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New to CarersUk - Carers UK Forum

New to CarersUk

Tell us a bit about yourself here.

I am Peter aged 73 caring for my wife who is suffering from acute depression, anxiety, panics and occasional migraines. My wife is 70. She has suffered these symptoms on and off for years, and she describes it as living on the edge. A few years ago she had a bad bout which was treated fairly successfully by CBT as she decided not to take medication. However, the death of our beloved border collie dog in August led to another bout of depression just as bad if not worse. The doctor is treating her with medication this time and CBT as well. She was recently referred to a Psychologist and she has her first appointment with a nurse for assessment this coming week. I do have a much fuller account of the situation describing the effect it is having on me, similar to others I have read in the Mental health forum, but this is a brief summary.
Hello Peter and welcome.
Well done on getting such extensive help for your wife. Good mental health care seems as rare as hens teeth these days unfortunately.

She's lucky to have you, methinks, but it is tough being a carer.

As you've been looking around the forum what do you hope to gain by joining? Have you looked at some of the more social threads where we escape our caring duties perhaps?

Again, welcome
Hi and welcome Peter

I am prone to depression myself a bit.
I have been a carer to my mother for many years and now visit her in her care home.
My life is less busy in some ways and when everything is quiet at home, I am inclined to feel more low in mood.
I am lucky to go to work 2 days a week and baby sit grandchildren one day a week. If I didn't then I would feel more low.
My husband goes out to work 3 days a week, but sometimes opposite to when I am out.
When I am no longer able to go to work, then I think that I should try and do something voluntary.
I wonder if you have a chance to go out and have a hobby or interest that you do regular, to take your mind off your present situation? You could also suggest this to your wife, but she might not take up suggestions by you very easily.
Also, maybe a visit to a GP who can refer you to counselling to see if there are ways in which you can cope with your wife's situation? The counsellor may suggest that you don't help your wife too much but she sees that you need an outlet to help distract you from difficult tomes too.
Please come back on here any time as others too may give advice.
Thank you Christina and Mrs Average for your replies.

I'm not sure how much I should be posting on this particular "newbies" forum and when I should perhaps write a fuller account on the Mental Health forum itself. We have an excellent GP and she suggested I should look at the MIND website for other organisations who might provide support for me as I was beginning to feel low myself.

I would consider joining a Support Group if there was one within reach but we live in rural Northumberland some 30 miles north of Newcastle as I would find it helpful to meet others in a similar position if I could get away, rather than spend more hours in various online forums. In answer to Christina's suggestions, I should explain that I usually lead a busy social life - completely opposite to my wife, who is not really a sociable person these days. I find I need lots of friends and sociable contact and am involved as a volunteer Trustee/Director of a local charity. I am also involved in church affairs as Secretary of our Parochial Church Council. All my life I have been involved in church music as chorister and organist. I enjoy gym sessions and hiking although don't go very often these days as my wife never enjoyed it as much as I did.

When she is well, my wife is a very good photographer, is very interested in family history and has spent hours researching online into various subjects. She belongs to a local History society. We had a border collie dog who sadly died in August and we think it is this which triggered the present bout of depression as we were both devoted to him. Having written this, I feel guilty that I seem to be so involved with a variety of things whereas my wife is very much a stay-at-home person - her choice. She blames lack of stamina together with a lack of willingness to involve herself in other affairs. Isn't it complicated?
Hello again Peter
I can so identify with the feelings of guilt when I can leave the house and lead a normal life while my son remains trapped in by his own anxiety. Also the constant, unrelenting fear of a relapse, the fear of have I caused his illness, the anger that he won't improve instantly, the absolute wearyness of watching everything I say all the time.... I could go on :roll:
I do find counselling and talking through these feelings with a counsellor helps me. It gives me somewhere away from the house where I can vent and say all the things I can't at home and means I am calmer and feel more in control.
Your Carers group may have contacts, even if you can't physically attend, or there's a website of counsellors http://www.itsgoodtotalk.org.uk

Hope this helps
This forum has been a godsend. Statistics show usually only 1 in 10 post but the other 9 read and I have learned so much about how to cope as a carer reading other people's posts.