Nick discusses caring for his adult son, Kevin, who is bipolar.

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 Caring for my son

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 Kevin experienced his first manic episode about 5 years ago and I have cared for him since then.

 He was a regular user of recreational drugs from around the age of 21.  I thought this was likely to be a phase but after an attempted suicide attempt, I knew this was more serious. Kevin attended a psychiatric hospital for 4 weeks, and I’ve cared for him ever since he was discharged.

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Managing his needs as well as mine

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It was a very difficult time and still is, really. Kevin is 26 now and I visit him 6 days a week. I prepare his meals and manage all of his bills like his mobile, gas & electric. He calls me around twice a week with suicidal thoughts and that is the thing I find most difficult. Dealing with that often leads me to feel unwell and depressed. 

That’s often the time I turn to Carers in Southampton for support. I found them through Facebook. They have drop-in coffee mornings that are close to where I live, and I really enjoy their Carers Lunch.

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"It's so important that as carers, we try to find time for ourselves too."
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Speaking to their support staff has enabled me to access counselling sessions myself, and I’m really grateful for the opportunity to share my experiences with other carers. I feel a lot less alone now. 

Carers in Southampton really are there to help and are just a phone call away.

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