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04/30/2012 09:15 PM

Health Effects of Caregiving Bipolar

dbetts
Posts: 120
Member

Hi,

I was a caregiver for my mom at home (cancer, liver, terminal, elderly dementia, etc.). The caregiving was so taxing and horrible that I became so mch more depressed, and angry, and hostile, and frustrated than I ever have been in my life. I was feeling sick and trying cope and read this article:

http://www.caregiver.org/caregiver/jsp/content_node.jsp? nodeid=1822

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Impact of Caregiving on Caregiver Mental and Emotional Health

The psychological health of the family caregiver is negatively affected by providing care. Higher levels of stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health effects are common among family members who care for an older relative or friend.

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I texted the link to my x-boyfriend. His response was:

"I already knew that it had affected me because of my caregiving.  The article doesn't say much that I wasn't already thinking and discussing. Your bipolar disorder is why I have grey hairs and drink."

He thought the article was for him, HIM. This is what I did to him?!?!  I know caregiving my mom exacerbated my depression/bipolar because I was living with her, bathing, feeding, doc appts, etc. {not that consistently well; I have bipolar disorder, after all; but, still, I did it.}

Me and my bipolar disorder impacted his emotional and physical and psychological health.

Not just his feelings...

.... it affected his health. Health !

I don't know what to do except to never date again. Or ever get married. My bipolar is not just an emotional nightmare for me, and emotional roller coaster for him, it's an early death for him. {I've already accepted that I'll probably die by suicide one of these days, when I'm in a tunnel-vision mixed state. God said he'd still let me into heaven because it's not really suicide if it's dying as part of bipolar illness.}

Will power or meds haven't stopped the cycles. I hate what caregiving my mom did to me. I did it to another person. I feel like an asshole.

The bipolar disorder isn't going to go away, EVER. All I can do is 'manage' it with medication, meditation, diet, exercise, prayer, whatever... but manias still happen and depressions still happen - less so, but there's always some stress trigger or 'waking up' to realize I was in a mania 4 months ago for 2 months ...

Loving a bipolar person is a health risk. I see that now. I don't want anyone to suffer from being around me but I still want love. It's a Catch 23 situation.

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04/30/2012 09:21 PM
marriedtoit
marriedtoit  
Posts: 11541
Group Leader

dbetts, caregiving anyone can be bad on one's health because stress can be very bad for our health. We all cope with it differently and some people don't cope well at all.

I am sorry you feel like you can't date or get married or have love!!! That is NOT TRUE AT ALL! Our forum is largely for people married to bipolar people, but you might also join the Bipolar Support Group here at MDJ, where you will see a TON of BP people, many of them in happy and long marriages. We tend, in this group, to get people who are in crisis, when their relationships are NOT going well. So don't judge by the posts on our boards at any moment. Go to the BP boards and see the picture there!


05/01/2012 04:13 AM
Silverlock
Silverlock  
Posts: 3418
VIP Member

Dbetts, Married is right, there are good stories out there as well. If you are willing to work on your Bipolar, you are already ahead of the game. We have several people here who's spouses are doing well.

05/01/2012 10:10 AM
ridingthewaves
ridingthewavesPosts: 1517
Senior Member

I choose to be the caregiver when needed for my bipolar SO because I love him. You are worthy of love, and with love, comes help when you need it.

05/07/2012 08:28 PM
Princess71
Princess71  
Posts: 29
Member

Please don't give up love, when it's real it's uncoditional. My husband suffers bad from BP disorder and he was recently in the hospital for a suicide attempt. I'm not saying it isn't hard for me because believe me it is. But i love him so much and know that it's not his fault and i do te best i can to support him. I just recently joined this group while he was in the hospital, everyone here is so kind and caring and i'm so happy to have them. I did as much research as i could and all the reading and talking in here has really helped, it has also taught me to just live life one day at a time and try to make the best of it. I really wish you luck, i can't imagine how you must feel. I don't know much but i do know that love can happen for anyone, you just have to hang in there and beleive.

05/07/2012 11:01 PM
dbetts
Posts: 120
Member

Thank you to you all.
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