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 "11 Ways to Stop Caregiver-Related Depression" 
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:46 pm
Posts: 610
Post Re: "11 Ways to Stop Caregiver-Related Depression"
We all have different burdens but we all suffer just as much. I just meant that what a lot of you take on to care for your LOs at home is truly amazing. On top of the emotional toll, you manage all the physical care, the sleepless nights, etc. Really, I am in awe of that.

Julianne


Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:15 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 am
Posts: 969
Location: Ocala, FL
Post Re: "11 Ways to Stop Caregiver-Related Depression"
Exactly, Julianne.... Thanks for the nice things you said. It helps to be appreciated.

Words are a difficult way to communicate. Another way to say what I was trying to say might be the old fashioned idea of 'earning stars in your crown.' There won't be any more 'stars' in mine just because I am doing it around the clock. That's for sure.

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Leone Carroll (75); wife of Dale (75) who passed away March 23, 2011


Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:28 pm
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:46 pm
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Post Re: "11 Ways to Stop Caregiver-Related Depression"
I think at the end of the day we will all know that we did everything we could when we had the chance, and that will make all the difference.

Julianne


Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:59 pm
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Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:23 am
Posts: 4
Post Re: "11 Ways to Stop Caregiver-Related Depression"
Julianne wrote:
I think the fluctuations are one of the hardest things about the disease. Upswings can create false hope and downswings are so discouraging. Actually, my mother is currently in a moderate upswing as far as her ability to speak and understand. I should find a way to enjoy it while it lasts but instead I am just holding my breath for what comes next.

Julianne


Hello, I'm new. I am totally feeling relating to the feelings about the fluctuations and the emotional roller coaster. Yesterday afternoon, my stepmom (diagnosed in January) seemed so much her old self. It was so awesome. Except for her crying about what was going on with her that she didn't understand. It was so nice. Then today, while my husband and I were out today she left 2 msgs on the phone that she wanted to know where I was, that she was ready to go home. I'm sure this emotional roller coaster continues for some time. I'm also continually seconding guessing everything. Where she is, did we put her there too soon, am I not being aggressive enough about her medical care, am I being too aggressive. Do you all have these feelings too? After yesterday I felt bad that we hurried her to the ALF, but today I know it was right. I just have such a hard time not obsessing about it all. I can't imagine how you caregivers with their LO at home handle it all. Blessings to you! I think I would be going crazy. It just messes with my head trying to figure out how to handle what she says when she's delusional. All of her delusions are about dead relatives.


Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:00 am
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: "11 Ways to Stop Caregiver-Related Depression"
Julianne and Minabird, try to savor those times when your LO is more like her old self, more coherent, more comprehending. These times are a gift. Try not to get your hopes up about how long they will last, just accept the gift one hour at a time.

I think the fluctuations are very stressful for the LO, too. They can comprehend how much they have lost. If it pains us to realize their loss (and it certainly does) how much more deeply must it pain them? I don't think we can talk them out of this pain. Maybe all we can to is acknowledge it and share it and comfort them.

Enjoy the moments when they are lucid and not in emotional pain. Try to let your own apprehensions go for that brief gap in the confused turmoil. You deserve it, and they do too.

You know, when Coy was crying out in a lucid moment, "It's not fair! It's not fair. All my brothers and my father and even my sisters got to die of heart attacks. Why do I have to face this horrible decline? Did I take such good care of myself only to end like this?" I don't think the depression I felt could be stopped by knitting a blanket. I don't believe that this article was written by someone who knows what it is like in the trenches. I don't think it shows much respect for the stress we are under.

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Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:07 am
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: "11 Ways to Stop Caregiver-Related Depression"
You are right, Jeanne. It was not compiled by Lewy folk.

_________________
Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:30 am
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: "11 Ways to Stop Caregiver-Related Depression"
Why don't some of you get together as LBD caregivers and write your own list of how to stop LBD caregiver-related depression? Perhaps you can work on it collaboratively in a new thread or via email?


Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:36 am
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 am
Posts: 969
Location: Ocala, FL
Post Re: "11 Ways to Stop Caregiver-Related Depression"
The key word here, Robin, is 'Stop.' I personally don't think anything will stop the caregiver-related depression I have until my job is finished. It goes with the territory. We may find ways to avoid thinking about it for a while... but the agony of the situation will not stop.

My husband is terminally ill. I don't know how you can get around being depressed about that.

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Leone Carroll (75); wife of Dale (75) who passed away March 23, 2011


Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:45 am
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: "11 Ways to Stop Caregiver-Related Depression"
Holy cow, how can we see the ones we love more than anything in the world so miserable, so tortured, deteriorating and totally without hope and NOT BE DEPRESSED??!!

