Parents, carers and disabled parents
If this is your first visit, check out the community guide. You will have to Join us or Sign in before you can post.


AlistairAlistair Member Posts: 104
Does anyone want to talk about depression and caring for a disabled child?
I am a single, male, carer for my 13 year old daughter who has MLD and ASD. She is, however, a delight. I have been experiencing depression for a number of years and have lost my job because of it. I finally agreed to start medication but it just seems to get worse.


  • HeatherHeather Member Posts: 171 Listener
    Hi Alistair. Firstly, hats off to you for doing such a hard job! I watched my husband in total denial for years until he finally had a complete break down and was signed off work for months trying to come to terms with his "not so perfect son" Counselling and medication have helped him enormously and we have made a special effort of taking every opportunity to have a "normal" life when our son is in respite. It's not easy and unless you've been there, no one else can appreciate how low it can get. Please step back and remember how important you are and join support groups, look after yourself. There are alot of people who do know how you feel. Carers UK are a very good support and can help you through some difficult times. Good luck
  • starstar Member Posts: 3
    Hi Alistair,i can relate to your post very much,myself being a single parent caring for my disabled son who is almost 5,and i suffer from anxiety,have done for many years,but throughout my caring role it has increased...if you,d like to chat and share experiences then just let me know...kind regards...
  • AlistairAlistair Member Posts: 104
    Thanks Heather! I was beginning to regret posting that first message. I'm afraid I'm not very good at looking after myself. I'm fine when my daughter is at home but when she goes to school or is in respite I just go right down and find it very hard to motivate myself to do anything.
    The thought of support groups fills me with, quite frankly, fear. I've been to a couple at her (excellent) school but feel so out of place as the only male. Thanks again.
  • HeatherHeather Member Posts: 171 Listener
    Women can be intimidating! I host support groups myself and have an honoury male who has often said it's the only time he feels relaxed enough to speak the truth. I will see if I can get him to contact you, as he often feels isolated. Have you any fathers clubs in your area? Again I know the organisor of the fathers club support and he has years of knowledge and contacts to help. Stay strong!
  • AlistairAlistair Member Posts: 104
    I thank you both for your support. I live in the South West and ,yes star, I'd really like to chat.
    Yesterday I looked at other forums about depression but didn't feel comfortable. People who do not care for lovely children like ours just don't understand.
    Heather, I think there is a fathers group but I much prefer talking to women. I am the youngest sibling with three sisters and relate far better to females! (hope that doesn't sound weird). However I would be interested to chat with your 'honorary male' if he would like to.
    If you'r interested I can tell you specifically what makes me feel so uncomfortable at school support groups.
  • HeatherHeather Member Posts: 171 Listener
    Hi Alistair. I've heard from John who runs the support groups for Dads of ASD children. He would happily link up with you to see if he, or any of his fathers can help in any way. Totally understand the situation with face to face meetings, but talking really does help you realise you're not alone.
  • starstar Member Posts: 3
    Hi Alistair,firstly my name is Karen...i hope by talking with you and sharing experiences it might lighten the load....having had anxiety for many many years i feel talking about it helps and lets me know i,m not alone...this is also new to me talking on a forum...
  • AlistairAlistair Member Posts: 104
    edited June 2014
    Hi to you both.
    Heather, I have emailed John. Thank you for that.
  • HeatherHeather Member Posts: 171 Listener
    Hi Alistair. How have you been? My little one is poorly at the mo and his epilepsy kicked in, going stir crazy myself. John said he'd contacted you, he is a great guy and helped my husband through some difficult times. And now I'd say John was a good friend with a wealth of knowledge and experience. Hope you have gained some support and feel free to liase with us at any point. H
  • AlistairAlistair Member Posts: 104
    Hi Heather
    I feel for you, when my daughter is ill I sometimes don't have face to face contact with another adult, oh, except the person at the checkout!
    It's complicated to answer your question as to how I am. My daughter has recently started with a new respite carer for much longer, four nights a week. I never felt comfortable with the length of time or the carer herself. However she appears happy and is always really happy to come home.
    I've noticed a pattern develop. When she's away I come down with very low mood. She's been at home for three nights now and I feel much better. She is just such fun and great company.
    Thanks, I'll contact John again.
  • starstar Member Posts: 3
    Hi Alistair,good to hear your feeling much better..
  • AlistairAlistair Member Posts: 104
    Thanks, star, she's back in respite on saturday afternoon this space.
    How are you getting on?
  • AlistairAlistair Member Posts: 104
    The best medication for this condition is walking.
    I'm lucky to live not far from Hengistbury Head ( Google earth it) and spent two hours or so walking there. I heard sky larks and saw sand martins popping in and out of holes in the cliff. I've still got the salty taste of the sea on my lips. I think I'll sleep well tonight but I must ensure I eat. Take care you two.
  • HeatherHeather Member Posts: 171 Listener
    Wow Hengistbury Head sounds lovely! We're all bug free now and bashing away at hospital visits on a weekly basis. Since my son has been out of school the health services have been fantastic...OT, physio, SAL, dietician, podietry etc It's what my son needed more than history and french!!!!! He's picked up no end, which we all know makes our lives happier!
    How did the respite weekend go? My daughter was asking what interests your daughter has? does she go online?
  • AlistairAlistair Member Posts: 104
    Hi Heather, I'm glad your all back to 'normal' (Grrr.. how I hate that word!). I used to work in special needs schools and it's wonderful what you can to with the national curriculum: geography = finding your way round the supermarket and history = what we did yesterday or even this morning.
    My daughter does go on line but it is very frustrating for her because she can not read or write (she so wants to). So we've added sites to her favourites which are mostly cooking games and princesses stuff. She does find it hard to self occupy and I have to ration her on line time. She is good at jigsaws and likes cutting and sticking and we've just come across theses mosaics with sticky foam squares. Have you seen them? Respite week-end was bearable but I can't motivate my self to do very much. It's embarrassing because the front garden is so overgrown.
  • AlistairAlistair Member Posts: 104
    Why or why is condition so debilitating? I've just got the strimmer out to attack the front garden but have come over with a sort of panic attack. Has anyone got some suggestions as to how I can overcome this malaise?
Sign in or join us to comment.