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  • Caregiver depression

    Marmalady recently asked whether a particular poll was concerned with caregiver depression. I thought that this was a great idea. So, here is a poll for caregiver depression. Again, it is important that we distinguish between the ups and downs of daily life, feeling sad and depressed occasionally because of the circumstances versus feeling depressed and requiring medical attention or medication.
    2
    I have not had significant depression that required clinical attention or therapy at any time.
    100.00%
    2
    I had depression that required clinical attention during the first year after injury.
    0.00%
    0
    I had occasional bouts of mild or moderate depression requiring medical attention after the first year.
    0.00%
    0
    I have had repeated bouts of mild or moderate depression requiring medical attention during and after the first year.
    0.00%
    0
    I have had repeated bouts of severe depression associated with suicide attempts and clinical intervention.
    0.00%
    0

  • #2
    re caregiver poll

    Wise,

    Boy, is my face red! I had intended to post a poll re caregivers, but my office was being painted and I haven't had access to my computer for a few days; thanks for doing my job for me! [img]/forum/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img]
    _____________

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    • #3
      no matter. I thought that you might have been busy. Wise.

      Comment


      • #4
        Depression

        Since none of the answers fit me, I'll answer and put my name to it. After 7 years of marriage, had one episode of something. Was not called depression but stress. Had a job that I was working 60+ hrs a week, my mom had to have surgury and the weather wouldn't let us get back to MN, my uncle passed away, hubby's uncle was diagnosed with colon cancer and then hubby broke his finger. During his re-eval they said it was osteoprosis (sp). When they said that I just started crying, his sci doc packed me off to the psych doc within 5 minutes. Spent a couple of hours for the next 2 days talking to him. No meds just some words of wisdom and haven't had anything like that again.

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        • #5
          TAG

          I think the diagnosis is called "Being Human"
          Every day I wake up is a good one

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          • #6
            Tag,

            It would be great if others would add their descriptions. Depression means many things to many people and I am thinking that it would be best if, through such discussion, we could create a scale that would fit more people and get a better picture of both the stresses and problems that caregivers get. I was speaking with a friend and she was telling me how many caregivers may be suffering from depression and do not recognize it or may not admit it, even to himself or herself. Depression in caretakers is not often recognized. I think that it is important to be define the situation and that it be done not from a medical point of view but from a human point of view.

            Wise.

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            • #7
              The most difficult part was admitting to myself that that I was facing a problem with my ability to cope. Though I welcome the support of friends and family there is a limit to what they can provide. Ultimately all decisions concerning my husbands care and rehabilitation were mine to make. He was relying upon me for most everything which was a big change in our relationship. You add responsibility for managing a household with children and aging parents, a job and so on. It's no wonder we sometimes feel like the walking wounded.

              I have had to deal with anxiety, rather than what I would describe as depression. Eleven months post I finally saw my own Doctor who prescribed Zoloft which I still take. I wonder how much longer I will need to take this. That is a concern I have. It has helped tremendously and I no longer fly off the handle over minor things, you know the normal everyday things that may irritate you but should't result in blowing a gasket. It helps to focus on getting through today and not worry about tomorrow. I would add anxiety to the poll. Kathy
              Kath

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              • #8
                Stress vs depression

                I think I've had both; the stress certainly came immediately, with living in a motel the first month after Matt's accident, and dealing with the trauma, etc, trying to deal with insurance companies, close his bank accounts, get him admitted to Kessler here in NJ, then six months of rehab at Kessler and getting renovations done to our home, dealing with SSI and Medicaid both in S.C. and N.J.. When I look back on all that, I think my adrenal system just took over, and although I was exhausted and certainly stressed out, I was running on that adrenaline that comes with any acute event.

                After Matt came home, the first year was still fraught with stress - not finding a competent aide, more insurance and medical problems, etc., getting up with Matt for turns and meds at night, so I was still running at max overdrive.

