Letters from Madelyn – Chapter 11
“Choose Our Thoughts”
Caregiver depression is a common experience among people who are caring for loved ones whose bodies and minds are failing. There are so many things over which we have no control, especially as a disease progresses. Feeling sad is normal.
In the early 1960‘s my mother read the book, “Man’s Search for Meaning”, by Dr. Viktor Frankl, a survivor of a Nazi concentration camp. About half way through his imprisonment at Auschwitz, Dr. Frankl realized the difference in the people who survived and the people who died quite often was not determined by age, health, or physical strength nearly as much as by their attitude toward their circumstances.
There were two statements in that book that really resonated with Mom. Dr. Frankl said, “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”and “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
In today’s episode of “Letters from Madelyn”, my mother once again finds the emotional courage and strength she needs to deal with her caregiver depression. She carries on by turning her worries over to God and adjusting her attitude. This isn’t something a person does once. Our attitude is a choice we make every single day.
It is important to note that caregivers often experience two different kinds of depression. Reactionary depression is a temporary condition, and it is usually a response to a situation or event. With time and conscious effort, it is possible to work your way through it.
Clinical depression is different. It is a medical condition that manifests itself in a mental disorder. It is not possible to overcome clinical depression with positive thinking or prayer. This condition requires medical attention. If you feel like you are on a downward slide, that there is absolutely nothing positive to look forward to in the future, and if you’ve been experiencing suicidal thoughts for two weeks or more; call your doctor today.
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click here: Letters from Madelyn, Chronicles of a Caregiver