Mentally and physically drained | Caregiver Action Network

feeling mentally and physically drained

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tammy jones
feeling mentally and physically drained

I am taking care of my bedridden brother. I volunteered to do this because me and him has always been close and I couldn't bare to see him in the nursing home any longer. Jimmy can talk as long as his trache is covered. I have to do almost everything for him.I love him to death but sometimes it is just over whelming. Seems like sometimes he is just being difficult. He had several strokes, one nurse said she is thinking maybe about 40 - 50 of them. I know he has brain damage but jimmy does realize what he is doing when he acts out. I'm tired and I need to manage my emotions. I cry a lot, I feel lonely a lot. I would really like a chat room to where I can talk about this. What can I do to help. Thanks

KarenS's picture
You need help too...

I'm not sure I'm the right person to answer, as I too feel down from my own feelings.  Caregiving, or living with someone who is ill can be draining both physically and emotionally.  I can say what I've heard...  find time for yourself by getting someone in with him while you can play (get out of the house, to a movie, bookstore, walk, a hobby, etc).  Do something for you.  Learn to say no to any others (meaning don't stretch yourself thin).  Take care of your needs (dentist, doctor, etc). 

Some ill people can treat caregivers poorly...  like a whipping post.  Talk badly to them, or may be arguementative.  Or they may ignore you as if you aren't even talking, or your feelings don't exist.  If you're crying a lot, you may need more help....  talk to your physician.  If you can manage to get out to one, find a support group meeting you can go to.  Talk with a life coach, or psychologist...  Having someone qualified to talk with would be a benefit.


Hangin In
mentally and physically drained

I feel the same way, that is tired out and drained.  For awhile I had some things I did, like sewing, knitting, reading,but sometimes those activities take more energy than I have.  I do go to counseling and I'm on antidepressants.  What is contributing to my feelings right now is that our adult develpmentally disabled and Bipolar daughter lives with us.  We have been seeking a group home placement for her (she is agreeable) but the process is lengthy and frustrating.  I feel like I am forever walking up hill.  Frankly, one of the most helpful things I'm finding on here is that I am not alone.  I don't really need anyone to tell me what to do or fix this.....just to validate my feelings.

Totally understand
I have found myself in a similar situation. Since June 2015, I have become the full time caregiver to my mother. She has been in a wheelchair for several years but until last winter she was able to transfer herself to her chair or bed. Now she can't stand or walk, we have to use a hoyer lift to move her. She also has a trach but uses a speaking valve to talk. Plus she is on a ventilator at night. All diring the summer, my teenage daughter and i took care of her and now my daughter helps when she can but she is busy with school too. We have moved in to my mothers house, leaving my house and husband to "fend for himself ". I have been accused of yelling at my mother when i try to get her to complete therapy or try to get her to follow drs orders or anything else my mother doesn't want to hear. I feel lost like I'm losing my mind half the time.
Sorry for you. I can

Sorry for you. I can understand how you feel. Be engaged always and don't think too much. Activities like yoga, running etc can reduce your anxiety ( ). So try to do such things. Seek professional help if it doesn't work. God bless!

Anceirs's picture
Oh. You sound really tired

Oh. You sound really tired and depressed. You are indeed a good soul. God bless. I would definitely pray for your brother's speedy recovery. Don't lose hope.

Rachelle11's picture
Intresting Topic

If constant stress has you feeling disillusioned, helpless, and completely exhausted, you may be suffering from burnout. When you’re burned out from stress, problems seem insurmountable, everything looks bleak, and it’s difficult to muster up the energy to care—let alone do something about your situation.

staceydonnar's picture
I think its a serious issue,

I think its a serious issue, i totally agree with orna that you should consult a doctor.  

Khampelf's picture
Oh, hey. Traffic.


Hello, Rachelle, Hello Stacy. 


I'm glad to see you here on the board.  I take care of a gentleman with advanced Parkinson's. 

I've been depressed lately, but the psych meds help. 


Anyone burning out should definitely consult a doctor.  I'm getting there, but the old man is talking about moving into a care facility.


So, are you ladies caregivers?

Khampelf's picture


Thanks, Michael. 


We're having a awful morning, and a nurse is due soon to see what level of care he needs at the care facility he wants to move to. 

He's been face down and showing no interest in anything. He hasn't had solid food since Tuesday. He simply can't or won't get off the floor, and it's where he wants to be. When the caregiver was here, we got him into bed, but he crawled right back out.  

