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I'm Struggling Here

Ludo

Ludo

New member
Founding Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2007
Messages
2
I have a question for you good folk ... how do you resolve the internal quandry's one experiences, when caring for a family member has stopped being rewarding?

How do you overcome those feelings of irritation when your mentally ill charge decides to completely disrobe, resulting in you having to help him dress for the umpteenth time that morning (because he puts things on backwards & upside down etc), just when you really need to leave the house for work?

How do you supress the urge to shout when you have been woken up for the fifth or sixth time in the night, by him banging on the walls with whatever heavy object he can find in his bedroom, when you're tired and have to get up to do a full time job in the morning?

How do you cope with the desire to walk out of the front door (and to keep on walking), when you get sworn and cursed at for trying to help him remove his shoes before getting into bed?

I have been helping to care for a mentally ill family member for about three years now. We're only a small family so my husband and I have quite a lot to cope with. The other part of the family (who look after our man during the day) have their own health worries and are trying to negotiate days off in the form of additional care from Social Services during the day. My husband and I work full time so we don't get any benefit from these arrangements. If anything, they make our lives more stressful!

I guess I'm just feeling a bit downhearted because someone asked me how much time I get off from caring and my answer was six hours on a Saturday. I was shocked to realise that I was actually happy about that - must be the boiling frog syndrome!

I'm probably only just looking for a place to vent. This is my first post but I've read the forum for a while. Everyone seems quite nice and I'm sure at least some of you have also struggled with emotions versus responsibility. I would be interested to hear your views.
 
D

Dollit

Guest
I can't imagine how dispiriting and disheartening things are for you. You have a thankless task and I can't imagine how destructive in your life this situation is. I'm not a carer for anyone with mental ill health and I'm quite well at the moment but I have often said to people who do help me when I'm ill that I'm aware of how much of a nightmare I must be. There are people on here who will identify with you - if you just want to vent then there's no better place, please take advantage of us! :welcome: :grouphug:
 
J

justlikeawoman

Guest
carers

I have a question for you good folk ... how do you resolve the internal quandry's one experiences, when caring for a family member has stopped being rewarding?

How do you overcome those feelings of irritation when your mentally ill charge decides to completely disrobe, resulting in you having to help him dress for the umpteenth time that morning (because he puts things on backwards & upside down etc), just when you really need to leave the house for work?

How do you supress the urge to shout when you have been woken up for the fifth or sixth time in the night, by him banging on the walls with whatever heavy object he can find in his bedroom, when you're tired and have to get up to do a full time job in the morning?

How do you cope with the desire to walk out of the front door (and to keep on walking), when you get sworn and cursed at for trying to help him remove his shoes before getting into bed?

I have been helping to care for a mentally ill family member for about three years now. We're only a small family so my husband and I have quite a lot to cope with. The other part of the family (who look after our man during the day) have their own health worries and are trying to negotiate days off in the form of additional care from Social Services during the day. My husband and I work full time so we don't get any benefit from these arrangements. If anything, they make our lives more stressful!

I guess I'm just feeling a bit downhearted because someone asked me how much time I get off from caring and my answer was six hours on a Saturday. I was shocked to realise that I was actually happy about that - must be the boiling frog syndrome!

I'm probably only just looking for a place to vent. This is my first post but I've read the forum for a while. Everyone seems quite nice and I'm sure at least some of you have also struggled with emotions versus responsibility. I would be interested to hear your views.
i have just read your posting. you dont say what your relative suffers with but i am going to go on the assumption that it is some form of dementia. my own personal experience is that having to care for people with any form of dementia is the most difficult form of nursing/care.
i am appalled that you only have six hours off from caring. you also indicate that you do employed work. i am very concerned that you are being woken up continually at night to banging.
i think you are getting to a stage where you are going to explode and if you dont do something soon it may have horrible consequences for you and your family.
do you have a social worker? or should i say, does your relative have a social worker? if so you need to do some straight talking to him/her. tell the social worker exactly what you have written on here. tell them you are getting to breaking point. even with the help of other family members you are feeling like this. you are not doing a full time job you are doing two full time jobs. i nursed people who behaved as your relative does. i know how frustrating it can be and bear in mind at the end of the day i could go home and walk away from it.
you need a complete break away from your relative. can you find respite care for him? i am sure the social worker can sort that out for you.
when you get to the stage where you want to walk out and leave him then you need help. but you need to be willing to accept that help. if you dont and the pressure gets worse that it is now you will end up very ill.
i dont know all your circumstances - but if you have to put your relative into a home then you will probably have to deal with the guilt but surely that is better than having to end up ill.
if you havent got a social worker - i would go to the surgery and ask to speak to somebody, gp, nurse, health visitor and say how you are feeling. there is suppose to be support for carers. if you dont do something then you will be receiving care yourself. as for feeling happy when you have six hours off - i think you are an angel. i mean that! phew - you must be exhausted. i ended up very ill from overworking - and five years down the line i am still ill.
you have my deepest sympathy.
 
