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Anyone out there with a depressed parent?

(13 Posts)
alwayshungry Tue 03-Jul-07 12:35:41

My Dad has suffered from depression for 15 years now. He is most of the times a million times better than he once was but still gets these terrible lows every few months for a week or so. I was wondering if there are any other Mumsnetters out there with the same situation? I don't want this to come over as a selfish thread as I know its so much worse for the sufferer than the family but it is not that easy for the family either! I find it paralises the family when it happens, we live in dread of it happening and do everything we can to ensure we do nothing that may trigger an episode. Then when it does happen we are on hold until it lifts. When my mum tells me Dad has got one of his lows I feel physically sick, panic, get anxiety attacks and am basically useless til I get a call to say he is better. When he is fine and on form it has the same effect, we are all happy, carefree, enjoy life. My Dad has been the most influential person in my life. He is a wonderful,caring person who has given me so much guidance and support. I really need to learn to deal with this better. I am worried it'll affect ds when he is older as my mood and outlook is so connected with this situation. Does anyone else have experience of a similar situation?

feb Tue 03-Jul-07 12:56:19

hi alwayshungry,
my dad was diagnosed with depression about 18 months ago. it came on very suddenly and turned my superhero of a dad into someone with zero self confidence.
its very sad, we all think our dads are invincible don't we?

alwayshungry Tue 03-Jul-07 13:07:31

Hi Feb
It's so sad. How is your Dad now?

MrsSpoon Tue 03-Jul-07 13:09:57

Sympathies alwayshungry, my Mum suffers from depression and at times I can't bear it. Her depression comes with a large element of paranoia which makes life difficult.

feb Tue 03-Jul-07 13:12:12

it changes week to week. he is either full of energy and over the top giddy, or can't be bothered to get out of bed. he has been retired ill health from work in the last few weeks and we're not sure how its going to affect him.
how about your dad? do you know what started it? how old is your ds?
you're right, there is so little support for families. i'm getting married soon and am having a really low key do with no speeches, not being given away or anything as i didn't want to put any pressure on him. but now i'm worried he will be offended

alwayshungry Tue 03-Jul-07 13:26:54

DS is 9 mths now Feb. I really feel for you with what you said there about not wanting to offend him, its so hard knowing how to treat them isnt it because of the fear of triggering something off. Are you able to talk to him about it when he is having one of his "up" times? Do you know what started it? With my Dad it was started by a combination of things I think, business worries, pressure, bereavement of a parent, exhaustion.
I really hope your Dad is ok for your wedding, and also the lead up so you can enjoy that.
How long has your Mum suffered Mrs Spoon?

MrsSpoon Tue 03-Jul-07 13:36:52

alwayshungry, she has suffered on and off most of her life, probably since her own Mum died when she was 16. The last 5 years or so she has been particularly bad, I just find it really difficult when she is saying people have been treating her badly etc when I know that it is her depression making her blow things out of all proportion. DH and I feel she could would benefit greatly from CBT but she tells us she has asked about it but it is not on offer at her surgery. She did try a form of counselling but found it too intrusive and only went the once as they wanted to know everything.

alwayshungry Tue 03-Jul-07 15:11:01

Mrs Spoon your Mum sounds like my dp's Dad (lots of happy relatives in our household!). He also suffers from depression, and as a part of this is incredibly paranoid and reads something into every comment. He remembers every passing comment people have said to him for the last 40 odd years! Refuses counselling, refuses medication.
It's very sad for them, and very sad for us watching helpless

feb Tue 03-Jul-07 15:52:51

mrsspoon - gosh yes the paranoia is hard to deal with. impossible to know how to respond.

alwayshungry - aw bless, i have a 5 month old

not a clue what started it, seemed to coincide with retirement looming though.

dad got some counselling through work, but my mum thinks it just made him worse!

have either of your parents had anti depressants?

alwayshungry Tue 03-Jul-07 16:07:32

My Dad has had everything! AD's, group therapy, one on one counselling. All of which have worked miracles, he is generally so so much better. He used to be 100% depressed all the time, now it is every few months for a week or so so I guess I should be grateful for that. Its just been such a long haul! I really do recommend ADS. The difference it made was so noteable.

letsgo Tue 03-Jul-07 17:13:46

Hi there

My dad has suffered on and off for about 15 years since he retired from work. He isn't too bad at the moment but not fantastic. My mum just carries on as if nothing is wrong with him which is a little odd.
It's sad seeing him so vulnerable but basically I try to be as positive as I can. I don't see them that much because they live so far away.

ShinyHappyPeopleHoldingHands Tue 03-Jul-07 17:17:28

Alwayshungry, I feel for you.

My dad is very depressed. He is 76 and recently went into a nursing home because his mobility is virtually nil and he needs nursing care since being in hospital for 3 months between Feb and May. I feel very responsible because I put him there but there wasn't an alternative.

He is on anti depressants but they don't seem to be doing much. I visit daily but he doesn't seem to care whether I am there or not.

alwayshungry Tue 03-Jul-07 17:24:06

shiny that's so sad, it must be so hard for you. How long as he been on AD's for? Has he always been on the same kind?

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