Here's hoping yours goes much better than ours. 

Sister with MS
Hi. I'm new here I signed up to get help from people like me. My sister has MS and it is very unpredictable. She has become very stressed and negative recently. It has been few years that MS took one of her eyes. She dosen't like anybody to give her advice about her disease and she dosen't want to go to therapy or get anti-stress pills. She is usually in pain and take different pills for that. I am extremely worried that this might not end well for her. She lives with my parents. I feel very guilty about my situation because I know she can't study, work, and live like me. She dosen't have the opportunities that I have. She is still young and I feel finding a caring friend or partner is very difficult for her. With every success that I have, I just feel more guilty to the point that I feel if I just stop following my dreams, I may not suffer anymore. It has been almost a year that I have no motivation when I work and feel I have to quit everything to be with her and she dosen't compare herself with me. Please help me
boxcar1234's picture
Exhausted & Broke

Hi, I'm new here. Perhaps someone could give me a bit of advice. I'm 57 & for the last 10+ years have taken on more & more responsibility as far as caring for both my parents. They come first, but the reality is I've lost tons of money that we need to survive as a family. I've been self employed so every Dr appointment or other needs that they've had, always hurts financially. As i said, they always have come first but we're really having a hard time paying the bills. Other siblings help a bit but not nearly enough! Sadly, mom 91 year old mom passed away about 4 1/2 months ago. It's been very difficult. I'm a true mamma's boy. My parents were married over 60 years. They were madly in love, even after all of those years. My father, 85, is devastated & doesn't want to live. I've taken on responsibilty for him now & recently had a MILD heart attack and has a small squamous cell cancer on his ear. He is an atheist (I am not) and has no hope..... for anything. Besides being financially difficult, i am mentally drained just about everyday as all he does is blame everyone for her death. (She had a bad heart, but he's a very critical man & feels it's someones fault for not saving her) He constantly relieves her last day, hours and minutes including her last breath. This is excruciating but i suppose i tolerate it as i love him & he needs someone to talk to. Help! I need advice. I REALLY need to get a "regular job" now as 30+ years of self employment is no longer possible. Thanks!

sympathize with u

i am so sorry.  as usual in many families. one child is saddled with the whole burden and the other siblings merely coast around the edges or not at all.  u owe it to urself to have a good life and also take care of urself financially.  do u live in the u.s.?  if yes, then is ur dad on medicare and medicaid?  if he qualifies for medicaid then try to put him in a medicaid qualified nursing facility.  u need to take care of urself and put urself first.  then u will have more time and energy to look for a job and save for ur future.  u will be able to being him home to visit.  i dont understand how some parents expect their children to sacrifice their whole lives taking care of them.  it is sad and unfair.  u owe urself to be happy and secure.  i know u r a very good son.  and u still will be after u do this.  Bless you.

Caregiver stress

While caregiving for a loved one can offer some personal satisfaction, the caregiver faces a lack of privacy, difficulty in maintaining personal interests, and a lack of opportuntity to engage in social activities outside of caregiving duties.  (Reference: Rote, S., Angel, J., & Markides, K. (2015). Health of Elderly Mexican American Adults and Family Caregiver Distress. Research on Aging, 37(3), 306-331.).  So if you are feeling frustrated, you're not alone.

depressed and feeling guilty

Hi, Im new on the forum.I care for my mother through an agency that pays me. I also live with her. Im paid for 25 hrs. a week, but im here all the time because my sister who lives upstairs thinks my mother should not be alone. my mom has alot of health issues. COPD, high blood pressure. congestive heart failure. she is on oxygen 24/7. i started caring for her in march of this year. i love my mom with all my heart and soul. But I feel like I have no life. I try to take turns with my sister for days when i can leave the house, Its always in the evening when she gets home from work,usually friday is my day to get out, saturday is hers,and during the week i usually get away 1 or 2 times. but it usually turns into a disagreement. my sister is constantly trying to tell me how to do my job. i am a certified nursing assistant, soi think I know what im doing. I just feel like im stuck here. i dont really talk to anyone  about how im feeling because i feel like im complaining about taking care of my mom.I feel lonely im stressed everything overwhelms me. I raised 6 kids and ran my household and this is so much harder. I dont know what to do. Its a chore just to take a shower some days. i judt need to get this off my chest. i cant afford my own place due to my limited hours and thinking i have to be here all the time, i feel i shouls get a second job to make up for my hrs,but ill feel like im not being here for my mom. I feel like my sister is laying a big guilt trip on me.Advice please.  