S

sasone2one

Member
Founding Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2007
Messages
11
Location
devon
A lot of questions here and something similar to my own experience with my relative quite a long time ago now. Although it felt at the time as if it went on for ever and I know how stressful I found this. Not to mention how the lack of sleep affected me, the guilt of having to leave him and go to work ect.

I see you already have other family members lending a hand during the day while you are at work, which is something I had to do. This went on for a few years, what I eventually did was reduce my hours at work and claim carers allowance. You are allowed to earn £95 and claim c/a on top which is around £48.65 per week in addition your national insurance contributions are paid.

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/CaringForSomeone/MoneyMatters/DG_10037637

This helped relieve a lot of pressure for me, even though I have to admit it helped going to work as well as it gets you out of the environment you are living in not to mention the social benefits of being with work colleagues

The irritation you mentioned is very likely or at least partly caused through your sleep being disturbed at night. Is there any possibility that yourself and husband could work out that one night you see to your relative and the next he does it so one of you could get some sleep. Or the relatives that stand in during the day could do a few sleep over’s and both yourself and hubby sleep somewhere else so you are able to get some rest. There is nothing worse than not having enough sleep, this would wear anyone down even the most saintly of people

Could not one of your family members be at your house at the time you are leaving for work…this is what I had to do myself. It would save all of the stress involved just as you are rushing to get to work on time. Direct payments could be another option for help with some of the care you mention. http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/CaringForSomeone/MoneyMatters/DG_10018517

You didn’t mention the diagnosis your relative has or their age which could make a difference as to what type of services you may be able to access. Choosing Social care

http://www.csci.org.uk/about_csci/press_releases/new_care_advice_will_help_mill.aspx Part the way down the page you can download a booklet about choosing social care services.

The cursing and swearing you mentioned would be enough to raise anyone’s blood pressure especially when you are trying to help them! What I am going to suggest here isn’t easy to do and will take a bit of practice. I am now assuming your relative has not always had a mental illness and you know the person they were before they became ill. Have a think about this, would the person you know curse and swear at you like this? I am guessing they wouldn’t, this is the person they are. The way your relative is responding now is not coming from them but the symptoms of their illness. I know you know this so I am not trying to be patronising here just trying to lead you into a different thinking mode. A way to cope…another thing I did!

This is more down to a bit of mind over matter, start trying to build up a barrier and not take these comments to heart. Try letting this go over your head and block out these comments, it’s not the person you know saying this to you. I know it isn’t easy when it hurts so much that you are being shouted at and sworn at but it’s worth trying. And if you do try this and your crack sometimes, don’t beat yourself up about it your only human like us all.

I know what you mean when somebody points out what little time you have for yourself or brings to your attention things you are missing out on.. You were plodding along before this was brought to your attention and quite happy about the 6 hours free time you had on a Saturday. Although I know all of these things are true, I do not think we really think about it and probably hardly would …perhaps sometimes but mostly it just happens and we accept it.

It’s all well and good people giving out this sympathy filling us with all of these things we are entitled to (allegedly) It looks great on paper what isn’t mentioned is the aggravation you get trying to access these entitlements you “might” be entitled to. Hence this making your life more stressful as a result. Look what it has done to you, made you feel downhearted and possibly stirred up some resentment which then makes you feel guilty for thinking in this way.

Keep on writing Ludo it does help to have somewhere to off load.

Best Wishes

Pam




I have a question for you good folk ... how do you resolve the internal quandry's one experiences, when caring for a family member has stopped being rewarding?

How do you overcome those feelings of irritation when your mentally ill charge decides to completely disrobe, resulting in you having to help him dress for the umpteenth time that morning (because he puts things on backwards & upside down etc), just when you really need to leave the house for work?

How do you supress the urge to shout when you have been woken up for the fifth or sixth time in the night, by him banging on the walls with whatever heavy object he can find in his bedroom, when you're tired and have to get up to do a full time job in the morning?

