((((((((((((((Eyerishlass))))

((((((((((((((Eyerishlass))))))))))))))

I'm so sorry to hear that things have deteriorated with your dad as well as your brother. The vengeful "me" says that now your brother is getting an idea of what you'd been going through, caring for your Dad alone (and he's not even housing him in his place!!). That hurts me to hear that he is lashing out at you and calling you names. If you cannot have a constructive relationship, and he insists on degrading you, then you are right to tune out his garbage. I hope, however, that you are able to work together to keep providing good care for Dad.

I would talk to your doctor and see if perhaps an adjustment is needed for your anti-depressant therapy. It is good to hear that your job is going well, and that you enjoy your work, but know that the cumulative stress from continued caregiving, worry, and tension can definitely take its toll. Please continue to take gentle and loving care of yourself, dear one, ok??

I have a difficult time getting here most days. I transitioned my husband into long-term care locally, and the adjustment period has been challenging. I often think of my friends here, though, and draw strength from your experiences.

BIG hugs,
Gaby

Caregiving is stressful and

Caregiving is stressful and it's easy to see why caregivers are at higher risk for depression. I've been doing long distance caregiving for my mother as well as been my husband's caregiver for years. I've been and still am depressed. Thinking about medicine, but haven't gone that route yet. Been trying just counseling, writing, and trying to take better care of me. I think the writing has been really helping me process some things and is a safe way to vent some of my frustrations with life. Finally found a place to get sliding scale medical care too, so will help with taking better care of my health as well.

I truly feel for you. I am a

I truly feel for you. I am a recoverying alcoholic (9 yr 4 months and still active in AA) I am also a cycling bi-polar, but only take one medication for when my hyper-anxiety gets too high. I thought I could never do what I am doing now, taking care of mom, working full time, part time college and having my 21 daughter help (she's full time college and stays with mom during the day). When my depression comes all I feel is blackness. Such a deep, dark hole that death seems perferable ( I am also a cutter, but stopped by applying the 12 steps of AA) I always have to remember that depression does pass, even though it seems like you will never make it through it. It is so hard to make people understand that just looking at a beautiful day or think of your loved ones just doesn't cut it, you still feel like you can't go on. With me, I just keep telling myself I have to keep moving on and that my Higher Power will get me through this insanity, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. You just have to push and dig deep down for your inner strength, we all have it, some of us just has to push much harder than others. Don't give up. My whole life is like a up and down rollercoaster ride with mood swings going on constantly, but we can be strong. I always want to check out of life, but I know it's not my time and I have a purpose- to my Higher Power, myself, my mother and my daughter. Please, just keep a good balance, take time for yourself. As for your brother, I had issues with my sister, but not as bad as your situation. Just because we are spiritual persons, doesn't mean we have to be a doormat. His name calling is just insecuritys. Sometimes we have to pray for the people who are hurtful.How sad that someone has to be like that to a family member. Don't hold resentmets, just pray for the the other person, which will make you a better person. Pat