My feed

to access all these features

Elderly parents

Depressed DM

6 replies

Crackers6 · 21/04/2023 12:13

I can’t believe I’m over here writing about this but I guess I’m looking for some guidance if anyone can help.

DM is early 70s, health wise - no underlying conditions but she is overweight and gets general aches and pains. I’ve always considered myself close to both my parents, try to see them every day just to check in and generally keep in touch but the last couple of years - maybe more so the last 12 months - I’m finding my relationship changing and I really don’t know how to handle it. 

DM in my opinion is depressed - totally down and miserable almost nearly all of the time and it's causing friction between her and my DF. He is a very optimistic person - again, no health problems and just wants to get on and enjoy life.  DM is constantly snappy, seems very bad tempered and generally doesn’t seem as though she wants to be bothered any more. For example, today - she said she would have been happy to just go back to bed and stay there all day.  I have tried to talk to her, making gentle suggestings that perhaps if she doesn’t feel well maybe she should get a check over with the doctor - but this will cause her to bite back in an unkind manner, so to be honest - you can’t say anything - and I really have tried.   I myself had a health scare just over a year ago, resulting in major surgery which for me was life changing. I’m still in the process over mentally getting over this but once I'd had the Op, my DM really had no time for my recovery and many times was very snappy with me when clearly I wasn’t well. When I look back now, some of the things that were said to me were cruel and unkind. It was a case of you've had the op now get back to normal! If only it was that easy!
My DF has spoken with me several times in private out of her earshot and I know he is unhappy, it's caused some quite big arguments between them which I would have thought would have made my DM think about her actions, but if anything - it's just getting worse. So, I guess I’m here looking for some advice or if anyone else has had to deal with a similar situation. I have a sister, she lives about an hour away and I see her every now and again but she is unaware of the issues and at this stage I don’t feel I can discuss this with her. She is so full of her own life and family that she wouldn’t really notice anything anyway.  I have always included my parents in all aspects of our lives and in the past they have been brilliant - but I do see a lot of unhappiness at the moment and I don’t know what to do. I have three teenage sons and DM has made them feel uncomfortable at times and now they don’t really want to see her which is awkward for me. My DH sees everything the way I do and I can talk to him - but I’m afraid neither of us really know how to deal with the situation. Going low contact is something I’ve thought about, but I think this would make her worse so I try to carry on as normal - but I find it so draining!  I always considered my DM to be my best friend but after everything I am now really having to question our relationship. Any guidance would help!! Thank you.

OP posts:
Babdoc · 21/04/2023 15:10

Change in personality, particularly an increase in irritability and depression, can sometimes be a symptom of early dementia.
Your DM needs to see her GP, but as she still has capacity, it has to be her own decision to make an appointment.
I think you need to suggest this to your dad, and take a step back yourself. You have been through health problems yourself, and you need to prioritise your own health and your own family. Let your parents sort out their own issues.

Crackers6 · 21/04/2023 19:21

Thank you for your reply and yes, I think you’re right and I am definitely trying to take a step back.

OP posts:
NBLarsen · 23/04/2023 23:29

You say you've tried gentle suggestions with your mother but it hasn't changed anything, so I wonder if it's better now to try a more direct approach? Say to her that you've noticed a change in her behaviour, that you think she seems depressed and you are worried about her. She'll either agree, in which case you can encourage her to see a doctor. Or she'll disagree, which gives you the opportunity to give specific examples, like the recent time she said she wanted to stay in bed all day, which is a sign of depression. You can say, "you wanted to stay in bed all day that time, why did you feel like that?"
When your father has spoken to you, what has been his take? Does he see a change in behaviour or has it always been this way for him?

SiouxsieSiouxStiletto · 24/04/2023 07:39

Agree that she needs to see a GP but it might be difficult. I think my "D"M has had depression for many years but won't see the GP, he's even told her she has depression when she's been with something else and prescribed ADs. She sees it as a sign of weakness and I think she's been like this for so long it's her normal.

It sounds as though your relationship with your DM has changed and might take sine time to adjust to.

Can you encourage your DF to start some activities away from DM and can you start to socialise with him. Things like asking him to come to the garden centre with you because you need some advice?

Crackers6 · 24/04/2023 20:27

Thanks for message @SiouxsieSiouxStiletto I get short convos with my DF who sees it and just tells me to be grateful I don’t have to live with it! He won’t confront the issue. I think my relationship is changing, perhaps that’s just what happens? I don’t know. Today she was rude to me on the phone, made it obvious she didn’t want to talk. When you confront her and ask if there is a problem, she just says she’s fine and no idea what I’m on about. At times, I feel like I’m 5 years of age instead of a responsible adult with a family and business to run. Life can be strange sometimes can’t it. Thanks again for the message - will continue to try to find a way through it. X

OP posts:
Crackers6 · 24/04/2023 20:31

Thanks @NBLarsen for the reply. I’ve mentioned the doctors many times - just for a check over, but you can’t push it. I may have to start to become more direct as at the moment, I’m a doormat. This behaviour has definitely got worse over the last year or so……. I think she’s had depression before, I’m not sure she ever really got over it or got to the bottom of it to be honest.

OP posts:
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.