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How do I help my mum?

(4 Posts)
Saloire Thu 05-Jan-17 08:36:39

My mum is having an anxious/depressive episode and I really want to be there for her, but her anxiety and constant discussion about it is setting off my intrusive thoughts. She is aware of it, but she's in that zone where her world is a scary place, and she's not sleeping well. All I want is to go and cuddle her, butt can't stop feeling unnerved. If I'm honest, I'm also a bit angry. I'm pregnant, and last pregnancy mum fell and broke her knee, this time she broke her elbow, and now she's in crisis mode. Where is the space for me?
Sorry if that sounds heartless. Ive been there and know she's not doing it on purpose. Just having problems balancing her needs with mine, and those of DD and DH x x

AnxiousCarer Thu 05-Jan-17 10:06:38

Hi, looking after someone with MH problems can be exhausting and all consuming, don't feel bad about needing some space for you. The most important thing you can do is to look after yourself, because if you go under you can't be there for anyone else. Make some protected time for you and stick to it. It might be worth setting some boundries with your DM in a loving way about when you are available /not available to offer support and what support you can offer. She might find this very difficult to start with if she is used to you being there all the time if she needs you, but put your needs first and hold firm.

What support does she have herself? Has she been to her GP? If not thats a good starting place to get some help for her. From personal experience, if we are anxious, constantly discussing it is not particularly helpful, as it means you are spending more time thinking about what is making you anxious. Maybe some councelling or cbt would be helpful if shes not already gone down this route.

My advice would be to keep letting her know that you love her, whilst maintaing your own space. Provide distractions where you can. You could introduce her to mindfulness and meditation which I have found helpful for anxiety. I also find exercise helpful.

Saloire Thu 05-Jan-17 20:56:26

Thank you so much for all your advice and suggestions. Anxiety is a common thread in our family, and so I've become quite familiar with my own triggers, and what to d/ where to go when in crisis mode. Mum isn't quite as far along on her journey as I am, and so hasn't got the strategies in place to deal with things in quite the same way. She has called her therapist (I made her LOL), she will call GP tomorrow, and I have suggested she asks for a referral for CBT, however long it takes. She also came off her meds earlier in the year, so this is her first winter without them in five years. Personally, I think she should probably go back on them, as she was really well when taking them, but I can't force her and wouldn't want to either.

My only concern really was how much her insomnia and anxiety was triggering mine. I find winter and Christmas really bloody hard from MH POV, so I have to be really careful if I want to stay on top of things. I've started doing my own CBT and mindfulness stuff now, so am hoping I can stay on an even keel this year, unlike the past five winters. I'm not taking any medication at the moment, and would really like to avoid it with the baby coming and everything, which is why I feel it doubly important to make sure everyone including me is ok. Thanks for suggestion about boundaries. I had a big long chat after I read that this morning, and I think she is a bit more in the picture now which is a relief. Xx

AnxiousCarer Fri 06-Jan-17 20:51:06

Sounds like you are doing great, well done you.

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