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Old 03-19-2012, 07:13 PM   #1
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My Mother's Depression...How To Manage?

Hi everyone.

This is going to be a little long...

Let me preface this by saying that I love my mother very much, she has been a terrific mother in so many ways and has always been there for her children. She has not had an easy life, so I fully understand the reasons for certain things.

I've recently taken over full-time care of her, she is 64 and has suffered from major depression + anxiety for most of her life. She is currently taking Effexor mixed with high dosages of Xanax and Hydrocode. The Xanax/Hydrocode she is addicted to, and I hope to wean her off of them, but it is going to be a long road to recovery....Lastly, she began cutting herself a couple years ago, and still does it from time-to-time.

I am actively seeking therapy for her, she has limited income, so it's been a bit of a struggle. My sister and I are helping her financially to help pay for her housing, medications, food, etc., and I am trying to find someone who will see her on a sliding scale, but a lot of the agencies I've contacted haven't been 'open' to seeing her because of her current condition.

Until that time comes, I am struggling to manage all of this, both for her any myself emotionally. My mother lacks the ability to rationalize, and often places guilt trips upon me (as well as other members in her family). She is highly passive aggressive, she feels/believes she is entitled to everything, she is excessively negative and incessantly complains in a ""woe is me"" fashion about how wronged she has been in life and how it is everyone else's fault, and life is not fair.

It is emotionally draining.

Growing up, I could not 'handle' it, and I suffered from it emotionally so it was decided that I would move 3000 miles away from her (when I was 15). That's another story, but she is now back with me and in essence, I have become the 'mother'.

I am firm believer in self-help and being proactive in that regard, whereas she is not. So, trying to help her has been an ongoing struggle and quite a battle. I need to be able to maintain a strong, healthy frame of mind, so that I can provide for her, while still taking care of 'myself'. So, this is one of the steps I am taking to achieve that (talking about it)...

Today's current 'conflict':

I had arranged for my mother to visit with her sister this upcoming weekend, and spend the night. Generally, my mother spends the majority of the time in front of the television, so I am trying to make it a point to get her out of the house and socializing with her family (she doesn't have any friends atm).

If I ask my mother to make the call herself, she says she 'will' but she does not follow through on it. When I ask her why, her typical response is "I forgot" or "Why do I have to go, I should be allowed to come and go as I please" or "I don't want to spend the weekend with my sister, it's boring and I don't like it".

So, that puts me in a position, where I have to call myself to arrange it. Which, I have no issue doing, but SHE does. She views it as me trying to "get away from her" and "me not enjoying being around her" and then proceeds to give me attitude, the silent treatment, slamming doors, etc. IT DRIVES ME INSANE to the point where I cannot stand being around her.

If I try to talk to her about it, she either ignores me or disregards anything I have to say. Maybe I am not approaching her with it properly, who knows. I am struggling with it and I am struggling to find a method that works.

So, if anyone has some helpful suggestions, I would love to hear them and I desperately welcome it. I've spoken with friends/family, but, I cannot always bog them down with my day-to-day frustrations and they aren't always able to provide an impartial view.


Thank you for listening.

 
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:37 AM   #2
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Re: My Mother's Depression...How To Manage?

Hello Jen2012.

I agree with you about the importance of self-help. Have you asked your mom whether she wants you to continue helping her or not? If she says yes I think that would be a good opportunity to lay down ground rules like no more passive-aggressive behavior, no more guilt trips, etc. If she says no I would suggest giving her some space for a few days or something and then talk with her again to see if she has changed her mind.

While reading through your post I get the feeling she may be acting the way she does because she thinks you'll continue to support and provide for her no matter what. Or perhaps she's so far into her depression and self-pity that she doesn't believe things will ever be better? No matter what I think it's crucial for her to know she shouldn't be taking all your hard work for granted.

I think while depression and other problems can be difficult to overcome, that doesn't preclude the person from having to put forth some effort to working through the issues at hand. She may be more willing to cooperate and talk with you when she realizes her financial and emotional support may be at stake. I think it's vital that she recognizes how much you want her to feel better, how much effort you're putting in to accomplish this and how emotional draining her mind games and childish behavior is.

