Saturday, 26 January 2013

What about me?

I'm always amazed at the amount of people I speak to who are caring for someone with a mental illness or personality disorder and don't realise it. If you don't realise you're a carer, you quite often don't realise that not only do you need help, you are entitled to it AND deserve it. I was fortunate to be picked up quite quickly by the many wonderful organisations out there that are there to stop you going insane.

Let me be quite clear, it does not matter if this person is your daughter, son, mother, father, any relation by blood or marriage or in fact if it's a friend or neighbour. If they are a PIGLET - Person I Give Love and Endless Therapy too and you do this all day, all week, then you can be classed as a carer and you NEED support. The first place to start is your local carers' centre:

Find your local carers centre

They offer practical and emotional support and our local one offers regular "therapies" such as massage, reiki to help you relax and look after yourself for a while.

The strain on your emotions and your relationship with whomever it is you love who has a PD is tremendous. It's very difficult to understand their behaviour so I would also suggest reading up on their illness especially a PD because they are so confusing and behaviour can be so hurtful.

Online forums can help you can talk to people with similar problems who understand. Counselling may be necessary to help you cope or a support group - any kind of voluntary mental health organisation. Sadly I live in an area where mental health is rife, fortunately this does mean that the support for people living with it themselves or through a loved one is fantastic.

First rule of caring - look after yourself! Always! You can't help them if you're ill yourself.

And lastly even if you are insistent that you don't class yourself as a carer but are emotionally affected by someone with a PD or MI please get help - it costs nothing but is invaluable. I really can't stress this enough.

Take care. Sian xx

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