How do you cope with the desire to walk out of the front door (and to keep on walking), when you get sworn and cursed at for trying to help him remove his shoes before getting into bed?

I have been helping to care for a mentally ill family member for about three years now. We're only a small family so my husband and I have quite a lot to cope with. The other part of the family (who look after our man during the day) have their own health worries and are trying to negotiate days off in the form of additional care from Social Services during the day. My husband and I work full time so we don't get any benefit from these arrangements. If anything, they make our lives more stressful!

I guess I'm just feeling a bit downhearted because someone asked me how much time I get off from caring and my answer was six hours on a Saturday. I was shocked to realise that I was actually happy about that - must be the boiling frog syndrome!

I'm probably only just looking for a place to vent. This is my first post but I've read the forum for a while. Everyone seems quite nice and I'm sure at least some of you have also struggled with emotions versus responsibility. I would be interested to hear your views.
 
M

maudikie

Guest
to Ludo.

I really can't give any more or better coment than that made to you by "just like a woman". You certainly need help. If your patient is incontact with Mental health Services has he had an assessment? Have you youself had an assessment of need? Are you getting all the financial assistance to w hich you are entitles, such as Carer's allowance? Would it be possible to arrange flexible working hours for either you or your husband or both, so that you can get more time together, and possible more break from your caring?
Keep our pecker up. Let us know how you get on.:)
 
Ludo

Ludo

New member
Founding Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2007
Messages
2
Thanks Everyone

Sorry that it's been ages getting back on the forum, you know how it is.

Thanks for all the kind words and helpful advice which ranged from sympathy through to practical advice. I appreciate the fact that you all made time to reply. That in itself is heartening, but some of the advice offered has proven to be enormously helpful. Thank you all (y)

When I posted last, I was probably coming to the end of my tether. Not just with the caring responsibilities, but with other family stuff and work. I felt that I wasn't being particularly well supported by my family, mostly because my Brother lives too far away to help with Mum (she's not who we care for primarily but she has begun the long decline ...). I feel a little more in control of things now which always makes me feel more resilliant to outside stressors.

We have actually got a weeks respite organised which will give us all a much needed break. Our man won't like it, but I do know that he will be looked after and we really do need the time off.

Thanks again for all your kind words and helpful suggestions. I hope to be able to do the same for other folks here in the future.
 
M

maudikie

Guest
Ludo

Good for you. Enjoy your break. See you on your return.:clap:



(Quote) Never trouble trouble till trouble troubles you!)
 
D

Dollit

Guest
Ludo I'm so glad you've got some respite organized. Sorry to hear about your mum - you know you've always got a safe place to come to at the forum. :hug:
 
D

Dollit

Guest
Thanks for the link to that story Maudikie but that's cutting edge science and until it's distilled I don't think I'd like to make a comment. A lot of stuff that is published is so leading edge even those in the medical profession tend to leave it to one side until something more readable is published. :)
 
M

maudikie

Guest
Dollit

I agree that it takes time for new and satifactory things to filter through. The Government has neither the time nor ability to deal with mental illness! the carers and caring professions all have a hard deal.
Carers U.K. web page could be helpful to some, and I understand that the mentally ill are now to be included with the disabled. As they should be.
I get mental health news from the U.S. and they appear to be closing all their M.H. accommodation. With all the fighting that's going on World wide one begins to wonder if anyone is sane!! Especially now the Buddhists are getting involved.
It's a question of living a day at a time, taking it on the chin, and trying to keep a sense of humour, which I think is the best medicine.

:tea::tea::tea:
 
D

Dollit

Guest
Maudikie you do realise that the Tibetan Buddhist monks are making a legitimate protest about what's being done to them? But the go back to my original point - by cutting edge science if it's a new discovery it will take time to ascertain if it has any validity. Just because something is reported as science doesn't make it science.
 
M

maudikie

Guest
dollit

I am aware of the scientific nature of the information, and that it takes time to be proved. I am also aware that the Tibetan Monks are defending their rights. I had always believed that Buddhism was very much against violence, but am also aware that violence begets violence largely as a means of self defence.
 
D

Dollit

Guest
I can't get into a debate about the psychology of violence Maudie - I haven't the energy and this particular violence is also political and I don't want to debate politics on a mental health forum especially in a section for carers and families.
 
M

maudikie

Guest
Dollit.

Fine - O.K. by me. Hopeyou are o.K. Goodnight, and sleep well.
 
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