 
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:05 AM   #3
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Re: My Mother's Depression...How To Manage?

dealing with someone with severe depression is hard because they are not rational people
you appear to be trying to deal with your mother as if she is a rational person ,and thats not going to work
some self help can be a good thing,but not forced self help,you should discuss this with her doctor you should also speak to the doctor before you try and change her medication,
its good that you are caring for her but unless you are an expert in this field you need to be carefull not to think you know whats best for her

 
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:52 AM   #4
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Re: My Mother's Depression...How To Manage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen2012 View Post

So, if anyone has some helpful suggestions, I would love to hear them and I desperately welcome it. I've spoken with friends/family, but, I cannot always bog them down with my day-to-day frustrations and they aren't always able to provide an impartial view.[/I]

Thank you for listening.
Hello Jen2012,

Have you considered contacting your state health department and see if there are any therapists they can recommend.
Family is supposed to look out for one another.

If your mother is reluctant to listen to you,then have that heart-to-heart talk with her;put it all on the table,in a respectable manner.

Let her know that you're trying you best to be there,while taking care of your own issues.

Might I suggest that you consider see a therapist,as a means of coping with the unresolved feelings you have with your mother?

A person can take but so much,until resentment begins creeping in.

Don't let it get to the point of deep resentment;be proactive.

She's in the victim mode and once a person is locked into that mode,it's rather difficult to fully accept help,due in part to the mind being closed off to anyone's ideas.

Care for her but save yourself.
Save yourself but care for her.

Respectfully
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:57 AM   #5
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Re: My Mother's Depression...How To Manage?

i'm wondering if your mom is suffering from BPD, borderline personality disorder. When you mentioned the cutting, that's what made me thing BPD. BPD people are very manipulative and passive aggressive also, you might want to read up on it and see if it fits.

 
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Old 03-24-2012, 07:28 AM   #6
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Re: My Mother's Depression...How To Manage?

Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond, it helps to have support!

@flamesabers - I try to enforce ground rules with her on a daily basis. Judging by the past few days since I posted this thread, she seems to have been responding a lot better. The only "struggle" I incurred, was when I made an appointment for her with a GP (she fell a week ago, which resulted in taking her to the ER, and I wanted to make sure she received post care follow-up especially since she's been complaining of intense back pain and had to have her stitches removed).

She did not "feel" like going, and fought me on it. I told her, it was not up for debate and if she does not go willingly, I will admit her against her will. She went, and now seems to be in a better place emotionally.

@souriya123 - I don't plan on changing her medication on my own, I intend to consult with a professional first. My hope is that she can be weaned off of the hydrocode and xanax to a lower dosage. Right now she is taking 8 mg of Xanax and 1500 mg of Hydrocode. I feel that is a lot and may be doing more harm than good. So, I'll have to see what can be done in that regard.

@Phoenix - Yes. My sister and I have decided that she is going to be admitted to a 24 hour watch hold at a local hospital next week. I think at this point, it is a viable course of action. Especially since she has limited income and cannot afford therapy on her own. In the meantime, I am working on getting her SSI and healthcare through the State. We communicated this to her, in a way that lets her know ahead of time what needs to be done, in hopes that she doesn't feel "attacked". She seems to agree that this is what needs to be done, though I'm not sure how she will be when the time actually comes.

@rosequartz - I've considered that. She began cutting herself two years ago, but I did not find out about it until recently, when I noticed the scabs from the cuts on her arm. Her entire arm was covered in them. She was living on her own in another State, but is now living in my State, so that is how I discovered them since I am around her a lot more now. I want to avoid "diagnosing her", I'm not equipped to both professionally and/or emotionally. Once I get her proper medical care, I can then discuss these things with her doctors, as I am going to need their help in managing this and providing her with proper care.

So, the last few days have been quite calm, and we seem to be getting along much better. She will be spending the day with her sister today and I will be cooking a nice meal for them afterwards. Tomorrow, she is going to her other sister's house and spending the night, and the following day with her brother. The day after, is when I will be admitting her to the hospital. I want her to enjoy the next couple of days with her family and then we'll go from there.

Wish us luck!

 
Old 03-24-2012, 08:51 AM   #7
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Re: My Mother's Depression...How To Manage?

Wow Jen2012,

The way you answered everyone's responses was impressive,to say the least.

I'll keep both my fingers crossed and say a prayer.

Respectfully
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:25 AM   #8
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Re: My Mother's Depression...How To Manage?

Jen2012, it's good to hear things have been improving between you and your mom. I hope everything goes okay with her inpatient stay next week.

Last edited by flamesabers; 03-24-2012 at 09:27 AM.

 
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:43 AM   #9
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Re: My Mother's Depression...How To Manage?

your mother is fortunate to have children like you to care for her,there will be difficult times,but dont let them get you down

 
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:08 AM   #10
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Re: My Mother's Depression...How To Manage?

