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Caregiving: The Grief Process: Part 5 (5 of 6)

Posted by Alzheimer's Caregiver Support on October 12, 2017 at 4:00 PM
  
An excerpt from my book,
“One Arm One Leg 100 Words, Overcoming Unbelievable Hardships”

Depression  
The next stage is depression. Losing the quality of life you once had can cause you to wonder if life is really worth living anymore. Charlene wanted to die. You could see it in her eyes. There was no sparkle in them anymore.  

The doctors warned me not to leave her alone with her medications. I would have these visions of coming home and finding her dead on the floor, or waking up and finding her dead in our bed from a pill overdose. The doctor finally prescribed an anti-depressant that helped her depression (and my morbid visions). Also, her faith allowed her to realize that if God wanted her dead, He would have taken her home when she had the stroke. Therefore, she began to accept that she must still have a purpose for being alive.  

Depression is a normal symptom for any stroke victim. Doctors routinely prescribe anti-depressants to take the edge off of a depression that is the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain caused by the stroke. In this case, the patient not only feels depressed for all of the obvious reasons (experiencing many losses), but also for the imbalance.  

Many stroke victims routinely take their own lives, according to doctors. Men usually use a gun, and women usually take an overdose of pills.  

Thankfully, Charlene was never suicidal, but she does get frustrated and cry more easily when she happens to run out of her low-dose anti-depressant prescription. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a drug that makes you dopy, or gives you symptoms similar to being under the influence of alcohol or recreational drugs. It simply restores the chemical imbalance in the brain so that it functions normally again. Charlene has no symptoms or side effects from it. We are both very grateful for that.  

Loneliness  
Again, some therapists believe that loneliness is a part of the stage of depression, but others say it is its own next stage. It often leads to depression and it is hard to overcome when you lose your friends, your independence and your ability to communicate on a deep level.  

Charlene had lost her dream house, her car and driving privileges, her ability to enjoy her hobbies and volunteer work, her close bond with her 11/2-year-old granddaughter who was now afraid of grandma. (That bond was later restored as her granddaughter got older.)  

Also, after a few months, most of Charlene’s close friends that she knew before the stroke just stopped coming around or calling. There are, however, a handful of friends who did continue to keep in touch with her. They might take her out to dinner and a movie, spend the day with her at home, or just be there for her as a faithful friend. Her faith in God, and her hope for the future helped her to finally break out of her loneliness, which also helped her depression.

By Guest Blogger: Dave Nassaney

Dave Nassaney, Author, Speaker, Life-Coach, and Host of Dave, The Caregiver’s Caregiver Radio Show, a show for caregivers who are burned out yet his most important role is Caregiver to his lovely wife, Charlene, for over 21 years.

His website has been developed to help caregivers overcome obstacles, adversity, and burnout, as well as just having a place to rest, relax and recharge their batteries. Please consider taking a coffee break now, and allow this site to encourage you in your difficult journey.

  

By Guest Blogger: Dave Nassaney  

Dave Nassaney, Author, Speaker, Life-Coach, and Host of Dave, The Caregiver’s Caregiver Radio Show, a show for caregivers who are burned out yet his most important role is Caregiver to his lovely wife, Charlene, for over 21 years.  

His website has been developed to help caregivers overcome obstacles, adversity, and burnout, as well as just having a place to rest, relax and recharge their batteries. Please consider taking a coffee break now, and allow this site to encourage you in your difficult journey.  

Dave, The Caregivers Caregiver

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