Please help, my dad's depression is ruining everything

posted 1 year ago in Emotional
Post # 2
1469 posts
Bumble bee

This may seem cruel to some, but if all possible intervention has failed, and considering your dad’s behaviours, it would be my advice for your mother to end the marriage and begin a new life for herself. You can maintain whatever relationship you like with him and ask for welfare checks if/when you are concerned, as can the rest of his family members. 

You really do have my deepest sympathies, it sounds like a terrible situation, but it sounds like there is no one who can help him other than himself at this point. I don’t personally believe mental illness excuses you from behaving cruelly and emotionally abusive. 

Post # 4
2131 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: City, State

View original reply
lovelieladyh :  I think your mom’s plan is well-measured. At this point, I would recommend that she speak with an attorney so she can protect her assets during and after the sale of the home. 

This is so hard, Bee, but I agree with PP: You cannot help someone who will not help himself. This is not your burden to bear. Not your mom’s burden to bear. Certainly not your fiancés burden to bear. If your dad were in therapy and giving it an honest shot, the situation would be very different and most likely a lot better. 

At this point, you need to set boundaries with your dad. You have developed an independent, successful adult life, with a partner who loves you and shares your goals, which is all any parent could ask for. Do NOT let your dad’s behavior ruin your future.

His mental illness does not give him the right to behave terribly. Depression is a bear, but it’s treatable. Make it clear that he needs to be in treatment, or your relationship with him will fundamentally change, if not disappear entirely. 

Post # 5
5163 posts
Bee Keeper

I’m sorry about this. Your mother has no recourse but to divorce your father, the sooner the better. Perhaps thatnwiukd be the wakeup call he needs to be motivated to seek treatment. But it’s crazy to let him take all of you down with him.

Post # 6
5046 posts
Bee Keeper

I agree with the previous posters. Yes, your father didn’t choose to have depression. Yes there is a certain amount of patience required. But he has to be willing to help himself. And you also have to look out for your own Mental Health and you are not required to subject yourself to abuse because of his mental illness.

At a certain point you just need to draw boundaries in order to protect yourself. It will be hard and he will blame you. You can make it clear that the door is still open should he ever decide to seek treatment and you will help him if he starts by helping himself. But until that point he’s not allowed to abuse you or your loved ones and the consequence of his actions is that he no longer gets to be a regular part of your life.

Sometimes that’s all you can do. I realize that our mental health system here is profoundly broken. But you have done all that you can do and after two years you can’t keep martyring yourself for someone who doesn’t want your help in the first place. If things get particularly bad you can call the police or the county for a welfare check if needed, but in the meantime you need to have boundaries and perhaps keep your distance.

Post # 7
1214 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

Speaking as a person with clinical depression and as a person with a father who had a mental illness, I agree with pps. Your mom should divorce him and begin to make a new life for herself. You can’t make him seek treatment and right now he’s just dragging you all down with him and negatively affecting your mental health. You’ve done everything you could possibly do to help and now it’s up to him. If it were me I would cut off contact and make him seeking treatment a prerequisite of a continuing relationship with him.

Post # 8
1137 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2019 - City, State

I have no words of wisdom like PP’s, but I send my condolences. 

Post # 9
1743 posts
Bumble bee

View original reply
lovelieladyh :  Not trying to be morbid or anything, but if your mom does plan to leave your father, she should have a place to live and have everything sorted out before telling him. There is a story where I live that’s currently in the news where a father killed one daughter, and attempted to kill another because his wife left him. He also died, but authorities are not sure if that part was intentional.

If your father is mentally ill, and has threatned suicide, there’s no telling what he may do. Wishing you and your family the very best of luck in this trying time.

Post # 11
525 posts
Busy bee

You can’t save your dad; he is an adult. You can’t make him want to get better. You can’t force him into treatment. The choice to seek treatment or not (and whether to hurt oneself) are personal decisions. Some people need to hit rock bottom before they are willing to take that step. Others never do. Whichever happens to him, it’s not your fault or your mom’s.

PPs hit the nail on the head that what you, your mom, and your fiancé can do is set healthy boundaries. If your dad becomes belligerent or starts criticizing any of you, leave the room. Don’t overthink, argue, or rationalize stuff your dad says. You wrote a whole paragraph about your and your FH’s finances, which has nothing to do with anything. Learn to recognize when you simply shouldn’t engage with him, and show him there are consequences for his behavior, up to and including losing his daughter.

It’s not my place to say if your mom should end the marriage. You are posting on your own behalf, not hers. Take care of yourself.

Post # 13
576 posts
Busy bee

I agree with everyone else. He’s not just clinically depressed, but also abusive. These are two separate things and since he’s not willing to help himself, there isn’t much to do unfortunately. You mother deserves more, and so do you. 

Also, could he be a narcissist? Because from what you described this is a possibility and in that case you should all seek guidance about how to deal with him, especially when you mother leaves.

I’m sorry Bee, this is a terrible situation to be in but from what you’ve shared it sounds like you have an amazing and strong mother and a loving partner, and I hope you’ll find a way to heal from this together. 

Post # 14
456 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2019

Bee, I’m really sorry for what you’ve been going through. My heart goes out to you and your mum.

But as you said in your last post, one can only do so much as to offer help and it is so frustrating and incredibly sad that we know what would help them, but we can’t make them if they’re not willing to.

Just wanted to ask if you or your mum have showed him real boundaries before? Like not being in contact with him, not listen/react to his accusations? Doesn’t he suffer from it? Have you asked him if he’s happy with how things are? And how he thinks that things could change?


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