Anxiety and Depression Support

Single mom, anxiety adolecent girl

I'm new here. Any mom knows how hard it is to be a mom. Being a single mom, after the death of her husband, with a child with severe anxiety issues - well, I'm not sure where to turn. We have therapists, health care professionals, navigating mental health would be a term paper to say the least. My job is less than forgiving when I need to take off and I am not eligible for FMLA yet. I can barely get her to her appointments, let alone add appointments for me to seek counseling. (which might be the best course, but is not going to happen if I am going to continue to work) which I must to keep food on the table and health insurance. Does anyone have any insight for caregivers? My kid is everything to me and quitting my job to save her, could be in the cards, although, believe me, that is not the best idea. I'm a nurse, work long hours and have over an hour drive to work. Any insights would be appreciated.

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I am sorry for your troubles. It must be heartbreaking to see your child in so much pain. The only thing I can say is you have to find some time to take care of yourself. If you completely fall apart, you will not be able to help your daughter. I wish better days for both of you.

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I agree. Totally. But I can't take care of me until I feel she is stable. It's a lose-lose situation. However, she is back on track, if slightly derailed and that gives me hope to cling to until I can get help too. It would be so helpful if I had a job that was understanding. Thanks for the kind words.

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Hiya, sorry to hear about the difficult situation you are in at present. For me, looking back, the most difficult thing was not understanding what our loved one was going through and, as a result, often not responding in a supportive and helpful way. I did not aprreciate the depths of my own ignorance and I had to confront and challenge my own failings. Now I have a lot more knowledge of the subject and have learnt about how best to respond and, also, how not to respond. Also, I have learnt better to cope with my own anxiety, so that does not impair my responses as much as it did previously. I sought counselling for myself and also attend a carers support group. Take care,

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Understanding helps. I'm a nurse so I understand the clinical side. Coping with my own anxiety is never ending. I feel like if I can get her to school, I can get myself to work and go from there. Support group is a good idea, I just don't have the time to keep her appointments and my own. It will all work out but talking about it helps.

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Hiya, I do believe it is very important that you look after your own health (mental and physical), because then you will be in a better place to look after your daughter, and, as I found out, if you are anxious and feeling stressed, which is perfectly understandable, that can have an impact on the one you are caring for. We have very little control over situations, even if, as parents, we feel we should have, but what we can control is how we respond to things, good and bad. With regard to your job, it seems very unfair if your employer will not grant some 'special' leave or flexible working to make things a bit easier for you. Maybe it is different where you are, but many 'good' employers now have family friendly policies and value their workers. Is there a process to appeal if they refuse? Take care,

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I've been working on it. It would be awesome if my 16-year old would take yoga classes or meditation with me but she refuses. Not in a mean way but I think that is something that would benefit us both. In terms of appeal process, they have made it clear that termination is in the books if I take off for her. They even made it seem unreasonable that I took off for a week due to a massive strep infection, something highly contagious and even deadly. Imagine a nurse taking care of patients with strep. I have 3 months until I am able to apply for FMLA. I will come in every day, never miss a punch and if I'm sick I will come in too. They can send me home. As long as my daughter can continue progressing in a positive way, I can do it. When my 3 months is off, FMLA will protect me. Even if it negatively affects the company (I will be the only infection control nurse at that time) I will do it if I need to. Hopefully, I won't but I am a cog in the healthcare wheel of fortune. They say I'm necessary and important, but truth is, I'm just a warm body. You would think that healthcare, being healthcare would understand these things but the truth is, they don't. Thanks for the encouraging words. I sound like I'm ranting, and I suppose I am, but right now I'm just frustrated. Mental health care is not something you can "See", like a broken leg. In a medical facility there is a comprehensive approach to a broken leg. It is multi-disciplinary. Orthopaedics is involved, surgeons, PT, follow up, all under one roof where a patient can be treated. In mental health, it's piecemeal. One psychiatrist (who is usually overworked and in patient). You are then shuffled to social work for therapy. Nurse practitioner, for meds. Psychiatrists can prescribe meds and therapy but they are too busy so instead of one appointment under one roof, you have three that you need to take time off for. Not to mention, many psychiatrists have found that participating with health insurance is too time consuming and people will pay so they are self-pay. I can't afford 400 to 500 a session. It is unreasonable and difficult for a single mom to manage three or four appointments a month when she doesn't get home till 7:30 at night. Arggh. Thanks for the suggestions, I will keep trying, I will fake it till I make it then when FMLA kicks in, I will be gone (if I have too). I feel like we (those of us suffering with mental health disorders or have family that does) need to find a way to solve these problems. Maybe I will join a committee or look to local politicians. That feels worthless with the state our politics are in but at least I can make my voice heard. It's all about the bottom dollar and what is cheapest, not what is right. Thanks so much for the support.

