06-11-2019 03:17 PM
Welcome to the SANE forums! It's great to have you here. Thanks for sharing about your situation. I'm sure the forum members will be able to offer you support, information and connection. I'm the moderator this afternoon. Feel free to ask the SANE forum team or the members if you need help with how to use the forum. The Guidelines are also a useful resource - https://saneforums.org/t5/help/faqpage#community-guidelines
10-11-2019 12:08 AM
Hello fellow carers. I am a long term carer in a family with five people affected by major mood disorder, at least two of whom, my brothers, have schizoaffective disorder. The worst afflicted one of them has had many severe manic episodes over a very long time...since he was 17, back in 1970. He usually has little insight when he is unwell and he has very long periods of acute symptoms. At least five times he has spent a continuous year in an acute ward. He has a lot of community support but when he is unwell he is likely to leave town and take risks hitch hiking and he frequently ends up needing to be hospitalised elsewhere which is very stressful for everyone.
His brother and mine, has deep depressions between periods of gambling and has always needed bailing out financially. He has had several hospitalisations with paranoid times but together we seem able to head admissions off these days.
One of his children, my niece, is bipolar and now well supported on medication and able to work fulltime. Sadly, her teenage son has recently been diagnosed too.
The other sufferer is my older son who has developed bipolar symptoms after needing large doses of cortisone for brittle asthma. He is the father of three young children and has a wife from a different ethnic backgound who does not want to discuss or consider mental illness at all. He has been able to work fulltime but has been retrenched along with most other permanent staff under a new business model in his previous workplace. I have watched him losing ground recently despite his being able to be well enough to work up til now. I wonder how I can attract his psychiatrist's attention if he is unable to signal that he is less well...he seems quite remote and certainly is less competent domestically than he was. His job hunting seems sporadic and unrealistic. I help a lot with the kids to keep them as balanced as possible although my older husband who is unwell and my other resident son who is autistic make this a very tall order. My son's wife is studying fulltime and is away from home all day and a great deal of the evenings, possibly avoiding things at home as well as being very focused on her demanding degree.
I admit that I am feeling a sense of dismay about how long I can manage to offer support. I have been the one constant person who has not allowed mental health services to reject my sickest brother despite his very challenging behaviours and his frequent rejection of my efforts. I do not invite him home as he has had horrible delusions about me on occasions and he terrifies my autistic son. I liaise with the psychiatrist for my other brother before he gets too ill...he has several acute episodes each year and if he gets a bit high, he thinks he does not need his meds anymore or spends the money on something else like the horses! My niece feels misunderstood by her mother who long ago divorced my brother and wants no further involvement with mental illness, so I always listen and get her to see her psychiatrist when she is less well. She also needs to talk about her son and how he is going since his acute episode a few months ago. My son acknowledges his illness and has a very good psychologist as well as a psychiatrist who knows the family members who are afflicted and treats all but he sickest who he knows from his time working in the acute ward...like many private practitioners, he can and does chose to avoid those with poor insight! My interest is in how some intervention, maybe by geneticists, might be able to turn this horrible gene off before any more of our relatives have this terrible blight. I think documenting family stories might also help researchers develop other effective interventions. So there you have it!
18-11-2019 08:52 PM
I recently decided that I need some support as my burnt-out self isn’t pleasant. I’m irritatable, consistently exhausted, generally negative and not excited to do anything that I used to enjoy. I’ve been a carer for my mentally unwell mother for 14 years (I started when I was 18) and after finally getting some support from my siblings, they recently decided to move away (so goodbye support). Am hoping this network may provide me with support to help me feel like a normal human being again.
As for interesting facts:
- I hiked Mount Everest when I was 18.
- I like travelling
- I like yoga (but haven’t practised it recently)
18-11-2019 10:05 PM
Hi and welcome @Ilovemygrandma 👋
I’m in a difficult patch, so it’s just a hi from me tonight, but hopefully others will be along soon.
Awesome that you climbed Mt Everest at 18yo 👍🎉❗️Go you .....
18-11-2019 10:46 PM
18-11-2019 10:55 PM - edited 18-11-2019 11:00 PM
Hi @Ilovemygrandma and welcome
Caring for someone can be really tiring physically and mentally for sure. Its good youve identified that your burnt out along with the symptoms too.
Im wondering if you have looked into some support for yourself? Having someone there for you to help you cope might be good.
Carers australia and your gp are good places to start in getting support for both yourself and for your mother as well.
I am classed as a young carer as well so know how tough it wouldve been when you started out too esp with lack of supports from those who should be helping out such as family. I dont have family that help either. It has to suit them as to when they want to help out rather then when its needed most.
Are there any services that specifically deal with the condition your mother has ie we have a dementia support worker which helps me due to my pop having that. Maybe there will be a service you can consult with in helping you out too.
20-11-2019 03:54 PM
Discovered the forum while trying to find some guidance on managing our life as my wife finds dealing with recently diagnosed complex PTSD becoming more challenging. I need help working out how to support her better - the previously useful methods when the diagnosis was 'merely' depression no longer work! Can someone you point me to the right topic or thread, please?
The facts: Avid reader
Share both these traits with our 12-y-o son!
21-11-2019 09:27 AM
25-11-2019 10:18 PM
Hi, I am new here and just feeling alone. My grown sons father has Schizophrenia. When his mother got sick and he was unable to cope with her care, i moved in to help. His mother died and i was left to care for him as she had.I can not talk about this as people do not understand how complexed it is.Leaving will not help as he will do something crazy to force me to care for him.Aside from my son, all my family sadly died. I am not with him as a couple and have my own room, yet i am not free to come and go as i wish. I ended up getting sick and had a kidney removed in April this year. Between his madness and my sickness...i lost all but one friend.
If you need urgent assistance, see Need help now
For mental health information, guidance and referrals, see the SANE Help Centre
SANE Forums is published by SANE Australia with funding from the Australian Government Department of Health
SANE Australia ABN 92006533606
PO Box 226 South Melbourne 3205 Australia