(Closed) My mom is severly depressed and won’t get help

posted 10 years ago in Family
Post # 3
401 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

There are different types of therapy – maybe she needs to see a new doctor? Does anyone live close enough to do a hobby/activity with her? Maybe a yoga class or cooking class? Has she seen a medical doctor for this problem? 

Post # 4
189 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

I don’t have much advice. I only wanted to say I sympathise. My dad passed away when I was 10 and my mom also became a widow at 36, with two children to raise. Like yours she worked and supported us and over time distanced herself from her friends. She is still close to her family though which makes me feel better, and she’s not really depressed though some months she will be, a little bit.

I’ve tried to get her to meet more people, as I hope she will meet someone and re-marry. But she’s very stubborn!!!

I don’t know what you should do. I think medicines may be the way to go, maybe you can talk to her about how good she will feel?

Post # 5
8291 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2010

I don’t really know what to tell you about making her go to groups or going on medicine because only she can decide that. Maybe you could do something where you, your siblings & SO’s all go to her house once a week for a family game night. Board games, card games, everyone bring food & stuff. To start getting her social again, some what. & To reassure her, you still need her. I have heard some woman get depressed when there nest is empty because they do not feel needed anymore as a woman. 

Post # 6
24 posts
  • Wedding: December 2011

I don’t really have much advice but wanted to let you know you are not alone.  My mother has had the same issues ever since I can remember.  I will PM you.  

Post # 7
375 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

First, she actually IS getting help, by seeing a therapist. Just because she doesn’t want medication doesn’t mean she isn’t getting help.

i would talk to her about what her therapist does for her, and encourage her to find a new one (I had to!)

not saying the therapist is necessarily doing anything wrong, but getting a different perspective can help a lot.

hopefully her new therapist could get her to do more things. but you must be patient with her.

make sure you’re not pushing medication on her if she really is against it, especially the psych drugs. they have many side-effects that could make the situation even worse. (yes, medication does work, but sometimes it takes awhile to find one that works for you and doesn’t have bad side-effects for you)

hope this helps! I have a mood disorder with depression. i definitely know what its like.

Post # 9
645 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

*hugs* yes, it sounds as if she needs a new therapist. But I am not sure that beyond encouraging her to look for someone else, how one can make that happen.

I poked around the internets for resources and found the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (dbsalliance.org) and National Alliance on Mental Illness (nami.org), maybe those will have something helpful. Thinking of you!

Post # 10
91 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

@MsJeep23:  If it were my mom, I would go sit in on a few therapy sessions with her and see what’s going on.  If you can get an accurate view of what the issues are from the therapist, you may be able to find some more help.  Secondly, if the therapist knows you are willing to work with her, he/she may able to suggest some things that will help.  Good luck!

Post # 11
4497 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Perhaps some sort of intervention can take place or you can search out some alternate therapy options.

Have her friends given up on her or would they be wiling to keep trying?

Post # 12
734 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@Sad123: Im so sorryo to hear this for you and your family. I think the wedding will have a way of brining everyone together and might be just what she needs to kind of break out of her shell. Have you thought about a family session to see what can be done?


Post # 13
76 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I would try and meet with the therapist myself to discuss these concerns.  The therapist won’t be able to share any details regarding your Mom’s condition, but at least you can mention these points and see what the therapist thinks….maybe the therapist has been encouraging her to seek more medical help or maybe the therapist sucks.

Or you could ask your Mom if you can go with her to one of her sessions.

