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  • Parent with Anxiety/Depression in Denial

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    Old 05-14-2017, 03:58 PM   #1
    ElizabethHalt
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    Parent with Anxiety/Depression in Denial

    I am the daughter of a single parent who has fully supported two daughters - one of whom has been disabled from brain injury birth, who also suffers from mental health issues.

    I am seeking help for my mother, who I believe is in denial regarding her mental health condition. Based on my observations over the years, I feel as though her depression and anxiety is directly sourced from my sister’s brain injury at birth and subsequent on-going stress from having been her caregiver for 29 years. I also believe that her divorce from my father also contributes to her mental health. She has always been very down on herself, negative, and signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety are very evident.

    Two counselors have suggested that she is depressed and/or has anxiety, but she does not seem to want to address. First counselor prescribed anti-anxiety medicine, for which she decided to take half the dosage of pills, and stopped taking them once they ran out. Currently is seeing a counselor who has also mentioned depression/anxiety, which she is currently working through. Current counselor mentioned wanting to officially diagnose clinical depression, to which my mom’s response was a sarcastic “cooooooooool”. I am seriously becoming concerned about my mother’s mental health, and also about my sister’s well-being, as she is 100% reliant on my mother who is visibly going downhill. She was also recently diagnosed with pre-diabetes which also concerns me.

    Family History:
    - Mom: Suspected depression and anxiety
    - Sister: full-blown schizophrenia/anxiety/multiple personality disorder (highly medicated), in addition to brain injury at birth which has caused other physical impairments
    - Grandmother on mom’s side: anxiety (was put on anti-anxiety medicine)
    - Uncle on mom’s side: blood pressure issues (probably related to anxiety)

    I am trying to get my mother to piece the puzzle together, and to see that her depression/anxiety issues may or may not be situational, but also partially or fully due to family history. She fails to see this and does not see anything wrong with her lifestyle: sleeping all day, staying up all night worrying, not eating, no interest in anything, crying herself to sleep, no energy, negative speak, etc.

    I have dealt with this for years, and am at a point where I am ready to let her go downhill (because there’s nothing that I can do if she doesn’t want help), or keep trying because she’s my mom. In all the times that I’ve attempted to help, it has resulted in arguments, crying, and unneeded family tension. I have come to realize that I need help personally, as this is too big of a problem to take on, on my own. My mom’s depression/anxiety is only the tip of the iceberg. My sister’s long-term care, well-being, etc. is the rest of the yet-to-be-figured-out puzzle, which is the looming topic that my mom consistently retains anxiety about.

    Any recommendations on what I can do for myself? I live independently in another state. For the most part live happily, have my career set, and am a happy and ambitious person. When I visit home, the feeling of “the big dark grey cloud” is felt strongly, and I feel at a complete loss for what to do, if anything.

    Thanks for reading, and any comments are welcome.

     
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    Old 05-15-2017, 10:35 AM   #2
    MSNik
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    Re: Parent with Anxiety/Depression in Denial

    I am very sorry that you are dealing with all this. Having gone through some pretty major family stuff myself and watching my mother deal with her share, I can understand your feelings. I also live out of state and carry quite a bit of guilt that I cannot do more, but when I try, I come home frustrated and in tears.

    My best advice for you is to take care of yourself. You have to be alittle bit selfish and as you noted that you have come to realize you need some help- please look into getting it! You might need some counseling for yourself to get yourself into a place where you can deal with these problems before you can begin to help your mother, sister or anyone else.

    Unfortunately, being out of state and being that your mother is your sisters caregiver and she is not looking for help, puts you at a disadvantage. But what happens if something happens to your mother? Has she made legal and medical decisions as to who would take care of your sister? Are you involved in either the decision or the responsiblity?

    I think working with a professional will help you get your own thoughts in order so that you can have the conversations you seem to want to have with your mother.,...but until you take care of you, you cant take care of anyone else.

    Hugs to you. You have allot of weight on your shoulders. Remember to put yourself first.
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