                It wasn't until after we had found a good aide, and Matt was assuming more responsibility for his health/life, that I finally was able to - sort of- slow down, and that's when the depression hit. I 'crashed and burned' in January of this year, a little over two years post-accident. My feelings are hard to describe - the pain of seeing my son taking a half hour to dress - the knowledge that I couldn't go back to the life I had pre-accident - it all just caught up with me. I also think part of the 'depression' was finally the grieving cycle catching up with me.

                Went to a psychologist - who told me in the first half-hour basically to quit whining, that lots of people had it worse off than me- i.e., Matt could do lots more than Chris Reeve, and look at that senator who's in a wheelchair and says he doesn't miss his life pre-chair! Needless to say, I got up and walked out.

                Spent a few more months trying to reassemble my life as it was before, and felt like I was fighting against the tide, so to speak; then, read a book about a Zen student and his experiences in the monastery where he was the main chef; after months of trying to cook everything perfectly to please his master, and the other students, he was totally frazzled; he talked with his Zen master, who told him, 'just wash the rice - when you are washing the rice, just - wash - the -rice'. When i read that, it totally sunk in how I had been trying to reconstruct things as they were, not as they are.

                So now I'm just 'washing the rice' of my life, and am at peace for the first time in three years.
                _____________

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                • #9
                  Amazed

                  The most amazing part of this poll is that 2 of 7 respondents have not suffered depression. How is that possible? Could they please share their experience so that I can figure out what the devil is wrong with me that others can handle this "sanely" while I often feel I'm slipping over the edge into the black hole.

                  martha

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                  • #10
                    Depression/Stress

                    After reading some of the postings since I put mine in. And right now going through hubby's 28 year re-eval. I thought I would add to it. Since we're back at Craig - I bumped in to the psych doc I saw all those years ago. He asked for a bit of time. Did a follow up on me and we ended up discussing all of this. The biggest help I got out of those few hours I spent with him was when he mentioned -- of all the things you have to worry about or at least have in your brain -- what can you remove to someone else - husband, kids, aides, hire someone -- do it. Can you losing sleep over it change anything? No. Can you spending hours worrying about "what if" change the ultimate outcome? No. Will the world come to an end if x doesn't get done? No. So ever since then hubby's list of things to address got longer, If I can't change it I refuse to worry about it. Mom & Dad although they are in their 80's are adults and managed to raise me just fine, they can and are capeable of making their own decisions and they will let me know if they need help. If it is mechanical or electrical and hubby can't fix it he will arrange for some one to come in. What if will just have to take care of it's self. What ever is going to happen in the what if department is going to have to happen without me worrying about it.

                    I realize it all sound rather simplistic but those words really helped me. The problems and stress are still there but I can't make it go away or change it so I just deal with each day and somehow tomorrow will be better. If the dishes are'nt done, the floor vacummed so what. Now I take 2 hours each day just for me. I might be reading in bed or watching TV, but for that time my world stops. Hubby is on his own, and we both feel better for it.

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                    • #11
                      Tag, Thanks for your clarifications. I wish it was as easy as it sounds. The intelligent side of my brain might tell me not to worry over things I can't control and not to stress over things I can't get done, but the other side is in a raging battle. Just saying I'm not going to stress isn't enough to make it stop. Yes, I've learned to live in a less than tidy house, though I hate it that way. Yes, I take a few minutes for myself, like now, but even so I'm watching the clock thinking it's time to get him up to start his program so I have time to get him showered and me showered for a noon appt but then that means I'm not getting my real job done this morning either (thank heavens for understanding bosses and getting to work from home). Maybe it's not so critical that the laundry is in a mountain in the guest room instead of folded and put away, but I do have to find time for the grocery store and preparing some meals. Darn, I forgot the inspection sticker on the car I've borrowed expired Sunday -- guess I'd better work that in too before I get a ticket. Which brings to mind that I've got to figure out what to do about a vehicle -- can't keep someone else's car forever. Guess I'd better find time to go car shopping too. Wonder how late at night they're open? Wait, can't do it tonight since I forgot to pay the bills on the first and they really need to get done first! Shoot, thinking of bills reminds me of the pile of insurance forms sitting here waiting to be filled out and returning the calls to doctors' offices explaining that yes, we really are partly covered, the insurance company is just very slow to part with money. Thinking of doctors makes me remember I need to make appts with his plastic surgeon. That reminds me that I never took the poor dog back to the vet to have her stitches removed from her surgery. Better call the vet. Which reminds me that the gate is still in need of repair so the dog can't get out. Need a good light so I can fix the gate in the dark. And so forth, and so on ad naseum. Sorry to ramble, but saying I'm not going to stress or get depressed just doesn't seem to make things happen that have to happen. When there are too many bb's spinning on the plate, they don't stay put just because you tell them to. All I really need is a few more hours in each day and the strength to use them wisely.

