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depression advice please!!
September 29, 2005
1:20 am
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ryny143
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I need osme advice on what to do with this ongoing problem. I am 23 and live with my mom, who has been depressed on & off throughout the past 2 years. Each time she gets depressed, she ends up losing her job, and i am left with extreme, impossible financial responsibility, which causes me to put my needs on hold. No matter how often this has happened, and how straining it has been on us (me!), it seems that when the "period" is over, and she is happy, all of the plans to "get help" go right out the window, and all I have to do is wait for the motivation to slip away again.

ANy helpful hints on what to do? I've tried the caring approach, the stern approach, the helpful approach, and now, I'm pretty much distressed, hopeless and angry. I can't leave bc of the fear that she will get so depressed that it gets really bad.....:(. Please help!!!

September 29, 2005
1:29 am
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ryny143
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I have to go to bed, but I'd love ANY advice or even words of HOPE!!! I really appreciate it because the 2 people I have to talk to over here, really aren't getting the concept....Thanks

September 29, 2005
7:59 am
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Anonymous
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Ryny,

my best advice is to take the tough love approach and move out. Find an apartment you can share with someone else - look for someone who is renting a room or a house share. Sounds like you already have a boatload of financial responsibility - I am sure you can swing that if you can swing mom's responsibilities...at least you will breathe easy know it's YOUR bills you are paying and not moms.

I know you care about mom and cutting her off and walking away from her is going to be VERY VERY hard - but you are not her keeper - and it is NOT your responsibility to care for her when she is sick. That's up to her and her doctor's. Perhaps she is unmotivated to get help cuz she knows she can depend on you to bail her out...the roles are reversed here - you are the parent - and tho you are young - and acting like a parents is something foreign to you - all parents have to let go and let their "children" find their own way.

finding a therapist or a coda group will help you with the guilt you heap on yourself for walking away - and the shame that others try to heap on you for walking away from mom.

it's not an easy path, but for your own sanity, it is the only one...at least from where I sit.

my mom is depressed too - and recently, I have had to "cut the apron strings" to further my own therapy - and I can see the depression kicking in - she is in bed sleeping every time I do go see her - which is her red flag - after all these years, I know she isn't gonna get suicidal again - but I still feel bad that I am the source of her pain. But she is a big girl, has a good working relationship with her doctor and she'll work out her issues on her own - I can't fix them for her. As a child, I did everything right - and lost my childhood in effort to keep her from getting depressed and not attempt suicide again - I lost my childhood and it did alot of damage - don't do more harm to yourself...like I said, it's not an easy path...but it can be done - needs to be done.

special hugs to you - I know where you are at ....((((HUGS))))

September 29, 2005
9:52 pm
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ryny,

You received some excellent advice above. The fact that your mom doesn't always function may not change anytime soon. Perhaps she is in too much pain to realize the terrible impact this is having on your life. But without spending too much time trying to figure her out, it is important that you advocate for your needs and act on it. You are doing well enough to recognize them, now take it further...one step at a time.

Take it from me, I am bipolar and suffered from depression my whole life. It's not going away. Somethings got better, but for some people depression is a life long affliction that we battle everyday. You probably love your mom very much, but it is important to establish strong boundaries. Depression is painful, sufferers often will seek help if encouraged (if we are not substance abusers or have some other way to numb it- we will want to find their way out of it and are likely to eventually seek help).

But your mom will be less likely to seek help if she doesn't need to function to have her needs taken care of. You may be taking care of so many of her needs that she has no motivation to be well enough to take on those responsiblities. Sometimes obligations and responsibilies are what get a person out of bed in the morning.

In my experience, sometimes the only things that keep me going is knowing I have responsibilities to other people, to my dog, etc...and my proudest moments were when I exercised independence for myself and got my first apartment, real job, etc... despite the depression.

Your mom might need medical help as well, but she might also need to feel needed. Whenever I've been out of work because of my depression, I've gotten worse because being out of work makes me depressed. It is a vicious cycle.

She may have a very severe, crippling case of something that requires psychiatric attention. Some people simply cannot function NO MATTER WHAT until they get this. This is something even a family member is not equipped to determine. She needs to seek help if this is the case.

I'm not telling you what to do and I don't have any great words of wisdom about how you stop "enabling" her because without knowing your situation and the details, I can't say that's for sure what you are doing. You have done the best you can, done what you thought was right. But you have to worry about you. It's good you are talking about it.

Hugs,
ella

September 30, 2005
10:02 am
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columbia
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If your mom is prone to depression she might have forseen it would come back again. and being the adult she could have made a plan on who would handle what, if depression should strike again, more or less a back up plan. Well she didn't and she isn't seeking help. So put yourself first, but do it with kindness.

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