Inspired Momx1

Monday, September 28, 2009

I Am Depressed

I think I already have most of the signs and symptoms of depression:

  • I sleep too much, I feel fatigue and physically drained
  • I feel hopeless and helpless
  • I can't control my negative thoughts, no matter how hard I try
  • I lose weight
  • I am short tempered than before
  • I have problems focusing
  • I can be very mean at times but I can't help it
I get very depressed everytime mom complains of any side effects induced by chemotherapy drugs, no matter how mild it is. It may sound exaggerating but being a perfectionist that I am, I will blame myself for not doing enough and for the fact the I was the only one among four siblings that had wanted mom to proceed with the chemotherapy. I feel very much ALONE when things don't turn out the way they should. When I tried to share my feelings of anxiety and frustation with them hoping to get some sort of mental strength to get me moving, they thought I was just trying to shed "my" responsibility.
My siblings felt that mom would be better treating naturally with herbs and foods than having to endure the pain from the side effects induced by chemo drugs, which I strongly objected. I have always been the only outspoken one in the family but now I hate myself for objecting to them. Wouldn't it be good if I had had my mouth shut at that time and just follow the crowd? Why must I put myself in such a situation?
Life has to go on. Having wasted two weeks making my own life more miserable, I have finally decided to come out from the nutshell and these are what I found and I hope I could stick to the tips for self help.
The signs of burnout can present themselves in many ways, such as:

  • Changes in Sleep Pattern
    Sleeping too often, too little, or experiencing interrupted sleep can often signal caregiver stress or burnout.

  • Changes in Appetite Take notice of any change of appetite, such as eating more or less. This can result in weight loss and weight gain. Eating healthy can provide the much-needed energy to provide quality care.

  • Exhaustion Feeling fatigued is often one of first burnout symptoms people experience. If exhaustion prevents you from completing basic daily activities or is persistent, see your doctor.

  • Withdrawing from Friends and Family Caregivers suffering from burnout often withdraw from friends, family, and social activities. This may be due to feeling tired, experiencing guilt about being away from the patient, social anxiety or other reasons.

  • Feeling Overly Emotional Crying at the drop of a hat or feeling angry for no reason are important signs of burnout. Displaced anger can often occur during burnout.
Nipping burnout in the bud benefits both you, the caretaker, and the person you care for. You'll feel better, and thus be able to have more energy and ability to provide for the individual in need.

  • Take Care of Yourself You cannot possibly begin to care for another if you aren't taking the time to care for yourself. Keep up with your regular doctor's appointments, exercise, and a healthy diet.

  • Take Breaks Make time for yourself to relax and rejuvenate. Regularly schedule trusted friends, family, or a home health aide to relieve you of caregiving duties for a period of time each day. Many caregivers feel guilt about leaving the bedside, but it's also good for the patient. Seeing a new face and knowing the primary caregiver is getting relief can uplift morale. The patient may feel like less of a burden if the caregiving is shared.

  • Delegate Tasks to Family and Friends You will find friends and family are more than happy to help in time of need. You just need to ask. Things like cooking meals, running errands or cleaning can all be delegated to friends and family. Having someone else pitch in and help you with these tasks will leave you with time to concentrate on providing care for your loved one.

  • Educate Yourself about the Disease The more you know, the better you'll know what to expect. Ask doctors and nurses about your loved one's condition and what you as a caregiver need to know. The Internet is also a very good way to learn more about your loved one's disease. The American Cancer Society and National Cancer Institute are excellent places to start. As you research, write any questions or comments you may have for the doctor and take them to the next appointment.

  • Get organized Many caregivers also are responsible for maintaining medical records, insurance claims, and finances, not to mention medication and eating schedules. The key to success here is organization. Keep medical records neat and accessible by storing them in a large file, organized by date. Medicine schedules can be created with a spreadsheet, then printed out daily or weekly. As each dose is given, you can check it on the sheet with the time. The same can be done for eating schedules.

  • Join a Caregiver Support Group Whether it be online or through the hospital, a caregiver support group is an excellent way to meet others going through the same thing as you. It really does help to have someone who can provide you with tips or can identify with daily caregiving life. Most hospitals have a caregiver support group. Check with the hospital administration or social worker.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous mott said...

WOW..you're truly a strong person. Indeed it is difficult to be a carer, what not, a full time carer and WAHM!

I can't relate 100%, but I've been there, caring for my granma. It was super duper tough. It's all easy to talk, but in real life, it's hard to give, give, give. You'll always want your 'me' time.

But... I think, in this journey, you'll prob find, you'll learn much about yourself.. and at the end of the journey, well, you won't regret it.

I enjoyed reading ur blog..and have subscribed to it. So, pls don't stop. :)

October 2, 2009 at 7:37 PM  
Blogger Inspired Momx1 said...

Hi, Mott: Thanks for dropping by and subscribing to my blog. My blog is my little place where I can let out my frustrations and thoughts.

I know I have to soldier on despite difficulties.

I only hope that my mom would be able to sail through the whole journey of chemotherapy without having any major problems. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

October 4, 2009 at 12:37 AM  

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