1. Expert Q&A: Living well as a carer - Thurs 29 August, 3-4pm

    As a carer for a person living with dementia, the needs of the person you care for will often come before your own. You may experience a range of difficult emotions and you may not have the time to do all the things you need to do. Caring can have a big impact on both your mental and physical health, as well as your overall wellbeing.

    Angelo, our Knowledge Officer (Wellbeing) is our expert on this topic. He will be here to answer your questions on Thursday 29 August between 3-4pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

Depression, mine not OH

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by Wishful, Jun 23, 2018.

  1. Wishful

    Wishful Registered User

    Nov 28, 2014
    Does anyone take and find antidepressants work? I'm struggling to find the words to express how I feel, I'm sure you all know anyway. Everything is a struggle and I just can't be bothered. I'm in constant pain with arthritis and although I've had one knee replaced the replacement has failed. Weight is piling on which isn't good. I have no pride in my appearance and whilst the house isn't a tip it's not as orderly as it should be.

    My OH isn't capable of doing anything to help so everything falls to me.

    I can no longer escape to my craft room as my OH constantly shouts for me.

    Sorry for waffling.
  2. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    Have you had a carers assessment for yourself? I don' t know what area you are in but you should get help with him eg in basic personal care and giving you a break so you have time to yourself. This is another case where if he attended day centre you would have the house to yourself to do what you wanted.

    Contact social services and be very firm with them about your need for help
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Sadly help will not be offered unless you ask for it.

    I`ve never taken antidepressants but know many who have been helped by them. I think good GPs are more aware of possible addiction these days and if you do take antidepressants they will be monitored. By being monitored you will have regular GP appointments which will be to your advantage as a carer . This means you will have the chance to discuss your caring role too and the stresses it puts on you.

    Please see your GP as soon as possible and take their advice.
  4. nae sporran

    nae sporran Volunteer Host

    Oct 29, 2014
    I agree with Marion. You definitely need some help with carers in for your OH and getting a place for him in a day centre would allow you some time for your crafts. Of course it won't cure your depression though it brought me back from the brink by getting my OH into a day centre one day a week which boosted my morale just by allowing precious time for hobbies. If you can get a befriending scheme for him too, or as an alternative that takes a bit of pressure off.
  5. Wishful

    Wishful Registered User

    Nov 28, 2014
    Thank you for your reply. We have both had an assessment and I currently get 6 hours one day a week. My day off is usually taken up with those appointments that can't be done any other time. OH did have a weekend of respite, he didn't settle well and they won't have him back because they can't meet his care needs.
  6. nae sporran

    nae sporran Volunteer Host

    Oct 29, 2014
    I'm sorry your day care plans have not worked for you @Wishful.
  7. Wishful

    Wishful Registered User

    Nov 28, 2014
    #7 Wishful, Jun 23, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2018
    Thank you all for your replies. My, or rather his, GP is supportive and will fire off emails to our Memory Team nurse to visit us as a matter of urgency. We are part funded, although at the moment we are fully self funding, so don't know if that makes a difference.

    When we have these visits OH is the life and soul of the party and so comes over better than he is. Once they've gone he drops back down. He's also worse after he's had a fall.

    Forgot to mention they offered another care home but every criteria on the Care Commissioner's report said needs improvement. I declined as I felt that somewhere that didn't get at least a good for care and safety was somewhere I wasn't prepared to leave my OH.
  8. Jezzer

    Jezzer Registered User

    Jun 12, 2016
    Lincoln, UK
    Hi @Wishful I'm so sorry to hear of your plight - this must be so very stressful for you. I've been battling depression and anxiety for years but when mum became ill with this dreadful illness, it only worsened things. I have found anti-depressants beneficial and I would certainly discuss this with your GP. If it's felt you would benefit from them, it's most likely you would start on a low dose to see how you get on. If you find they are helping your dose may be increased. They do take a while to "kick in" - usually 6 weeks or so and sometimes - as in my case - I had to try several different ones until I found one that suited me. The way you feel - apearance, weight gain etcetc - are all classic signs of depression. May I ask - have you suffered with depression before or has this developed since your husband became ill? I only ask because if its the latter, perhaps talking therapy may help. I know this presents another problem because your time is so taken up with your OH. I am not a professional by any means but I do feel you need some time for you. @nae sporran has given excellent advice and although the day care didn't work, don't let this stop you seeking somewhere else. I know you are at a low ebb but if you can, keep fighting for help for you both. Could your supportive GP help you with your request for help? You can't carry on like this. I've found the support here on TP invaluable so please keep posting. Wishing you strength at such a very tough time. You are precious and your health is very important too. Also sending (((Hugs))).
  9. sah

