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Two disabled son’s and a husband with Careers Burnout Depression

By 34904 13 March 2010 29

Hi, I want to get some information on how to go about petitioning for full time care for disabled children and a care center for carers with burnout.

My sister and her husband have three children two who are disabled, wheelchair bound and at 14 and 9 still need nappy changes and feeding / bathing / dressing etc.

My brother in-law who was a strong, beautiful, happy man has broken over the last 18 months. Four months ago he was put on suicide watch due to his depression over the boys and the demands placed on him. A few weeks later when he was with the boys for all of ten minutes he made a call to 000 saying “come get the boys or I will kill them”. The police came and this broken man a shell of his former self was placed in Woden Psych center with drug attics and mentally ill people far from what he was suffering.

Two days later without notice to my sister he was sent home to the very place he craved to be out of. His feelings of helplessness escalated with this sheer act of deceit by the people he cried out to to help him. He knew he was at the last straw calling the police as he felt humiliated but he knew he had no choice but to call 000 and thank god he did. But he didn’t get the help he so desperately needed. And neither did my sister and their children, they were now made to live in fear of their own father and husband. It was a disgrace and heart breaking for the rest of our family.

So during the school holidays (husband at home) my sister asked me to look after the older daughter and the 9 year old disabled child while the 14 year old was placed in a holiday thing for the disabled for the day. Her car was playing up when she dropped them off so I told her to go home and get her husbands car as he wasn’t allowed to drive anyway. She did and thank god she did, he didn’t expect her home until 7pm. She walked in to find he had cut is wrist, one nearly right through to other side.

It took me 5 mins to get to her house leaving the kids at my place. I pulled in behind the ambulance and went in to a disaster of every imaginable kind. A broken husband / Father, a shattered mother / wife, and a disabled boy smashing things rolling around on the floor with now idea that the two people who have kept him going for 14 years are now so destroyed both physically and mentally.

After very long surgery to repair the damage  he had done, now he and my sister faced the extra burden of his recovery which is going to take a very long time. They took him from hospital after a few weeks to Calvary Psych center and to date is there a month later. He has now gone from depression to manic (Bipolar) which is now another issue for my sister to deal with. He spent money they didn’t have and is doing things that are so out of character which is very hurtful to my sister.

My sister has not been able to work for a long time because she has had to look after the two boys, her daughter and her husband. Everyday is an appointment for one of them or all of them. My sister is my concern right now as I am so scared she will also burn out, how much more can she take.

Two weeks ago she had the youngest boy in for an operation (supposed to be two day stay) he got fevers and everything else and she was made to stay with him for a week. The eldest boy on the third day had a seizure in care and while she was at Woden with one they took her other son to Calvary. I had to stay with one at Woden while she went to Calvary with the other until they could transfer the eldest to Woden. The nurses put the boys in the same room and she had two now in hospital to deal with.

They plan to let her husband out next week and yet he is no better, he is just in a manic stage and people who are supposed to be the experts believe the over top confidence is a sign he is getting better. IT’S NOT TO ANYONE WHO KNOWS HIM.

My sister is in fear now of loosing their little 3 bedroom home they purchased before they had children. They have been together for 26 years and now the pressure of loving your kids and trying to do the right thing by them will tear them apart.

Carers need a place to get away and revive to survive and until you have looked after these disabled kids full time you have no idea how much they need a regular break.

There also has to be a care center to take the boys even if it was just every weekend to take the pressure off.

Yes their is minimal care offered but not enough and it was a little to late.

Can someone advise on what I can do to get these issues raised in government talks ASAP?

What’s Your opinion?

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29 Responses to
Two disabled son’s and a husband with Careers Burnout Depression
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Vix 9:49 pm 08 Nov 10

Just for the record, there is a term for “drug adicts” in psychiatric wards – “dual-diagnosis” or “co-morbidity”. Sadly too many mentally ill people resort to drugs to help them feel ‘better’. It would not surprise me greatly if your relatives have used tobacco, alcohol or other substances in an attempt to help them. Your family has a tragedy on its hands, but there’s no need to denigrate others.

Snarky 10:19 am 21 Sep 10

34094, that’s a terrible situation!

I don’t have any magic ideas either, but another place you might try that hasn’t yet been mentioned is the Mental Health Foundation ACT (

They have carer respite facilities, counsellors and a number of other facilities that might be of benefit to you and the family.

Best of luck.

34904 12:39 am 21 Sep 10

I just read Pandy’s and motleychick’s post after I posted my last update. Hmmmm

First everything anyone can say good or bad at some stage has been dragged up in our extended family, I’ve heard it all. I just want to tell you all now, my sister loves her boys and does not acknowledge the downside.

My sister once said to me “if you had your baby in your arms and knew them for months and then were told” “there’s a terrible problem” “would you walk away?” “would you wish they had never been born?” from that moment I never questioned my sisters love of her children.
Because the answer is simple NO I wouldn’t. A mothers is something not to be messed with.

