Re: Best help for depression
Yes, watching the slow decline of a loved one is a form of slow torture. In my case, it dragged on for at least five years when I was the caregiver, but Dad before he died also saw changes and talked to me about them.
The depression in such cases comes from the feeling of helplessness and a desire to abandon the hopeless situation. It leads to major cognitive dissonance with family duty, love, and personal honor to not abandon a loved one in dire need. Mom wanted to stay home and I did my best until the day that she became so impaired that she no longer appreciated that she WAS home. She went through classic Alzheimer's, all four stages ending in a persistent non-responsive state in fetal position.
Three days during that time stood out as hitting me with near physical force.
First, the day that I took her to the nursing home and left her there. Driving home alone was incredibly more lonely than I ever imagined loneliness could be.
Second, the first time I walked in to visit her and she no longer knew me. That was when I learned to put on the blank mask and swallow all emotion, because the first time led to ME crying, and that set HER off, so it took us a long time to calm down. After that, I learned to bottle it all up and take it home before letting it out.
Third, the day her doctor called me regarding her kidney failure and how to proceed, and I had to ask for non-surgical actions only plus a Do Not Resuscitate order. That last one was the day I grew up and realized that sometimes you have to let go of the past no matter how desperately you want to cling to it. Clinging to that past with the result of prolonging someone else's agony is purely selfish. But I let go and 19 days later, she passed in her sleep.
It often hurts to remember those times, but one thing is true: I can still look at myself in a mirror in the morning and not hate myself for what I went through or the crazy thoughts I had during that time. I stayed true to family.
I'm a certified grandpa (3 times now) and proud of it.
Retired over one year and survived being home all day with the wife. She must really love me.
If I have helped you, please either click the thanks or click the scales.