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  • I have not had significant depression that required clinical attention or therapy at any time.

    9 45.00%
  • I had depression that required clinical attention during the first year after injury.

    4 20.00%
  • I had occasional bouts of mild or moderate depression requiring medical attention after the first year.

    1 5.00%
  • I have had repeated bouts of mild or moderate depression requiring medical attention during and after the first year.

    4 20.00%
  • I have had repeated bouts of severe depression associated with suicide attempts and clinical intervention.

    2 10.00%
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Thread: Caregiver depression

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  1. #1

    Caregiver depression

    Marmalady recently asked whether a particular poll was concerned with caregiver depression. I thought that this was a great idea. So, here is a poll for caregiver depression. Again, it is important that we distinguish between the ups and downs of daily life, feeling sad and depressed occasionally because of the circumstances versus feeling depressed and requiring medical attention or medication.

  2. #2

    re caregiver poll

    Wise,

    Boy, is my face red! I had intended to post a poll re caregivers, but my office was being painted and I haven't had access to my computer for a few days; thanks for doing my job for me!

  3. #3
    no matter. I thought that you might have been busy. Wise.

  4. #4
    Senior Member BJ's Avatar
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    Depression

    Since none of the answers fit me, I'll answer and put my name to it. After 7 years of marriage, had one episode of something. Was not called depression but stress. Had a job that I was working 60+ hrs a week, my mom had to have surgury and the weather wouldn't let us get back to MN, my uncle passed away, hubby's uncle was diagnosed with colon cancer and then hubby broke his finger. During his re-eval they said it was osteoprosis (sp). When they said that I just started crying, his sci doc packed me off to the psych doc within 5 minutes. Spent a couple of hours for the next 2 days talking to him. No meds just some words of wisdom and haven't had anything like that again.

  5. #5

    TAG

    I think the diagnosis is called "Being Human"

  6. #6
    Tag,

    It would be great if others would add their descriptions. Depression means many things to many people and I am thinking that it would be best if, through such discussion, we could create a scale that would fit more people and get a better picture of both the stresses and problems that caregivers get. I was speaking with a friend and she was telling me how many caregivers may be suffering from depression and do not recognize it or may not admit it, even to himself or herself. Depression in caretakers is not often recognized. I think that it is important to be define the situation and that it be done not from a medical point of view but from a human point of view.

    Wise.

  7. #7
    Senior Member KDK513's Avatar
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    The most difficult part was admitting to myself that that I was facing a problem with my ability to cope. Though I welcome the support of friends and family there is a limit to what they can provide. Ultimately all decisions concerning my husbands care and rehabilitation were mine to make. He was relying upon me for most everything which was a big change in our relationship. You add responsibility for managing a household with children and aging parents, a job and so on. It's no wonder we sometimes feel like the walking wounded.

    I have had to deal with anxiety, rather than what I would describe as depression. Eleven months post I finally saw my own Doctor who prescribed Zoloft which I still take. I wonder how much longer I will need to take this. That is a concern I have. It has helped tremendously and I no longer fly off the handle over minor things, you know the normal everyday things that may irritate you but should't result in blowing a gasket. It helps to focus on getting through today and not worry about tomorrow. I would add anxiety to the poll. Kathy

  8. #8

    Stress vs depression

    I think I've had both; the stress certainly came immediately, with living in a motel the first month after Matt's accident, and dealing with the trauma, etc, trying to deal with insurance companies, close his bank accounts, get him admitted to Kessler here in NJ, then six months of rehab at Kessler and getting renovations done to our home, dealing with SSI and Medicaid both in S.C. and N.J.. When I look back on all that, I think my adrenal system just took over, and although I was exhausted and certainly stressed out, I was running on that adrenaline that comes with any acute event.

    After Matt came home, the first year was still fraught with stress - not finding a competent aide, more insurance and medical problems, etc., getting up with Matt for turns and meds at night, so I was still running at max overdrive.

    It wasn't until after we had found a good aide, and Matt was assuming more responsibility for his health/life, that I finally was able to - sort of- slow down, and that's when the depression hit. I 'crashed and burned' in January of this year, a little over two years post-accident. My feelings are hard to describe - the pain of seeing my son taking a half hour to dress - the knowledge that I couldn't go back to the life I had pre-accident - it all just caught up with me. I also think part of the 'depression' was finally the grieving cycle catching up with me.

    Went to a psychologist - who told me in the first half-hour basically to quit whining, that lots of people had it worse off than me- i.e., Matt could do lots more than Chris Reeve, and look at that senator who's in a wheelchair and says he doesn't miss his life pre-chair! Needless to say, I got up and walked out.

    Spent a few more months trying to reassemble my life as it was before, and felt like I was fighting against the tide, so to speak; then, read a book about a Zen student and his experiences in the monastery where he was the main chef; after months of trying to cook everything perfectly to please his master, and the other students, he was totally frazzled; he talked with his Zen master, who told him, 'just wash the rice - when you are washing the rice, just - wash - the -rice'. When i read that, it totally sunk in how I had been trying to reconstruct things as they were, not as they are.

    So now I'm just 'washing the rice' of my life, and am at peace for the first time in three years.

  9. #9
    Senior Member martha's Avatar
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    Amazed

    The most amazing part of this poll is that 2 of 7 respondents have not suffered depression. How is that possible? Could they please share their experience so that I can figure out what the devil is wrong with me that others can handle this "sanely" while I often feel I'm slipping over the edge into the black hole.

    martha

  10. #10
    Senior Member BJ's Avatar
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    Depression/Stress

    After reading some of the postings since I put mine in. And right now going through hubby's 28 year re-eval. I thought I would add to it. Since we're back at Craig - I bumped in to the psych doc I saw all those years ago. He asked for a bit of time. Did a follow up on me and we ended up discussing all of this. The biggest help I got out of those few hours I spent with him was when he mentioned -- of all the things you have to worry about or at least have in your brain -- what can you remove to someone else - husband, kids, aides, hire someone -- do it. Can you losing sleep over it change anything? No. Can you spending hours worrying about "what if" change the ultimate outcome? No. Will the world come to an end if x doesn't get done? No. So ever since then hubby's list of things to address got longer, If I can't change it I refuse to worry about it. Mom & Dad although they are in their 80's are adults and managed to raise me just fine, they can and are capeable of making their own decisions and they will let me know if they need help. If it is mechanical or electrical and hubby can't fix it he will arrange for some one to come in. What if will just have to take care of it's self. What ever is going to happen in the what if department is going to have to happen without me worrying about it.

    I realize it all sound rather simplistic but those words really helped me. The problems and stress are still there but I can't make it go away or change it so I just deal with each day and somehow tomorrow will be better. If the dishes are'nt done, the floor vacummed so what. Now I take 2 hours each day just for me. I might be reading in bed or watching TV, but for that time my world stops. Hubby is on his own, and we both feel better for it.

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