    sah Registered User

    Apr 20, 2009
    Hi. When I hit rock bottom my (our) GP was very firm and told me I either had to try antidepressants or go to counselling. I was wary of tablets-my family history is full of addictions in various ways-so went for counselling-which was a life saver. I know it depends upon getting the right counsellor for you...but it worked for me and I now know I can go back whenever I feel the depression rearing its head. Maybe see if there's a service through your GP?? Do be very honest with both SS and GP-it sounds as if you should be having more support. Good luck.
  10. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    Been there, done that, in the far past, during and after OHs dementia. Even the arthritis, though neither of my ops failed. Even put on the weight!
    You must go to gp and explain fullly to them how this is taking a toll on your life. Anti depressants worked for me, though if you feel you might become addicted maybe therapy is best. I found it a total waste of time! Certainly didn’t finish the course.
    Plus OH was easy to look after, delusions and hallucinations excepted. I made as much free time for myself as I could, he went to daycare, there was what is now called a befriender one morning a week, as well as an occasional befriender as and when needed, say if I had a hospital appt that couldn’t be changed.
    I started him on day care as early as I could, and that paid dividends, he rarely complained. Would do anything for a coffee and cake!

    There is life after caring, but nearly three years later, I’ve been on a downer for nearly a year, though it’s now getting better, no pills cos I didn’t recognise what was happening!
  11. Wishful

    Wishful Registered User

    Nov 28, 2014
    Once again thank you for your replies and your honesty in your experiences. I did start counselling some time ago when OH was first diagnosed but didn't find it helpful so stopped going. I've asked for another care home to be found and also another three hours of care.

    Going to a day centre might be more difficult. OH is constantly tired and it's hard work getting him up and out, even when he wants to go somewhere. He often gets up late, has breakfast and then dozes on and off on the chair till lunchtime.
  12. kindred

    kindred Registered User

    Apr 8, 2018
    Yes, and please tell them you are not well yourself, about the knee etc. Be firm. When I told the SW that I have a bad hip and would have had a replacement but for caring for OH, her first words were, I suppose all that is documented by the gp? (Yes, have had bad time with SW), so make sure you tell her all about your operation and the fact it did not work and you are not in fit state to do all the caring. We have to spell these things out for them. Gx
  13. padmag

    padmag Registered User

    May 8, 2012
    Hello Wishful I do know the feeling that everything is a struggle and can't be bothered. I care for my partner who is doubly incontinent and most of the time I just manage, he will cooperate to a point very slowly, but it all grinds me down. I too have arthiritis in my knees, even the GP once came out of surgery to see how I walked as it is fairly severe according to the xrays. My partner attends day care 4 times a week and without it I don't know if I would survive because at home he is constantly by my side or shouting after me to find me, asking what we are doing next.........it just goes on and on. I know this behaviour isn't unusual but I cope a lot better when I have had the 4 days break, I count myself lucky for that. If it changed in the future and I became a prisoner in my own home with him, well the thought just scares me so much! On the days he attends the day centre I have to get him up early and make sure he is ready for 9.30 pick up, I can tell you I put a lot of work into getting him ready (shower and shave done in the evenings) so just the basics in the mornings, even so it takes a good while, and I feel like I have done a days' work when he leaves, but it is so worthwhile, I can feel the stress leaving me and some days I do nothing, other days I get on with jobs. If you can possibly afford more days care I would do it as I feel you would benefit from the time to yourself and maybe it would help the depression, sorry if it sounds patronising don't mean to. When he came home Friday I was feeling rested, brain in gear, then I realised......yes he needed cleaning and a shower, it floored me don't know why as I have cleaned him many times, so got on with it, then later had a large glass of wine (know I shouldn't but it did help) I only buy those one glass bottles, once a week, just so I don't carry on and have a few more, cos its very tempting and I'm aware that I need to function. On a lighter note today I prepared a small picnic, off we went, forgot my mobile so turned around, left him in the car for 5 minutes (bit risky I know) on my return he was tucking into the picnic! Oh well he was enjoying it, even though we had just had breakfast. Hope you manage to get more help.

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