I am the mother of a beautiful daughter who has been struggling with depression now for many years. It started in her teens and is something she still battles constantly.
This message may seem selfish, but I am looking for support for me. I am scraping the bottom of my well with what this horrible disease has done and is doing to her. I have cried so many tears and said so many prayers for her, I don't even know what to ask anymore. Her depression rules my life.
She is very functional - got through college in 4 years while struggling with deep depression, has a very good job, very responsible financially - owns her own home. She is a wonderful, caring, loving person. Of course I'm biased because I am her mother, but she is truly beautiful - blonde, petite, very talented singer, loves animals, fun, bubbly personality - one would never know she is depressed to look at her.
But, I have seen this damn depression rule her life. It affects her friendships - the ability to maintain them and the ability to create or enjoy them. She stays home instead of going out. She has done that since high school. She should have loved her college years - instead she made it through, but only with pain and suffering. She has little to no self-esteem, which the lack of has only been added to by her dysfunctional father who never loved her the way he should have when she was a child and a young woman.
I have seen her go through boyfriend after boyfriend after boyfriend plus two fiancees. They have all been nice, wonderful young men, but they all disappear after a time. Never for any significant reason - they just determine it won't work and they walk away. Only rarely has she been the one to break off a relationship.
The older she gets, the more frustrated, sad and lonely she gets seeing all her friends and acquaintences married or with someone significant in their lives. They are having babies, creating homes and families for themselves and seemingly enjoying life. I'm not saying that a young woman has to have this in her life to be whole, but if you want it and can't find it, that hole in your heart becomes as deep and as impossible to fill as the Grand Canyon.
I experience different emotions with this. Sometimes my heart aches so much for her, all I can do is cry and pray. Sometimes I'm angry and resentful - towards her and God. I don't understand why this continues - why she can't be healed. She is on anti-depressants and receives very good medical care as well as spiritual care from a counselor.
Is there anyone out there who is experiencing this same thing??? My other two children are fine. I love them all with all my heart, but I don't know how to help my daughter. I don't understand why she has to suffer from depression. I know this sounds selfish - there are so many parents struggling with all sorts of issues their children are having. I'm just to the point where I need support from other parents who are experiencing what I am. I need hope there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
From what I have read, it sounds more to me as if your daughter may have social anxiety, and the anxiety may be causing her depression. Does she like her job? Does she have other interests that she takes joy in doing?
Being a mom watching one's own child suffering is the world's worst torture. It's not selfish asking for support for yourself. Possibly the biggest group of depressed people are caregivers--you qualify by the investment you have in your dd's wellbeing as her caregiver. No one really ever talks about the caregivers much except to mention their sacrifices, but then that's the end of their understanding.
Whether you might be depressed as well or not, getting support for yourself is very important. You mentioned scraping the bottom of your well. Yes. Exactly. In order to give, we must give ourselves time to replenish ourselves and allow others to support and give to us as well...refill our wells. (note to self--go take own advice)(order pizza tonight, use paper.)
There often/sometimes are family support groups for either specific illnesses (ie. depression) or sometimes for a variety (depression, anxiety, etc.) all in one group. Alzheimer's families have them too. Talking to other people who are having to stand by feeling helpless as their child suffers, finding you are not alone, that you aren't selfish, getting some tips to nourish yourself etc. can be a godsend. You'll find support here as well.
One thing you can do for yourself is get a physical. Make sure your engines are running at 100% and while you are there, mention all that you are dealing with in regards to your daughter. There's also some good information on the link in blue, probably directly below your post at the top of this thread.
WOW!!!! Did a bell ever go off when you said that!!!! I have never, ever thought of that and no one else has ever mentioned it either.
She does like her job and is a very production citizen when it comes to being responsible and engaged with things like that.
And yes - she does have wonderful interests she is very involved with but this is amazing insight on your part. That would explain so much - even when she was a little girl how I had so much trouble getting her to take part with the other kids. Started as soon as she went to pre-school. It was something I always thought she would outgrow, but she never has. It's always been so strange - she has always had plenty of opportunity for friendships and relationships - she is a very fun, likable person. In fact, was even on homecoming court her senior year in high school.
But, her friendships are very selective and few and relationships with men - she can't sustain them. There is an aspect to her that is very anti-social, but you would never think a perky, bubbly girl/woman would suffer from that. I have always noticed in her an inability to pursue friendships, etc. It's like she thinks she doesn't deserve them or that other people could never think her worthy of being friends with, etc.
Thank you so much for your insight!!!
Last edited by Kenzie; 04-19-2006 at 12:56 PM.
Reason: Wanted to direct e-mail to specific person
I agree with macadaminaNUT, the worst thing for a mother is to watch their child suffer in anyway. Our children are our hearts, and our life revolves around them 24 hours a day through good and bad.
When the times are bad, our heart breaks. You want to hold your child in your arms and make everything go away.
At least your daughter has had you for a strong support system, but now you need some support and help yourself.
I don't know what you need, or what you have done, but by reaching out on this board is a very good thing because everyone here has a story and a lifetime of experiences. They can share their stories and what has worked and what has not worked. Granted, everyone is different, but if you keep writing in these boards, people will respond and you may get a glimmer of hope of what to do. How good would that be?
We are all here, we all want to listen and help if we can.