Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

A carer's perspective Watch

Announcements
    • TSR Support Team
    • Very Important Poster
    • Peer Support Volunteers
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Hi! It's World Mental Health Day today, and the theme this year is 'psychological first aid'. In physical cases, first aid can save a life. Less recognised is the life saving capabilities of psychological first aid. It is the immediate psychological assistance in event of a crisis. At one point or another, almost everyone will know someone dealing with mental illness. It's so important that everyone knows how to help them deal with it, and how to help themselves at the same time.

    My story: (may be triggering/distressing)
    Spoiler:
    Show
    Okay, so a bit of background. I'm 19, and my younger brother Josh is 17. 5 or 6 years ago, I became a secondary carer to him. Living at home is just us two and our mum. I've always helped watch him, cooked for him, helped him manage his medication etc. He has autism, and a number of mental health conditions - yet they aren't officially diagnosed as his doctors cannot agree. It's currently floating around schizoaffective disorder, OCD, and others. He suffers from delusions, paranoia, and anxiety, among a number of other things.

    A few years ago, he had a psychotic break. He became very violent towards me, and very destructive. Later on, he started to self harm. At this time, our mum was also suffering with mental health issues along with physical ones. She struggled to cope, and didn't know where to start. For years, she had tried to get him help, but no one would believe her. She got very emotional, and sometimes aggressive, and most doctors wouldn't take her seriously. I was the one to tell social services everything, who then in turn put in some provisions. We both had a child protection conference, and were then put down as children in need. We regularly met with a social worker, and he started getting help. It went well for a little while, but it wasn't enough and he continued to get worse. He tried to kill me a total of 8 times. The hardest thing in this situation is knowing what to do. The first time this happened, I had no clue what to do. I locked myself in the lounge, and luckily had a phone in there which I used to call our mum. She came home and calmed him down. After this, I made sure that I learned what I needed to do to help him.
    • If it's safe to do so, I calm him down by diffusing the situation where possible and distracting him
    • I call his crisis team, the police/an ambulance (if necessary), and his primary carer (mum)
    • I get him to a safe and indoor environment so that he is less affected by noise, light, people etc.

    Since then, he has been sectioned a number of times in hospitals across the country. Just the other day, he was released from one in Manchester. He currently stays part of the week at home, and the rest of the week at a children's home under local authority care. While he's home, I look after him while my mum rests, and she while I rest. He needs near constant attention, and can't look after himself. He's not currently allowed to be home full-time, as he needs around the clock care which can't be provided properly in the community at this time.

    My family has support from social services, CAMHS, our GP and the local authority. I've also received support from Childline in the past when things have gotten too much to deal with.

    Who is a carer?
    Spoiler:
    Show
    Not all carers, particularly young ones, really know that they are carers. For many, it's just another part of everyday life. Carers are those who care for people who due to illness, disability, mental health problems, or addiction cannot cope without their support. A carer could be a 13 year old boy looking after his 40 year old mother with an addiction, a partner caring for the person they love with a disability, or a 50 year old woman looking after her mentally ill son.

    Looking after yourself:
    Spoiler:
    Show
    You can't forget yourself, especially when you have someone else to look after. It's all good and well putting every single part of you into trying to help them, but at the end of the day you still have a responsibility to yourself. This is really important to providing the best care for someone. There are a number of ways you can do this:
    • Self-care
    - Unwinding at the end of the day
    - Exercise
    - Hobbies
    - Socialising with friends outside of the house
    • Get outside support
    - There are support groups for both adult and young carers in communities. These are really helpful, and allows you to get to know people that understand what you're dealing with
    - Online support groups and forums exist. TSR has a carer's thread here
    - You may be entitled to carer's allowance. Your local CAB will be able to advise you on this, and any other benefits you may be entitled to. You also have rights as a young carer, which means that the local authority must assess your situation to decide what help you and your family are entitled to
    • Don't neglect your own education, social life, or anything else important

    My Tips:
    Spoiler:
    Show
    • Look into respite care
    • Remember to keep yourself a priority
    • Know that it's allowed to get too much, and you're allowed to feel bad
    • Learn what you can about the person's condition so that you can help them in the best way
    • Listen to the person you care for. They may need less or more help
    • Look after your own mental health as a priority. You are not alone, and there is help

    Where can you get help?:
    Spoiler:
    Show
    You can get help from a number of charities and organisations if you're a carer for someone. You're never alone.

    Childline - 0800 1111 and web-chat service (under 19)

    The Children's Society

    School (your teachers are a really good place to start)

    Your GP

    Local carer's services

    Carer's Direct - 0300 123 1053

    Social services/your local authority

    Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)

    Babble (under 18)

    Matter (16-25)

    Carer's Space (18+)

    I hope this helps some people
    • TSR Support Team
    • Very Important Poster
    • Peer Support Volunteers
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Sorry this is so late I spent most of the day at the GP and the hospital
    • TSR Support Team
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by chelseadagg3r)
    Sorry this is so late I spent most of the day at the GP and the hospital
    This is a great idea for a thread and I hope it will help those who are in a similar situation and help them on how to manage the strains that can come with caring.

    Sorry to hear you've been most of the day with docs hope you're doing better now :hugs:

    He's asleep now but tomorrow, I might interview my partner since he is my carer and see what his answers are. I am interested to see what he says. He always says he's doing fine and I'm not a burden but I'd like to know how feels about it more in depth. I'm sure he'd be up for me doing it, as long as I done the typing :laugh:

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    • TSR Support Team
    • Very Important Poster
    • Peer Support Volunteers
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Spock's Socks)
    This is a great idea for a thread and I hope it will help those who are in a similar situation and help them on how to manage the strains that can come with caring.

    Sorry to hear you've been most of the day with docs hope you're doing better now :hugs:

    He's asleep now but tomorrow, I might interview my partner since he is my carer and see what his answers are. I am interested to see what he says. He always says he's doing fine and I'm not a burden but I'd like to know how feels about it more in depth. I'm sure he'd be up for me doing it, as long as I done the typing :laugh:

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Thanks! There's so many carers out there, and particularly with young carers it's so easy to ignore your own health while helping with someone else's.

    I'm feeling quite a bit better thanks. Finally just about back into action :woo:

    That sounds really interesting! He does sound really great from what I've heard I'd definitely read it!

    Posted from TSR Mobile
 
 
 
Reply
Submit reply
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Updated: October 10, 2016
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Should Spain allow Catalonia to declare independence?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.