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Author Topic: Managing Depression while caring for someone  (Read 2007 times)

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Offline Azrael2012

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Managing Depression while caring for someone
« on: April 06, 2018, 02:20:02 pm »
Hi All,
This might be in the wrong section (so to the Admins, feel free to move it)
I'm currently caring full time for my elderly mother who's got vascular dementia and severe general anxiety disorder. Ive been poz almost 10yrs now and while UD and CD4 is in the 700s I do at times feel like giving up. I love my mother dearly but her behaviour is worsening and is having a major impact on my own health. I've also got Epilepsy and have daily petit mal seizures that leave me wiped out. She's got a full POC with carers attending 4x daily and those ten mins don't always give me a break.
I've recently switched Meds from Atripla to Efavirenz and Descovy.
I'm writing to basically vent a little bit about how my mums health has had a negative impact on my own health. She's fully aware of my health issues, but I feel has become ignorant to them and self focused on her own. That might sound harsh but it's how I feel and my head is fried. It's caused my Depression to raise its ugly head again and I feel like just stepping off and giving up. I'm wondering if anyone else is in a similar situation for caring for an elderly parent while managing their own hiv health.

Offline PittGurl

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Re: Managing Depression while caring for someone
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2018, 07:04:15 pm »
i can almost fully understand....my father was DX with ALS at almost the same time I was dx with HIV about 2.5 years ago. It was a battle that we were both fighting....sadly he lost his 12/18/18 just a few short months ago. It was very hard watching his death although it was everything he wanted, to be at home and comfortable - cared by family and surrounded by love. It definitely played a HUGE toll on my own health as i loved my dad so very much and wished it was me in his place. I dont have any words of wisdom but i do send you many many hugs and a shoulder to rest your weariness on for just a brief virtual moment. :(
Infected between 5/16/15 - 7/19/15
8-2-15    CD4=286; VL=43800; 15% WB Positive Test Confirmed (waiting for genotype to start Triumeq)
9-4-15    Started Triumeq thanks to the people on this board encouraging me :)
9-21-15    CD4=570; VL 26; 30% 16 days on Triumeq…. HOLY COW it's working!
10-27-15   CD4=522; VL=UNDETECTABLE!!!; 29%    7 wks, 4 days on Triumeq
1-28-16    CD4=479; VL=UD; 31% almost 5 months on Triumeq
4-27-16    CD4=580; VL=UD; 32% almost 8 months on Triumeq
7-28-16    CD4=991; VL=UD; 38% almost 1 year on Triumeq
8-3-16    ONE YEAR DX
10-27-16    CD4=765; VL=UD; 39%
3-8-17   CD4=709; VL=27; 39%
7-13-17   CD4=942; VL=UD; 41%
10/12/17   CD4=626; VL=UD; 39%
1/21/18    CD4=650; VL=UD; 40%
4/26/2018   CD4=893; VL=UD; 39%
8/9/2018   CD4=858; VL=UD; 41%
12/27/'18   CD4=841; VL=UD; 41%

Offline Azrael2012

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Re: Managing Depression while caring for someone
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2018, 08:17:55 pm »
Thank you so much for replying, and for your words and shoulder. I greatly appreciate it and I'm sorry for the loss of your father. It is very tiring to always be the carer and not have proper respite. It's like your head is disconnected from your body and constantly switched on. I guess that's the hardest part on my body as I don't want to  appear weak and I get frustrated at the lack of additional care I receive for my own mental health. It's not the same for those who don't know what it's like to care for a parent and be ill themselves. It does take its toll. Thank you again for replying and keep in touch. Sending Much love back to you for your kind words. Xxx

Offline mecch

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Re: Managing Depression while caring for someone
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2018, 03:14:16 pm »
I am sorry to hear. It's such a trying situation. You fought a decade to keep your health and I encourage you to not to self-harm because of this.  Is she terminally ill? What is the prognosis for coming months, years?  You will have to find a fix if this is going to continue quite some time.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline MarkintheDark

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Re: Managing Depression while caring for someone
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2018, 10:41:16 pm »
I'm late to the party, so to speak, but your situation's similar to mine.  I understand the stress you're under.  I'm poz 25 years (UD/200s) and a number of health issues, a heart attack among them, have reared their ugly heads in the past five as a result of my longevity.  Mom's in her late 80s and is Stage 4/5.  She manages, but I've had to untangle her finances - she didn't even have a DPOA - and I'm now accompanying her to doctor's appointments b/c she's never been able to be honest about what's really going on with her.  She has untreated clinical depression/co-dependency.

I'm lucky she does not live with me.  That would almost certainly put me over the edge.  She has support in her church and a surrogate son there, if you will, who's as firm with her as I am.

So when you say you're wiped, I know exactly what you mean.  I go through the same rollercoaster daily.  If no one's said it, I'm glad you vented.

You're health comes first.  Honestly, do whatever you need to do.  For me, that's meant keeping Mom at arm's length when I'm not up to dealing with her.  She knows me well enough to realize when I'm going downhill I need to stop...and that she won't be a priority.  I can't say how your mom would respond.

A couple of resources I've found helpful.  One is ALZConnected.org.  Another, for the depression, is DepressionForums.org.  Both have formats similar to POZ.
HIV dx - 02/93
AIDS dx - 07/01
Rilpivirine/Cabotegravir guinea pig since 01/17


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