                      martha

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                      • #12
                        Martha

                        Nothing I respect more than honesty! I face the black hole every morning when I wake up. That's if I'm lucky enough to sleep through the night. Perhaps we respondents do not recognize depression even when it is there before us. We simply do not have time to acknowledge it may be present in our lives. If I allow myself to succumb to this then my family is lost and I can not allow that to happen. They are depending on my strength. It is yet one more responsibility.

                        Martha, it is everyday life, previous normal stressors ,teenagers, sick dogs, household repairs and so on that send me over the edge. Sometimes it is hard to look back and recall the time when I thrived on stress in my job and life. Now I constantly look for ways to simplify my life... not an easy thing to do... and still attempt to keep things 'normal'. Perhaps I need to redefine depression in my world, but that would be ,well, depressing.
                        Kath

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                        • #13
                          Depression/Stress

                          Martha - how much of all that can you move to someone else, that mountain of laundry waiting to be folded - can son do some? Can he make some calls to get someone to fix the gate (an old friend etc). I'm sorry I don't remember his level but can he schedule the emissions sticker maybe get friend to take your car in. Hubby schedules all the auto appts and then just tells me where and when to be there and sends a list of what needs to be done (he used to be a mechanic). He and his service dog have even taken the laundry off the line for me. He pulls it down and puts it in a basket, the dog picks up the cloths pins that fly and puts them in the basket and then drags the basket in the house. He folds what he can an puts away the little stuff (sox and underwear) and then I do the big stuff that needs to be ironed for work. Even that little bit sure helps alot

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                          • #14
                            caregiver depression

                            i can relate completly...i am extremly open to all types of energy...most al all negitive..and nothing seems to be anything but negitive in this house...the food was alllllright. and when i keep you up until 3 am...make sure your up by 8:30 am to make my french toast..and god forbid there is not enough syrup on it. and the dogs need to be fed twice a day , and why isn't my good brace clean..and all the baby birds you were taking care of died,,and be ready be 2 because i have to be there at 5 and i WILL procrastinate for hours . and when were in the van i WILL NOT use my tie down so....what ever you do do not step on the brakes...ooo yea and you take off way too fast.and can u please leave the kids home...Every Time we go out.and i think you;d better come home now...and hurry up..but stop and get me some sport bottles of water...and why do you have alchol in the fridge..i dint care if their ony wine coolers and you never ever drink..and why does that baby cry so much can't you make her shutup !!! o yea and can i have whatever food we don't have in the house beaause im really in the mood for it....im so sorry your tired but i have insomnia..so i need my ice cream at 2 am...and you keep forgetting to dump my urinal...and yea you do look really fat..but amb you just had a baby....
                            so needless to say i have every right to feel depressed..stressed, and sometimes look a mess
                            and i am not complaing ...just venting..because i do love you...all i want is to be appricated.

                            amber burke
                            amber burke

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                            • #15
                              Amber

                              Amber, for a minute there I thought you had snuck into my house and we were living in a parallel universe! Then I got to the kids part and realized there's more than one man like my husband. What a shock that was! Then I read your profile and realized you're doing this for your brother. You do deserve more than simple appreciation and thanks. I love my brothers dearly, but there's a big difference in doing this for a spouse where there is a certain obligation and doing it out of love for a brother. And committing to it at an age that most of you us folks would like to remember as a little closer to being carefree. You truly must be an angel. Good luck!

                              martha

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