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Old 04-18-2019, 07:35 PM #101
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Old 04-20-2019, 03:34 PM #102
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I've enjoyed restful nights and mornings. It feels like a treat to not be "on call" round the clock. I visit the nursing home daily, usually put him to bed there, then come home to peace. Alas . . . the care that he gets when I'm not there is sadly deficient. He's tolerating the situation. And I've needed this break. Across the hall from him is a patient who hollars continuously. He is obviously distressed mentally and his feet are swollen from sitting in a wheelchair all day. I'll have to get him out of there pretty soon . . . and hope he doesn't come home permanently damaged by having been there.

This evening I go out for dinner with an old friend. Haven't seen her for months. I'm sorry for the price he's paying, in order for me to have what I need.

At least he's off isolation now and able to have physical therapy in the gym. But that's one hour a day. The rest if the time he's mostly left to sit in a wheelchair in front of a TV in his room. Due to his dementia, he can't figure out how to change the channel . . . can't manipulate the remote. I wouldn't be doing this, if he'ld been a nicer guy. I tell myself that he's been lucky to get as much as he's gotten out of me, given that this relationship has not been all that great.

Well, I better get over there. It will be hard to leave him this evening. Usually, I bring in "take out" and have that with him. Last night we had Chinese food. This feels like the most hard-headed and hard-hearted thing I've ever done in this relationship. But I'm a person too . . . and the quality of my life has to matter too. Unfortunate that there has to be this trade-off: What's good for me isn't good for him. That is the hard reality.
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Old 04-20-2019, 03:43 PM #103
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Too bad they dont make a remote with just one buttton, like channel up, to just change the channel.

Ha! I googled it, yes they do. 5 buttons. "Elderly remote". On amazon.
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Old 04-20-2019, 07:39 PM #104
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That’s a great suggestion, Luna!
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Old 04-21-2019, 12:30 PM #105
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I googled it. Someone did figure out that elders need fewer, bigger buttons. Thanks, Luna, for discovering that.

I have not been making great use of all the time I have available. I spend too much time cruising cyberspace . . . just escaping what needs doing, like straightening up this apartment.

I did go to dinner with my friend yesterday. That was enjoyable. Today my bf has a pass to leave the nursing home for 4 hours. I requested this so I could take him out for Easter Brunch. By now I should be showered and dressed and heading over to get him shaved and dressed. Instead I've just blazed around feeling apathetic and indifferent. I'm letting my life get worse. I ask myself: What is wrong with me? I have to snap out if this. I dread him coming home and saying: "What the heck have you been doing? What did you do for the past week? Why is this apartment still a mess? When are you going to attend to those piles of unopened mail?" I dread him telling me what a failure I am. The funny thing is that, if he would just stop putting me down, I probably would feel like doing a lot more. Maybe I'm kidding myself . . . blaming him for my own laziness.

I've told him that I can't take it anymore . . . that I won't. I've said: "You're going to be disappointed. You're going to be mad I haven't accomplished more at home. You're going to make me wish I'ld left you in the nursing home." He says that, no, he's not going to criticize anything. But that's so I'll take him home this week. He'll promise anything just to get out of that place. But his promises are worth nothing. He's been doing this to me since right after we started living together way long ago. He'ld say: "Why aren't you more this way? Why aren't you more that way?" He'ld say: "You don't have any push. You'll never get anywhere." Meanwhile he was no prize himself. He let me down a lot. He got an awful lot from me for what little he gave. People who know us have told me that he wasn't worth it. Even his immediate family - his own kids - have advised me not to let him ruin my life. But I keep hoping . . . hoping things will be better . . . hoping I'll be better able to cope make the best of things. I guess deep inside I don't believe anything will change in how we get along. No amount of threatening him works. I try that, and then I feel like I'm an abuser for threatening a sick, disabled man.

I better get in the shower. Time to stop this ruminating that gets me nowhere.

He says "depression" us a bunch if baloney . . . that I make myself depressed. I ask him to help me . . . to stop the negative appraisals of me . . . to encourage me instead.

The staff are wanting to keep him there till May 1rst. I was thinking of taking him home on Tues. But I'm afraid I'll regret it. He'll criticize me and I'll wish to God I had left him there. I need more time. I'm not going to take him home Tuesday. I need more time to pull myself together . . . to clean the house, open the mail etc. I can't expose myself to that negativity just yet. It all became too much, and I was coming unglued just before his recent hispitalization.

I know being in the nursing home is miserable for him - at times. The care is not what it should be. I'm so sorry he has to go through being there. But he does not even try to understand what I need. Maybe he's not capable.

