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By dkleinert On 2013.03.28 22:58
Do any of you see a therapist? I think I need one. After 8 years the stress, the burnout is getting to me. I seem to cry inappropriately lately and the least thing makes me irritated and upset. I feel resentment toward my PD husband whom I love dearly. I would really love to hear from any of you who have or are in counseling. If you don't need it, please don't pass judgement on my weakness right now. I am totally committed for the duration, just need help now for me. Thx.

By carman96 On 2013.03.29 08:24
If you think you need counseling then you definitely do. I don't go now but in the past I have and it helped me. I take an antidepressant/antianxiety and it helps immensely.
Good luck and I hope you find a good therapist.

By carman96 On 2013.03.29 08:29
Oh yeah by the way--you are NOT weak!! You are doing the best you can and there is no shame at all in asking for help!!

By Reflection On 2013.03.29 09:00
I agree that "if you think you need counseling then you do."
Medication, too, perhaps.

I'd also urge you to supplement these with other approaches that have a good scientific basis. Specifically: exercise - any exercise. The most effective is outdoors, early in the day if that's possible (the sunlight helps). Walking, biking, anything that you can do. Even 20 minutes makes a significant difference. If you don't think you can leave your husband for 20 minutes - well, that'll burn you out for sure.

You might also consider diet, and supplements. There's good scientific evidence that Omega-3 oils - the kind you get in salmon (and the canned salmon is every bit as nutritious, and a whole lot less expensive) are effective against depression.
Fruits, veggies, leafy greens help turn the anti-depression elements in medication, those produced naturally by your body, and those in other foods, into the depression-fighting elements you need.

A book that I found helpful is:
Undoing Depression: What Therapy Doesn't Teach You and Medication Can't Give You [Paperback]
Richard O'Connor

That book emphasizes that the more different ways you address your depression - therapy, medication, exercise, diet - the more effective.

When you are in the middle of burnout, it can be very hard to summon the energy to do anything about it - so you should be proud that you are addressing it. Good luck.

By Jane On 2013.03.29 11:23
Seeing my counselor every other week is a life saver for me. Living with someone with PD is living with craziness. Craziness= hallucinations, total dependence followed by being able to do things that surprise me, never knowing when I get home from work what I will find, his over fixation on me, watching his increased dementia etc. It is difficult to maintain one's own sanity when living with this. I am a strong sensitive woman who is not afraid of looking at the reality of PD. Seeing a counselor helps me to do this.

By jcoff012 On 2013.03.29 11:34
Donna, I agree with everyone. You are NOT weak if you seek help. In fact, it shows you are strong. Not once have you ever shown anything but love and concern for your husband, and you continue to amaze us all that you are able to hold down a successful job AND go through all you have.

Get any help that is available to you. Depression can be helped with sessions and, possibly by starting a simple drug regimen. Heavens, if the doctors told you HE needed it, you would do it, so why not for yourself?

Know you are loved and NO one has the right to judge. There is help and I hope you find it. Hugs, Jane

By dkleinert On 2013.03.29 12:02
Thank you - all of you. It means a lot that you responded. I did a search through the past Forum posts for "counseling" and only found one or two, and neither pertained to this type of counseling, so I was taking a risk posting.....thought maybe it was one of those taboo subjects not to speak about thank you - all of you.
Reflection: Thanks for the book info. I will order it for my ipad and read it. I do exercise. I purchased a high quality rebounder and for the last two weeks have been rebounding about 20 minutes (separated into 2 sessions as directed in the book that came with it), and I do love doing that! I always feel great after. Exercising outside - yes, that would be a good thing to do, however it would be inhaling auto exhaust because of where we live now, and I don't think that is helpful. By the time I am dressed and gone, it is to work. I will think about how I might work that in, however. I know we need 15-30 min a day of sunlight for proper Vit. D assimilation. I eat a very good diet. Have been an organic food "nut" for many years, and am currently eating as the book "Eat to Live" teaches, by Dr. Joel Fuhrman.

What Jane says is how I feel:
"Living with someone with PD is living with craziness. Craziness= hallucinations, total dependence followed by being able to do things that surprise me, never knowing when I get home from work what I will find, his over fixation on me, watching his increased dementia etc. It is difficult to maintain one's own sanity when living with this."

