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If your depression/anxiety is due to long-term circumstance what can you do?(16 Posts)
Forgive yourself for finding a tough situation tough.
Having a child with additional needs is exhausting. The responsibility and complexity of guilt that goes with it is also overwhelming. Add a sibling or two into the mix and there are more layers of guilt and inadequacy in ability to feel its possible to provide for all.
Do you get any local council family support? We've just been awarded some respite support for our family. Eldest DS will get four hours supervised activities a fourtnight so i can do an activity with middle DS who is suffering with a dominant high needs brother. I have a younger DD too but she gets time in the week.
Allocation is on a family needs basis and you do sound exhausted.
Sometimes asking for help is the best way to fix a situation. Its not admiting failure, you've not failed, its saying hay society i contribute but right now my family could do with a little back to enable us to carry on contributing.
Have you tried any carers groups? I ocassionally go to one held at a playbarn so children can play (trained special needs helpers are there to enable play) whilst I get a break and laugh about the rediculous little daily things that maybe others who aren't carers just wouldn't relate too.
I'm looking at getting DS2 into a siblings group too. Allow him to let off a little steam, he's really good but he must feel some resentment sometimes. Its hard for him to have friends home, hard to go out, hard to get to parties, he's moved area to get education for his brother - leaving friends behind.
Medication can help, that's why so many people swear by it. You need to chat to your GP about it.
Antidepressants work really well for some people. Only you can decide whats right for you and your set up. A GP visit does sound like a good idea but there are various things you could talk through as well as antidepressants like a sick note.
Another completely off the wall suggestion is a prescription to a slimming club. I've just done slimming world, lost about 5 stone. Many, many carers have weight issues. A combination of being house restricted and using food as a comfort deffinately contributes.
Loosing the weight/ feeling more in control has helped my mental health significantly. But I've been lucky in firstly I just do bits and pieces of work from home to raise extra cash so I have some time, DH works full time and is the main breadwinner, so my mum has my youngest for the two hours a week most weeks for me to attend. If i'm honest its loosing the weight thats made me feel more able to go to things like the National Autistic Society morning I went too. Working full time with I don't know how much support I realise that could just not be a practical suggestion.
The thing I feel with carers depression, personally for me, is its got an explanation. Its not an out the blue depression its being run down with the mundane facts of what life has become. But there are ways forward and you sound like you're on the cusp of finding them. Far further ahead than I could have hoped for you reading your first post.
Have you heard of direct payments? I don't fully understand it but someone was explaining it to me. Basically my understanding is that if you've had funding approved, like your respite, you can ask to get the respite money paid directly into a dedicated account and pay service providers direct. It cuts out the council as the middle man and so if they're slow pulling their unfortunately overstretched fingers out you can take control.
Could you consider taking some time of work to recoup before the summer holidays? Maybe see if your employer could do reduced hours for a while or some homeworking to enable you to just catch your tail.
Sounds like your new social worker is switched on. Don't underplay how you feel. Now is the time to be completely honest and get the support you need. You are not wasting anyones time. Society needs carers, its such a hidden asset and needs support.
I eventually got counselling accidentally when dd2 was five or six-ish.
It was absolutely obvious that I required someone to talk to (or actually, just a safe space where I could break down) and not a handful of pills. I didn't have any chemical imbalance, I was just worn down from a particularly rigorous number of years. I went for about 6 or 8 weeks I think. It provided me with time to get it all off my chest, and left me better able to function outside of the appointments.
It hasn't changed anything in concrete terms. I am still terrible at asking for help and systematically take more and more on. But it did give me space and permission to break down, and let me know that was ok within those parameters.
Another couple of things to throw into the GP discussion melting pot would be cognitive Behaviour Therapy or mindfullness sessions.
Both could help you work through cause and effect emotions and help you to focus your thoughts constructively.
I believe some therapists will do phone consultations too so possibly could be done from home.
My dh still doesn't know that I had counselling
It really did just give me some space where I didn't have to be strong, and it was okay to just sob and blurt for an hour at a time, with a sensitive bystander asking a few questions here and there. Not even that many. I think they realised I just needed permission to let go.
Oh op my heart goes out to you. Talking to people who go through the same thing can sometimes be beneficial to sanity can't it. Other times I just couldn't handle sharing. In my case a bloody good counsellor helped a lot. To get everything off of my chest once a week was so so helpful. Because we can say ANYTHING to them and they don't care or retaliate. Support from family is good too do you have anybody you trust 100% with your DS?
Respite is a two way thing. Your DS gets to have a sleepover - something that is accessible to other children. I know children who look forwards to their respite and seeing their respite family - hear tales of mischief they can get away with.
Respite carers aren't in it for the money. The few I've met have been amazing people developing a real love for their charges and going above and beyond setting up a home from home for them.
One older teenage girl I know loved her respite family because they had a teenage daughter who would do her hair, nails and makeup and had lots of teenage interest stuff. She was very intune with teenage interest rather than seeing the disability.
You're doing really well you know.
You've recognised theres an issue, you've acknowledged you need help, you've questioned medication vs other options for yourself, you're allowing support services to advise you.
You're not at rock bottom. It is a bit of a climb yet but glimpse back and think how much control you've already started to take. Okay the results aren't physical yet but momentum will gather now decissions have been made. Maybe a weekly/ fortnightly email prod of your social worker would be worth while just to keep things ticking over.
If you want a suggestion for direction, it really sounds like you feel some counselling could help and your GP should be able to arrange some for you so why not set up an appointment and go in to discuss this thought process you've been through.
You are doing fabulously well to have realised on your own - it's a huge step.
I essentially had an external trigger, but it was inevitable at some point. We all think we are coping by refusing to acknowledge openly what is going on behind the facade (and sometimes we even convince ourselves it's ok) but at some point we have to release some pressure before we rupture.
Good luck x
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