We got this question from a Mom dealing with multiple stresses from all directions. She's a cancer survivor herself, with a disabled adult son who finds changes in routine difficult, and a husband probably facing bone marrow transplantation ....
Do you hve any materials for parents of children with disabilities? My adult son has a severe genetic disorder and his father is in chemo for multiple myeloma. The chemo appears to be working well at this point.
As you can imagine, my son is wonderful, but he cannot understand the implications or be part of a support system. As a bone marrow transplant becomes more and more a reality, I need to reassure him that things will be OK, but different.
My son has a chromosomal disorder. He is verbal, extremely intelligent, does basic math in his head, has an incredible memory and a dry sense of humor. He is the highest producing employee at his sheltered workshop and a joy to be with. Verbalizing feelings is very difficult for him, as are changes in routine.
I myself am a breast cancer survivor in my early 70's.
We have had a difficult time with our 20 year old son from the beginning, and have sought help from various professional therapists since he was four.
I've never really felt we were getting anywhere with any of them. Our son knew how to act like a good therapy patient and say all the right things, but he never changed. He now blames my husband and me for his misfires and failures.
We had him tested here in Baltimore, and they confirmed much of what we already knew. He is very intelligent but there are big discrepancies in areas of functioning. We tried to get him into an intensive outpatient program for emotional help but were told he was not a good candidate because he would not cooperate.
This lovely note is a great reminder of how important self care is for those giving care to others, and what an important part mind-body resources like guided imagery can play in delivering self-nurturing during a difficult and exhausting time....
My headphones and Tablet with your programs became as vital a part of my travel kit as my toothbrush and plane ticket as I raced back and forth the 600 miles from his place to mine.
He passed away a year ago and your meditation on grief was a vital part of my healing.
So often, it seems, caregivers believe that caring for themselves will somehow deprive their loved one of care. Of course just the opposite is true!
I attend a monthly Alzheimer's caregivers' support group meeting. We have been discussing topics like stress, frustration, etc.
I suggested our group do a guided meditation some time. I was wondering if you thought the "Ease Grief" one would be appropriate for our group (all are caregivers of spouses or a parent, most local, some long distance (I am a long-distance caregiver)).
I absolutely LOVE your guided meditation for chemo patients -- I used it religiously when I was in chemo back 2003--it really helped me. If you have another suggestion for our caregivers group, I would appreciate hearing what you have in mind.
Thanks and regards,
Over the past several years I have had more friends and relatives die than I can count. One of these more recent losses was someone I had been taking care of for four years. There were a lot of issues between us, including anger about having to care for her before I even started high school. I wanted a "normal" teenage life, and couldn't have it because of my responsibilities to her.
After she died I could not forgive myself or her for the death. Since then I have not been able to get much sleep (it's been almost 3 years).
Now I'm dealing with a close relative battling cancer, stage 3. I don't live close to this particular relative, and that's made dealing with the strong possibility of losing them that much harder.
I was always the main caretaker in the family when there was a problem. I find myself restless, angry, resentful, and depressed. A psychologist familiar with my situation suggested BR's recordings. I would like some suggestions about which CDs to start off with.
I would like to know if you had any training prior to creating your first meditation tape. I am a LCSW and have a deep desire to create a relaxation/meditation tape for the physicians I serve. They are in recovery and I would like to learn how to create a CD. Any support would be greatly appreciated! Peace.
We got this email recently:
I want to praise Carol Dickman’s Seated Yoga video and Belleruth’s Parkinson’s Disease imagery. My husband who has been disabled and depressed with his illness for several years responds well to these. He works with both each day. He is less depressed, sleeps better and we both think he has gotten somewhat better at getting himself to move when he is “stalled”, which is what we call it when there is a gap between when he wants to use his muscles and when they respond.
An Italian study out of the Psychology Department of the University of Padua examined the impact of cognitive-behavioral therapy on the depressive symptoms of those who provide care at home for severely ill psychiatric patients.Read more »
Forty caregivers who were depressed or at risk of depression were randomly assigned to either a cognitive behavioral treatment (CBT) group or a mutual support treatment (MST) group, led respectively by 2 psychotherapists and 1 psychologist- facilitator. Before and after intervention, all participants were individually assessed with the Beck Depression Inventory and Family Problems questionnaire.
Both the CBT and MST therapies produced reductions in depression, though in the MST groups the trend was not significant. Nevertheless, analysis of the clinical significance of change in the Beck Depression Inventory score for each subject showed an improvement in 58.3% of depressed caregivers treated with CBT and in 45.4% of those treated with MST. And unlike CBT, MST produced an improvement in two dimensions of family burden.Citation: Michielin P, Cenedese C, Cristofoli M, Zaros N. [Usefulness and effectiveness of group cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy and mutual support group therapy for depressed caregivers of psychiatric patients] G Ital Med Lav Ergon. 2007 Jul-Sep;29(3 Suppl B):B18-25. [email protected] [Article in Italian]
According to a survey of 1,462 seriously ill patients by Karen Steinhauser and her research team at Duke University, freedom from pain is the most important priority at the end of life, followed by being at peace with God and being with loved ones. Other areas that ranked high in importance were good patient-physician communication, being prepared for death, and achieving closure. Items that were considered important by patients but less so by physicians included being mentally alert, not being a burden to others, and having time to plan funeral arrangements. Interestingly, the researchers also found that dying at home was not a priority. People don’t fear death, said Steinhauser at a press conference announcing the survey findings. They fear bad dying.Read more »
Citation: Steinhauser KE, Christakis NA, Clipp EC, McNeilly M, Grambow S, Parker J, Tulsky JA. Preparing for the end of life: preferences of patients, families, physicians, and other care providers. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 2001 Sep;22(3):727-37.
I want to applaud the idea of resources for caregivers. Nearly six years ago, our teenage son was a pedestrian, hit (on a sidewalk!) by a drunk driver. He suffered severe traumatic brain injury, was hospitalized for 6 monthsRead more »