Jane you spoke my thoughts exactly....."....being able to do things that surprise me, never knowing when I get home what I will find", and on and on. Sometimes lately I just sit in the car not wanting to go inside after a workday or after having run errands....I usually feel good and don't want that to end. I don't feel as though anyone has my "back" anymore at all. I feel vulnerable. I am so concerned something will sneak up on me, as it has so many times in the past, and I have anxiety about that from being shell-shocked. I read in an article last night about PD Caregivers that it is like have Post Traumatic Stress that never ends because we can't walk away from the Traumatic Stress, the ever escalating, ever changing stress, ever unknowing stress.......the dementia is the most difficult I think.....for me anyway. One of the reasons I was attracted to my husband, besides his being incredibly attractive as a man, was his mind and his intellilect. That is so gone now. I used to be able to ask him anything and he had an answer, a wise observation, a rudder in the, it is all left up to me, and I have railed against God many times asking "why me - I am not equipt for this, that is why I married Joe". We were such a balanced team before. Give me any real estate transaction no matter how difficult, and I can bring it to a positive conclusion for everyone.....However, at home, the feeling of knowing all of the decisions are up to me, even though I pray all the time for God's wisdom, is feeling so overwhelming on a daily basis now.
I hate it that I become so easily frustrated with my husband......I really hate it. I try not to show it, I try not to say anything that will hurt him.....however, lately, I have not been very successful, and that is how I know I need help.
I one time had a counselor tell me - many years ago - that if we keep filling the glass and filling the glass and not ever emptying the glass that eventually when the glass is full, even a tiny drop causes it to run over and then you can't always stop the stream flowing from it......that is how I feel now....

I will ask about medication also....thanks for that. However, I will also look into the natural route to augment what I have been doing. So far, thankfully, I don't take medication for anything, and am healthy otherwise.

By parkinit On 2013.03.30 20:47
I agree. Get what you feel you need. With me it is daily exercise. I stay indoors to do it because I never know when he will need my help, but it is amazing how it helps my attitude. If I don't get my exercise, I'm in the dumps. We all need to find what helps us get through this horrible disease.

Speaking of not knowing what you will find, I went into the bathroom today and found the toilet paper unrolled and the end of it in the toilet. The sink was messy and there were coins all over the floor (my PWP is in a coin collecting frenzy right now). So I know what you are talking about, too! Hang in there and don't be afraid to get whatever help you need!!

By cmonge On 2013.04.10 22:28
Counseling is a must for me. Plus medication for depression and anxiety. I am living with a stranger and I need to keep my sanity. I also still work full time. You are not weak. You are human.

By Jane On 2013.04.15 18:28
I can so relate to feeling angry with my spouse, trying to control it and not succeeding. He has been getting me up in the middle of the night because he needs help getting to the bathroom. I wake up angry and think I could control it if it was just one trip to the bathroom. Yet I take him to the bathroom, get him back to bed with my having to rearrange his legs, followed by his wanting a drink of water then having to get up again to go to the bathroom. When he asks for water I explode. I keep telling myself that PWP cannot plan ahead but it just doesn't seem to be working to keep my anger in check. I then feel guilty that I am so mean to him. I then go to work feeling tired, angry and guilty and not being as productive as I would like to be.

By seawench On 2013.04.15 20:32
Bed time is always the hardest, it takes close to 2 hrs to finish the routine and there is always some minutia that gets overlooked and remembered just as Iam finally settled in my bed. I often accuse him of being a "Princess and the Pea" type - long before this disease.

I am often know to say asI settle own for the fifth time "Is that all? Anthing else? Good now don't bother me unless blood or lack of oxygen is involved"

The other night he woke me at 1am and wanted to see a Dr. at first I was very grumpy - the proceeding 2 weeks had been very rough. But he said he had tried to let me sleep but he couldn't any longer. I remembered that the last time he woke me up like this they took out his gall bladder. So I shaped up and took him. His bladder muscles are failing him and he had waaaaay too much urine. Glad I took him and after another grueling week he seems to be getting better and I'm getting more rested.

It is very hard to balance being a wife and being a caretaker and sometimes you need to be able to say somethings outloud to another person that you can't say to anyone other than a counselor. They won't be offended, appalled and they may actually understand (as they have probably heard it before). Friends have no clue what we go through and family gets upset and fearful. My family worries about me a lot and they grieve with me for the loss of my wonderful fun loving adventurous husband.

Just make sure that you have a counselor that understands what dealing with a Parkinson's patient means. In some situations sitting down and having a talk with your PWP is not going to change anything. We got into it over flushing the toilet - he didn't- but whenl I realized that the "flush the toilet" cog on his cognetive wheel was broken I gave up the fight instead of bashing my head against that wall. I spent some time with a counselor so she could get up to speed on us and I could get some tools to help me. We now have periodic "Tune up" sessions as needed. She's really close by, just a couple of blocks and I am so glad that she is part of my support group.


By lilflower On 2013.04.17 11:43
I take an antidepressant and an anxiety pill they help but listening to all my fellow caregivers also helps me to know I am not alone. I spend 24/7 with my husband and even quick runs to the grocery store leave him in a panic. I don't have anyone to lean on. I would love to talk with a therapist but then I stress over leaving my husband during that time, he has become very paranoid about being left alone, he has hallucinations and thinks there are strangers in the house. So for now prayer and reading Daily scriptures is my salvation. It brings a calm into my otherwise crazy life.

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