Feel such a failure

Hi. My dad died 6 months ago and also he had dementia for 4 years - the stresses of keeping him safe and eventually getting him into a care home was dreadfully upsetting. I have suffered depression and anxiety forever - my mother committed suicide when I was 14, I was abused by a man I loved, I had a terrifying stroke at the age of 28. At least I had my daddy - he was my rock and anchor. When he died I suffered terrible depression - I begged the crisis team to put me in the hospital but they refused. The grief dissapated and I was starting to come back but recently the panic and depression has returned and I am suffering dreadfully. My siblings get on with their lives - why am I such a hopeless failure? I worry all day about stroke and migraine - I worry about the weather, the hour change, winter (I hate it) everyday I worry I will finally end my miserable life. I have a good husband and a daughter but all I see is the failure of my life - cannot work or even volunteer because I cannot be restricted by time - I need to be able to leave when I want too. I worked from the age of 17 to 44 - I couldn't continue going on with the panic and depressions. Yet I still have it! I see outside it is grey - and the hours are shorter - why cannot I just enjoy my life and stop worrying about dizziness, shakiness and depression? I am taking citalopram 40mg and I see a therapist but I am just tired of being a mental case. My fears are so ridiculous (from bathing to wearing my glasses - which I have to wear as I cannot see without them but the fear of ocular migraine to my daughter going back to school so I am alone again). Thank you for listening.

17 Replies

  • Hi Helen,

    What you are going through is a natural effect of your own personal experience of life, and if you try to ignore it you will only drag it out. You have absorbed a huge amount of pain and suffering in the process of caring for another. This is something to be proud of, but your body is telling you that it has had enough. Now it is time for you to think only of you. This means no volunteering, no taking on things you are not ready for, no expecting a normal life until you have purged the pain and regained some life force for yourself. It used to be called a mourning period, which has unfortunately gone out of fashion, but the fact is that we need to mourn, to withdraw from the world. The deeper the loss, the greater the effect.

    Forget if you can, all the things you think you ought to be able to do, or that your siblings are doing, and focus only on doing what you can. When you feel ready to push yourself do it one step at a time, and listen to your body. One day you will come out the other side and be happy again. If people compare you to others, maybe you can tell them how unhelpful it is to you, and if they are unable to deal with you as you are, take a running jump. Having a good and loving husband and daughter will be important to you, so explain to them how you are feeling, and let them care for you. They will benefit from the experience if you are willing to let them in.

    Sending love and understanding,


    Oh, and try to avoid negative things like the News, and if the weather is too miserable, draw the curtains and put on the lights. Have a hot bath and listen to nice music. Get outside whenever it is nice to get Vit D.

  • Great reply FM as usual. Bev x

  • Thank you so much. I am crying. I am so tired of feeling so dreadful. I am so relieved in the evenings that I have got through another day - I dream I will not wake up in the morning but here I am! Very dizzy this morning and very shaky. Some days are less 5han others. Trying to breathe slowly but so tired of feeling controlled and propelled by anxiety. The grief was unimaginably painful compounded by the anxiety and depression. Thank you to give me some hope x

  • I've been there. Still have bad days and things are not back to normal, but are much better. The anxiety is diminishing, and I feel less paranoid and fearful, or at least I have it more under control.

    I did find that if I sat watching TV and if I had too much caffeine I would have a huge problem of racing heart and breathlessness. Walking the dog and talking aloud (may have looked mad if there was anyone around to see it) helped get through the attack. I did a lot of brushing the floor too. Anything rhythmic and that got me moving. I suppose dancing might have been good, just never thought of it. Anything to nip the racing thoughts in the bud if I could.

    So yes, it does get better. I think things would have progressed faster though if I had got counseling or had people I felt I could talk to. This site helped quite a lot.

  • You may find on of those lights that lift the mood in winter a way to lighten your mood in winter. At this time Aldi has them in, it is an alarm clock with the light that may help you in the winter months

    With regards your Father, my Father died while suffering from Dementia, my Mother looked after Him to the end, it was a blessing.