Enough. I better shower and dress.
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Old 04-21-2019, 01:02 PM #106
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Default Re: Burned out and depressed.

Yeah, i should probably get one for myself!

I think the homes do some accounting by whether or not a bed is filled on a certain day of the month, that may be why they want to keep him til the first?

Honestly, if you feel you are just going to fall into the same rut, i wouldnt do it. I changed my life last july - not a lot, i just stopped seeing my therapist, who at the time i was only seeing once a week anyway - and it is taking me a long time to find my footing. When your life pattern is consumed - subsumed? - by another's demands - when youve always had a hard time listening to yourself, loving yourself... well, idk.
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Old 04-21-2019, 01:11 PM #107
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[I dread him coming home and saying: "What the heck have you been doing? What did you do for the past week? Why is this apartment still a mess? When are you going to attend to those piles of unopened mail?" I dread him telling me what a failure I am. The funny thing is that, if he would just stop putting me down, I probably would feel like doing a lot more. Maybe I'm kidding myself . . . blaming him for my own laziness.]

Rose, have you ever asked yourself why it is, that if you are such a disappointment to him, if you are such an unsatisfactory companion, why it is that he wants you around at all? (((MANY HUGS )))
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Old 04-22-2019, 02:07 AM #108
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It's not hard to see why he wants me around. I sure serve a lot of purposes in his life. When I'm away from him, he literally counts the minutes. He times me when I'm away from him. He's always computing how long an errand should take me and then getting fretful, if I don't return when he expects. Yet he's not what I'ld describe as a "controlling" person. He even seems to like me to be "in control." He was often happy to defer to my judgement in a lot of things. I'ld almost describe him as "clingy." He's never been what I would call "domineering." Not at all. "Needy" would apply better.

And he's always been a one-woman guy. Never the least bit interested in finding anyone else. He seems to like me a lot.

Part of the problem, I think, is that he doesn't understand depression at all. He seems immune to it, himself. He experiences anxiety, but not depression. When he sees me moping and not keeping up with things, he just has no patience or tolerance. But I put up with him having a drinking problem for 12 years. I tell him that I have trouble staying in a positive frame of mind, similar to how he used to have trouble staying sober. Though he was a lot more dysfunctional from his problem in big ways - like not holding down employment and ending up homeless. I would bail him out of being on the street . . . repeatedly. He never had to rescue me like that. Depression never led to me not taking care of my responsibilities. And it's not like I go around being blue and miserable all the time. I'm not chronically in a depressed mood. A good percentage of the time, I'm basically alright. But I experience chronically recurring depression. I go through episodes of feeling depressed. But an episode is like a bad cold. It lasts for a bit and then clears up. In between "episodes," I'm pretty much okay. But, sooner or later, there's always another episode. There always will be. He thinks that's just baloney and that it's just silly for me to get depressed. Twelve years after I met him, he had a serious health issue that motivated him to stop drinking. So he did. And that was that. Made up his mind and never seemed to even struggle with any temptation. Not that sobriety turned him into the perfect person. Though, I guess - in his mind - it changed him enough to where he became pretty satisfied with who he was. He became quite dependable. He could make a plan and stick to it. I'm less stable. I might go a week being very productive and attending to everything very diligently. Then, during one of my "episodes," I can go two days letting dirty dishes pile up in the sink, not getting dressed, not even bringing in the mail and staying up all night staring at the TV set. He thinks that's just ridiculous. When he was physically able, he would happily do anything I didn't feel like doing. He'ld cook and clean. But now he can't. I have to do it all. He can't walk. He can't peel a potato. He can't open a can of soup. In my defence, though, I make sure his needs are all met. Dinner is on the table every night. I might leave the kitchen a mess afterward, but he gets fed . . . and I eventually catch up on the dishes. When I'm depressed, might go 5 days without taking a shower, myself . . . but I make sure his hygiene is what it should be. I might neglect taking my own thyroid medicine in the morning, but the various meds he gets 4 times a day are all given. So I don't become irresponsible about meeting his care needs, but I neglect other things, like household maintenance. I neglect myself. I sometimes go a day or two without brushing my own teeth. This is depression. I thinks I should just decide not to get that way.

He's not the only on. People who don't experience clinical depression will say: "I could find things to get depressed about, but I don't let myself. I have a daily routine, and I stick to it. All it takes is a little self-discipline." One of my sisters has told me that. She has told me: "You let yourself get paralyzed."

I guess it's because he really likes who I am when I'm not depressed; so he gets disgusted with what I turn into when I'm "having an episode." A doctor once told me that I'm bipolar. Whatever I am, I guess it's hard to be around sometimes.

