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Switch to Forum Live View Support, help and advice for the family of a depressed mother
6 years ago  ::  Dec 08, 2011 - 11:25PM #1
Posts: 1
Hello all,
This is my first post on this website. I am coming to this board for support, help and advice, really anything anyone can give me that may help in regards to my mother. I am her oldest child at 22, and her first born daughter.  My mother is 52, married to my father for 28 years and has 2 children (me and my sister, who is 4 years younger at 18).  

Here is a bit of background on my mother, as I feel is may give insight to those of you who understand depression better than I.  She is a teacher at a middle school and is very involved in her work. She seems to stay at work as long as possible. School ends around 3:30 and she rarely arrives home before 7. Sometimes she meets work friends after school as well. These friends are all un-married (two by divorce, one was left at the altar), which concerns me as I sometimes wonder if they "man bash" (as in literally bash all men, including my father, as they all have had their issues with marriage and men in general).  

Her mother has never been someone who loved her, much less liked her much.  This has hurt my mother very much throughout her life.  On top of it, her father died when she was young, around 20 years of age.  Another major family occurence happened last year when she lost one of her older sisters to cancer, leaving her with only her oldest sister (who is not a nice person, to put it kindly), and an older brother who is mentally ill after being injured in Vietnam. My father's mother (my grandmother) has truly treated my mom like a daughter, and my mom even calls them mom and dad.

No matter what we do, how we say things, how lightly we tread or how blunt we are NOTHING works. My dad is breaking, both emotionally, mentally and now physically. His health is decling due to worry and he litterally is becoming extremely affected by this issue.  Emotionally, he struggles day to day. Each day without a fight or my mom getting angry, pissy or defensive to him is a victory. Mentally, he cannot take it anymore. He worries she will divorce him. He worries she is not in a state to be a responsible adult. Everything is a worry. He says he loves her and wants to fix things, and has been trying. Trying to begin counseling, but her literally not caring and saying so. 

She brings everyone down, is extremely defensive (even when there is no need), refuses to see there may be something wrong, refuses to see a doctor, insists she "is fine", and absolutley refuses to face the reality that she is ripping our family apart and is is on the brink of losing everything, and yet, I'm not sure she has the capacity to actually realize this. Everyone has spoken to her several times, trying to help her get help; however, she will have none of it. WHAT DO WE DO? WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? We are all lost, and I have taken to the internet for suggestions, support, help and advice. I myself am a Christian, and my parents do believe in God themselves, although associating both with Judiasm and Christianity due to family backgrounds. Church help, turning to God, etc are not viable nor helpful suggestions at this point (we ar enot ruling these out as helpful, but we are doing what we can along that route currently). I need true medical, invervention-like, supporting help. So sorry this message is long, however, I feel more information is better than less. Please hear my cry for help, as my mother refuses to even let out a wimper. Thank you all ahead of time.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 09, 2011 - 11:17PM #2
Posts: 2,809

I wish I could help you, but I really don't know what to say here.  What I'm thinking is that if I were in your shoes, I would find a professional to talk to, one that I could explain everything that   mom is doing that is so upsetting, and then let the pro tell me how to handle it.  This isn't something I've ever had to deal with, so I wouldn't presume to be the one to tell you how to handle your mom...other than unconditional love, that is.  And patience.  Other than that, I have no words, just maybe try to see a pro and find out what that person tells you.  Good luck to you.

Today is the day that the Lord hath made; we shall rejoice and be glad in it.

---Psalm 118:24
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 15, 2011 - 7:27PM #3
Posts: 3,329

I thought I had posted here, but apparently it's off floating wherever e-mails go. There is a group that can give you some insight into your mother and help the rest of the family--especially your father at least get some help with the pain you are all in.  deals  with all types of mental illness as well as issues like depression, including giving support to  the familes living with people who are suffering from clinical depression, bi-polar, or many other types of disorders.

Being clinically depressed means  that due to stress, pain, post traumatic stress, abuse, the chemical balance in the brain is changed. Depression isn't a mental illness; it doesn't mean that you are crazy. You can't be cheered up from a chemical imbalance any more than you can tell a diabetic to cheer up when they need an insulin shot. The right medication can make a big difference. Right now you all need help and you are a terrific daughter. I'm proud of you for wanting to help both of your parents out. Good luck, and please keep in touch.

this group has become my electronic family-of-choice, my depression support group,  and they are some of the most understanding, non-judgmental  people I've ever known. We pray for each other as well and even if you don't return I will still have you in my prayers.

"You are letting your opinion be colored by facts again."
'When I want your opinion, I'll give it to you."
these are both from my father.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 22, 2011 - 10:42AM #4
Posts: 3,065

Veiled - It sounds like your mother has spent 52 years being a supportive and loving daughter, sister, wife, mother and teacher.  That is a lot of caring for others, so I'm not surprised that she seems to be going through an life evaluation moment, now that her youngest daughter has reached 18.  We all do, though the outcomes differ for each of us.

That said, it seems that the your main concern is that she will seek a divorce, and this is causing your family a great deal of grief.  My heart goes out to you.  My parents were divorced in their early 50's.  It was really rough for many years; my mother has never really forgiven my dad for seeking the divorce (men go through the re-evaluation thing too), however that is really more a pride thing then emotional devastation.

I will honestly say, turns out they have lived much happier lives since then.  Both are in their 80's now, much happier and healthier then they would have been in a contentious, unhappy marriage.

People change.  The wife of 28 years is no longer the bride, and her life goals have probably changed, along with her life skills and responsibilities.

This isn't to mean divorce is inevitable, but it does mean that it isn't the end of life thing, so many people fear.

JB is right, get yourself to a therapist if this is making you seriously ill.  Definitely support your dad in seeking a therapist's help.

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