Hello everyone. Carers Connect newby here!
I’m caring for my husband who has depression and I was wondering what services people have found helpful to them and the person that they care for. I’ve asked for a Carers Assessment because I know of a few people that have found this helpful. Any other advice would be really helpful. I’m just finding it very lonely and that I’m forgetting about my own mental health quite often. I’m obviously wanted to continue looking after him but I’m starting to see that I’m getting more irritable and ratty around him and don’t want to be like that.
Thank you to anyone who comments
Hello everyone. Carers Connect newby here!
Hi @Rust31 and welcome to the forum. You’ll find this a very welcoming place and please feel free to say what you want or need to - no one will judge you as WE know what it is like to be in a situation like you cos WE are/have been there.
I too care for my husband who suffered a stroke at NY 2022 and then a series of other health issues which are ongoing. We had to close our business and rely on his State Pension and AA/CA and our savings which were intended for our retirement.
I can empathise with you forgetting your own mental health as I did that and got ratty and irritable and snapped at nothing. We became very close again when our beloved dog died just before Christmas as it was a joint loss - he had saved Graham’s life twice so was very dear to us. For ten weeks we couldnt control our emotions til we found our new dog, but it was a bit of a watershed for us.
Sleep depravation was a big problem for me until I was referred to a GP within our doctor’s practice who runs sleep clinics and now I have learned some techniques to help. As a result I find I am not so snappy and usually have more energy.
It’s a difficult road to walk and there is no one simple answer. However, you have taken a step and are seeking advice/help so you are doing the right thing.
Use the Carers Assessment to state YOUR needs as it is about YOU not your husband - if you cant deal with some things put it down. None of us is perfect and cannot do everything - no matter how we try. Well except me cos I am perfect!
I am sure you will get a lot of advice and support on here - check out Roll Call which is a general chat area where you’ll find some of us being daft and sharing experiences and unloading when we get fed up. I’ve found no end of support on here and I try to give as well as taking but if you need to take strength the thats fine - no one will judge.
Share as much or as little as you feel comfortable with. You are NOT alone.
Hi @Rust31! A warm welcome and thanks for sharing your situation online. It’s not always easy to admit our vulnerabilities, so thanks for joining and sharing the ‘realities’ that’s familiar to everyone here! You’re not alone, even if you may feel lonely
It’s tough when a loved one’s mental health is compromised, they can change personality or have unpredictable mood swings, which can make you feel like you’re walking on eggshells all the time. That was how I felt when I was looking after Dad with vascular dementia. Getting irritable and ratty are natural signs of you getting tired, worn down and in-need of support - in my humble opinion.
Can you share more about you situation and, who, if anyone you have to support you both? Good for you on asking for a Carers Assessment!
When you’re tired it’s hard to not react automatically, with terse, short replies and snaps. If you’re not getting restorative sleep or breaks it could get worse. I know how guilty you can feel afterwards when that happens. The thing is that when we’re not tired we can pause, take a breath and Choose how we Want to respond…that choice of response can get short circuited when we’re tired, bit like the flight-fight response…
2 practical thoughts a) if you can journal things out to articulate your fears, worries, stresses that can help or as I always say punch some pillows to vent frustrations… AND b) try to get out for at least 20mins in the fresh air and walk…something to change your routine, get a little movement and shift perspective…
I hope that’s do-able and not too overwhelming…
let us know how you’re doing - and if we can help with any specific questions or thoughts…As @Chris_22081 says you’re tapping into a LOT of experience and support…and comic relief;-) Have a scroll around some of the posts…
Take care - big dose of virtual empathy!
@Victoria_1806 has just reminded me of when I was caring for my Dad for a short while and he was diagnosed with dementia - a diagnosis none of the rest of the family would accept and he had mood swings, would deny he has asked for a particular item for a meal and forgot how to use a remote control so took to banging it on the floor til I pointed out he had the wrong remote and handed him the correct one! Told me one day he hated steak! Then I cooked some salmon and when we sat down and he saw steak on our plates his comment was ‘Oh I am not allowed steak then!’ So I got some for him and he spat it out saying it was like leather… I got salmon back for him and he then moaned he was being treated differently. No matter what I did, it was wrong. So yes, I now about losing my rag… It happens