Forums Ask for advice Mental health affected by caring
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  • #477
    Londonbound
    3 Posts

    My mental health is getting worse and worse, because of caring, I have been referred to mental health services but I don’t see what they can do.

    I am tired stressed, due to caring all the time with no breaks, I don’t see how teaching me stress management will help, how can you manage something you can’t manage.

    My GP says I am suffering from reactive depression, my body is reacting to events in my life.

    Of course, it is, no one can work all the time with no breaks.

  • #478
    amanda
    4 Posts

    Hi,

    I just wanted to say hi as caring is also affecting me too.
    I have recently been diagnosed with depression due to my caring role and some days I have no idea how I am going to get through it.

    Can I ask who you care for? A family member or friend? adult or child?

    Do you have any support to help you?

    As a carer, you are entitled to a break. If you haven’t done so already, contact your local Social Services and ask for a Carers Assessment as you are desperate for support.
    There is certainly no shame or embarrassment asking for help, it’s taken me years to get my head around that and doesn’t mean you are failing in any way shape or form in your caring role.

    I know you say that your GP referral to Mental Health services is a bit of a waste of time and I know that things seem a bit hopeless right now but try it. The number of times I’ve felt like that but have found some surprising benefits to things like this.
    Maybe your GP could help you with your request to Social Services or council for respite or a break as it sounds like you are in need of a break.

    In the meantime, could any family members or a trusted friend help out caring whilst you take time out?
    Even if its to pop into town for a wander around the shops and a coffee for a breather. Also only a short time away, it does make some difference.

    Hope some of that helps x

    • #480
      Londonbound
      3 Posts

      Hi,
      I am caring for my partner and caring for a friend, and that includes night care.

      I was diagnosed with depression years ago, I try and enjoy life but not easy, the mental health services just don’t seem to do a lot about depression, they seem to concentrate their funding towards severe mental health issues.

      I have asked for help in the past but just got nowhere, assessment after assessment not entitled to any help, maybe the care act will help.

      I asked for a break years ago still waiting, you can ask but you don’t get.

      And having a break then you go straight back into the caring role.

      I am not ashamed or embarrassed asking for help, I don’t feel like a failure, I watched a tv programme about a family looking after disabled kids, she said caring 365 days a year just can’t be done, I agree.

      This was in America, I think they did actually get help, a kids camp volunteered a free holiday.

      Mental health services tried to teach me mindfulness, cooking, cleaning, shopping, medication, just don’t have time for mindfulness.

      Social services say it’s my mental illness causing issues, mental health services claim I am not mentally ill, I don’t pass the tick list and therefore its social services who should be providing support.

      Shouldn’t they be talking to each other not just passing the buck?

      But social services or indeed the NHS don’t provide night care.

    • #481
      amanda
      4 Posts

      I can understand your providing care for a partner, but why the friend as well?

      If you ‘only’ had your partner to look after, would that improve matters for you do you think?

    • #482
      Londonbound
      3 Posts

      Why the friend as well, in simple terms the friends health has got worse and so has the care, I think I posted about continuing health care, my friend clearly needs this but has been refused.

      Going from a friend who can cope perfectly well, overnight they become ill, end up in hospital, they come out of hospital should get loads of help/support etc, received nothing.

      And no help for the unpaid carer e.g me.

      What do we do, dump our friend we have known for years because they are ill?

      If I was looking after just my partner would things be better, would they? we all need friends.

      I would just be stuck in the house caring 24/7, isolated and lonely.

      Without friends carers become isolated. The problem here is I, my partner and my friend all need the right help and support, what we are getting is NHS and social care staff who just don’t care and understand.

      I should be receiving all sorts of support, I am dealing with mental health problems, physical health problems, finances, household, I am giving practical and emotional support and getting no unpaid carer support whatsoever.

    • #483
      amanda
      4 Posts

      I can see your argument in favour of caring both for partner and friend – not entirely sure I agree with it, but I do see your point of view.

      However, may I take issue with something?

      All the way through your posts I can see (completely reasonably I point out straight away)! that you are appalled at the low/absent level of ‘state support’ provided (or rather, NOT provided!) to those in ill health (whether physical or mental).

