DD2,Sorry I haven't checked in in a while. Man, what a terrible time you've been having. I am soooo sorry. I'm glad to hear that it sounds as though things are looking up a bit.I wanted to say before that YOU can call his doctor and talk to him/her, ask questions, express your concerns. You don't have to rely on your dad as your only source of info or to relay other possible treatments. Also where is your stepmom in this? Do you get her opinion on how he is doing? Does she talk to the doctors, I'm thinking of the VNS. But more importantly, when you are so worried, you are immediate family, there is no reason why you can't call and talk to his doctors yourself.I was also surprised to hear that you only live about an hour away...Do they overtly or covertly make you feel like you are not wanted there? That they don't want your support, and that you don't have a right to visit your dad whenever you want (if you want, that is)? I would think, as others have suggested, that your stepmom would welcome any help she could get...an ally, a break, someone to help him see reality, etc. But it doesn't really sound like it. Nevertheless, you (and your brother) also have the right to visit your father, see how he's doing, etc. though it sounds as though 'dropping in' is not cool. Calling first is important.This might be a good time to check in and make sure you are taking good care of yourself. Are YOU getting the support that you need? It seems like this is all encompassing for you (and how could it not be?) But irregardless of how long things go on this way, you can't let this overtake your whole life, I know easier than it sounds. You might want to look around for a support group, or consider some counseling for yourself, this has to be taking a tremendous toll on you, and I imagine there are not too many friends that you can talk to about it in great detail. I can hear your frustration with your father over his fiscal irresponsibility and yet your fear of being too harsh - lest that push him over the edge. There is nothing that you will ever do or say that will make him harm himself, it is this terrible disease that he suffers from that might, but not you or your actions, never. You are under a tremendous amount of stress and I am concerned about you. It sounds like you've had a roller coaster ride of a time growing up, moving every few years and living with his rags to riches to rags compulsive behavior. I'm not criticizing him, I recently read an impassioned speech by Skip Cummins (president of Cyberonics, maker of the VNS device) about how people with TRD, like your father, suffer, I wish somehow your father could hear it and maybe it would give him hope. I have never heard a story first hand like I have about your fathers depression and though I've suffered from mild depression my whole life, with periods of severe depression, I've never experienced or imagined anything like that. Though I have to say there were times last year that were pretty close, where I didn't work for months, called in sick a couple times a week, couldn't get myself to shower more than once a week, got out of bed only to walk the dog and even let the poor thing cry sometimes for an hour before I could manage it (I know - that's horrible), and have been on so many different meds that I felt pretty hopeless. I felt like I couldn't care less about anything. I didn't even hurt anymore, I was just numb. It is a pretty scary place, not knowing whether I'd ever be able to work again, want to see my friends or my family or talk to anyone again, do anything. I wanted to do all these things in my mind, I had all these interests, but it was like there was no will or something. I only just started feeling better in December, and it feels so fragile and tenuous I'm afraid I'm going to sink back into the abyss again. I started back at work last week part time and I'm afraid that the stress will kick in, the migraines will start, and then the depression will return. But I've started doing alot of relaxation stuff and positive guided imagery with these CD's by this Doctor who is one of the founders of mind/body healing from the 80's and I think they are really beneficial. They've helped with my insomnia (anxiety), headaches, and also just taking control of my life and not feeling so powerless. In case anyone is interested you can check them out at www.drmiller.com Might even be helpful for you DD2 if you are feeling stressed out. I love 'Easing Into Sleep' even if you don't have trouble sleeping, it's still a great 'relaxation' CD. And there's an exercise, in a relaxed state to focus on positive change on that one, which is really great. There might be something there for your dad, Dr. Miller is a well know Pshychiatrist in CA - not only that, but he does consultations over the phone AND can make a custom CD for you! I just thought of that!Anyway - I've blabbed on long enough. Time for bed, getting to bed on a regular schedule is part of my new routine, helps with the headaches and overall wellbeing. I have always been completely erratic about eating and sleeping.Hang in there DD2, Keep on posting! And be sure to be good to yourself too.nikita
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