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Hiya, it's good to talk, share and give vent to our (justifiable) frustrations. You are absolutely right about the lack of a joined up approach to mental health issues. It's the same here and, of course, because the National Health Service here has suffered budget cuts, there is an acute shortage of resources, putting extra pressure on our wonderful medical staff. I hope it doesn't sound patronising, but I think your are doing a fantastic job, juggling so many priorities. Just remember to be kind to yourself too, you deserve it, and, yes, you would probably make a great political campaigner ! Take care,

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I remember those days. It's a real juggling act. Having a good job with benefits vs. being more available and present for your children ... I went back and forth many times. When you're older, your daughter will be grown and gone. It's a really tough decision. I think the bottom line is that if you plan special events with your daughter so you have plenty of one on one time and make sure that she knows you love her, you will be okay either way.

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She knows I love her, thank God for that. But she is a teenager and she prefers to hang with her friends. They are good kids and often my house is full of them! The job situation is the worse. I have 3 months before I am eligible for FMLA - until then I just have to grit my teeth and try to get family and friends to help. It is ridiculous that I can't even get time off to get my daughter to a consult with her physician and my hours and travel are so terrible that I can't make her therapy appointments. Work says, they understand, but I am needed at work. It should not be like this, I'm not asking for pay, just the time to get her to appointments. I will make due for three months then apply for FML and they will just have to figure it out. I hate being so uncaring, but they are pushing me into that situation. No one will look out for me and my daughter but me.

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Hi Rorygirl: I am in a similar position with my son. My spouse is a collegiate basketball coach so from October to mid or late February I am the main caregiver. I worked as a teacher full-time for 6.5 years, but I worked at a school through an agency that places international students in the school, so I worked a lot in the summer and many school vacations. I was laid off in mid-July, which was kind of a good thing because I am collecting and here for my son. He is in high school this year, and his anxiety became acute and he is depressed. Prior to being laid off, I went to work when I was sick and used sick days for when my son was sick. I was exhausted all the time and cranky.

I had a really good stretch for a while (after I got over the initial shock and feelings of inferiority over being the one out of 3 full-time teachers laid off), but now everything feels difficult again. My anxiety is through the roof and I can feel the depression creeping in.

I find posting here helpful for the most part. I am a bit obsessive with checking the boards, which I think is probably not a good thing.

It is really difficult having a child with mental health issues. Add in a busy job and I can see why you are struggling.

Are there any groups for caregivers in your area? I was given a number for a group but I haven’t gotten there yet.

Hang in there.

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I haven't reached out to any caregiver groups. Honestly, I don't have enough hours in the day to spend an hour on group for myself. I could use it, I'm sure but right now, I have to focus on my daughter. I know...if I'm not healthy she can't continue to be healthy but the truth is, I have no time off from work and they are not even allowing me to take her to doctor's appointments so me getting one? Not likely. You hang in there too. Reading and obsessing over posts is okay by me. Even if we learn a thing or two or maybe realize we are not alone that is enough.

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I understand that. I have the time (before my school schedule or my son’s needs get to great) and I cannot get myself to a group.

I live in Massachusetts where there is a nursing shortage, so nurses are in high demand and (I think) treated a bit better. It is awful that your employer is so bad that they think having a sick nurse working is OK. Some people are really clueless. I hope they appreciate you a bit more very soon. You sound like a responsible employee and mom.

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Thanks. I am a responsible employee and mom. They shouldn't be exclusive. We should be able to be both. I am frustrated! Nevertheless, I will prevail. Bending not breaking right?

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Yup; it is too bad your employer is pushing you to that point. Obviously bring a nurse takes a great deal of compassion but they expect you to turn that off when it comes to your own daughter. Shame on them!

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Have you tried any of the therapy apps? I have not but may be an option for you to schedule some time in between work and your commute.

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