Feeling very down and overwhelmed


I’m not really expecting anything back but I need somewhere to vent and this is one of the only places I feel it is safe to do so.

I’m kathryn and I’m turning 29 in a few weeks. I’ve been a carer since I was 13 for my mum and since then I’ve looked after her as well as raising my two siblings. My younger brother is 27 now and my sister just turned 22. He moved out a couple of years ago so it’s just the three of us at home, my sister works although she currently is from home and she’s become my only friend. I didn’t have many because I had so many responsibilities growing up but now I have no one. I feel so alone and overwhelmed. Mum constantly rejects social services help because she struggled with us and they often threatened to place us into care. We have no other family and I do as much as I can because I don’t want my sister to end up like me.

My own mental health has plummeted to the point I can’t sleep and when I wake up I want to cry because I’m still here. I had to stop taking my sertraline because I have got acid reflux and it was making it worse. I’m terrified to go to the doctors in case it’s something worse although he says it is just that. I have horrendous health anxiety because of caring for someone with so many ailments and went to a+e with suspected heart attack 2 years ago. It was just a panic attack. I’m sorry for the rambling post it’s just I feel so lost and alone and I don’t know what to do. Even just typing this has helped relieve a little of the pressure

Hi Kathryn

It was just a panic attack.

Kathryn this must have been a horrible experience for you. A panic attack feels very real and very upsetting. As your sister usually works outside the home. Did you not have the same opportunity to do the same. Hence you are trying to support your sister in her life choices.

Changes to your sertraline will effect your daily functioning. Are you able to speak to your G.P. and get something for the acid reflux. Instead of altering your prescription level.

Even if Mum dislikes the thought of social services. You can have a carers assessment for you. Mum does not have to be involved. You need to be more supported.

Kathryn, I’ve also ended up in A&E with palpitations, after a really difficult time.
It’s really important that you take note of this, something MUST change.

Hi Kathryn

I’m sorry to hear about your situation, it sounds like a lot to cope with and you should be supported in this.
Have a look through our help and information pages here and see what may be available to you.

You are also very welcome to join our weekly meet-ups online:


These are informal chats with other carers. We get good feedback on these, carers say talking to others helps them not to feel so alone in their situation. Do join us if you can.

Best wishes


If mum has three adult children at home, what are the others doing?
Have they all come to expect you to run the household?!
The hardest thing about being a carer is realising that unless YOU change something, nothing will change.
You are feeling down and overwhelmed. When did you last have a whole week off?
I can just imagine how the family will react, along the lines of “you can’t do that, how will we manage without you?”. Is that fair?
They are all adults. They need to learn to manage. They won’t unless you leave the house totally so they can find out how much you are doing!

Hiya Kathryn. My sympathies to you. I know how this feels. I cared f/t for my disabled wife who threw attitude at everything, me included. I have no family. Some days - after a sleepless night including a couple of bed and nightwear clothing changes for her after she’d messed, the washing machine on for three hours from 3a.m. - I’d hope and pray that the phone would ring or the front doorbell just to mitigate the awful feeling of oppression and isolation. It never did. I just about managed to stay off the SSRIs but was always trying different herbal teas. Several times I’d have to ring for an ambulance at night. Then there was the waiting. I’d accompany her to the hospital in the next town in the middle of the night. Eventually she’d be admitted. Invariably she’d discharge herself sometime in the next few days against medical advice and we’d return home and the situation would repeat itself very soon afterwards. Inside myself I’d be screaming. I was constantly underwhelmed by the shortcomings of statutory and voluntary “helping” services which did nothing to alleviate my situation and often added to it. My wife died in front of me. That anniversary comes up next month. I grapple with PTSD and hope that that improves with time.
I have no answers for you. You can get antacid medication. I just want to reassure you that you’re not the only one out there. I did go to a couple of Carer Support Groups for a time though the reality was that I was usually giving rather than receiving. That’s okay with me though.
I haven’t previously accessed the Forum, have never read or written a post. I saw your edited post in the Caring magazine, traced your original one online, and just thought I’d contribute my pennyworth. I don’t do Facebook or other social media and here I am on Easter Sunday and will probably not speak with anyone all day. But I remember my awful state as a f/t Carer and my wife’s very assertive abuse whilst I was spoon-feeding and later toileting her. My present circumstances are preferable. What you’re doing is “the right thing to do” and that is often the only solace. It’s a lonely, gut-wrenching, exhausting and dispiriting position to be in. I know. xxx

Kathryn, can we have your thoughts again?
Are any comments or suggestions worth following?