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Definition of carer?

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purge

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Being a carer? Whats the definition here?

Here is my situation.

My mother suffers from schizophrenia and is a carer for her son who is special needs. Although I live with her I would consider myself a carer, but my problem is I am always fighting social services and ward nurses who state I am not a carer, because physically my mother is ok and she still does things for herself.

WHAT!?!?!

Is this because i live her? What happens if she relapses or refuses to take medication then? Who admits her for treatment? Are they thinking that my special needs brother would admit her?

This would not be so bad if my mother did not continue to ask me to leave, due to me calling for her to be assessed for her state of mind. Plus it would not be to bad is she would acknowledge she is/at times unwell due to schizophrenia.

Is this because she is fine when on medication that my role as carer diminishes?

What would you define as a carer according to someone in my situation?
 
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Dollit

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If your mum is managing and she's looking after your brother then she is in the carers role. Not everybody with a mental health problem needs a carer even those of us who are profoundly affected.
 
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purge

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Thank you for your reply.

It is a shame, many would say the same thing. I understand your view as well to a point. What would you consider as managing?

Yes, not everyone who has mental illness needs a carer, but mental illness is a tricky issue. One should have to assess the level of illness rather than stating that one person has an illness and leave it at that.

My mother is a carer and I feel she has coped well in the past, but now her situation has changed I can see the dangers.

If i leave the situation, my mind is forever wondering what is happening. When I remember my mother attacking me thinking I was the devil, or when she was shouting at something that was not there or her hallucination's and confusions, it leaves me not only coping with this, but with others who do not see what I see or perhaps do not take the carer seriously.

I guess it boils down to my word against theirs.
 
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Dollit

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I'm sorry if I haven't given you the answer you want but I don't know you or your mother and can only speak of my experience.
 
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purge

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Maybe I came on a bit too harshly. No need to apologize. Its perhaps how I feel. I am almost lashing out at those who wish to help, but my mind is constantly wandering and I am thinking to myself....what can I do?

I am i guess right if I was to say you had suffered from some illness yourself? Sometimes a person can touch a nerve when they say someone who is suffering mental illness can be dangerous.

What were your experiences btw?
 
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Dollit

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Perhaps if you have a look at the rest of the forum you will get a better idea of what goes on here and the extent to which we can offer support. This is a very small part of quite an extensive forum.
 
R

ramboghettouk

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I haven't got a carer but yes i can sympathise when someone is defined as not a carer because that way no one can hold them responsible
 
Fedup

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Being a carer is difficult ........... but IMO if you are not part of your mam's CPA , the so called proffesionals will not class you as one.

As for your mam attacking you ........... call her crisis team in next time & let them see the full extent also remember if you feel at risk they advise you to ring the police.

While your mam is deemed fit or stable on meds to care for your special needs brother they isn't much you can do IMO unless you prove otherwise with clear cut evidence.

Don't try & fight the so called proffesionals on your own ............... they all " pee " in the same pot so to speak !!!


BTW Hello & :welcome: to MHF.
 
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purge

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Well,

Thanks for the input from all who had the time. I am going to move out, but i can't leave my bother there. I feel its too risky and I ll have to put him in some safer place.

The speed my mother became illness once she came off the medication was rapid and it all happened when she thought she felt better for 3 years and decided to go to the doctors who promptly took her off the medication, disregarding the diagnoses from the previous consultant. Who suggested my mother stay on the medication for life.

I watched my mother's health decline and pleaded with her to go back on the medication only with the replies of her being well because the doctor had taken her off the medication.

I phoned mental health asking for an assessment for my mother and that took three agonizing weeks, in which I would see my mother hit breaking point. Luckily on the day of the assessment, she was admitted.

My mother has blamed me for her being taken in, but my choice was either for her to go in for treatment or let her slide into certain insanity. I suppose i could cope with the abuse of swearing and constant blaming, but its too much to bear when mental health team think I am not trying my best to help.

and so with that I am out of it.
 
Fedup

Fedup

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May i ask what special needs your brother has ? Also how old is he ?
 
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purge

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He suffers from autism and is aged 20. Physically he has no problems, but has limited understanding of things and cannot speak.

Here's this for a kicker.

I have another autistic brother who I put in care when my mother had some episodes some years back. He is aged 34, he cannot speak as well and my mother wants him back to be with her. I guess the pressure is immense if she has both of them.

.....but hey! social services deem that as a mother, she may have the right to look after them. Thats more stress for her and double more for me.
 
Fedup

Fedup

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Bare with me here ......... think it's power of eterniy i'm thinking ........... but how did you put your other brother in care ?? Are you his legal guardian ?

As for the brother at home .......... as you'll know with autism they need routine and structure in their daily lives. Have you thought how this ( you sending him some where safe ) is going to affect him ??

Do you persoanlly have a support net work ? You seem to making a lot of big decisions that IMO should'nt be made by one person.

Do you have family .......... aunt's uncles etc who would be willing to help out here ?
The normal rule of thumb is that autistic people are very clever ........... have you communicated with him be it BLS, makaton, pecks, art, pictures etc. How does he really feel about his home life ??

Has anyone also thought if your 34 year old brother wants to come back home ?
 
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purge

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My older brother got put in care by his social worker along with my decision. At the time I did wish him to be at home with his mother, that is until my mother started attacking me.

oddly enough, my older brother's social worker became ill with mental problems himself just after this case. I guess it shows how common such symptoms can become.

Although my older brother does come home on the weekend, he is very difficult to manage. He seems to have fits of rage due to his up bringing and lashes out at people. Ever since my mother has been ill again, I have decided he should not visit for a while.

I know for sure my younger brother will be assessed to see if he still continues to stay home, but it really does rely on my mother to keep taking her medication. Besides the disabilities team will see whats right for my younger brother first anyway.

Safety first.
 
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purge

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oh sorry i forgot to mention. I am next of kin from my mother who was unable to make the decisions at the time. So the decisions fell on me.
 
S

Starbright

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I don't know what to suggest. I think the person themselves has the right to say who is their carer or not, although I had a hell of a time with the staff when I was in, because they kept talking to my parents, and I didn't want them involved, because they're over 70, worry intensely and one of them has a control problem and it just is unbearable. Now they are not on my CPA. I don't have a carer. I am in charge. I had a period when not on meds. I decided to come off them when I couldn't find one that didn't make me feel really really ill with side effects (serious ones I mean). I would never have admitted that I was ill either but I ended up in hospital after trying to kill myself (that is how I always am when ill). Anyway, basically, now I would NEVER come off meds, having seen that I do in fact have a lifelong condition , that it wasn't a one-off episode, and knowing that it is my responsibility to make sure that I never get ill again because I must spare my family going through my suicide.

What does your mother think now about her being ill? Would she ever come off meds again? The answer to that probably will inform what you do next.

I don't know how to get seen as a carer by the mental health services. I have spent my time trying to stop them seeing my parents as carers so my problem has been different. I suspect that your mother has a big say in it. Much as it stinks, sometimes you can't do a lot about some of the ways the system works. I wish you luck wanting the best for everyone.
 
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