Mentally Exhausted


Mentally Exhausted


your avatar   June, 62-year-old woman

My husband has dementia and I am so mentally exhausted. I have no social life and I have now no close friends I can confide in. I feel so alone. I sometimes do not want to get out of bed in the morning and can't wait to go to bed at night. I am on Citolapram but I am still down and have no enthusiasm for life. I feel so isolated and lonely.

How can I improve my mood and have a more fulfilling life?


    Bob Rich, Ph.D.

Dear June,

If you are looking after your husband then yes, it can be terribly exhausting. You may feel that you need to be there, need to be on guard 24 hours a day, and it never lets up. And of course a medicine is not going to fix that. Nor can it possibly give you enthusiasm for life. You are not ill, so why are you taking medication?

What you need to do with your life is to re-engineer it: to put into place what you want to have in it. Given the practicalities of your situation, what can you do to introduce friendship, companionship, meaning and purpose, fun and variety? Design the life you would like to live, then move into it. This is perfectly possible, in any situation.

Check out what support there is for carers in your city. I am sure there must be services funded by government or charitable institutions such as support groups, case management by a social worker, respite care, and so on. Once you access such services, you will have free time, perhaps financial assistance, company that can develop into friendship, and above all a lessened emotional load.

My grandmother had a saying: no matter how wide you open your mouth, the roast chicken isn't going to fly in. You need to get a chicken and cook it first. So, to make your life different, do some things differently. When you wrote your cry for help, it felt to you as if you were in prison. You are not. Take charge, and do new things that will help you to reclaim a new life. This may be along the lines I suggested, or something else. You know your circumstances, I don't. But the way to change is to do new things.


This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 30+ years of experience as a psychotherapist. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counselor.For more information visit:

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