A good quality I have, though, is that I am very responsive to encouragement. One pdoc diagnosed me as having "atypical depression." The hallmarks of that are sensitivity to rejection and the tendency to brighten up in response to positive experiences. That's me. I wonder how much better I could be, mentally, if I had a partner who didn't always act toward me in a way that exacerbates my problem. I help him . . . a lot. He should want to help me. He could, if he would just understand. But he truly doesn't understand. His dementia is worsening, so I have no hope that our relationship will improve. I'll just give more and get less. I guess that's why I'm burning out. I keep getting demoralized. I don't look forward to bringing him home.
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Old 04-22-2019, 01:19 PM #109
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A good quality I have, though, is that I am very responsive to encouragement. One pdoc diagnosed me as having "atypical depression." The hallmarks of that are sensitivity to rejection and the tendency to brighten up in response to positive experiences. That's me. I wonder how much better I could be, mentally, if I had a partner who didn't always act toward me in a way that exacerbates my problem. I help him . . . a lot. He should want to help me. He could, if he would just understand. But he truly doesn't understand. His dementia is worsening, so I have no hope that our relationship will improve. I'll just give more and get less. I guess that's why I'm burning out. I keep getting demoralized. I don't look forward to bringing him home.

Rose, I don't think what you have described is atypical at all. In fact, it pretty much describes people in general. Most all of us respond positively to encouragement and nurturing; negatively to vicious criticism and manipulation.

Also, not that it helps you in particular, but the whole situation in which you find yourself is sort of epidemic in our times. It's a big problem for a lot of people and families. The other day I read an article about the "sandwich generation", meaning those of us who are at an age where we have obligations both to grandchildren and to aging parents and loved ones. [SIGH....]

Carry on, Nurse...
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Old 04-22-2019, 08:18 PM #110
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Actually, you are quite right. "Atypical Depression" or "Depression with Atypical Features" (2 terms for the same diagnosis) happens to be the most common form of depression. Historically, it was called "atypical" by way of contrast to "Melancholic Depression," whose "typical features" were considered to be as follows: inability to be cheered up my positive events, or by supportive gestures by others. So called "typical" features also include difficulty sleeping or insomnia and lack of interest in eating. "Atypical depressives" are inclined to both sleep and eat too much.

Here is an explanatory link: Atypical Depression Symptoms, Treatments, and Diagnosis

Another article I saw refers to the term "atypical depression" as being a misnomer. It involves an theoretically driven use of language that is counter-intuitive.

I tend to be skeptical of that whole diagnostic taxonomy that modern psychiatry uses. (For instance, I consider "Bipolar Disorder" to be a waste-basket category, into which doctors throw various pathologies that may have little in common. To say someone experiences wide mood fluctuations because they suffer from "wide mood fluctuating disorder" sounds to me like circular thinking that contributes nothing to our understanding. I recognize that some people alternate between widely varying affective states. That's an observable fact. It does seem to qualify as being rooted in a pathological condition. But I would call that a symptom. There may be differing pathologies causing that symptom in different people. By way of analogy, "epilepsy" is a syndrome, but it is not a diagnosis. (You will find that statement in medical textbooks.) The taking of seizures can be caused by various pathologies that have nothing to do with each other. If a doctor were to say, "I diagnose you as being epileptic.", he would essentially be saying nothing, other than what any fool could observe. An explanatary diagnosis would be one of the following: seizures due to alcohol withdrawal, or seizures due to a brain tumor, or seizures due to a very high fever, or seizures due to ingestion of a toxin, or seizures caused by traumatic brain injury, etc. etc. Those are diagnoses. To say: "You are having seizures because you have a seizure disorder." is a tautology, defined as words put together in a grammatically coherent way, which say nothing meaningful.

Psychiatrists get away with a lot of that, IMHO. Bipolar is a word with 2 Latin roots that has applications in the realm of physics. Psychiatrists have appropriated this word to impart a scientific luster to one of their more half-baked theories, IMHO.
Also, it connotes physicality of cause, which is the larger (also somewhat half-baked) paradigm within which current psychiatry fancies itself to be operating.

Well, that was quite a tangent I went off on. Where I was going was to say that, though I find the taxonomy used by modern psychiatry to be rather a shakey system, I did find that my own symptoms line up pretty nicely with what is delineated in the concept of "Depression with Atypical Features."

I could really use some of those "positive experiences" to bolster up my flagging mood. Unfortunately, "the whole situation in which I find [myself]" offers little that holds any promise of doing that.

I really have to pull myself together. So far today, I have accomplished n o t h i n g.
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