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Forums / Grief and loss / Since dad died, mums depression has spiralled down

Topic: Since dad died, mums depression has spiralled down

8 posts, 0 answered
  1. killetti
    killetti avatar
    8 posts
    17 March 2018

    I dont live with mum anymore, i wanted to have my own life, and didnt want mum clinging to me. but now, between mum's memory loss and her depression getting far far worse. she talks about wishing she was dead, crying all day, being unbearably lonely all the time.

    i have tried to get her to see the GP. and her psychologist. neither has really helped. Finally mum met a woman who has had ECT and thought she too might benefit from hospital treatment to get on the right meds. she told the doctor and the doctor gave her a psychiatrist. she didn't like last years psychiatrist. this years psych, she can't see for 2 months. two months of her telling me every day that she never wants to leave the house again, that she hates where she lives, that she wishes she were dead.

    then of course every other day where she seems aware of her situation and wants to try to fight it... but I know by the time she gets around ot doing anything the feelings will change (within the day).

    i suffer depression and anxiety too. not to her extent, i'm able to self manage. talk myself up, mostly. but i dont wantto be around mum when she is like this. she makes me so angry, she one day is asking me to help her get a dog trainer, the next day she's cancelling and telling me it's all too much... i dont have much time or energy in my own life, i work full time and i barely cope with that. i like my alone time. i sleep poorly. amd i'm generally just struggling to have any social life at all.

    i called the crisis team and they told me to get a sooner appointment with the psychiatrist, but i dont know who they are, mum will never get around to doing anything about it, and her doctor wont tell me anything, or generally do anything much of use... they've left her like this for thirty years... they did nothing for my dad either.

    i feel trapped. i want to take her to a hospital and say to them" take her, make her better." but i know because she doesn't actually plan how to commit suicide they wont do anything. i'm the only person in the world she has. i feel guilty half the tie, angry the other half and overlay it all with a desperation. i know others have it harder, i know some daughters are full time carers for their parents... but i want to have a life..

    and i dont know how to cope the next two months or longer until some medical professional sees how serious it is and bothers to get involved and actually help her.

  2. white knight
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    white knight avatar
    9377 posts
    18 March 2018 in reply to killetti

    Hi Killetti, welcome

    You are in a catch 22 situation. Damned if you help as she doesn't take it and damned if you don't because you feel guilty. Unfortunately your mum doesn't recognize the pain she is putting onto you. This is common.

    Your first obligation is to yourself. If you go downhill heavily (and that could happen) then you are on your own because your mum wont be capable in assisting. You have to remain the strong one and as you already have some mental illness issues that means extra care for yourself.

    How you go about that is up to you. Not answering the phone when she rings or better still, turning it off will help. Set about picking some nights after work "Killetti time" where you do not contact her or be contactable. Get that life you want and need. And if your mum complains that you were not contactable admit it "yes mum, I was busy with my life". No details are needed. It's your private time, you are entitled to that.

    When dealing with your mum there is boundaries you can set that should not interfere with your relationship. EG challenge her on advice you give that she doesn't follow up. eg the dog trainer. If she asks for advice on another matter a while later simply say "like the dog trainer you wont accept my ideas, so I wont waste my time". This is all fair. There can also be some firmness there to.

    You seem to have little respect for the medical profession but I'd suggest that your mum hasn't been the best patient based on her communication with yourself. No one knows how she has responded to their recommendations. Sometimes people are given all the carrots of advice but ignore them and speak ill of them. By not taking good medical advice she is where she is and placing pressure on you. That isn't fair on you. Hospitals wont act on those people that threaten suicide, they'd be full up all the time. However, point out to her that you do love her and you care for her but saying such things is hurtful to you and causing great concern.

    She must help herself but the answers aren't that cut and dry. She likely doesn't like some psychs as they don't bend to her wishes. ECT is only for certain patients like any treatment.

    However, threats to suicide are serious. Tell her to ring lifeline or the number at the bottom of this page. That's her first port of call, not yourself. After all, what are you going to do to stop her? Leave it to those trained. Distance yourself from that behavior and frown upon it IMO.

    Tony WK

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
    8809 posts
    18 March 2018 in reply to killetti

    Hi killettie,

    Welcome to the community here. (Hi Tony, I seem to be following you around the forum at present)

    Mental health issues can really mess with your head. Your Mum might be in a spot where she just doesn't know how to move on from where she is. If she has been ill for so long, she may be quite stuck and not know how to change without a lot of help.

    Is it possible for you to take your Mum to your own Dr and ask for another opinion and advice?

    If your Mum is on one of her really dreadful days, is it possible for you to take her to the hospital? The staff will decide if she needs to be admitted or not. Maybe being int hat situation may make your Mum realise how much help she does need.

    Like Tony mentioned, you do need to set up boundaries with your Mum. Providing numbers for assistance like Lifeline and Beyondblue may be very beneficial. If you write them down and place the numbers somewhere your Mum can see them, she may use them.

