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Being a Carer

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fahmida45
fahmida45 Community member Posts: 38 Courageous
edited November 2021 in Mental health and wellbeing
Hi everybody, my name is Fahmida and carer for my older sister. I have been carer since my mid-teens to now. My older sister has severe mental health issues with depressive and anxiety disorder. She has been diagnosed when she was 17 and began at 14. She is 26 years old and is part time university student. My older sister is fully self aware of her condition and supports me with helping her condition, I mostly support her with emotional and physical needs when her mental health is goes really bad and needs extra assistance. Now, she is really weak and unwell as because she starting to deal with issues and trauma she has been avoiding for past 10 years. I want advice on how to encourage her to develop good habits and coping mechanism to better assist like personal hygiene, grooming, encouraging her to open about her feelings to people about her life and past etc. We have applied for PPI and waiting for a decision to come through so I can apply for carer allowance also apply for carer grant as while.

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  • Ross_Alumni
    Ross_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,652 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hello @fahmida45

    Welcome to the community, thank you for introducing yourself and your sister. I'm sorry to hear that she is starting to deal with trauma that has been in the back of her mind for a long while. 

    Can I ask, is she in contact with anybody about her mental health? Such as a GP or mental health support team?

    Good habits and coping techniques are two very important things to help a person manage, and I find that as someone in a supportive capacity providing that encouragement can be priceless to a person, but of course you want them to be able to get to a point where those habits and coping techniques are something they do without encouragement as often as possible.

    I think it could just be about finding what works for your sister, what she does and doesn't enjoy doing to take her mind off things, and what habits she finds easier to adopt. 

    What does she enjoy doing?
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  • fahmida45
    fahmida45 Community member Posts: 38 Courageous
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    @Ross_Scope

    Thank you for responding to my post and feel less alone. My sister has a counsellor involved and GP. Recently she has been taking her medication again and trying to pray regularly. She is going to weekly support group for anxiety. But, she is still struggles daily to daily with her illness. She gets easily tired and needs to rest for 2-3 hours to recharge her battery. She is really weak and finds it hard to cope even with her coping techniques. She uses art as a therapy to express her feelings out on paper. She tries her best to cope and recover at same time. I am trying to become more encouraging and use positive reinceforment to assist with her. I feel I could do more for her with my limited capacity. I have called power advocacy organisation and was refer to services to get a community advocacy and support involved for her. It’s waiting game and feels frustrating to wait for couple of days. I hope they get back to us soon.
  • Alex_Alumni
    Alex_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,562 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hello @fahmida45, thanks for reaching out :) I'm so glad you found @Ross_Scope 's reply helpful.

    To me it sounds as though you are doing a brilliant job, your sister has a great support network in place, she's supporting herself as best she can, and you are very active in seeking out organisations for  extra support, not only for her, but for yourself as well. 

    The art therapy is really positive, I hope your sister finds it helpful, as well as an opportunity to be creative, something we should all do more of really! What kinds of things does she create?

    Keep us updated with the power advocacy organisation, hopefully they will be in touch very soon. 

    As @Teddybear12 has mentioned, it's also important to take time to look after yourself, and know that it's okay to have days where you can't do everything on your own. Remember we are all human. I can see you're already taking steps to find additional support and that is great. You mention your sister is 26, so I wonder if you are a young carer, or young adult carer?  Carer's Trust might be a good to look at if you haven't already :)

    Do let us know how you get on, and let us know if we can help any further :)

    Alex
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  • fahmida45
    fahmida45 Community member Posts: 38 Courageous
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    @Alex_Scope

    Thank you for the advice and I make time for my self. I am young adult carer and most of the support she has so far is with her looking and researching organisations herself. I just helped her with talking on her behalf. She does origami, drawing and embroidery and such more. We heard back from Power and told her to go to GP to talk more about her getting community advocacy or support worker to asses her needs. We have not made decision yet but will. Now, she is coping somewhat okay but has days where her health gets worse and try to manage.
  • Alex_Alumni
    Alex_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,562 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi @fahmida45 I'm glad to hear things are moving forward with Power, as well as the community advocacy too, that's great to hear.

    It's all you can do to manage those days when things are worse, I'm sure everything you're doing now, and looking to do in future will help make things easier all round. 

    Origami, drawing, and embroidery, clearly multi-talented :) I'd love to be able to give embroidery a try myself, but I'd probably hurt my fingers with the needle more than anything else! Does she have a favourite?
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  • fahmida45
    fahmida45 Community member Posts: 38 Courageous
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    @Alex_Scope

    I think she likes doing all of them and thank you for the support. I hope things do improve.
  • Alex_Alumni
    Alex_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,562 Disability Gamechanger
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    That's alright @fahmida45 you're very welcome. We're here as and when you need us :)
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