Wow. I have read your posts and those of others and I want to applaud you for being such an awesome daughter.
I have had a similar experience with my mother. She had a horrible childhood and ever since I can remember she has been on anxiety meds, depression meds and Xanax. Im talking for over 30 years. I thought it was ridiculous. I thought she was way over medicated and she needed to "suck it up" That was until I began suffering from it after the birth of my son. My husband felt the same way about me as I had felt about my mom. I was very irrational and very depressed. It took a year for me to get professional help. In fact, my best friend's husband is a doctor and one day she came over and forced me to go see him in my pjs. It was a long path of recovery. Anyway, I say this just to tell you I relate. I think you are doing everything you can. The advise you were given is a Godsend in my opinion. I wanted to say that having a chemical imbalance is going to make it difficult on you to rationalize with her and like you are doing you are going to have to "make" things happen. She will thank you for it. My only suggestion for you is if she is admitted to a hospital for physiatric treatment...go during visiting hours and be very supportive, so she doesnt feel so isolated and alone. Which, probably goes without saying since it sounds like you are so clued in. Also, I CANT believe she is on 8mg of Xanax and the painkiller as well. I honestly, HONESTLY thought that could be fatal. I was taking (at my worst pt) 1 mg every 12 hours and could hardly function. I dont know how she can carry on a conversation with you, lol. Please keep us updated. I will be praying for your mom and you as well. I know this is so, so draining on you. ANd, you have a life outside of this that is probably being affected. Hang in there. And, if your mom isnt saying thank you...for what its worth I am saying it for her. Have a great week.

 
Old 04-07-2012, 01:42 PM   #11
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Re: My Mother's Depression...How To Manage?

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Originally Posted by MemphisMommy View Post
Wow. I have read your posts and those of others and I want to applaud you for being such an awesome daughter.
I have had a similar experience with my mother. She had a horrible childhood and ever since I can remember she has been on anxiety meds, depression meds and Xanax. Im talking for over 30 years. I thought it was ridiculous. I thought she was way over medicated and she needed to "suck it up" That was until I began suffering from it after the birth of my son. My husband felt the same way about me as I had felt about my mom. I was very irrational and very depressed. It took a year for me to get professional help. In fact, my best friend's husband is a doctor and one day she came over and forced me to go see him in my pjs. It was a long path of recovery. Anyway, I say this just to tell you I relate. I think you are doing everything you can. The advise you were given is a Godsend in my opinion. I wanted to say that having a chemical imbalance is going to make it difficult on you to rationalize with her and like you are doing you are going to have to "make" things happen. She will thank you for it. My only suggestion for you is if she is admitted to a hospital for physiatric treatment...go during visiting hours and be very supportive, so she doesnt feel so isolated and alone. Which, probably goes without saying since it sounds like you are so clued in. Also, I CANT believe she is on 8mg of Xanax and the painkiller as well. I honestly, HONESTLY thought that could be fatal. I was taking (at my worst pt) 1 mg every 12 hours and could hardly function. I dont know how she can carry on a conversation with you, lol. Please keep us updated. I will be praying for your mom and you as well. I know this is so, so draining on you. ANd, you have a life outside of this that is probably being affected. Hang in there. And, if your mom isnt saying thank you...for what its worth I am saying it for her. Have a great week.
Thanks.

I'm sorry to hear both you and your Mom struggled with something similar and I hope you are both on a nicer path. I've struggled with Depression myself in the past, since the age of six.

On a brighter note, I did not have to admit her into a 24-hour watch hold. I was able to get her into see a GP on a sliding income scale of whom was able to make her an appointment with a mental health professional (and several other appointments for overall medical care).

The mental health professional will consult with the GP, and the GP will be managing/overseeing her prescriptions moving forward. However, he will not prescribe the Hydrocode. My mother claims the amount of Hydrocode she takes is needed due to back/knee pain, but he argued there are other methods to seek out (IE. exercise, pain management, etc.). I was pretty satisfied with his response, and will be pursuing his suggestions moving forward. My hope is that it will either (a) wean her off Hydrocode completely; or (b) get her to a point where the dosage is much lower; and (c) get her into better shape physically/mentally.

The GP also ran a blood panel and urinalysis on her, so I'll have a better picture of her overall health, once the results come back.

All-in-all, she seems to be doing much better. She is more active and mobile and without me having to stay on top of her to do/seek out things. She still has her moments here and there (and it's not to say she will never have bad moments again) but as of now she is no longer plopped in front of the TV 12-hours a day and/or constantly sobbing and she seems to find more pleasure in life.

The few steps we have taken, have been good ones and I hope to continue taking those steps with her, one day at a time.

Thanks again for the warm wishes everyone. Happy Easter.

 
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