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9 years ago  ::  Jan 12, 2009 - 5:02PM #1
dpatel
Posts: 339
My cousin has a physical illness as well as severe depression. He constantly requires my support and I find myself getting completely drained. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind being there for him but it's got to that point where it's affecting my health. I am suffering from sleepless nights and stress. Sometimes i'll go to bed and get woken up at odd times during the night by my cousin because he is depressed. A lot of the time I'm on the phone to him for an hour or two a day. I have a full time job and sometimes I get calls at work too. i'm just wondering do I have an "obligation" as such to be there 24/7 because I am family? Also any advice would be greatly received.
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9 years ago  ::  Jan 19, 2009 - 2:20PM #2
Mintie_2008
Posts: 260
Hi Dpatel,
Being a caregiver takes a toll on a person and we all get to the point where we ask ourselves ''Why am I doing this?''

The answer, because you are a loving, caring person

Does your cousin get help other than the one you are giving him? Do YOU get help and counselling for your caregiving? There are ressources available for us.

You need to take some time to just thing of yourself, go out for an evening and leave your cell phone at HOME, and don't feel guilty for doing it. When my mom was sick, my Dad and me would take care of her 24/7, I had to take an evening off here and there for me. It came to a point where I ressented my sister because my Dad and me were shouldering most of the work (she didn't like hospital).

Now that mom has passed away, I can truly say that I'm thankful for the time I spent with her. It was a privilege to be trusted to be her caregiver and a privilege to help her understand her last journey.

As for your heath, go see your doctor and tell him/her about your sleep pattern and stress, he/she will help you and counsel you.

Take care,
Mintie
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9 years ago  ::  Jan 23, 2009 - 1:49PM #3
glendalee2585
Posts: 79
We MUST take care of ourselves first, or we will burn out and be no good for the other person.
GET HELP. That may be friends, family, the church or mental health workers or some combination orf both.
Get your cousin on the correct meds (meds should bring him out of the deep depression) and get him plugged in at the local mental health facility. If he has insurance, use that. If not, if yoiu are in the states, try your local health department.
I am bipolar and I get meds and treatment from the Health Department for free.
Do not let people on this forum make you feel quilty for not doing everything yourself. Where are his parents? Brothers and sisters.
I also think it is okay to limit his calls. I certianly don't expect people to be availabe all day and all night. I would suggest NO phone calls at work, tell him you will call at lunch.
And no calls after 10? unless its an emergency. Find the number for the local crisis hotline. They will talk to him all he needs.
If he is too dependant on you, it will not help his depressionn.
IMHO
Glenda
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9 years ago  ::  Jan 24, 2009 - 7:29PM #4
Nomi69
Posts: 6,731

dpatel wrote:

My cousin has a physical illness as well as severe depression. He constantly requires my support and I find myself getting completely drained. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind being there for him but it's got to that point where it's affecting my health. I am suffering from sleepless nights and stress. Sometimes i'll go to bed and get woken up at odd times during the night by my cousin because he is depressed. A lot of the time I'm on the phone to him for an hour or two a day. I have a full time job and sometimes I get calls at work too. i'm just wondering do I have an "obligation" as such to be there 24/7 because I am family? Also any advice would be greatly received.




This kind of thing is quite draining. I would suggest that you enocurage him, to look for a support group in his are, that deals with depressed people. Also, I would encourage you to let him know, that altho you care very much for him...your time is limited to be available for him.  With all due regard for him. You have a full time job...and I would suggest you let him know you will indeed be happy to help as you can, but not all the time. It is not fair to you, for your health's sake to be on call 24/7. I would then suggest, you might encourage him to see a doctor for help. It sounds like he needs professional help......Best Wishes.....:)

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".
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9 years ago  ::  Feb 15, 2009 - 2:53PM #5
dpatel
Posts: 339
Thanks for the replies. He does the same to his parents and siblings as he does to me. He has asked for professional help but his doctors don't seem to be giving it to him. He has been on anti depressants for years but his doctors aren't offering him any other help. It's really difficult for my cousin and the family. Nobody really knows what to do.
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