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Depression - Carers UK Forum

Depression

For issues specific to caring for someone with dementia.
Hi...

I know this seems a strange request but has anyone had experience of being a carer and seeing a GP about depression ? I look after my mum who is blind and has dementia.

I know I’m really depressed but don’t want to be put on tablets and I don’t want to listen to another lecture on have I thought about rest-bite for my mum.

My mum is my best friend but I feel myself getting so frustrated with her and cross just lately and just want to scream but usually take myself off for a good cry.

My language is getting appalling, maybe that’s my coping mechanism but now my mum is picking up on the words and the anger which isn’t funny when your trying to get her out of bed in the mornings to be told to Fluff off....or words to that affect.

Just wondered if seeing the GP would actually help ?
Hi Linda
Hopefully it will. If you are in fact suffering from clinical depression then yes, some mild medication may help. But if what you are suffering from is stress, exhaustion and isolation then medication isnt the only answer.
Just ask yourself why you refuse medication and offers of respite? Are you happier being a martyr, being the only carer?
Most of us can care full on but only over a short period. Over time most of us find it too much and 'burn out' unless we accept outside help and start taking steps to look after ourselves as much as we look after our carees
Do let us know how it goes
We have loads of ideas on here how to help carers that don't involve medication

Oh, and most of are on here as we found out the hard way how hard it is to be carer

Kr
MrsA
Hi

I don’t think of myself as a martyr but having seen the decline in my mum if she has to go in hospital for an illness all I can think of is what would happen if she went in a home. She has one on one care at the moment from me or a carer that stays with her whilst I go to work. She will never get that in a home and I’m not ready to give up on her just yet, because if I’m depressed now the thought of speeding up her decline I would never forgive myself
Stop trying to be Superwoman! I've been there, done that . What is mum's financial position. Does she own her home or have over £23,000 in savings? (Yes/no). Do you live with mum full time? Have brothers or sisters? Something will have to give, and your answers will help us make a few suggestions.
Self funding I’m afraid.....two brothers one great one useless

Have managed to put my mum to bed early tonight so bit of me time for a hour or so

Was thinking of talking to work to see if I can maybe take one afternoon off a week for a while to pull myself out of this.
If mum is self funding, how would you feel about going part time, and mum paying you the going rate for care? Otherwise, you are just protecting your brothers inheritance. You give up a lot for mum, while they wait for their money. That was what my brothers did. Fortunately mum didn't tell them she changed her will in my favour as I was the only one that cared. Alternatively, employ someone to help put mum to bed. I doubt you are depressed, but utterly fed up. When did you last have a real holiday?
Hi Linda
Sadly you may be aiming to push an immovable rock uphill.
Dementia is a cruel disease that just gets worse and worse and needs a team of people as carers. It gets too much for just one person, no matter how loving and determined that one person is.

My Mum is now 96 and went voluntarily into a good Home a couple of years ago. She has had a couple of steps changes downwards, but rather than blaming the Home, or the infection that caused it, we are just so grateful that we know help is at hand for her 24/7, she is clean, warm, fed and dressed without exhausting us and allowing us to work/earn. Now when we visit we have nice chats, hold hands, giggle. Things we wouldnt have time for if she was still at home and in our care

I'm not saying a Home is right for your Mum now, but it may well be in the future, and at a point when it's an emergency and you don't have choice. So visit a few now, just to see and start becoming aware of what is available locally.

And please please be aware you cannot stop or slow this awful disease, you didn't cause it, you are doing your best but even that is unlikely to be enough, it does need a team, eventually. Mum wouldn't want you giving up your life and work for her, you will continue after she's gone and need something to fall back on to keep you going. Don't give up work and social life, keep a sense of you. You are worth it.

Xx
MrsA
Linda,

Lots of carers see their GPs about depression every day. Many of them will be diagnosed with low mood, stress, anxiety and other related conditions but a lot will definitely have depression. Make sure you see a GP who understands and explains, see another one and put your point of view across assertively if you need to. I know this is almost impossible if you're depressed but try as it will be the first step out of feeling so bad. There is no one size fits all solution so read the arguments on both sides but don't feel pressured into avoiding medication. Modern anti-depressants are infinitely better than previous generations.

If you need more or quicker help try the Samaritans. They might be good to have a conversation with about how to talk to your GP. Remember you don't have to be suicidal to talk to them.

I am the main carer for my partner who is also my best friend and taking his support away from me and putting him in a place where I would be justifiably worried about the quality of care he was getting would make my situation worse not better. Also the fallout from respite in terms of deterioration and admin isn't worth the limited benefits to me. I am lucky that I do not need to go out to work and that he goes to a day centre which he enjoys a couple of times a week (hopefully more often soon) giving me at least time to catch up on sleep. Maybe you should take some time off work sick to recover and then think about solutions to reduce your working hours a little or a lot. Do you have the sort of work you could do partly from home? Then you might be able to rest and relax while the carers are in and work when your Mum doesn't need you. Could you get additional support with other things - eg housework and shopping?
I saw my GP after my father died and I was really struggling with guilt and other emotions plus caring for my much older husband and he was 5*. I talked through my feelings about being a carer and he felt that they were normal and I did not have clinical depression, although he agreed I was at risk . He was prepared to perscribe a low dose A/D if I felt no better in 3 months.

I was able to haul myself out of the depression and make some minor changes. Plus I confinded in a few close friends how much I hated being a carer and was struggling and they were very supportive. I agree with N S Slater an honest talk with your GP is the way forward.A/Ds can help people but they can have side affects.

You do seem to be trying to be 'superwoman'. I wonder if maybe a good counselor would help you move forward and explore options? I do not know if it would be possible to cut down your hours?
I promise you I’m not trying to be superwoman....I work to try and help towards the running costs of the house as although mum has savings we are having to supplement her carers fees to the tune of nearly £2000 a month....so the savings won’t last forever. Yes we could probably make cost savings in a cheaper care company but as the saying goes you get what you pay for....and the care company we have are very good.

Have sat down and had a good think over the last few days and have decided to try and plan my week a bit better to get all the chores done before the weekend so I can relax a bit more. Plus my boss has said he would be happy to sit down and have a chat if I wanted to take a odd afternoon off and have some me time so fingers crossed.

Thanks everyone who replied. I don’t feel quiet so fed up and alone when I know there are others that can help as they have been there themselves x x x