Hey Bridgette!,

Hey Bridgette!,

I dont know what the right answer is. There is no right answer. I want to get a job too. The feeling is like others have too. Its been a month sice my Graps has been living at home with me. I can only suggest do what is best for YOU!. You have the right to be HAPPY. I wish I could have kids one day, and get married. You are a strong women than you know!!. I am looking into how to respctfully tips to tell peolple to back off in nice ways. You have nothing to feel about Bridgette. Your sister is probably worries about You. 



<p>Hi, do you have siblings? It's so painful when you see your loved one suffering and I can feel that. He is your brother and he need a family to take care of him and feel that someone's loving him. Try to reach out you closest relative just to release your pain inside.</p>

You're not alone in feeling

You're not alone in feeling this way. Caring for someone takes a lot of mental and physical energy, which makes it easier to forget to care for ourselves. Hearing from other people in similar situations helps with the mental aspect of it, but as far as physical care goes, I'd recommend looking up tips on how to avoid caregiver burnout and fatigue. There's a lot of information out there from other caregivers and professionals that can help you overcome feeling overly tired and mentally drained. 

You're working in a field most people wouldn't last a week in - so hang in there and know how much of a difference you're making in your brother's life. smiley

Joan Atlas
All Caregivers

To all of us who are caregivers to someone we love, it is very easy to feel burned out and guilty. We have devoted ourselves to the needs of someone else. At times, we are alone because there are a great many people who will not put themselves in this type of position. Some people are truly selfish, but we are not.

When we decide to make time for ourselves, we feel guilty. If you can, watch something that makes you laugh or feel silly even if it is a television show from your childhood. Sometimes we need to replenish ourselves. I find that when I do take time out for myself it isn't to do something for me; it really ends up being time to de-stress myself. I rush to do things for myself so that there is more time for my mom.

Yes, it is challenging; there are times when you are forced to try to use all means to get the person you are taking care of to be willing to help you in the process. There have been times when I have argued or nagged my mom about eating, bathing and everything else that goes along with providing her care. I try to remind myself that my mom sometimes can be in great pain or suffers from deep feelings of inadequacy. Not everyone can afford to have someone else take over and give them time away; I am one of those people. So it is definitely not easy and sometimes it isn't easy to find help within the family unit. This may not relate to all of you, but hopefully there is something I said that will be helpful to you.

I know how you are feeling,
I know how you are feeling, that's why I joined this group. I'm the primary caregiver for both my sister and my mom. It can be so exhausting but I've found yoga and self hypnosis to be the best thing I've found to help the stress. It gives me 5 minutes of my crazy day to feel relaxed and in tune with myself.
Tired, bored, lonely, but getting uSed to it!


I  have been taking care of my 85 year old Grandfather for over a year. He was in a nursing home, Now, after some issues at the nursing home, moved him into the house where I live. The house, is my Stepdads, my Mom passed away almost 5 years ago. Birthday, was yesterday. Feeling angry, want to smack ( not literally)!), shake my Grandfather when he complains about moving into where he used to live with my Grandmother (who passed 6 years ago). Still processing their loss in my life. I feel they are the ones who are my strength. I know how everyone feels of those whose parents, parent has passed. 

Most of the time, we get along. Other times, we are butting heads, he is stubborn, strong and I even though am soft getting to understand how he feels in some ways. Sometimes, on days I want to crawl out of my skin feel angry and want to run out of the house. I do not talk to my dad, or my siblings on my dads side. Argue, with my siblings from moms side. Trying to understand their point of views on how to take of Graps. Would love them to help out. They don't or maybe don't have the same patience. 

I don't want to into a very depressed, sad person or be that person forever!. I have dealt with sad feelings before taking care of Graps!. Help! Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks you:)

Joan Atlas
It is and can be the most

It is and can be the most frustrating experience for those of us who are family caregivers for several reasons. It’s not the same for people who do caregiving for a living. They go home; its over. Some never have to deal with certain things alone or making decisions you will be forced to make for another individual. It’s not personal for them; they are not emotionally dealing with the suffering of a person who has family ties to them. It could be a sibling, parent, child or even a spouse. For you, it’s your grandfather.

