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Depression

Hi I am new to this forum. I have been caregiving for my severely intellectually impaired son for 48 years and my moderately intellectually impaired daughter for 46. 40 of which have been all alone since my ex husband decided he could not cut it and deserved a better life. For the past 8 years I have cared for my best friend who has dementia and no family. I have been isolated and rejected all these years but through the pandemic when all my sons outside medical supports were cut off I got depressed. Perhaps it will be good for me to talk to others that are going through the same thing.

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AARP Expert

Hi Debbie,

I can read here that you were disappointed in getting advice to see a counselor, but i agree with that advice, alongside getting support from this forum, and perhaps the facebook AARP forum, https://www.facebook.com/groups/1353173708169053  which gets a lot more support and conversation going. What i was reading is that you are feeling 'isolated and rejected', which is a terrible way to feel. Perhaps resentful, too. Your husband copped out after, what, 10 years of marriage? Eight years of disabled child and then children? Sheesh. And then the pandemic. I think it is great that you are reaching out to see how other people are coping and to get support for yourself. You are also an expert in your own right, and can offer support to other people. I would hope that your children's social supports and programs are starting up again, what with the vaccinations. I hope you can get out on your own for a few hours now and then at least weekly and pursue your own interests and friendships. In addition to being a caregiver myself (my wife has MS), I am also working part time as a psychotherapist at the local rural hospital here in eastern Oregon where we are dealing with the delta variant of covid, AND numerous wildfires. My little town has had evacuation orders three times in one year. A lot of stress. But i started a 'stitch and **bleep**' crochet and knitting group once a week for company and that group of women has seen me through a lot. we even met outside in a yard during the height of covid before vaccinations. 

 

We do what we must.

 

Check out the other AARP group. Write more here. Think about seeing a counseling for understandable depression and social isolation. and yes, you are an amazing woman and caregiver. thank you for sharing your story.

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Bronze Conversationalist

Im not trying to be mean but maybe talking to a Doctor or a professinal  therapist would be a better alternative they deal with these things all the time. Here on this site you will get opinions but maybe not to your benefit A priest could also offer spirital advice Both my parents had dementia you may also find a group that deals with the specific issues you are going through example  alzheimers support groups good luck

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Contributor

All the others that are complaining get a lot of support. I.e. hang in there, you are doing a good job etc. And I get one single comment to go see a shrink? What's up with that? 

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Hi Debbie, that is a huge responsibility you've had to take on all these years and my heart goes out to you. I am currently taking care of my mom, and only for 18 months, and I'm a wreck, so my hat goes off to you. I just started looking at AARP for some help getting caregivers to give me a break. Also, I live in PA and found that there is a great social system that helps pay for medication for those under a certain income level. My mom was paying $1500 every 30 or so days for insulin (she became Type I diabetic after 10 years of pancreatic cancer remission) and the Creon she needs to live without a pancreas. I was able to get that cut to $25/month! I went to the PA Dept. of Aging and they have a ton of resources. Nobody tells you about this stuff! So it was a great surprise. Anyway, perhaps there are state social services that could help your friend so you don't have to spend so much time taking care of not only your kids, but all the others. I personally am on an antidepressant and have started talking to a social worker at my primary care office. It helps tremendously. You need a break! And perhaps they can help. So I will definitely quote you and say Hang in there!!! All best to you!

 

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