My sister loves her children just as much as I love mine, she’s stronger than me and that’s a fact. I pray all the time that I could win enough money just to give them to buy a big home to give them space. At present they can’t get away from each other when they need to have time out for themselves.

Oh and to mordd YOUR A JERK, I never asked for your sympathy so I’m glad you couldn’t give me any. Obviously your mother was in the psych ward with a different group of people to what I witnessed.

Can you refrain from posting your negative thoughts. I don’t want to be turned off from coming here.

34904 12:05 am 21 Sep 10

Thank you all for your support, sorry about the grammar it wasn’t my priority and still isn’t, so if a comma or an extra “e” bothers you then don’t read it because there more than likely will be more errors because I’m tied and upset, that’s why I am here so stop picking who cares.

My beautiful brother in-law was finally sent home, sent home to the same situation he tried so desperate to escape. My sister is no longer compassionate as she doesn’t have time to be any longer with the boys and her daughter demanding her time. I fear for her, I fear for him, I fear for the children and all in different ways. The boys (who would look after them if my sister and my brother in-law can’t because of burnout) not me! That may sound heartless but I am not prepared to destroy my family and my children’s life with that sort of disturbance. Is that bad?

My brother in-law is an amazing man he just needs to get out for a while. My sister thinks its easier when his not there anyway as he is just like a burden to her present.

I can’t even chat to my only sister about any achievements my children have made because I feel guilty for being happy. Every time I ring she is giving one or the other medications / feed / bath / dressing / or running off to a doctors appointment. Then she has my brother in-law needing things like an extra child at present. Oh and then we have the teenage daughter who is just waiting to get her licence to escape from all of this (you can’t blame her).

This situation will never change for us, I only wish I had of treasured the time together more as children and teenagers. Had I known what was ahead I would have held her more and forgave her more. Life is ruthless and stops for nobody.

The rest bite care is a joke on offering placements for the boys, placements for my brother in-law.

My sister can’t keep this up, it’s only a matter of time before she snaps and then what? I might just have to drive the boys to Julia’s place at the lodge and see what she does with them.

harriet 4:23 pm 17 Apr 10

Shame on those of you who wish to turn this gut-wrenching situation into a grammatical debate – it is this apathy over decades that has resulted in situations such as this. In other first world liberal democracies, this appalling set of circumstances just could not occur. We have a broken, dysfunctional disability system that is failing people spectacularly. The suffering and distress, such as are described here, are on such a scale that it is comparable with the past treatment of our indigenous people. In the Scandinavian countries, for example, families with a disabled child receive one week per month of respite care. In Australia, it is more likely to be one week per year. In the United Kingdom, disabled children attend weekly boarding schools at the state’s expense. It is often said that it takes a village to raise a child but it takes a nation to raise a disabled child. Our nation is failing this family and thousands like it. No-one can feel good while section of the community is excluded from the common good. The tragedy is not the birth of a disabled child, traumatic though that may be. The tragedy is in the lack of support services to assist families to cope on the difficult journey. This is our unspoken and mutual shame: Australia, the land of the fair go, does not care for its disabled and mentally ill citizens as it should. Now there is a chance for us to change all this with the introduction of a National Disability Insurance Scheme. If you would like to learn more and make a difference, please go to

motleychick 11:22 am 16 Mar 10

I think this is a horrible situation but agree with Mordd, the father obviously is suffering from a mental health issue, and don’t understand why 34904 is making it sound like it’s a bad thing that he was put in the psych ward with drug addicts (or attics, whichever you prefer) and people with mental health issues.

I’m going to get flamed for this, but I don’t understand why after one disabled child, or even after having two and finding it hard, you would risk having another child that may be disabled. It is really beyond me. Life is hard enough as it is, but you’re making it harder for yourself, and for your partner, and for those children because they are not getting the quality of life or attention they deserve because you have one or two other disabled children to look after.

Pandy said :

But I’ll leave you this parting point: If one knows that their kid is going to be born severly disabled, how many woman would have an abortion in a blink of the eye? Happens all of the time, especilly to women in their post 40’s getting pregnant. I wonder how many people once having the disbaled kid born, then have never truthfully said: “If only I had known”.

If I found out I was going to have a disabled child, I would have an abortion. For my sake, and IMO, for the child’s sake.

Jim Jones 11:03 am 16 Mar 10

Fluges said :

Mr Reasonable, it is you who is grammatically incorrect – it is perfectly acceptable to use an apostrophe when pluralising some words.

No, it’s not.

Hells_Bells74 11:33 pm 15 Mar 10

Grump – apostrophe’s = FAIL

grump 2:27 pm 15 Mar 10

Fluges said :

Mr Reasonable, it is you who is grammatically incorrect – it is perfectly acceptable to use an apostrophe when pluralising some words.

really? examples? dog’s? horse’s? shop’s? sheep’s?

not at any school I went to – apostrophe’s indicate a possessive or the omission of a letter, eg it is = it’s NOT A PLURAL


back to more serious matters ……

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