View Poll Results:

20. You may not vote on this poll
  • 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

  1. #21
    Senior Member martha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Texas hallelujah!

    RJ & Amber

    Guys, sounds like you two need to sit down and talk. RJ, with everything you can apparently do, why can't you get your own ice cream at 2a.m. and empty your own urinal? Amber, why is RJ supporting your boyfriend? I don't really want to know the answers, but sounds like a little more is below the surface in this situation than meets the eye. Could it be that other resentments are finding their way into the brother/sister loved-one/caregiver relationship besides just the obvious problems of being SCI and of being a caregiver? Just a thought. Flame suit donned, so fire away at will.


  2. #22
    Senior Member BJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Denver, CO USA

    Caregiver Depression

    Ok - this forum is designed to support the caregiver. Lets try and keep this part on track. RJ - all of us have no real concept what our loved ones go through, we have an idea of how we would feel but thats all.

    We as caregiver need to have a place where we can discuss all the things we feel we can't or choose not to discuss with our loved ones.

    Just as you and our loved ones get frustrated so do we.

  3. #23
    Senior Member KDK513's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

    Understanding Depression

    Actual clinical depression is not something you chose to have. It happens. You can't snap out of it, you can't wish it away, you must treat it like any other illness, utilizing all the medical resources available.

    All our experiences are unique, regardless whether we are the injured or the caregiver. We cannot compare our pain, our sadness, it is not a competion, mine is not greater or less than yours. None of us should ever minimize the impact this has had in our lives. We face enough challenges without trying to determine who has it worse. We all have pain, it's ours, no can can take it away. If I wish to wallow in it for awhile, my choice; if I wish to ignore it, my choice, and if I am fortunate to find someone to share it with then I am blessed because noone should manage this alone. We have all suffered tremendous loss and continue the daily struggle to accept this new life. I don't think we will ever cease mourning; however, we all try mightily to overcome our sadness. With love and support we all may find joy and happiness in our lives. We simply have to look for it in different places and in other ways. Kathy

  4. #24
    I, for one, think caregivers are amazing people. I think that men and women handle the job and its conotations differently through. I've met a lot of families with SCI, TM , MS and lupus now. One male caregiver and I had a nice talk about depression among the men. This is one of the few times we both agreed that it is probably safe for the person with the injury or illness to call the caregiver's doctor and ask that during their next trip in that the doc should do a not too shrink like evaluation for depression. If a male caregiver glosses over this when the subject comes up at home a few probing questions from their own doctor can have beneficial results.

    I think women are more willing to seek their own help but if not I would do the same for them. If caregivers rarely see doctors maybe try to convince them to attend one of the many free screenings held each year on Depression Awareness Day (sorry, don't have the date handy).

    And yea, my life in a chair sucks. But caregivers have it just as rotten in other ways. And caring for someone with no short term memory is propably qualification for sainthood. Would be in my book. :-)

    And for the sister...slap that bro up side the head one day and say "listen up! I want some respect for what I do. I could be making a decent salary with a 2 year RN degree in many states and that's not a lot harder than what I do now for you. Actually I'd get time off and holidays. I do what I do cause you're family and I love you. But you start figuring out how you can help by checking out online bill paying, or maybe call the insurance company and find out if they have forms on their website so you can do that paperwork. And next time my birthday rolls around I better get flowers!" Brothers and sisters do have a different relationship and it may take time but I bet you both can benefit from it later.
    Thanks to all of you for what you do.

    Sue P.

  5. #25
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    bayvill nj usa

    caretaker burn out

    dear rj,
    how fortunate for your sister, her boyfriend and her children that you have the resourses to support them.
    but more important, how lucky for you that you have the resourses to do so. i can not think of any better care taker than ones own family. who would care with love and compassion as only a family member would. as you have read on the forum, good help is hard to find.after sci moves into our lives,none of us are the same. the injury goes much deeper than not being able to walk,asyou already know. lives are shredded, dreams are shadered and a black cloud seems to hang day after day after day. but the sun still rises and sets,much to our dismay,and life must go on.why me? why my child? my husband my mother or father sister or brother? there is no answer to this question.all we can do is take this on one day at a time and hope tomorrow will bring a little more light back into our lives.
    find new goals,dreams with new born vision.with the help of family and friends around us,we can accomplish anything we set our minds to do.look at what we have already done.
    do not give up hope, there is life worth living with sci. it is not the same life,but you and only you can make it worth have been given a second chance, you did not ask for it, you may not even want it, but it has been given to you. make it count for something.tired of sitting down? then do not take this sitting down. get rolling and make a diffrence in the world.enough thunder,where is the lightning?
    be patient with your family, their world has been rocked too.try to be patient with them,it is hard to watch someone you love in constant pain, physical and emotional day after day. remember they love you and it is painful for them to not be able to make it all better.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    New Jersey


