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Has being a carer cause you to act out? - Carers UK Forum

Has being a carer cause you to act out?

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
I've been a carer mentally for my other half for about 8 years, also helped my child through some complete nightmares and her life being nearly destroyed, which has had lasting affects. I also have some physical problems my self, so can not get out of house often to clear my mind. Being stuck in constantly, having to keep everyone together has affected me in bad ways. There isn't many things I can do to escape, so have ended up digging my own grave with my new habit, which I can't talk about to my other half as would start a major depressive spell and probably end our marriage, I am so lost at what I can do. How do you all deal with the stress and have you developed bad habits?
You CANNOT stay in all the time because that's what others want. You are a person, not a slave.
First step should be a trip to the GP and ask for counselling, to help you unravel your unsustainable situation.
Sometimes life seems like a ball of knotted, tangled wool, so tightly pulled that it strangles us, and everyone inside the tangle.

So, the first step is to tackle the untangling.

You've made a great start by joining us, and setting out 'the problem'.

Can we have more detail please (don't tell us if you don't want, but explaining the context is the best way to seeing where the 'untangling' can best be started).

You've mentioned 'major depressive spell in reference to your husband, and you say you are his carer 'mentally' - so, first of all, what is wrong with him? You say you've been doing this eight years - is this how long you've known him, or did his mental illness only kick off then, and if so, why?

So - first off - what's HIS problem(s)? And what kind of care from you does he want. (Note, I'm saying 'want' - one of the FIRST things we learn on this forum, which has HUGE collective experience - boy do we have a lot of teeshirts between us! - is to distinguish between what our carees 'WANT' and what they actually 'NEED'....as they are NOT always the same!)

(ESPECIALLY when it comes to mental health I should warn you!) (LOTS on caring for someone with MH issues in the specialist section at the end of the index - DO READ!)

OK, so, whatever your husband's mental health issues, the next question is - what treatment is he getting, and what kind of effect is it having (ie, is it helping at all, a bit, how much, etc etc). In general, as we know, the standard NHS response to most mental illness of the 'depression' type - ie, not things like full blown schizophrenia, which is FAR more complicated - is to put the patient on anti-depressants and book them in for counselling. From what I understand (from my own family), the idea is to take the ADs for a good few weeks to 'lift' you out of the deep pit of despair and 'stabilise' you such that when you go for therapy, you can actually start to articulate what is wrong, and get feedback from the counsellor, and so start to get a handle on your problems, and how best to tackle them and, hopefully, 'heal'.

So, after 8 years of MH, what is the situation in terms of treatment for your husband?

Next is your daughter - how old is she, what are her problems, why does she have them, what treatment/non-family support is she getting etc etc. (You may not want to say precisely - for example, if she has been sexually assaulted, causing trauma, you may not want to spell that out here)(though we are ALL anonymous - I wouldn't recognise anyone else on this forum if I bumped into them on the street!). What can be done to improve her situation and 'not need care' etc etc. ?Or, is it physical problems as well affecting her, in which case, what?

Finally (!), we get on to YOU!!!!

What are your physical issues, and why are they preventing you getting out of your house?

The bottom line is, as BB says, you CANNOT be 'trapped' inside a 'pressure cooker' as you are right now.

So little by little, the untangling of that strangling 'knot' that you are living inside of, has to be started on.

Let's help you see the best end of the string to start working on!
"having to keep everyone together "

This is a key phrase as to the source of your stress - are you feeling like you are the 'safety pin' trying to hold together the sail of a ship that will shred to pieces and wreck the boat on the rocks if your pin breaks???

Also, in terms of your 'bad habit' - is it alcohol? It's VERY common, please don't think otherwise, for that 'restorative glass of wine' in the evening, to which we look forward to 'all day', becomes more and more and more.

My sister in law basically became, just about, an alcoholic for the three years her mother took to die of dementia, when she was looking after her. The alcohol became her 'safety valve' - she would have 'exploded' without it......
It sounds like you spend a lot of time acting as "referee" between husband and daughter. Is this a fair comment?

How old is your daughter? Is it time for her to have a home of her own? Don't tell me "she won't manage" by herself, because you won't know if she can until she tries!

My own son is brain damaged, can't read, write, or do any maths, but he is happy living alone with carer support, and attending various day services.

Would separating father and daughter make your own life easier, or harder?
BB points to a key aspect:

If you were given the choice of having ONE of those 'care burdens' from you - the one generated by your husband, or the one generated by your daughter - which one would you choose to remove?

That mental exercise can be a way of indicating where the MAIN source of pressure is (other than the 'whole of the situation'!)

This does not mean you are saying that one of them is more important than the other, only to indicate which one of them is causing you MOST stress out of the two of them!!!!!

(Nor is it saying 'oh, but I have to say my daughter's happiness is more important to me than my husband's, even if it's worrying about her that causes me most stress'......it's not about comparing the love you have for each, or the priority each takes in your life -as a parent, we ALL put our children before our partners, we MUST - it is the morally right thing to do!) (but it doesn't mean they don't cause us the most grief!!!!!!)