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Please help me help my depressed father

(3 Posts)
TheMysteryCat Tue 23-Oct-12 20:19:25

My dad is chronically depressed and has been for more than ten years. He's agoraphobic, suffers from panic and anxiety attacks, listless and suicidal. He lives with my mum over 300 miles away and my mum is physically ill too. I'm a single parent with no support network, apart from a few friends locally, who are more like mummy-friends and I'm really struggling to find ways to support my folks.

The straw that broke the proverbial camel's back is that my mum has just cancelled a visit to me because my dad has been feeling extremely suicidal and the gp has told her not to leave him right now. He's always very upset if she goes away for any period, but friends and family take care whilst she's away. This time he can't cope.

I'm sad and angry in equal measure. My dad won't do anything to help himself. He drinks 10-20 cups of coffe a day, constantly smokes, has an appalling diet with no exercise and won't take any medication as he says it makes him feel worse. Cbt didn't work for him and he can't afford a counsellor. I am at my wits end and whilst i know he is very sick, he is dreadfully selfish. Not just this trip, but everything.

Does anyone have any ideas. I feel like my mum and I are going to have to do something radical to break his downward cycles and I'm scared of the impact. My dad just says he's waiting to die so he will be no bother to anyone anymore. I love my dad. Please help me get him well again.

LowLevelWhinging Tue 23-Oct-12 20:24:35

Has he had contact with any other professional support - Crisis team or Community Mental Health Team?

It's not good enough to tell your mum not to leave him alone, they both need more support than that. that's too much responsibility for one person.

Have you had a look at mind.org.uk?

TheMysteryCat Tue 23-Oct-12 20:30:43

He's been referred for urgent psychiatric support, but no more detail on that. I don't know about crisis or cmt, but last time my mother was in hospital he played down his illness to the doctors so they didn't give any support. He's very mistrustful of anything like that as he doesn't believe they can help. I called mind once, very sympathetic, but nothing practical. I might give them a call tomorrow and see if there are any resources he could access.

Thank you

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