Being A Caregiver That Also Has Schizophrenia
It's hard to deal with mental illness as it is, especially something like Schizophrenia. Add on top of anything else you have to do for someone else and it's like a huge crapshoot into what you have to deal with. I personally have a 7-month-old baby and have to take care of my father who has cancer in the prostate.
As a mom, this is one of the hardest things ive ever had to do, is take care of a baby. It really challenges me in every way and every aspect of myself. To care for a baby, even before the pregnancy, such as eating well and giving up vices, all the way into pregnancy and beyond, is a lot. Me, as someone who deals with Schizoaffective disorder that is specifically on the Schizophrenia spectrum, I feel as if I will keel over any day now. I also take care of my father from time to time as he stays with me because he is dealing with prostate cancer.
I wake up every day at about 5 AM in the morning to care for my son. I feed him and change him, and get his day started. I turn on cartoons for him at his ripe age because I’m so exhausted from everything and I need a little help from technology. I get a second bottle made for the 2 hours later that will come in no time. I make coffee for my father for when he wakes up and as soon as my husband wakes up, I greet him. I continue on either to make a small breakfast for my dad and me or start cleaning the house, doing laundry, or any sort of cleaning that could take place for the morning.
The mid part of my day has no real schedule right now. I will soon be taking my father, daily, to his radiation appointments. That will last all through winter. My son yells and screams as he plays during the day and I pick up his pacifier that he throws a million times a day seems like. During the day, I may grocery shop or amazon shop for any household items or any baby items I may need. This could be in-person for grocery shopping or it could be on Amazon's website or app. I continue to clean all day.
At night, I wind down with my family and towards the end of the night, I make sure my baby is fed enough and changed, so he can sleep well through the night. If he can sleep well, that means I get to sleep well, too. So it’s important to make sure he’s full and comfortable. My husband and I may watch a movie at night or I may just chill on the couch and talk to my father. The dinner we eat isn’t always the best. It may be DoorDash or a grocery store oven pizza. It may just be a home-cooked meal. As someone who deals, too, but that’s rarely the case anymore. I deal with moderate back problems so I’m always in physical pain. I’m also using Noom, the weight loss program, in order to help my back pain (which is going well, by the way).
Notice how I didn’t mention my Schizophrenia symptoms really, at all. I feel like I never have real time to address them or it, for that matter. I’ve since quit therapy, which at the time I was using BetterHelp and it proved massively not useful for me, both in time and in the type of help that was given to me for 300-almost dollars a month! I see a psychiatrist but it’s once a month for 15 minutes. I understand they just do medication management and nothing else, so I don’t rely on them for anything but my medication solely. My schizophrenia in general has been really testing me, too. I have one friend I talk to throughout the day, and I complain that I wish I had more, but I don’t really have the time for more anyway. Not with all I have to do. This was just a quick summary as well, so please keep in mind that there’s so much more to all that.