Post # 14
13 posts
  • Wedding: July 2011

Wow, that is a really tough situation.  The Wall Street Journal had and excellent article about a year ago “When a Depressed Person Won’t seek Help” – you can google it (they are a pain about posting links, or I’d just post it)  Even harder for you in your case, since your mom does have a therapist, and your she still doesn’t seem better.  Here are some of the tips from professionals:

Experts say there are ways to circumvent a loved one’s refusal to seek help:

  • BE GENTLE. Your loved one likely feels very vulnerable. “This is akin to talking to someone about his weight,” says Ken Duckworth, a psychiatrist and medical director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, an education, support and advocacy group. Simply saying “I love you” will help.
  • SHARE YOUR OWN VULNERABILITY. If you’ve accepted help for anything—a problem at work, an illness, an emotional problem—tell your loved one about it. This will help reduce their shame, which is a contributing factor to denial.
  • STOP TRYING TO REASON. Don’t get into a debate about who is right and who is wrong. Ask questions instead. Learn what your loved one believes.
  • FOCUS ON THE PROBLEMS YOUR LOVED ONE CAN SEE. Suggest they get help for those. For example, if they acknowledge sleep loss or problems concentrating, ask if they will seek help for those issues. “Don’t hammer them with everything else,” says Dr. Duckworth. “Nobody wants to be pathologized.
  • SUGGEST YOUR LOVED ONE SEE A GENERAL PRACTITIONER. It is often far easier to persuade them to do this than to see a psychiatrist or psychologist. And this physician can diagnose depression, prescribe medicine or refer to a mental-health professional.
  • WORK AS A TEAM. Ask if you can attend an appointment with the doctor or mental-health professional, just once, so you can share your observations and get advice on how best to help.
  • ASK FOR HELP FOR YOURSELF. See a therapist to discuss how you are doing and to get help problem solving. Or contact organizations such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness to find information on caretaking or support groups.
  • ENLIST OTHERS. Who else loves this person and can see the changes in their behavior? Perhaps a sibling, parent, adult child or religious leader can help you break through.
  • LEVERAGE YOUR LOVE. Ask the person to get help for your sake. “If your loved one will not get help, you will not win on the strength of your argument,” says Xavier Amador, a clinical psychologist and director of the LEAP Institute. “You will win on the strength of your relationship



Post # 15
63 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Hi Sad123,

I can relate to your situation. Call it an act of God, but I was actually speaking to my mother on the phone when I came across your thread. When I was 5 she was diagnosed with major depression and over the years has been to 3 psychiatric wards of various hospitals. Has undergone therapy, many medication changes, and other treatments without much luck. And she has been resistant 90% of the time to our suggestions of help. I am now 27 and planning my wedding. Our phone call of the moment was her crying and worrying about not living to my wedding day next year (she has zero health issues besides her depression and her relatives all lived very long lives) and would her somehow dying deter me from getting married.

I think most people do not understand what it is like to be a child of a depressed parent. My fiance did not understand initially, but is now learning that it’s deeper than just feeling “sad”. He used to say all I needed to do was get her out the house. What he later realised is that the black cloud of depression follows her wherever she goes no matter if she is doing the happiest thing on earth. 

My advice to you is to make sure you are taking care of yourself first and foremost. I sought therapy on my own to deal with the anger of having a mother but not really “having” a mother. I also wanted to make sure I did not follow in her footsteps later in life – my future children will not go through this with me. It’s a tough place to be in because we care, but have to give ourselves space so we do not get sucked into the situation emotionally. 

PM me if you ever want to vent. I’m here and I totally understand. Stay strong. Cry on your fiance’s shoulder when you need to, but know you’re not alone. 

Post # 16
19 posts
  • Wedding: May 2010

From your mail its clear that the only problem with her is loneliness…….I have seen my friend’s mom in the same condition so i can understand your  situation……
i think that may be she is preparing herself for the time when you and your siblings have your own family and won’t be able to see her regularly…
And also as you said that she is having some financial issues also….so this is can be one of the reason for her behaving this way……
I can suggest you what my friend did with her mother……
First thing is that ask her help in everything you do……in small small things also…this way she will feel needed……
As you know her hobbies so start doing one at home yourself and ask her to help you…….this way may be she develop her interest again…….
Invite some of her friends at home for lunch or dinner…..and let them talk to her……
Last thing i can suggest is change her doctor if you can…..

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