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Is this depression?

(4 Posts)
SpringChicken Tue 27-Apr-04 11:07:31

Just looking for a bit of advice on behalf of my best friend/SIL. Will try and explain as best as i can without going into too much detail in case anyone else may know her.

She is 22 - mum and dad split up when she was 2 due to dad beating her mum up very regularly - she has a great relationship with her mum and an awful relationship with her dad - when both she and her brother were old enough her mum told them the full extent of everything their dad had put her through and let them make up their own minds about him - needless to say after only seeing him a handful of times since their parents split both decided they wanted nothing to do with him.

I have been in the pub with by best friend/SIL before when her dad has been there too - he has just walked straight past her and ignored her as he doesn't even know who she or her brother are.

Things just seem like a constant struggle for her - her mum has had numerous rocky relationships, her brother has just been released from prison for assaulting their dad, the list is endless. It just seems like she never gets time to recover from one trauma before a new one arrives at the doorstep.

She has 2 beautiful kids and is in a stable relationship with my DP's brother - her DS is 4 and DD is nearly 1.
Ever since the birth of her DD she hasn't been the same - she goes through patches of being fairly happy and upbeat but then quickly changes into being sad and miserable (Her own words) and constantly shouting at her DP and the kids.

She has finally accepted that she may well have some degree of PND and is going to the doctors to arrange to talk to someone but i just to know how i can help her.

Before the birth of her DD she was a completely different person - she loves her DD dearly and doesn't feel bitter or angry toward her, just everyone else - her DP is a good dad but is basiacally useless in most other other departments, the only time he looks after the children is if she goes out and specifically asks him to look after them - during the week, she gets up and walks DS to school whilst DP stays in bed, by the time she gets back her DP has gone out and left the housework for her to do, she does all the cooking, all the bathing of children etc, neither of them work so financially it is a constant struggle and it is all getting too much for her.

She is a very private person and doesn't like asking anyone for help so am very cautious about what i say so i don't offend or upset her in any way but there must be something i can do to help............................anyone got any suggestions?

Sorry for the long and rambling post - it is very hard to write this without giving too much information but giving enough for everyone to realise the extent of the situation.

lemonice Tue 27-Apr-04 11:20:36

She may have mild depression but from what you say I think it may be more a case of things justifiably getting her down. But impossible to tell virtually.

Typical symptoms of severe depression are a number of:- inabiltiy to cope with everyday life eg not wanting to get up, lack of interest in personal appearance, withdrawal from social activity, crying, sleep disturbance, increased use of alcohol or other crutch, abnormal anxiety, eating too much/too little, feelings of iadequacy and lack of motivation.

I'm afraid this isn't much help.

SpringChicken Tue 27-Apr-04 11:33:10

Thanks Lemonice

As far as your symptoms list goes she doesn't have any of those things really - she spends time on her personal appearance, she very rarely drinks, she likes doing things with kids to keep them entertained etc.

Ever since having her DD she has been unhappy with the way she looks - she has had c/sections with both children and they have left her stomach in a bit of a mess - she has lost all of her excess weight but cannot tone herself into the shape she wants to be.

I think it is just life in general that gets her down sometimes - have been trying to think of things that we can do together without the children to make her feel like a human again rather than just a mum machine but it's a bit awkward being 7 months pregnant.

lemonice Tue 27-Apr-04 11:49:44

She probably needs to go down the feel good route then (by the way I'm an expert depressive not a depressive expert!)

So generally being there for her and like you say trying something to cheer her up is a start. Quite simplistic but finding an opportunity for a good laugh, increasing omega 3s and vitamin b, chocolate and probably doing something positive about her work situation (tho i know it's always complicated re benfits and tax credits etc) and time for herself.

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