21-05-2019 07:20 PM
21-05-2019 07:21 PM - edited 21-05-2019 07:22 PM
Alright all to Discussion Point number one
There’s so much to consider within the role of mental health carer, sometimes when we come to realise our identity as one, it feels a little uncomfortable.
What does the label "carer" mean to you, and how do you find it represents what you do?
21-05-2019 07:23 PM
Also, I'm loving everyone's cute animal themed avatars!
So, my thoughts on this first point...
I really struggled for many years identifying as a carer. For me, I felt the ‘script of what it meant to be a carer that I'd seen in popular culture didn't really fit with what I was experiencing. For me, the term carer meant caring for someone with a physical disability, someone older caring for someone younger, or someone providing care in a professional capacity. Thes examples did not really fit with my lived experience. I think being a carer in the mental health space, is so different in terms of day-to-day task and challenges than providing care for someone with a physical disability. I always saw myself as more of a supporter, but this didn't always convey to people what I actually did as a carer. One of the other reasons that I felt carer didn't fit for me, as I honestly felt guilty about it, as I thought it was devaluing my mum's experience, and putting the attention on me. What helped me accept this term was meeting other young carers and hearing that my experience was not weird, or different and that other people were experiencing the same things.
21-05-2019 07:29 PM
This is very interesting the concept of "devaluing your Mum's experience" - I wonder how many others resonate with this feeling? @Tim_YPA I never actually considered the idea of feeling as though we're taking away from the focus of our loved ones.. Thank you for this point.
21-05-2019 07:31 PM
For me, being a carer means being a pillar of support. My partner is currently being pharmacologically treated for schizophrenia, but also showing symptoms of disassociative identity disorder and depersonalisation disorder. Because there is (for the most part) no physical aspect, I feel like there isn't much I can do but be as supportive and understanding as possible. I feel my most important tasks are to remind him that the diagnosis doesn't define who he is, that having a bad day doesn't make him a bad person, and to protect him from stigma.
21-05-2019 07:33 PM
Thank you for sharing @Tictac. I really like the term 'pillar of support' it really resonates with me my own feeling of the caring role I play for my mum.
21-05-2019 07:34 PM
That is so powerful to echo that "his diagnosis doesn't define him". How do you find you go protecting him from stigma? Just day to day advocacy amongst friends etc? Thanks heaps for sharing this @Tictac
21-05-2019 07:34 PM
I also really resonate with the point @Tim_YPA makes about not feeling liek the term fits and almost like a bit of guilt of putting myself on the same level as proffessional, physical carers
21-05-2019 07:37 PM
Hi @Tim_YPA @and welcome.
Hi and welcome @Tictac .
Our family has come into a series of mental health issues. It was triggered by my husband developing behavioural patterns indicating that there was something seriously wrong, and although he is still very unwell he has no insight regarding himself. This triggered mental health issues in our youngest two (or three, hard to tell), but within this weird dynamic, the kids are also functioning as carer’s for their unwell dad, as well as needing care themselves, and caring for each other.
While you are a young carer @Tim_YPA, I am interested in what you have to say for my (adult) kids’ benefit. We are carer’s also to one of the kids who has physical and mental disability.
21-05-2019 07:37 PM
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