This topic I feel is rarely covered. I want to pay homage to all the Caregivers for their strength, support, and dedication to us with a mental illness.
My husband is my caregiver. I have type 1 bipolar disorder and PTSD.
For many of you, your diagnosis may be BPD, Schizophrenia, or any number of illnesses /disorders. But you caregiver is no less important.
Regardless, the roll of the caretaker is not an easy one. It’s usually unpaid, though its greatly appreciated!
My diagnosis came to me only a bit over 3-years ago. Although, I was undiagnosed for over 22 years. My husband and I have been together for almost 14 years.
So, for 14-years my husband has been dealing with my illness. He has been amazing, I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better supportive and dedicated man!
The stresses of a caretaker are very serious. We often forget about the emotional rollercoaster our caretakers face. When I’m manic, my husband tends to absorb my energy. Ultimately, draining his. Then on top of it all he has to try to keep me in check so I don’t get out of control.
My husband comes to ALL of my doctors appointments, that’s psychiatrist and therapy. Why is this task hard?
Simply put, he hears all that is really going on in my head! For me, sometimes being in my head can be frightening. But for this poor guy to have had to consume these thoughts on his own and then turn around and figure out how to be supportive is no was task.
After all, his college training wasn’t in how to help manage bipolar disorder. Much less bank on this illness. A bit unfair if you ask me. Though, he does an incredible job as my caretaker!
He loves me to the ends of the world and back, and he tells me he wouldn’t have our life any other way!
I truly feel blessed, to be honest I’m not the easiest person to live with. I rapid cycle, experience mixed states, along with depression, mania, etc.
Talking about depression…that my Achilles heel. When I’m in depression mode, it usually lasts me a minimum of 3-months. I sleep a lot, lose my energy and motivation for anything, have a diminished outlook on life, and on a rare but true occasion I feel suicidal.
What does a caretaker do to manage this without them falling into a depression out of environmental impact? Stay Strong!
To help me manage my depression, my husband smiles at me everyday no matter how down I am. He encourages me to try a simple task I like. For example, what I’m doing now. Writing a blog.
He doesn’t condone the moment , but supports my ability to help myself get into a better mood. This I appreciate. He also encourages me to continue taking my medication, attend my psychiatrist and therapy appointments. His support, again is his attending these appointments with me. Ensuring, I am getting proper care.
In my opinion, the caretakers are the fine balance we need to help us manage our illness.
Management, is more than taking your medication, and going to therapy. It’s also getting that much-needed support from your caretaker.
If you have a caretaker you also want to praise, feel free to comment.