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Depression and being a carer - Carers UK Forum

Depression and being a carer

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Hi all Its my first time posting a new topic so here goes. How do you cope with yourself while caring for a husband who has Picks disease? He is56 and life feels all up hill. Because of depression I need to talk and know I am loved . But we don't and I don't. I have a silent scream that won't come out yet weighs so heavy I can barely breath. I am watching him fade away and it kills me. We have been together for 36 years but now he is a stranger. I have read others comments and share their feelings and pain . We have no voice even if we get help it soon vanishes. Depression makes you feel exhausted , barely able to think yet , I know my husband depends on me. I cope by keeping my head down and slowly plodding through the days. Can anyone relate to how I feel ???
Dear Corinne, I'm afraid I can't relate totally, or even partially, really, but I can offer this if it is any help to you at all. When my husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer, there was a lot we 'could' talk about (mainly treatment options, and what activities he could still enjoy, and the kind of life we could still lead, and what and how, and how much, we should tell our young teenage son), but I was always aware of 'terrible silences' about things we 'could not' talk about.

I could never say to him 'when this is over and you are dead...', or 'how are you feeling inside about your diagnosis and prognosis'? There were whole, dreadful 'no go' areas that just stayed 'silent' in the middle.

The closest we got to 'facing up to his dying' verbally, was one day when we'd had a very 'businesslike' talk - he was telling me about insurance, and bank accounts, and mortgage stuff - all the 'putting your affairs in order' that the terminally ill are instructed to do while they still can, before they get too ill in end stage - and I can remember just standing there with tears rolling down my face, and we hugged each other, and we just said 'this is SUCH a pig, it really, really is!', and that was, to be honest, the only time we both looked his imminent death in the eye, and acknowledged it was going to happen, and it was a living nightmare (that would become a dying nightmare...).

Depression about the awfulness of severe illness, and terror about its progress, and possible eventual death, eats into our souls, that I do know.

As I say, I can't really help you in your own particular version of hell, but I do wish you all the best possible, and I'm sure that others with more experience ofwhat you are going through will be here very soon. (If not, if you repost on the New Carers thread, which has more 'passing traffic' then I'm confident you'll get a more helpful response to you.)

Wishing you all the best possible, Jenny.
Hello Corinne,

I've copied your topic into the "All About Caring" section as I think more members will see it here and be able to advise/comfort you.

I wish I could give you words of wisdom to help your situation, but anything I might say would probably sound trite. Have you spoken to your GP about your depression, perhaps medication or counselling might help ?
Corinne, do you have anyone you can "offload" to? For different reasons, I've been having counselling for a while. Only my eldest son and his partner know - I have a reputation for being "tough" etc. etc. but there is only so much that even the toughest person can cope with. It won't change what is happening, but it might help the way you deal with it. Are you getting any practical help at the moment?
Hi everyone thank you for the replies. I am on antidepressants but ,for me CBT would be no good at the moment .We recently lost my dad (February the first this year) I have had to support my brilliant mum who has always been there for me. I feel like I am drowning in all kinds of emotions. I have been so lucky in the past as my husband has always dealt with any form filling in and endless phone calls. I have had to do all of that and that has made me miss his support even more. I could talk to friends . But they offer advice and as all on the forum know you have to experience something to understand and I would not want anyone to feel as I do at the moment. I really do appreciate your comments. I don't feel as alone as I did . Thanks
Corinne, no wonder you feel you are drowning, having lost dad so recently. It takes a very long time indeed to adjust to this sort of thing, so don't be too hard on yourself. Without any other problems, grieving is so, so tiring. I've now lost my husband, in laws, and my own dad. I had no idea how washed out it leaves you. I know mum needs you now, but you must let her find a way of surviving on her own, so gradually withdraw, reduce your number of visits. The paperwork can wait, let mum do it herself, albeit slowly, as dealing with this will help her come to terms with what has happened. Yes, she will cry buckets, say she can't cope with it, etc. etc. but just support her to do it herself. Otherwise you will end up with another caree!
Oh my Dear Corinne I feel your pain.........I can't offer any practical advice on your particular problem but can relate to the pain you feel in losing your Dad..........My own Dad took his journey to heaven in July of this year and the 10 years of sharing a caring role with myself has left my 82 year old Mum with Vascular Dementia (this cause has not been given with the official diagnosis but it is my theory) and I am now left with caring for her. Some days are better than others but most days I am left with the feelings you so eloquently post. My Hubby, thankfully, is fit and healthy and will often lend a listening ear but rarely feels able to offer me and constructive advice...... I usually find that on this forum, it isn't a miracle cure for depression but often a problem shared with folk that understand helps me feel better in myself.... I hope you stick around and share your problem with the like minded folk on this forum xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Hi everyone . How many of us share so much pain. Does anyone feel exhausted mentally and physically drained? The thing is I find it impossible to cry. I am full of tears but I hurt too much to cry. Its knowing nothing will ever be the same again. After losing someone either in death or watching them fade away with dementia or some horrible illness you realise more than the person has gone. They have put down roots in your life heart and mind. When they are ripped away the holes they leave reveal themselves slowly . I know it's caring for my husband, the shock of his diagnosis after endless hospital visits, that has hit me hard but I can feel emotions for others and what they suffer, just full of feelings or non feelings that I dont understand .does anyone know these feelings or how to deal with them? Thanks everyone x
I certainly feel physically and mentally exhausted. At some time, the tears will come, in their own time, probably when you least expect it. When caring for someone ill, I think we just keep the lid on our emotions, so we can just keep plodding on. What other choice is there?
You're right there about keeping a lid on . It feels like standing on a high cliff peering over the edge into the blackness. Scared

But most of us will feel that way ! Heads down keep going !!!