    Now see guys.........
    Thats support, not complaining
    This is what a support system should
    hold SUPPORT.
    Poor Stick, I bet it does really "effing"
    STINK having all the weight bear down on you like that. Like you said all SCI's are totally different, why compare apple to oranges ?? I salute you, if only had such devoted parents I would be home now. It sure does seem crazy that how with all that 24/7 care your guy ended up with a bed sore. OUCH
    I myself also am host to a bed sore, I guess they
    should have rolled me more when I lay there in a coma for 2 months, WHO IS TO SAY?? You are all awesome people for
    being there for us in our time of need. Your devotion and determination do not go unnoticed at all. I personally would like to Thank You all
    your bouts with depression really really stinks.
    I can say I wish I could take just one of your
    depressions away .. I would!! I can just add it to mine (I take enough antidepressants for 2 people)
    Its Great to see you all Stand Tall for Us. I knew u guys were not really complaining, but u have to admit it really was starting to sound kind of depressing in here just perusing through your posts .. THANK ALL OF YOU GUYS, YOU ARE TO BE THANKED.........

  7. #27
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Boston, MA USA

    Caregiver Depression

    I just finished reading most of the posts under this topic and it scares me. I'm extremely depressed and feeling totally burnt out and I'm not home yet. The past 6 months, I've used so much energy trying to make sure each discipline in a non-sci facility is doing all that they can for my husband C3 vent patient. I've exhausted so much energy keeping notes, writing letters, meeting with staff/CEO's and researching sci health and homegoing resources. I'm trying to get him moved into a sci program, but I've run into brick walls because he's 6 months post and considered a chronic vent patient. I don't know what else to do and I have no help, it's just me. I've been so involved with trying to monitor his care and researching things, I haven't even had an opportunity to greive and deal with my own emotional being. I'm thinking home will be so much better than dealing with this facility but reading these posts it sounds like it will be an ongoing nightmare. If we don't get the proper education before we go home, how will we manage mentally at home. Any one out there with any suggestions for getting him moved.

  8. #28
    Hi, Mccc2,

    Re getting your husband into an SCI rehab - I would talk to someone in admissions at SCI rehab facilities in Boston - explain your situation, that not only is your husband not getting the rehab he needs for his SCI, but you're not getting the family education YOU need to be able to care for him at home. If you have the insurance and/or state/fed financial resources, I can't see that they would turn you down, even if he is a 'chronic' vent person. Rehab facilities are money driven, just as everything in our society today, and no one's going to turn down $$$!. Be dogged, be firm. What specialty is your husband's doctor? If he's not a physiatrist, ask for a consult from a physiatrist who specializes in SCI. Post your question re getting into an SCI rehab to the Spinal Cord Nurses on the Care forum; they work at rehab centers, and may have some good suggestions.

    And for YOU - it's hard to say, don't get overwhelmed - I know, I've been there. The only way I got through everything was just to follow the old AA adage 'One day at a time'; I could only deal with what was in front of my face at that particular moment in time; every time I tried to look down the road, I got so overwhelmed I couldn't function. I think every caregiver gets scared at the thought of their family member coming home - all of a sudden, there's no immediate nursing/medical support, it's just you. Find a good visiting nurse service, and use them. My son had weekly nursing visits when he came home, and the nurse was able to help us a lot with getting things set up.

    My grief issues didn't come up until my son was home with us for over a year, and we finally got some good, competent aide help at home. Only then was I able to relax enough to have it all hit me in the face. RIght now, you're functioning in that 'fight or flight' mode, all your energy is focused on the things that need to be done RIGHT NOW, and your emotions are on hold; just recognize that, and don't bury your emotions, but put them in a safe place in your heart to deal with when you can focus on them, rather than trying to deal with them while telling a contractor how wide to make the doors!

    And lastly, know that you have the total support of everyone here; I know a little piece of my heart thinks of you and wishes you well, and is there to offer a shoulder whenever you need one. I wish you a holiday season in which you can find a little bit of peace and contentment. God bless us, every one. Jackie

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