_________________
Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:59 am
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3359
Location: Vermont
Post Re: "11 Ways to Stop Caregiver-Related Depression"
I too was astounded at #6 - keep busy!!! All the hobbies I had that helped me relax and enjoy life came almost to a grinding halt when my dad became so ill. I was so busy I felt like I needed to clone myself. Guess what had to stop - the very things that helped me stay sane.
However, I have known people who became depressed and kind of dropped out of life - they'd sleep all day because their depression zapped their energy to the point they could barely get out of bed. So for those folks, directing some of their energy towards a rewarding hobby might be a good idea.
On the other hand, how many CGs do you know, including yourself, have any extra time for anything? No matter how de-energized, depressed, angry, frustrated, or whatever, we all have to keep going and it's the hobbies, exercise, going out with friends, etc. that usually suffers because
WE ARE ALREADY TOO BUSY!
I do think there are some good points made in the article.
Now that our journey is over, I can finally feel like I don't have to be "on" all the time. This is the first vacation I've had in years where I don't spend a large amount of time daily either calling my dad, checking in with medical personnel, ALF workers, family members, etc. about his health and safety. I don't have to worry about being somewhere with no cell phone coverage, finding pay phones, getting an internet connection while out in the boonies. I have to remind myself I don't have to constantly check maps to see where the nearest airport is in case I need to return quickly. I am finally starting to relax and NOT be busy for the first time in my life! I've been able to get off the heart meds and hopefully soon the anti-depressants. Won't THAT be nice!
And for everyone who's not busy, go knit a very long scarf tonight! (I loved that story!!!) :lol: Lynn

_________________
Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Sun Feb 27, 2011 2:04 am
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: "11 Ways to Stop Caregiver-Related Depression"
Robin, I think that would be a very short list. The way to stop caregiver depression is to stop being a caregiver.

There might be some tips we could share about coping with depression, about hanging on until the job is over, about how to get prepared for the work ahead when we are no longer caregivers, but stopping it? I don't think so. (And don't we do these things in our day-to-day posts?)

I am doing one of the items in the list. I am getting professional help. I told my therapist about this article and she just shook her head. Her guess was that it wasn't written by someone with actual experience. Leone and Pat, she shared your conclusion. She told me that the only thing that would stop my depression is for my husband to be cured, and that she cannot address that. She can try to help me deal with depression in constructive ways, but she does not claim to be able to stop it. Because, for someone watching a loved one live out a miserable terminal disease, depression IS par for the course.

To me, the false cheer in the lead to this article -- that is doesn't have to be this way -- smacks of blaming the victim. Gee, caregivers, if you'd only do the right things you can avoid depression. Yeah, well, I'll add that to my to-do list.

_________________
Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Sun Feb 27, 2011 2:49 am
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: "11 Ways to Stop Caregiver-Related Depression"
OK, then write a list that is LBD specific as to how to cope with caregiver-related depression! Rather than picking apart someone else's list, create your own!


Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:24 am
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: "11 Ways to Stop Caregiver-Related Depression"
About #6, did anyone read beyond "Stay busy"? I think "Stay busy" is not a good summary of what #6 is all about:

"An inability to get through daily tasks can be a crippling symptom of depression. Feeling unable to make a decision or take a needed action can immobilize a caregiver. To overcome immobility, set realistic goals in light of the depression and assume a reasonable amount of responsibility. Break large tasks into small ones, set some priorities, and do what you can as you can."

The description is quite reasonable.


Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:26 am
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: "11 Ways to Stop Caregiver-Related Depression"
Yes, Robin. I read every word of the article. Are you implying that anyone who didn't agree with it must not have read it all?

I have had that immobilizing depression mentioned in #6, years ago, and not as a caregiver. Telling someone in this state to "stay busy" and break large tasks into small ones is kind of like telling someone to just snap out of it. Someone in this state needs a lot more than advice to set reasonable goals. Getting out of depression that severe is not a do-it-yourself project. Implying that it should be is counterproductive, in my opinion.

Robin, I really appreciate all you do to bring articles and research to our attention. It is a fine service you provide and we are lucky to have you. This one has stimulated a lot of discussion. I'd say that it served a useful purpose.

I am a caregiver. I have been treated for depression more than once in my life. I read the entire article. I looked up the supplements mentioned. I feel qualified and entitled to express my opinion about the article, and I don't need to make my own list to justify that exercise. If other people find the article useful, they are certainly entitled to express their opinions, too.

_________________
Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:04 am
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:55 pm
Posts: 355
Post Re: "11 Ways to Stop Caregiver-Related Depression"
[color=#4080FF]Julianne, Will you stop - you are not a whiner - this is such a difficult job, and just watching our LOs going downhill mentally and physically takes its toll on us all. My husband has often said to me that even though he works long, difficult hours, and is always exhausted, he would prefer his job any day of the week because he can come home and forget about it, but I can never stop worrying, or waiting for the phone to ring. I am sure you are the very same. It is so emotionally and physically draining, so never feel you are not worthy of praise for all you do. Keep up the good work, and be proud of all you do. We all know how difficult this journey is, and we are entitled to moan now and again - thats what we are here for. Never, ever underestimate what you do for your LO. xx

It is a thankless job and there are no prizes for the caregiver who is suffering the most. We are all hurting!

I hope nobody took offence by what I said. I certainly didn't mean to imply that one carer is any better than another.

_________________
cared for Dad who passed away on January 28th 2013 R.I.P.


Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:46 am
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