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Mum depressed and won't get help

(16 Posts)
mome Tue 01-Dec-15 13:27:32

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

My mum is really depressed (in hindsight this has been going on for several years) and as such cannot cope at all with stressful situations, she basically melts down. This year my dad has been diagnosed with cancer and is currently undergoing chemo. This is obviously a very traumatic time for everyone, but mum is just unable to cope. She is against chemo for a start, and is not able to put her feelings aside to support dad. The atmosphere in the house is horrendous and as a result dad is very upset and I believe getting depressed himself.

This weekend my siblings and I, along with dad spoke to mum about the possibility that she might be depressed and suggested seeing the doctor to get some help. We were very gentle, explaining that we love her and why we think that way, and also trying to make her see that she needs to be in the right frame of mind to support dad etc and to make things easier for her. This all went down like a lead balloon, and she did not take in at all what we were saying, just got very upset and angry and accused us all of ganging up on her and telling her how rubbish she is. Now this is really not the case, but she was not able to see where we were coming from at all and just got very distressed.

She is adamant that she does not want to see the doctor, will not consider anti depressants, and is not interested in counselling (any kind, including speaking to macmillan nurses). She has said that this was the worst weekend of her life and she will never trust or confide in any of us again.

Basically she is very distressed, and still not considering she may need help, now she feels she is isolated from us too as she doesn’t trust us any more. Does anyone have any suggestion as to what i can do to help? I am really worried that dad is in decline due to the stress of it all, and of course I want to help mum as well.

flippinada Tue 01-Dec-15 16:44:26

Poor you, that sounds like a very stressful and upsetting situation to be in.

Does your Mum have form for this kind of behaviour? Is this out of character for her?

I appreciate that she may be depressed but her behaviour sounds awful.

ottothedog Tue 01-Dec-15 16:57:40

Is it depression or her natural personality to be highly stressed? It sounds a v stressful time anyway flowers . We have a similar situation but my parents have never had that kind of supportive relationship and my mum doesnt naturally adopt a caring role. In my mums case tho i think she has some deeper issue like social anxiety or possibly aspergers (my siblings are both dx) I let them get on with their dysfunctional relationship. The cancer hasnt changed that. Sorry - projecting and possibly not relevant

MatildaTheCat Tue 01-Dec-15 17:16:28

Wow, that's tough. Have you posted about her before? I remember another post where a mum was anti chemo for her husband. Since she is refusing to accept your help can you look for other ways to support your dad such as attending chemo with him or taking him out alone. Maybe take her out on totally non medical outings occasionally? Give them both a massage voucher or something else they might enjoy.

My own mother hates all things medical and has had to take dad for numerous radiotherapy appointments and much more this year. She dislikes talking about it but they both enjoy other distractions.

Sorry, it sounds very difficult. I hope your dad does well and things improve.

Almostfifty Tue 01-Dec-15 17:20:50

Go and see her GP. They can get her into the surgery and talk to her.

mome Tue 01-Dec-15 17:44:08

Thanks everyone. It's a really impossible situation really. I did actually get mum to the doctors a few weeks ago, but she just paid lip service to the gP and didn't follow up on any of the suggestions given.

This recent drama was as a result of saying that she should go back and speak to the doctor again.

I really do think it is depression as she is not able to focus on anything else. She can't be distracted from the situation as she says she is not in the mood to do anything, so can't take her out for the day etc.

Also if we were to go with dad to treatment she feels that she is being pushed out and we're saying that she's not wanted.

At the moment she's not speaking to me really either as she sees me as the instigator of the 'attack' and everyone is now walking on eggsells in case we set things off again.

flippinada Tue 01-Dec-15 18:05:37

So essentially your Mum has neatly ensured that all the focus is on her, while her seriously ill husband is going through gruelling medical treatment? And she's not prepared to do anything about this depression? And you're being punished for not behaving how she wants you to?

She sounds thoroughly manipulative abd selfish. And the depression (which she doesn't want to do anything about) sounds very convenient.

I feel for you, your siblings and your Dad.

pallasathena Tue 01-Dec-15 19:49:47

She's frightened.

flippinada Tue 01-Dec-15 21:00:23

Yes, she might be frightened too. But she's not behaving very well. Now that could be a function of her depression or maybe this is just what she's like? OP is best placed to know the answer to that.

Of course she is genuinely unwell and is acting completely out of character then that puts a different slant on things... but her husband is suffering from a chronic illness and needs help and support. OP's comment that she is having to walk on eggshells inclines me to think this is deliberate bad behaviour by her mum who doesn't like not being the centre of attention but as I say, OP will know best.

In terms of advice mome, I think there's little you can do if your Mum won't accept she has a problem, just be there for your Dad. I really feel for him.

flippinada Tue 01-Dec-15 21:01:45

Sorry, pressed send too soon. I really feel for all of you, it must be so difficult flowers.

mome Tue 01-Dec-15 21:03:41

No she's really not doing it to be manipulative. She's a sensitive soul and I n the past she has has been unable to cope well with stressful situations like house move for example.
This is obviously the biggest thing she's had To face so far and so it's really taken overhear life.
I do think she is terrified, but instead of looking for help she's rejecting the possibility it's needed.

mome Tue 01-Dec-15 21:04:54

I wholeheartedly just think she is ill.

ottothedog Tue 01-Dec-15 21:13:29

It might just be that there is no real help though. Counselling wont work if she doesnt want it, pills arent going to make her husband better. Sometimes there is just nothing others can do. sadflowers

ottothedog Tue 01-Dec-15 21:15:02

Have you sought counselling yourself? It might be helpful with regards to dealing with feelings about how your mum is dealing with this, as well as your own upset about your dad

RunRabbitRunRabbit Tue 01-Dec-15 21:19:57

Has anyone told her that the best way to help her DH is by helping herself? Do counselling for him not her.
What has he said to her?

flippinada Tue 01-Dec-15 21:23:32

Sorry to hear that mome. If she won't accept any help then sadly there's very little you can do, but I appreciate it's difficult.

Agree with otto that it might be a good idea to look at getting some support for yourself.

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