Caregivers with pre-existing depression | CAN

Caregivers with pre-existing depression

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Caregivers with pre-existing depression

It's well known that caregivers are susceptible to depression and that caregivers with a prior history are, naturally enough, even more susceptible. 

One of the incidences of depression, especially when the caregiver suffers from feelings of helplessness to relieve the patient's suffering and the suspicion that the caregiving relationship may be the entireity of the caregiver's life, is ideation (thoughts of death). 

One of the depressive disorders, bipolar type II, has an independently higher occurence of ideation, even among non-caregivers.

I'm a pre-existing bipolar type II caregiver for a spouse who suffers from debilitating chronic back pain. I get depressed, as I would anyway, but when I do, it often involves ideation. Now thinking about being better off dead is a long, long way from be suicidal and I've learned to regard it as a sign of a deficiency in my self-care.

What I've been unable to find out is if pre-existing bipolar type II presents additional or heightened risks compared to pre-existing unipolar depression. It would help to distinguish situations where the burden has increased from those that are an exaggerated reaction to the constant or even lower burden.

Has anyone in a similar situation of being a bipolar caregiver received any specific advice or know of any scholarly papers on the subject?


Hangin In
Caregivers with pre-existing depression

While my diagnosis is major depression,  not Unipolar depression,  I believe we have some similar issues.  I sometimes have similar thoughts of death  and I've come to realize that I don't want to be dead, I just want some peace and relief from the feelings of frustration, anger and guilt.    I can make lists about how to cope with  this all I want, but the fact is, when I am really down I don't want to do anything.  I even avoid social contact because it feels like it would take to much energy to accomodate another person in conversation, listening etc. My counselor helpfully reframed this feeling of not wanting to do anything as my way of finding a little quiet for myself and shutting myself off from the demands of others, even when that's a positive.     That helped enormously and I've been thinking about that a lot. I'm not really addressing your question, but your post struck a chord with me, so I decided to respond. 

Yes, I agree that tackling

Yes, I agree that tackling with depression can lead to live a happier life. My friend was suffering from the problem of depression (Bipolar Depression) a year ago. She was also suffering from. She tried Medication, Counselling, Consulted different doctors also. Nothing helped her out. Then someone told her family to talk to Voyance Pure( She consulted there and she was feeling much, much better after the Consultation. So there are chances that the Problems can be solved without Consuming pills that will give you relief for very small time.


Why don't you try the best and effective treatments provided by the experts, they have the experience and ideas to deal with such situations and cases. Even you can try the treatments in which the doctors come to your home and give you the treatment accordingly. The treatment may be long term or expensive, take the help of health insurance plans. You can view at for more information. My aunty was suffering from such problem, she took the health insurance plan and now taking the treatment from the best hospital.


I am in your shoes, except I

I am in your shoes, except I have teetered into mania at times but typically experience bipolar 2 symptoms and have been diagnosed as such, along with BPD and a mix of/ overlapping few other things. I have been struggling more often than not since I was 15 with these things, and have been broken down now to basically nothing over the past 2-3 years from pregnancy during pandemic, to traumatic preterm birth, the trauma that ensued afterwards,, and the immense pressure that comes with parenting in general w/ little support, plus my husband and I being the only medical caregivers for my daughter 24/7 with very high stakes and life threatening consequences if we make mistakes, plus travel 6 hours for care every other month. We are both depressed, exhausted, dirt poor, irritable, and I know my preexisting bipolar has put me at a major disadvantage here. I am glad to see someone else who understands because looking online anything related to bipolar and caregiving is intended for caregivers for the person with bipolar, not someone who has bipolar and is then bombarded with the endless stress that comes with caregiving.  I am admittedlY past a breaking point and have no idea how to get out of this hole i am in. my depression has been nonstop for over a year now, and I am easily triggered into hysteria by what should be manageable bumps in the road. I am sensory overloaded, so so sad, haven't had a break in years , very lonely, and feel like a public failure since I visibly look like a shell of myself and I can barely get the bare minimum done properly. I have seen no literature related to preexisting bipolar in caregivers, and have seen no specific avenues yet that acknowledge this specific struggle or offer specific support or treatment, until I just came across this post. Thank you for posting, I am relieved I am not the only one 

Wow i have been through the

Wow i have been through the same thing I really didn't know how to express how I feel. everyone wants and expect me to be sane lol but it's tough when you do have a mom that suffers a lot. I don't know what want to say but words can't express how this makes me feel

I have pre-existing depression & ideation too

I've had depression since I was 15 and became a caregiver at 22. I'm 32 and still a caregiver and my depression and caregiver burnout has caused me to be passively suicidal. I feel like maybe my mom would be better off without me since we don't get along well and she gets mad at every little thing, which raises her blood pressure. I feel like a burden to her and everyone else in my life because I need spport for mental health issues.

Of course, this is obviously my depression talking, as I've had empathetic family members tell me that I'm not a burden and that they'd be devastated if anything happened to me.

However, it's painful that my own mother, the person I've been caregiving for, can't understand or fulfill my mental and emotional needs.