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30 May 2011

need help
Dear Dr, I was told of your website and hope you can help. My dad, who has always been a healthy, spritely man, was recently injured and the pain, in conjunction with living with my mother who has Alzheimers, is sucking the life out of him. As an only child I''m extremely close to him, and feel as if my own life is coming to an end as I see him losing his grip. I can''t sleep, can''t function properly, and am becoming a terribly mentally absent, and very emotional, mother to my children, due to the unbearable stress I''m having at watching my dad suffering and at the thought of losing him. Things have been bad and stressful enough over the past year with my mother. Please tell me how to deal with this.
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Any of us can, of course, be severely affected by the stress of our own pain and health problems, and by those of others. And I know, from direct personal experience, the tragedy and chronic stres of caring for someone with developing dementia.
It is indeed also stressful and sad to watch someone we love going through such problems. But we need to recognize that allowing ourselves to become unduly distresed and troubled by this makes us LESS of a support and assistance to that person, not more. It would be very wise for you to see a personal counsellor to work through all the issues that this situation has roused in you, wand this would benefit you, your dad, your mom, your children and husband.
With counselling one can learn to cope better with unavoidable stresses and anxieties, and to avoid the avoidable ones ; to enable oneself to be as useful as possible to those who rely on us and need us, without damagingly blaming oneself for not being able to be useful to them in impossible ways
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