    Looking after your self is so important as well. Even if you plan to do something special for yourself once a week, that will help to boost your sense of self.

    Wishing you well and your Mum as well.

    Cheers from Dools

    1 person found this helpful
  4. killetti
    killetti avatar
    8 posts
    5 April 2018 in reply to white knight

    thank you doolhoff and whiteknight... sorry for the delay replying...

    it took AAAGES but finally we have gotten her a sooner appointment with a psychiatrist, she went today... i have even LESS respect for the medical profession now since it took SOOO long for them to bother trying to find her an alternative that wouldn't take three months, i had to nag people daily to refer the referral to someone who would actually do something....

    meanwhile i find out that mum has not been getting any real therapy from the psychologist thats been taking her money for years... i thinks Tony you might be right, she only allows what she wants to hear... the psychs dont get to do anything else. so i'm her primary therapist these days.... since i'm the only one actually teaching her tools to cope, identify her feelings etc...

    anyway i havent been able to speak to her since her appointment today. so i dont know how it went. i'm sure it will be a new set of hills to climb...

    unfortunately on her bad days i cant even drag her to her GP, let alone a hospital. and her GP is my GP. i've tried going elsewhere but gotten seriously poor advice that harmed my health. So the family GP is it, they are just really complacent when it comes to anything beyond a cold or flu... you have to convince them to send you to a specialist, which is fine for someone proactive and health literate like me, but not so great for someone like my mum who is happy to keep the status quo.

    i think she thinks crying and telling someone all her troubles is therapy.

    anyway i really appreciate the support that i dont have to take it all on myself and to look after my own mental health. i needed to hear this from someone other than myself.

  5. Doolhof
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
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    Doolhof avatar
    8809 posts
    7 April 2018 in reply to killetti

    Hi Killetti,

    Welcome back. It does sound like you have had a bit of a run around trying to get assistance for your Mum. Hopefully the appointment went well for her and you have had a chance to discuss it all with her.

    I have found that at different times, one kind of therapy works better for me than an alternate approach. Maybe for your Mum crying and releasing her thoughts is very helpful, where as you may be looking at issues more from a wanting to fix it all scenario.

    I'm not suggesting one way is better than another. All Drs. and mental health professionals have their own way of trying to help and assist people. We need to find something that works for us. My psychologist must scratch his head some times, as each of my appointments with him goes completely differently!

    Occasionally my expectations do not much the availability of services nor the level of support I require. Sometimes I don't even know what will help. The medical professionals are all people as well with limited resources at times.

    Finding ways to cope with and deal with your own mental health issues in all of this is very important. I find looking after myself can be hard enough some days let alone needing to care for someone else as well.

    Thinking of you and your Mum!

    Cheers from Dools

    1 person found this helpful
  6. killetti
    killetti avatar
    8 posts
    15 April 2018 in reply to Doolhof

    Hi Dools,

    this is very good advice. it's true different things work at different times and my own psychologist does let me vent for most of a session, but she does usually give me homework, or feedback.. Mum seems uplifted since seeing her psychiatrist. and she's feeling a bit better at the moment.

    Mums world is shrinking and i guess it's her illness/memory that's doing that... the thing is i HAVE been suicidal, actually planning it. but i've never had my ability to choose or act taken away...

  7. Doolhof
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Doolhof avatar
    8809 posts
    16 April 2018 in reply to killetti

    Hi Killetti,

    'm really concerned for you! Having suicidal thoughts is horrible. Have you ever used the phone help lines? Would you consider calling Beyondblue on 1300 22 4636 and talk to someone? If you are feeling really desperate would you go to your local hospital and ask for help?

    Do you have someone there you can talk with?

    I'm not sure what age your Mum is, have you tried calling MY AGED CARE and see if they can provide any services for your Mum?

    I hope you are able to reach out to someone there for help. You can always share how you are feeling here on this forum. Unfortunately I am going to be away for a week soon visiting my parents and may not have time to access a computer to catch up with you.

    Write out here how you are feeling, I find just the act of writing helps!

    Hope you are able to reach out to get the help you need right now.

    Kind regards from Dools

  8. killetti
    killetti avatar
    8 posts
    18 April 2018 in reply to Doolhof

    Hi Dools,

    my apologies, my statement was misleading. i was talking about my past. and i do seek professional help when i'm low enough to consider suicide, sometimes even the hotline. you are right that sometimes just writing about it helps. my psychologist lets me write to her if something is really bothering me and often the act of writing makes it better.

    on the other hand my mum missed her second psych appointment, isn't answering or hearing the phone, has turned off the answering machine (accidentally) making her unreachable to her friends and family.

    so my levels of stress and frustration are high and i've been sick with a cold for three weeks, my GP believes because of this stress... but mum has rejected the help My Aged Care offered her, and so it remains on my shoulders to pick her back up and get things going...

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