    I was pushed to look after my Aunt from mid term Dementia until the end and granted it was not very nice, I am a male, was looking after a female and I was acting as her voice at meetings with GPs and Social Services, I was also dealing with the nursing home when the time came where she was becoming a danger to herself.

    Eventually we could not find Her will and I ended up looking after that as well. A real problem when we could not find the will.

    When She died I arranged for the funeral as I had done with Her Brother who was also resident in Social Care.

    To be honest with you it was a pain in the bum the whole thing although I still feel it was an honour to see that vital, clever lady over when no-one else had the nouce to help or go to both their funerals.

    Like you I tried to commit suicide and I am now still proving myself after that error.

    Your Father seems to have been a gem of a man who had to go through the loosing of and wife and mother. We all need to learn from past errors, that makes us so much well rounded and understanding.


    Give yourself a break, you have a family to look after and love.


  • Thank you. I will see If aldi has the clocks x

  • You are beating yourself up to much . You have been though a tough time . Regarding your siblings , we all as individuals deal with death and everyday life differently . So don't feel bad that you suffer from depression you have been though a lot and you are dealing with this horrible condition the best way you can. I also hate being restricted by time but I tell myself every day that achieving a working week is a step forward to feeling better. It may not work for you but you will find a way to get back out there. Think of the postive things you have done when you feel like beating yourself up. Like your daughter and husband . When we lose a loved one that's been a strong presence in our life's the world becomes a Scarry place . This in time will heal and you will become strong just give yourself a break and think of all the good things you have done as you deserve to be happy .

    I hope this helps you

  • Hi Helen. So sorry to hear of all your problems no wonder you are so down. I have been on this forum for 6 months and have had great advice. Gambit suggested I may be B12 deficient and sure enough I was so had the loading doses and 1 every 3 months. I have taken all advice and supplementing from Amazon. I also bought a light box which I use 30 minutes every morning. For 5 months I have been great and thought after 21 years I had cracked it. Then last week the depression reared its head. Like you the dizziness and bad balance is the worst. I am very lucky I have lovely family and friends. Tomorrow I am going to see G.P and ask him can I have jabs every month. I will show him the copy of blood results and hope he agrees. To be honest a lot of what our friends on here write goes over my head it's too much to take in. I can't say to Doctor I am low on this or that because all I know is my B12 and folate is low. Even when I Haven't got brain fog I don't understand I am 71 so maybe it's due to age. Thanks for all past advice and hopefully I will be telling you I am on jabs once a month Lin x

  • Hello Lin I have just joined the site after many episodes and life-changing events. I too wonder if age (I'm 69) has anything to do with the problems I have. I take vitamin B supplements and am on anti depressants but this flaming thing keeps finding me - usually the day after I've felt some kind of contentment or been a bit 'happy hyper' if you know what I mean. No wonder Churchill called it his 'black dog'. A bit unfair on our Canine friends but a brilliant way to describe it. Am glad you have found good advice here and am hoping the same will happen for me. Although am my own worst enemy at times. Look after yourself !!! Annie

  • Hi Annie, I am on Duloxetine 60mg after trying various ones over the years. Funny you on the same one and you keep having set backs like me. I went Docs today and he said B12 deficiency does not cause depression and to try councilling. In the past it hasn't worked but will try again. I am going to see a hypnotist (you name it I have tried it) like you I can feel really good and the next thing the cloud descends and stays with me for about 6 weeks. I get 2 episodes a year. I have now got a light box which I sit in front of for 30 mins and listen to Mindfulness fron Utube. Normally I am a cheerful,friendly person and people find it hard to believe I suffer with depression. Thanks for your support and we will keep in touch through this forum. Haven't got the hang of private messaging on here yet. Love Lin x

  • I have a black dog, (a labrador) and when she sits on me I do find it hard to get up and get out, literally ;)

