caregiving: I've been quarantining... - Mental Health Sup...

Mental Health Support

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I've been quarantining alone with my mate since early March, seeing my therapist (service-related CPTSD, Major Depression) once a week via Zoom is the only time I get to speak to anyone else.

My mate's apparently got a rip-roaring case of systemic Lupus, and suffered a serious and non-recoverable head injury in a car wreck a year and a half ago. She's easily confused, highly labile, and in chronic and debilitating pain and illness. She has no health insurance, and human services and Social Security and Medicaid have all been spectacularly unhelpful.

According to her, at least four other houses (led by our arch-villain next door neighbor) are spying on us; with computer and phone taps and secret motion detectors. They're beaming ultrasonic waves at us, and the odd car horn, car alarm, or the malfunctioning street light down the lane is really a means of signaling each other regarding our activities. They're slowly poisoning her garden and foliage. People are sneaking around in our woods at night. They've moved the markers at the corners of our property, and secretly moved the fences and phone poles to disguise the fact. Whatever evil they're doing, they're creating foul miasmic fumes and odors making her sick...which only she can smell.

Often as not nowadays, I awake to this litany of crazy first thing in the morning, listen to it all day long, and she's often frenetically ranting about it as we go to bed at night. I've installed security cameras (they know how to defeat them), repeatedly measured off our property with survey in hand, a 100' tape & flags (you're wrong) paid for two (expensive) surveys (what if they're part of the conspiracy?), researched and learned that ultrasonic devices are hugely ineffective, have a range of < 300', and don't penetrate foliage, much less buildings (you're wrong), pointed out that it was highly unlikely anyone could rearrange phone poles without our noticing; what with us being home 24/7 due to the COVID-19 quarantine and all (you're wrong).

When I try to apply reason & logic using empiricism and reality testing, she has flaming meltdowns and screaming hissy fits, gets verbally abusive, and threatens to leave me (or worse). When I try to apply empathy and compassion, acknowledging her fear and validating her need to feel safe, she has flaming meltdowns and screaming hissy fits, gets verbally abusive, and threatens to leave me (or worse). As I mentioned before, I have problems of my own, including depression, introversion, & Asperger's; I often struggle to interact and respond appropriately in the best of circumstances; I haven't a clue how to deal constructively with this.

I've been up since 2:00 AM. Any moment, she'll awake, and the whole thing will start anew, and no matter what I do or how hard I try to help, it won't stop. It's just really, really hard right now.

8 Replies

That's alot to deal with my friend.

Have u tryed reaching out to local churches or synagogues? That's how I got help after my severe car accident when no other services helped me unless i lived in a box with no assets.

Try contacting..Catholic charities.Ive had numerous head injuries n def not easy dealing with people with them n without treatment or therapy.

As for u..I have a friend with Asphbergers n it sounds like ur doing the best u possibly can.Just remember to take care of u and ur needs also.

Best to u.

I gather you are in the USA hence all the problems you are having. Like Hippolove suggests consider looking for Mental Health Charities are available in your area they may be able to help. Try and take your Lady to see Her Doctor to discuss how you can arrange a treatment for Her. If she is in so much distress there should be ways to get treatment as Her condition sound it may become worse and become unreasonable and concerning for people around your neighborhood She needs help and support and with not having insurance there must be some sort of assistance you can arrange.


Piobair in reply to borderriever

Yes; we live in a country where medical care is a perquisite of the rich, and half a million of the rest of us loose our homes and go bankrupt due to medical bills every year.

We live in a very small rural community "two hours away from anywhere" with few resources, and she's VERY unlikely to seek help from a church.

I am so sorry that life has thrown this at you.

What is your partners's diet like? Some vitamin deficiencies can result in psychological problems - such as paranoia. Lupus is an autoimmune disorder which makes other auto-immune disorders like pernicious anaemia more common. Dispite the name PA is actually an autoimmune condition affecting the gut and preventing the absorption of B12 from food ... and paranoia is quite a common symptom of B12 deficiency. Macrocyotic anaemia is another symptom but it isn't necessarily amongst the first symptoms to develop. Unfortunately B12 deficeincy tends not to be well understood by medics unless they have a specific interest and it is difficult to diagnose. Most think its just about anaemia.

Please note that there are other communities on HU that may be able to help you cope with other aspects of what you are going through.

There is also a community focused on PTSD but I haven't looked at the community so don't know what sort of people are on the community.

In the UK we have one charity - COMBAT STRESS that deails with veterans who are experiencing psychological disorderds. It may be worth taking a look at their website - thay have some tools specifically around dealing with COVID-19 that I found particularly useful - not served myself but have friends who have ... and it was the only sight I found which had much around trying to deal with the rage I feel as a consequence of COVID-19

Piobair in reply to Gambit62

Thanks. She's been treated for anemia, and is chronically nauseous; she's lost something like 30 pounds this year. She's also had episodes of ascites, pleuretic pain on respiration, severe diarrhea; she's in constant pain from parasthesias in all extremities and severe joint pain; which can be shockingly swollen and discolored. All of these, including malar rash and Raynaud's syndrome, suggest systemic Lupus. Her head injury just made her neurologic symptoms exponentially worse.

Piobair in reply to Gambit62

I was a firefighter/paramedic. Lately, all my therapy time is consumed just coping with home life; there's no time to address the PTSD.

Gambit62 in reply to Piobair

One of the most important things about being a carer is to remember that you really can't take care of someone else unless you have taken care of yourself first so, please do something about continuing with the CPTSD treatment and make some time for yourself. Have you got any family and friends or are you trying to get through this completely on your own. I really do recommend trying to find a carer's community and spend some time there - even if it is only to vent - I joined the HU community specifically because I needed to vent about my mother's dementia and its impact on myself.

I'm sure there must be a charity near you that deals with supporting carers which is what you probably need most at this point in time. Caring 24/7 (and I was doing a lot less than that when I needed to vent :)) can so easily become an intolerable burden and being in contact with others who are trying to cope - if only to know that you are not alone - is likely to be a big part of taking care of yourself right now.

Had a long talk with our doctor; she referred us to financial aid at the hospital, and another doctor; we have an appointment for next week. FINALLY got her into DHS, who helped her file for Medicaid. She's $1200 over the limit, but paying off one or two of her outstanding medical bills will fix that.