Whether we were elected or voluntarily stepped up, we have been put in a position where there really is no support system. For most of us, we are doing something that should be easy, but the situation gives us no support and herein lies the problem. I must make mention of this; there will be times when you think you are not doing enough or that everyone else who has a view point may be right in their way of thinking. Some of us become drained physically, mentally, and financially. Without having a normal break or rest period, we become exposed to feelings of frustration, exhaustion, and feelings of being less when we attempt to put ourselves first. It’s understandable that you feel angry.

Think of it like this……your Grandfather is holding on to his best memories. This may be the way he is handling his loss. As I am sure, he is dealing with some form of Dementia or Alzheimer’s. Have you ever spoken to a young person who has a hard time remembering things? Your Grandfather is in his 80's; this is an achievement. Well if you haven’t spoken to someone your lucky, but there are a lot of people who experience memory loss. Our container gets full; apple juice and orange juice when mixed together are incapable of retaining their separate flavors. Yes, he may be complaining, but there are people who are never happy unless they complain about something. Complaining could be normal for him, and he may feel it’s no big deal.  Keep in mind, the worse ordeal can be excruciating, but when it’s over, it may be something you can laugh at later.

I stopped listening to family members who were free with criticism but weren’t capable of doing actual work towards what was needed or beneficial. Don’t listen to back seat drivers; they are in the back for a reason. Honestly, I would like to know a little more about those who are advising you…..are they just older or have they any experience in the matter? The more I know; the more specific I can be.  

Granted it is okay for other members to discuss the situation with you, but after a while you will be able to figure out those who do things out of ego alone and nothing more. Listen, but if they do anything to take away from you or weaken you so that you can’t perform your ultimate task then you will have to distance yourself from those types of conversations. If they repeat themselves, research it. See if it makes sense to you. Some family members might say do it this way, but can you? Only you will know whether it is reasonable and if it makes sense with what is going on with your Grandfather. Are they paying you?

A part-time observer may only see him when he is lucid, happy or has no aches, but is that who you are dealing with on a regular basis? If someone says, “You know you should get this….”  You can say, “Oh yeah, that’s a good idea; can you buy it for me?” And…. I mean out of their money. You will find some family members never step up not even for a day or an hour. Some will step up not knowing things about the situation. So it really doesn’t help.

There will be days that you will do things with the best intentions and with the best expertise. On other days nothing will go right, but remember some of this will be due to fatigue and feelings of sadness or depression that you may be experiencing. It may be that your mind is racing with all the things you have to do.

Don’t be hard on yourself and forgive me, don’t make excuses for others! They choose not to help. If they wanted to help, they could do the laundry or shopping or trips to the doctor. Your time and whatever you gave up is just as valuable. I don’t care if you were sitting on a street corner. Your life changed when you stepped up.  See it for what it is. Take a few moments and reflect on some of your more difficult days. Try to even laugh at your grandfather and at yourself. If people are telling you some lame excuse know it is a lame excuse or deep cow dip manure. Sometimes you can see it being hurled in the air… just duck and cover.

That’s why you are the caregiver because you are not selfish enough to have walked away from a situation where your Grandfather needed your help. You stepped up like a war hero ready for battle and think of it as such. If the world is stupid, don’t agree with it. Know in your heart that what you are doing matters. Remember I can be wrong because even a trained therapist or whoever will take centuries to make a diagnosis. I am saying this based on what you told me. Some things may apply or may apply later or may never apply to you, but to my best ability I’m trying to cover a wide area.  

Most of your anger or sadness is based on the difficulty, having no one to turn to for help, and not being able to refuel yourself. Let me say the sadness or depression may be things you will face because of this situation or because this is a part of every day life. No one person can be happy all the time; it’s not possible.

Some people mourn and some people don’t. It’s okay for you to take a lot of time if you need it. If you can be understanding of your relatives not stepping up be understanding towards yourself. Real Love can’t be measured.

Now I will write again in a couple of days about lifting your spirits. Let me apologize for being so lengthy, but to me, it is absolutely necessary. It's all connected.

heaven711's picture
Thank You

Joan, I am new to these boards, so they are new posts to me. Please don't ever apologize for being lengthy. Your response deeply helped me, and I have just been reading posts and not commenting. So much of it is similar to my own situation, so I have nothing new or helpful to add. I've just been quietly breaking down and losing my mind because I don't have answers to a situation that won't change. There may be others like me who are looking for answers or support, and any bit of hope helps.  God bless you for sharing and being some hope for me.

