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tater97531 12-30-2007 04:10 PM

my mom's depression and i cant help her
my mom has been depressed for most of my life (im 21) i think...
when i was younger i guess i just didnt really notice it because she hid it well.

she hates her life....she often will have days where she spends the entire day locked in my parents walk in closet and when i see her come out i know shes been crying. when she comes out she pretty much just goes to the garage, smokes and pops a percocet (i think? i dont know for sure if she takes them regularly...i know she has back pain, etc). at the beginning of this year she tried taking a lot of pills to kill herself and was hospitalized.

my dad is a loving husband and a great man who will do anything for her. he works hard and is constantly has her happiness in mind. he is just one of those all around nice guys and i know he is still in love with my mom. i know that my mom looks at my dad more like a friend...a good friend instead of a lover. as pathetic as it sounds, she opened up to me through email last year when i was at school. my dad has many little quirks and can be forgetful with things and maybe not someone that you would depend on to remember everything (pay all the bills, day to day stuff). again, he is a great guy but i can see where it would be hard to spend every minute of the day with one person...she expressed to me that she would even consider leaving him but she is not financially stable alone.

my dad is a doctor and also just recently lost all his partners. my mom does not have a job and now must work with my dad in his office as well. i feel like my mother does not have an "out" ... she is not involved in anything nor does she have any friends. the only "friend" she did have before was her mother that recently died.

before my dad was having trouble with his job and my mom had no job and stayed at home all day, i told her that she needs to get out there again....try to get involved in some activity ... do something. i think she put forth a little effort. now she cant though because she has to support our family by helping my dad. our finances are not good ... we have 2 houses and can't sell our other house and paying for both mine and my brothers tuition in college.

i am rarely home, especially during the school year. when i am home, i do like to get out of the house...

ive never had a close relationship with my mom. i feel so helpless because i dont know what to say to her or how to say it. maybe one of you can help me find the courage to maybe say something to her...or tell me what i can say to her because i honestly do not know what to tell her. it seems like her life sucks and that she is trapped but i dont know the answer. it hurts me to see her like this.

mary09 12-30-2007 06:32 PM

Re: my mom's depression and i cant help her
Hi Tater,
I can relate to your post as my mother suffers from depression also. I am married with a little boy, and have been dealing with the same worries as you all my life.
My relationship with my mother has been very complex, I am an only child, so didnt have anyone to share things with. We are very close, but too close at the same time. My mother also lives very far from the rest of her family, and spends alot of time alone while my dad is at work.
My mother's depression has been very difficult for her, and also for myself and my dad. We've tried so much to help her through it over the years, but no amount of kindness, or thoughtfulness ever helped. Unfortunately, I believe the only thing that led her to really get help was when we had a really horrible confrontation where she said some very cruel things to me. I dont believe her depression made her do that, it was combined with some very intense family drama as well. Nonetheless, it didnt make it easy to deal with, and hurt me deeply. I came to this board to learn about depression and how to help her through it, and I've learned that I cannot really understand it, because I dont suffer from it. But I also try not to now constantly make her feel "better" because that just makes her feel worse. She needs to feel what she does....and not feel guilty that she's bringing us down. I understand it is something she can not control, nor certainly does she want to feel. It is hard for her to deal with, of course she wants to be happy.....but each day is a struggle.
After the confrontation, she did start taking some anti-depressants, and thank God, I can see a change in her. She still deals with alot of stress, and goes through alot, I think it just doesnt affect her as deeply in that, she doesnt lash out at us because of it. And she doesnt drive herself crazy worrying about things as much. I am so happy for her that she can find a little bit of peace from this....this is all I've ever wanted for her, and to be honest for myself, because when she's "okay", I'm "okay". Anyways, my advice, is to be there for her, tell her you're happy to listen if she needs to talk....and maybe suggest she talk to her doctor about her feelings. Let her know it's "okay" to ask for help, because you're worried about her, and want to help her in whatever way you can, to find some peace of mind.
I hope that helps, I know it's hard, but just hang in there with her, bottom line is that it is up to her to accept the help, all you can do is offer your support.
Best of luck, and keep posting, this is a great place for support.


MaggieMay78 01-02-2008 12:00 AM

Re: my mom's depression and i cant help her
Hi Tater,

I am really sorry to hear about your mother's depression. I don't want to ramble about myself, but just want to show you that I can relate. You see, my mother suffered with depression before I was even born! And she attempted suicide with pills and alcohol before I was born, but my sister was already five years old at that time, and found her in a coma on the floor. She was taken to the hospital, had her stomach pumped, and was in a coma for 3 days, maybe even longer, I can't remember for sure...

Anyway, back in those days, anti-depressants weren't as effective, or they had terrible side effects. My mother ended up depressed again, and remained that way for years. When I was 11 or 12, she would tell me stories about how she wouldn't be around much longer. When I was 13, she told my brother she was going to overdose on Valium and alcohol. My father then made her go to a pscyhiatric home again. A few months after she got out, she ended up mysteriously drowning in Lake Erie, when no one was around. The police ruled it an accident, and for numerous reasons, we think it actually might have been...but we'll never really know for sure.

Anyhow, I would give anything to be able to go back in time, and somehow help my mother. Of course, back then, I was too young to help...I was just a child. But now, there are so many effective treatments for depression...and you are definitely old enough to reach out to your mother and have an impact. Please, please reach out to her...Tell her you are concerned. **The fact that she has already attempted suicide is VERY SERIOUS...her depression needs to be taken seriously, because those who have already attempted suicide are more likely to do it in the future again, and end up dying.**

I have suffered from severe depression and suicidal the point of planning my own suicide in detail. It is so hard to explain to anyone who hasn't experienced depression. But anyway, I now see a therapist weekly, and take the anti-depressant Cymbalta. I became depressed due to a combination of factors, including living with constant physical pain and probably a genetic predisposition...but I have overcome my depression. Cymbalta has been a HUGE help to me, with absolutely no side effects at all. Please encourage your mother to see a therapist, try an anti-depressant, and let her know you're there for her to lean on. I wish you the best of luck!!

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