      However, I hate to say this, but but but ….there really is NO point ‘railing’ against this! Yes, of course there SHOULD be lots more support. The UK SHOULD provide sufficient local authority housing so there are no homeless people. The UK SHOULD close its borders so that we don’t take in a quarter of a million new residents EVERY YEAR who, yup, ALL need housing and health care and schools for their children etc etc. The list of ‘shoulds’ is endless!

      But we don’t. So, for citizens, what can we do? Protest, yes, vote, yes, but other than that, ‘railing’ just adds to our distress.

      Obviously one needs to ensure that what there IS available, however, limited, is ‘screwed down’ to you – ie, you are getting what pathetic ‘maximum’ actually is ‘out there’, but other than that, I do feel that simply being angry with what is NOT out there, only adds to YOUR distress……

      I’m not trying to sound unsympathetic, truly I’m not, and it’s all very well for me, I know, I am not facing what you are facing, but I do see this somewhat in my own family. My niece with chronic depression does keep ‘bewailing’ that more help is not ‘out there’. She says ‘I go to the doctors and ask and ask for help, and they just don’t help me’!!! Well, the explanation is two-fold – either there is no funding for you, or there is nothing more that psychiatry can do for you.

      In the end, most of our lives are in our own hands, our own choices. If you do want to continue looking after your friend as well, then that IS your choice, ditto with your partner. Yes, the ‘state support’ you get is totally inadequate, but will listing all the ‘shoulds’ change a thing??? (If it makes you feel you’ve ‘vented’ then yes, fine, it’s done some good – if it just ‘feeds your anger and pain’ then I would question that, alas.)

      Maybe, somewhere inside, we all have to accept that life is ‘unfair. I think because we live in a wealthy country compared to most, it can be ‘extra galling’ to see good money wasted on rubbish (Brexit negotiations, HS2, blah blah blah – the list of wasted tax payers money is horrendous!), but what can we actually DO about it? My husband died in his fifties because the UK does not spend enough money on cancer prevention/early diagnosis/treatment. It’s that simple, that brutal. That’s why I’m a widow now. Your life is hellish for the same reason of total chronic underfunding.

      Does it help us cope with what we have to cope with by getting angry? I’m genuinely not sure.

    • #484
      amanda
      4 Posts

      Oh dear, that probably sounded way too ‘hostile’ from me! I truly didn’t mean it like that. More to try and ‘divert’ you maybe from wasting your precious energy resources on ‘what can’t be cured’ etc etc??

      But maybe, like I said, venting does us good after all?

      In the end, we all do whatever it takes to give us the most ‘peace of mind’ (as in ‘least un-peace of mind’…..) and if venting achieves that, so be it.

      Maybe I just think, the older I get, the more ‘impossible’ it is to ‘change the world’ and it all boils down to looking after ourselves as best we can??? Defeatist, I know ,but there it is. 🙁

    • #485
      amy
      9 Posts

      I can’t agree with Amanda.

      The only way I’ve got help for myself is effectively by ‘railing’ against the system.

      So CMH won’t allocate my a CPN? Fine, will just utilize NHS 24. Repeatedly! I imagine if continue to do this enough they will tell my GP that CMH need get involved as can’t cope with me. Frankly, that’s my aim.

      Same with my carer support plan. I had to go to NHS trust chief exec before I got one. (Not that’s it worth paper it’s written on!)

      Same with my benefits.

      I do this precisely because life is unfair and, sadly, who shouts loudest gets the most.

      Whether at the individual level or cohort (eg carers) the state wishes us as all to be good little mice and put up with our lot. I say cobblers to that.

  • #479
    amy
    9 Posts

    Im a part-time carer. I know I show signs of depression at times, but I know that I’m not depressed, because as soon as I’m away from problems relating to my son and Social Services etc. I bounce back to my usual happy self.
    Some days I make a deliberate policy of not even thinking about them, and doing something for me alone (usually sewing for my next holiday) but of course now I’m only a part-time carer I can do that, no chance when there were five people competing for my attention at the same time, and focussed on what they wanted me to do for them without ever thinking that the other four deserved a bit of time too!!!
    So think if you are just completely and utterly fed up with being in a “virtual jail” because of lack of services. It’s a fine line between depression and utterly fed up, but it’s important to decide for yourself whether or not you are still the “real me” under everything, or whether nothing ever snaps you out of your current mood.
    Is residential care the only option left? You cannot be forced to care. Your life has value too!

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