Not open for further replies.


I have been going to school since last september to re-educate myself for a better job. I go to class 5.5 hours a day which works out great so I cna be there to relieve my mom who is my dad's normal caregiver.

I am soon finnishing school and I won't be as available for them in the coming months and I am getting worried.

I am affraid mom is suffering from burn out.

I got home yesterday at 2 pm and she was still in her nightgown and had 'forgotten' to eat breakfast and lunch. She had made dad his meals but said she just didn't feel like eating.

I know my mom suffers from depression but this is worse than she has ever been. Weather it's that her medication isn't working as well or she is burnt our or a combination of both I don't know.

Later in the day I did get her outside helping me trim the hedge but she is always so tired and listless these days. We try to talk about it and have decided that the depression comes from the fact that we know that dad is dying, it may not be today or tomorow but his condition is failing at a steady rate.

I try to get move to leave the house to get some distance and perspective from the home situation but the depression keeps her from doing anything. Even her flowergarden has gone to seed this year and we have yet to open the pond. She is normally very enthusiastic about the good weather but these days she can barely wind herself up.

I am at my whits end I am not sure what to do, I keep asking her to talk to her Doctor about it and she says she does but IDK..... HELP!
Sounds like you may need to go to her doctor WITH her. Or.. something that worked well with my mom... I would send her doctor an e-mail and say "I know that you can't answer this without violating confidentiality but I have some concerns and I'm afraid that she's not telling you about some things... " then would list them. This gave the doc a heads up before the appointment.
Know how your mom feels. Being a caregiver is a very tough job and to know that the only way it improves is the end of your father's life, doesn't make the alternative seem like a very good answer. I understand the depression. I have talked with my doctor also. Even though I take an antidepressant and have a back up medication for the anxiety, I still find some days almost impossible. Your mom may be telling you the truth about the doctor. Mine has told me that there isn't a medication that will make my situation any easier to deal with. Don't give up on her. She needs you now more than ever. Keep encouraging and talking with her. Katie's idea about going to the doctor with her is a good suggestion. Good Luck and may God bless your family.
Are you sure she's even taking her depression medication? I'd ask her if you can go with her to her next appointment. Not eating, if that's common for her recently--can even start to make her physically ill.

Anti-depressants, at their heart, are intended to fix a chemical imbalance in the brain. They're great for chemical imbalance--but if her depression is caused by her husbands condition (which is very possible) anti-depressants may not help much at all. Talking to someone very well might. Even if she doesn't feel comfortable talking to you.

Are there ALS support groups in your area that she could join? Maybe even this forum--where she can come and let things out and get tips and tricks that may make things easier on her.

I don't know if she's very elderly--is she trying to do too much for her age? Do you need to consider getting her some outside help? Even some respite care to give her a break once in a while.

You might want to contact your local ALSA chapter and see if they have any advice for you--ALS affects more than the PALS--it affects everyone that loves that PAL.

Does she have friends that you know that perhaps you could get to call and invite her out to lunch? Just little things that might help raise her spirits a bit.

Wish there was a magic solution for you all :(
Your mom needs help now. She is not finding pleasure in the things she use to. Basically she is not taking care of herself or your father and doesn't see it or can't get past her feelings to motivate. It is probably chemical and exasperated by the situation. She needs a psychiatrist that can help her sort out her feelings of despair and adjust her meds accordingly. There are many different kinds of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety pills and not all of them work for everyone and if it is the wrong combination for your mom they could make her worse rather than better. Sometimes a med will work for a while and then doesn't. Friends, family and support groups are great, but she needs to get these meds squared away now. If she is seeing a psychiatrist, definitely call the doc and tell him what is going on. Then tell your mom its time for a visit. If she won't go, get a close family member or friend of hers to help you. Hang in there, I'll be praying for you.
I'm probably 10 years younger than your mom and I can tell you being in PJs or a nightgown at 2PM can and does happen when you are taking care of a pALS and I believe your dad is worse off than my husband. There are some days that I do not shower, brush my teeth, or wash my hair, let alone eat! Sometimes the demands of caregiving seem to out weigh caring for one's self. As long as this does not happen every day...

Going to the doc with her, like Katie said, is a great idea even a little help is better than nothing for depression or her other ailments. How could she not be depressed? And I certainly don't know where someone in their mid sixties would get all their energy to take care of a pALS, if she has Fibro and arthritis.

It's great you have been there to help your parents. She may also be depressed that you won't be around for a while...
Not open for further replies.