Looking after mum whilst I battle with anxiety

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Flora912, May 29, 2019.

  1. Flora912

    Flora912 New member

    May 29, 2019
    Hi all.

    I'm new here. I'm 24, living at home, looking after my mum who has Alzheimer's.

    I'm not her official carer, but it's just me and her most of the time, and taking care of her is taking such an emotional toll on me. She can't cook, clean, operate the TV on her own. There's very little she can actually do for herself and it's worsening my anxiety ten-fold. I've suffered from depression and anxiety for about ten years now on and off, and I'm about to go on meds again, because things are so stressful.

    I suppose I don't really have a question. I just don't feel like I can bear all of this weight, and I don't really have anyone to turn to. Any supportive words would be much appreciated. Feeling very overwhelmed over here.

    Thank you x
  2. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Registered User

    Apr 1, 2016
    Hello @Flora912 and welcome to the forum.

    I sorry to read you're having such a difficult time, especially at such a young age. I suffer from occasional anxiety and know how hard it is to get out of that cycle of negative thoughts - especially when life is difficult.

    You may not be your mum's official carer but living with her means that you are having to do the care. Have you spoken to Adult Social Care to see what sort of support there is for her and you? Your mum is entitled to a care assessment and you to a carer's assessment. Make it clear that your mental health is suffering because of your mum's illness and you can't continue to support her without help.

    I'm sure others will be along soon with more suggestions. Keep posting here. I found the wealth of knowledge, support and understanding here saved my sanity in difficult times.
  3. karaokePete

    karaokePete Registered User

    Jul 23, 2017
    N Ireland
    Hello @Flora912 and welcome from me too. I hope you find the forum to be a friendly and supportive place.

    I hope you have time to take a good look around the site as it is a goldmine for information. When I first joined I read old threads for information but then found the AS Publications list and the page where a post code search can be done to check for support services in ones own area. If you are interested in these, clicking the following links will take you there



    You will see that there are Factsheets that will help with things like getting care needs assessments, deciding the level of care required and sorting out useful things like Wills, Power of Attorney etc., if any of that hasn't already been done. There is also information about taking care of yourself in the list.

    Now that you have found us I hope you will keep posting as the membership has vast collective knowledge and experience. The important thing to remember is that you have now joined a group of people who understand your situation as we all are travelling, or have travelled, the same bumpy road. Please feel free to ask any question or express any feeling.
  4. Palerider

    Palerider Registered User

    Aug 9, 2015
    North West
    Hi Flora912

    Its ok, I'm back on meds too, sometimes it just gets too much. Sounds like your able to realise you need it so good on you, its a starting point ;)
  5. Duggies-girl

    Duggies-girl Registered User

    Sep 6, 2017
    Hi @Flora912 Sorry you are in this situation at such a young age. You really should not have to care for your mum like this, you should be having fun and making a life for yourself. Why is it that you are having to do the bulk of the care.

    You don't mention a dad or siblings and if you are doing this alone I am not surprised that it is getting you down. You don't say how old your mum is but I am guessing that she is fairly young and if so you could be caring for a long time.

    Is there no other family member who could step in to allow you lead a more normal young person's life. You cannot do this for any length of time on your own. It will not do you any good and your mum would probably hate it if she realised.

    I feel strongly that this is not a job for young people, you need your own life so do get help as soon as possible. I know it's not easy to admit that it is all too much but it will only get worse and you are already sounding like you have had enough and there no need to feel guilty about that. You are the same age as my son and I would hate him to be in your situation. He is simply too young.
  6. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    It is so easy to slip into the carers role. You start off doing a bit here and a bit there and before you know it you are a full time carer.

    I agree with @Bunpoots , contact Social Services for a needs assessment for your mum and a carers assessment for you. Take any offers of help with both hands. I take it that your mum is still quite young, which might make it a bit harder to find support, but there will be something.
  7. Rob_E

    Rob_E Registered User

    Feb 1, 2015
    Hi Flora912,
    I hope that you get the help that you need for your mum and yourself, I have suffered from anxiety on and off over the years, in fact I am currently having a period of working from home due to anxiety. It sounds like you need some practical assistance with your mum, which may come in the form of external carers, as others have suggested, contact social services for a care assessment. I was quite apprehensive about that at first for my mum but it has helped a great deal. Also, I would hope that you get some form of emotional support such as counselling or CBT for yourself, its good to discuss these options with your doctor if you haven't already. My own experience is that counselling/cbt is not easy and takes time but you do get there in the end, perseverance and persistence pays off. Good luck.
  8. father ted

    father ted Registered User

    Aug 16, 2010
    Hi Flora912,

    I have no useful advice beyond what others have said. Contact social services to get an assessment for you and your Mum. There could be different sorts of help for you like carers coming in, a sitter to come and keep your Mum company leaving you free to do something for yourself or a day centre. Ask social services for help and keep on till you get it. Your Mum must still be reasonably young. My goodness, so much responsibility at 24. I hope your circumstances improve soon.
  9. nae sporran

    nae sporran Volunteer Host

    Oct 29, 2014
    Welcome to the forums from me too, Flora. I think all the practical advice has been given, but just to say I know how hard it can be caring for someone when you have anxiety and depression too. Definitely look at getting outside carers in, and get CBT for yourself.
  10. RosettaT

    RosettaT Registered User

    Sep 9, 2018
    Mid Lincs
    Hi Flora912, I'm sorry you find yourself in this position at such a young age.
    Make sure you get all financial help you and your mum are entitled to and register at your Drs as a carer if you haven't already. Mine is dementis friendly practice and opened a few doors for me.

    Keep posting you will find lots of support here.
  11. Hannah_1234

    Hannah_1234 New member

    Apr 1, 2019
    I’m in a similar situation. In my 20s but Not living with my dad but he just up the road and I’m the closest person to him. The next closest being 2 hours away or a plane journey. I find that my anxiety kicks in because I dont like the not knowing what and when part. Also when I have to do things I’m unfamiliar with (forms, speaking to new people such as consultants etc).
    Although I’m sorry to hear about your situation, sometimes it just helps to know that I’m not the only one.
    Easier said than done but you definitely need to find a way to have time to do things for yourself as well. It will take the stress away for a bit and you’ll come back feeling better for it

  12. UnforgettableMe

    UnforgettableMe New member

    Jun 20, 2018
    Hi, I’m sending my support to you. It’s a tough place to be and you are doing your best so be really kind to yourself.
    I can recommend The Thrive Programme (thriveprogramme.org). The best thing you can do is to help yourself gain the skills to be resilient and thriving. I once was told that in order to help others you have to put your own oxygen mask on first (like they teach you on a plane). Learning to manage my emotions and stress levels has been the single best thing I’ve done. Whilst we still always face challenges, learning how to deal healthily with them has meant the world. It’s still tough but I cope with it all much better. There’s a workbook that’s great or you can work with the support of a consultant.

    Either way, ensuring you look after you too is very important x
  13. Helly68

    Helly68 Registered User

    Mar 12, 2018
    Just to say, I have also recognised the stress of caring is giving me considerable anxiety. Hardly surprising when you look at a selection of the experiences on here. I have chosen to seek CBT, but whatever you decide, you need to look after your own health, especially when facing situations which are distressing and so hard to have any control over.

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