‘It was March 26th, a lovely early spring day of my freshman year. Everyone was hyped about the end of winter but I felt it was all the same. I was walking home after a long day at university. I had 3 assignments due in 2 days but I knew they wont take a lot of time if I was time efficient. I have to get started as soon as I get home. As soon as I opened the door to the townhouse I share with my parents, my mom called “Are you there?” “Yes, mom.” I grudgingly replied. “I need your help with stuff in the basement, then fix your dad’s apnea machine, and take out the trash. Don’t forget to eat your dinner like yesterday, you are turning into a stick.” “Sure, mom” I responded. I did that, had lunch and was heading up to my room when i heard my mom crying the kitchen. She had been depressed for a while and it became common seeing her cry. “What is it mom?” I asked. “I just want to be left alone, no one helps me anyway so I might just as well stay alone.” “I’m here mom and I want to help, what can I do?” “Nothing, just leave me alone!” It was hard ignoring the negativity and helplessness I felt towards my mom’s illness. I really didn’t know what to do but I felt down myself lately. I went to my room and checked my emails, and found out 2 assignments were out. I hurriedly checked them and was disappointed with the marks I got. I bet this would upset my mom even more. I knew university is different and expected the hardships, but it seemed like it was all overwhelming. I couldn’t concentrate as well as I did and I was finding it difficult asking for help from colleagues. Most if the time I preferred going home, to my room. Even soccer, which was my ultimate outlet, has been off my radar for a while. I think ill just go to sleep.’
This is a story of a 19 year old boy, well on the road for depression. Caring for his depressed mom has taken its toll on him, as it may on many children. From his journal, we can deduce some symptoms of depression already. He was feeling down, helpless towards his mom’s condition, guilty that he would cause her more upset, losing interest, skipping meals and escaping reality by choosing to sleep even though he had lots to do.
As caregivers, we can slip into depression but it doesn’t always have to be this way. Remember, as noble and admirable as it is, caregiving should not take away from our lives, our happiness, and our self-esteem.
To learn more about caregiver depression, please check this link: https://caregiver.org/depression-and-caregiving
~ Faten B., Humans of Depression Representative
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