  • Any excuse!!! Haha Am dead jealous cos I want one but for several reasons can't have a pet! Thanks for the chuckle and give her a cuddle from me. 👍

  • Oh Helen my heart goes out to you. Please believe me when I say the grieving will need to do its stuff before it leaves you and if you can remember the good times and fun you had with your dad it may help. All the other stuff. Yours is such a sad story and that is why you need to cling on to the good bits. My sis and I still chuckle at some of Mum's antics during her time with the Dementia. There are a couple of tales we love to tell and talk about and We know she would approve she had an amazing sense of humour bless her. It is hard For you with so many sad events in your life. Hanging on to the good bits like a million balloons will float you to where you deserve to be. Never give up hope is what I tell myself when it's bad. But used to feel guilty if I was happy and always afraid of it all going wrong! It usually does but am still hanging in there and am a bit proud of that - you should be too because you did all you could for Mum and wherever she is she will know and be proud of you. X Annie x

  • Thank you Annie. You have no idea how helpful your reply was to me. Yesterday was dreadful - even the evening was bad and was tempting to phone 999 because I was going mad or dying. It isn't funny to feel so panicked. Didn't sleep well last night. Kept waking up in panic and so desperate to talk to my husband but he needs his sleep. I feel so dreadful for my daughter who wants me to do Halloween stuff with her but I just want to be left alone.

  • Hiya Helen I was on patrol last night also - finding it easier to sleep in the day and 'live' at nighttime at the moment it's a cowardly way of avoiding folks or reality I guess. Juggling a family around this thing is so very difficult - I remember back in the seventies when my kids were small and do not envy you. BUT it can also help you to poke this thing in the eye with a sharp stick!!! If you can, try to dredge some of that strength you found with your Dad 'cos I know there will have been days / moments when you had to do that. Imagine it's coming from him now and let it help you to have tonight with your daughter. It will make you feel good in many ways and hopefully make your family and most of all YOU proud of your achievement. If it doesn't work love at least you tried. Oh and don't eat all the treats 👻👹👽 x

  • Hey Helen did you manage to do the Halloween thing? Here's a chuckle for you - Not having been out for some time and temporarily living on planet gaga, I had no treats in for any kids that might knock. As I'm tucked away in a tiny annexe attached to my landlady's (she is also an amazing friend) I thought they wouldn't find me. They did 2 years ago but not last year so thought I was pretty safe. Wrong!!! 8.30pm I'm doing my currently permanent impression of Cruella:- Long dressing gown - white face - pinhole eyes squinting out over black bags you could pack your weekly shop in - matted hair that's desperately trying to turn grey but I won't let it and finger nails red with blood from the most recent cuticle excavation - you know - usual stuff 💀👽👻 I opened the door and ten little humans of varying sizes who were attempting to scare me. All took a step back and suppressed their own screams!!!! Luckily the attending adult, a lovely young lady who I am close to gathered them together and shepherded them all next door each one with a 20pence piece in their little shaking hands. I couldn't give them more or I would have. She came back and gave me a hug which was priceless!!! I hope those poor traumatised kids are booked into counselling as I write! They could be damaged for life!!! Sos Helen got a bit carried away there - hope you managed a smile as that is the intention. Annie x

  • Thank you Annie. It wasn't too bad - the evenings are normally a bit better and managed to watch strictly but today I really feel so panicky think I am going to go mad! I got a kitchen recently - the whole kitchen is shoved in the house until the builder comes whenever - probably within the week or so but this is all too overwhelming. I am shaking with the stress of it all. I can't cope with it. The new puppy and the disruption is getting my anxiety so high. Can you go mad or die from a new kitchen? Feel as if I can. After that I will have to move all the crockery and stuff somewhere but I just want to escape somewhere and die! Somehow we are going to have to feed ourselves without a kitchen and I am feeling so terrified I am waiting for the madness to ascend! Sounds silly I guess and you will say it is only anxiety but it feels so strong. Thanks for listening it helps to hear my own voice and will try to meditate hoping to calm down a bit x

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