Joan Atlas
An overdue response
Thank you. I really appreciated your response to what I said. I needed to hear that and it made me feel good. Please understand that I have been a caregiver long before I took on the role. I think this might be another reason why it is very hard for some of us. We have always been in the role of giver. My suggestions are simple, but sometimes we think we have to be strong all the time as a caregiver. This makes things very difficult. It’s not so. Even if you think you have nothing new or nothing of value, add your comments. Take a few moments for yourself, and don’t beat yourself up. Yes, a lot of us write to help other people, but also write things down for yourself too. If you have been breaking down, write to someone or me. It will help you. It will also help to clarify things for you. We think everything is organized and focused, but the world is chaotic. Sometimes there are no answers. Well what does this mean someone might ask. Sometimes knowing there is no solution is the answer. Sometimes we can struggle and we create inner turmoil because we keep searching for something that does not exist. Why me? Why must I struggle? Well, why not you. Who knows why you suffer… who knows why some people don’t. I used to spend many, many days wondering and trying to figure out why my life was so difficult filled with pain. I felt I had a good heart, and I would look at those who didn't. I was baffled. This was very painful, painful to me. I realized certain things; those who are evil or selfish never give. It really is simple. How can they experience any form of pain when they always putting their needs first and always busy giving out pain to others. Whatever you are dealing with is bound to make you have negative feelings. You have been quietly breaking down because you need to have a way to let out some of those feelings that are damaging to you. Write it down… the good, the bad and the ugly. Find yourself a room and let out your tears. You won’t be a person that is less if you do so. You will be a person who is more because you have feelings and you care. Sometimes the answers if there are any are simple. The situation may always be there, but this is what you can do. Look for ways to improve the situation; this is not easy. First look at the person needing care and then look at you. I hope this helps. Don’t be afraid to ask the question in this community. Maybe there is an answer here. I meant to submit this sooner, but I have been dealing with even more issues since the passing of my mom in April. She was 91 years old. It is through her that I learned the ability to love unconditionally, and due to her shared wisdom. I understood the meaning of giving from the heart. Love to all.
Joan Atlas
This message is for all of you.

I hope this message provides some form of peace. Let me be the one to start it for what it is worth. Open this message and know that within my heart I send a thought, a wish, a feeling of love towards all of you who are family caregivers. Some of us are in better places and some of us are not. I send you all a piece of my energy. I hope that at some moment when you can read this ... you can close your eyes. Feel the love and admiration that I have for all of you who are doing this! I give to you respect not because it is within my power to give it or issue it, but because I realize how people who have no sense of sacrifice are willing to quickly disrespect us. Unfortunately, they don't have decent qualities; they only do things when someone else is watching so that they can get recognition. This is not what family caregivers do when they participate in the act of caring for another.  This website is willing to help us find support within each other so I thank you all. I thank everyone who shares the most difficult situations because I know it is not easy to even talk about. My wish is this message warms you with the love and support we all richly deserve. Happy moments to us all, and let the turmoil end!

















Thank you Joan, I needed the

Thank you Joan, I needed the lift that your post provided. 

Thank you Joan for sharing

Thank you Joan for sharing your thoughts with us. It is indeed a great help.

nice post

 That was just what I needed to hear, and it felt amazing. Please be aware that before I assumed this position, I was a caregiver. This might be another factor in why it is so difficult for some of us connections game, in my opinion.

Lois's Helper
Tammy Jones-feeling mentally and physically drained

That's what I am looking for too, is a chat room...Your situation sounds difficult.  I'm blessed that my mother is not an invalid, disabled or bed ridden, although she doesn't get around very well, but like you, I find myself crying a lot.  She has dementia and everyday conversations are wearing me down.   Stress, lonliness, depression, and even monotony, are taking their toll on me physically and mentally.    Mom will be 91 this year.  I live with her in her house.  If I did not, she would not be able to stay in it and like you, I couldn't stand the thought of her being in a nursing home.  I don't know how, but I know I have to have some kind of connection or life outside of my mom's world...even if it's just for a couple of hours a week.  It's a start.  I hope you find a chatroom and an outlet for your own mental and physicall health...I wish I knew of one for you, I've only been on this site for about an hour!  God Bless, Rachel