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How do i support my severley depressed mother...

(5 Posts)
HereInMyHead Sat 18-Jun-11 08:57:56

Without damaging myself? Not sure what to do anymore. Feel myself withdrawing as i have to look after myself and my young son. Woke up with anxiety this morning. Anybody else have experience of supporting a depressed parent? How do you cope? How do you protect yourself? Thanks

ditavonteesed Sat 18-Jun-11 09:04:02

What I found is to try and be as supportive as possible while taking a major step back and trying not to invest as much as you feel you should emotionally. Be there, do things for them, let them constantly know how much you love them and that anything they want they only have to ask, then step back and wait to be asked.
It is all about protecting yourself, you are no use to anyone if you are depressed as well. after my mums suicide attempt I did completly crack up, she had another nervous breakdown last year and I have managed to stay on the right side of sanity.
Also cbt and counselling have help me to detach myself from others feelings, it is not your fault or your responsibility all you can do is help.
HTH, hope things get better for you. xx

HereInMyHead Sat 18-Jun-11 09:12:55

Thanks for the advice. It's hard in some ways as we are in different cities but on the other hand that's a blessing as not sure how i would cope if i saw her every day. The thing you said about it not being my responsibility really hit home. I'm ridiculously empathic which doesn't do me any favours really. Sorry if this bitty am replying on a rubbish phone! Part of me thinks she'd be better off dead and that's a horrible way to feel about someone you love. Think she's given up too.

foxinsocks Sat 18-Jun-11 09:39:21

You can't unfortunately. Dita is right. You can't be responsible for her feelings sad. It is so hard to detach but if you don't, it will really affect you.

Don't forget depression is an illness and you don't and can't have the magic cure. It isnt your fault. It's terribly terribly sad watching someone you love suffering like this but ultimately, all you can do is be there when needed.

Kerrihypnotherapy Sun 19-Jun-11 00:01:30

I agree with Foxinsocks and Dita; only your mum can help herself, you can't do it for her.

when you're talking to her try to focus her on how she would like things to be in her life, rather than how they are, and then build on any (maybe tiny) bits of her life that are already like this or nearly like this, or that she can start to make like this. also asking her if she were to wake up tomorrow and it was a better day, what would be the first difference she would notice.

this will help to focus your mum on something a bit more positive and will also help to protect you in your conversations.

I hope this sounds like she's been very lucky to have you. Remeber though, you need to look after yourself FIRST or how will you be able to look after anyone else? smile

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