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Coming to terms with parents ignoring my mental health

Drawings_T

Drawings_T

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Joined
Feb 21, 2020
Messages
41
Location
SW London
Hi,

I just wondered if anybody else had parents who just didn't get mental health. I first suffered depression aged 15 and shortly after developed OCD. I tried various ways over the years, telling my parents I felt really bad, or writing to them saying I was suffering from depression. Even after I had a couple of really bad breakdowns in my early 20s the penny never really dropped as to how serious things were for me. I remember sitting both my parents down in a hotel room once and explaining I'd had depression for years and going over lots of points and explaining it all. My Dad vaguely agreed to me seeing a therapist but they completely forgot about it all.

It's done so much damage to my life (I'm 40 now) and I just feel so much anger towards them. Did anyone else have similar experiences? It was like explaining it to little children.
 
JessisMe

JessisMe

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Feb 27, 2020
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8,734
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Nashua NH
Hi,

I just wondered if anybody else had parents who just didn't get mental health. I first suffered depression aged 15 and shortly after developed OCD. I tried various ways over the years, telling my parents I felt really bad, or writing to them saying I was suffering from depression. Even after I had a couple of really bad breakdowns in my early 20s the penny never really dropped as to how serious things were for me. I remember sitting both my parents down in a hotel room once and explaining I'd had depression for years and going over lots of points and explaining it all. My Dad vaguely agreed to me seeing a therapist but they completely forgot about it all.

It's done so much damage to my life (I'm 40 now) and I just feel so much anger towards them. Did anyone else have similar experiences? It was like explaining it to little children.
I think parents and people who don’t have mental illness have a difficult time understanding mental illness and it’s implications in general. Parents can sometimes be oblivious because they see their child in a particular, if limited, way and having a child who is mentally ill can compete with their own perception of who and how you are and your limitations and capabilities: nobody really knows what another persons experience is or how they feel at any given time inside. It can be frustrating but it is not uncommon. I think this is more often the common experience for those who suffer from mental
illness. My parents are extremely supportive and try to be understanding but their perception of me and their concept of how my illness affects me is pretty far off. I have to appreciate the support that they give me and accept that they have their own limitations and I can do nothing about them. It doesn’t feel great but what else can you do, right?
 
N

Nukelavee

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2019
Messages
3,408
Location
London, ON
Hi,

I just wondered if anybody else had parents who just didn't get mental health. I first suffered depression aged 15 and shortly after developed OCD. I tried various ways over the years, telling my parents I felt really bad, or writing to them saying I was suffering from depression. Even after I had a couple of really bad breakdowns in my early 20s the penny never really dropped as to how serious things were for me. I remember sitting both my parents down in a hotel room once and explaining I'd had depression for years and going over lots of points and explaining it all. My Dad vaguely agreed to me seeing a therapist but they completely forgot about it all.

It's done so much damage to my life (I'm 40 now) and I just feel so much anger towards them. Did anyone else have similar experiences? It was like explaining it to little children.
Absolutely.

I began to suffer depression during grade school, and it got really bad during high school. My parents refused to see an issue, except me "just not trying to be happy".

During a bad bout, I was coming home from school, sleeping until 9 or 10 pm, eating, doing my homework, and going back to bed. Their reaction was to sit me down and accuse me of not caring how my behaviour was hurting the rest of the family.

Rinse and repeat for the next 20 years. Until I had an epic breakdown at about 37 - and then, somehow, their attitudes had changed and they became incredibly supportive.

And, now, I feel guilty because I can't let go 20 years of tough love or having my issues totally ignored.
 
Drawings_T

Drawings_T

Active member
Joined
Feb 21, 2020
Messages
41
Location
SW London
Absolutely.

I began to suffer depression during grade school, and it got really bad during high school. My parents refused to see an issue, except me "just not trying to be happy".

During a bad bout, I was coming home from school, sleeping until 9 or 10 pm, eating, doing my homework, and going back to bed. Their reaction was to sit me down and accuse me of not caring how my behaviour was hurting the rest of the family.

Rinse and repeat for the next 20 years. Until I had an epic breakdown at about 37 - and then, somehow, their attitudes had changed and they became incredibly supportive.

And, now, I feel guilty because I can't let go 20 years of tough love or having my issues totally ignored.
Yeah my Mum is helpful now, she tries really hard. I think when my Dad died she got much more of an insight into how bad you can feel. I wish I could have got through to them earlier but here I am!
 
Drawings_T

Drawings_T

Active member
Joined
Feb 21, 2020
Messages
41
Location
SW London
I think parents and people who don’t have mental illness have a difficult time understanding mental illness and it’s implications in general. Parents can sometimes be oblivious because they see their child in a particular, if limited, way and having a child who is mentally ill can compete with their own perception of who and how you are and your limitations and capabilities: nobody really knows what another persons experience is or how they feel at any given time inside. It can be frustrating but it is not uncommon. I think this is more often the common experience for those who suffer from mental
illness. My parents are extremely supportive and try to be understanding but their perception of me and their concept of how my illness affects me is pretty far off. I have to appreciate the support that they give me and accept that they have their own limitations and I can do nothing about them. It doesn’t feel great but what else can you do, right?
Yeah I guess it's helpful to hear of other people with the same problem. I think in my family it was a lot of my Dad trying his best to help but being hopelessly out of his depth and not wanting to ask for help. My Mum just used to get so upset by it she wasn't able to do anything really. She's not a natural caregiver and often needs to be told it would be kind if she did this or that, but then not everybody is. She's very kind as a person
 
A

aisha23

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 29, 2019
Messages
1,398
Location
UK
Hi,

I just wondered if anybody else had parents who just didn't get mental health. I first suffered depression aged 15 and shortly after developed OCD. I tried various ways over the years, telling my parents I felt really bad, or writing to them saying I was suffering from depression. Even after I had a couple of really bad breakdowns in my early 20s the penny never really dropped as to how serious things were for me. I remember sitting both my parents down in a hotel room once and explaining I'd had depression for years and going over lots of points and explaining it all. My Dad vaguely agreed to me seeing a therapist but they completely forgot about it all.

It's done so much damage to my life (I'm 40 now) and I just feel so much anger towards them. Did anyone else have similar experiences? It was like explaining it to little children.

my parents were like this

and took it apon themselves to physically abuse me just because I had a mental health condition

bad
 
Drawings_T

Drawings_T

Active member
Joined
Feb 21, 2020
Messages
41
Location
SW London
my parents were like this

and took it apon themselves to physically abuse me just because I had a mental health condition

bad
Oh wow, no mine were just clueless about it. It's more frustration in my case, and just disbelief at how they were. So sorry to hear about your struggles, like trying to put a fire out with petrol. Hope you're in a better place now.
 
D

Draper

Guest
Hi,

I just wondered if anybody else had parents who just didn't get mental health. I first suffered depression aged 15 and shortly after developed OCD. I tried various ways over the years, telling my parents I felt really bad, or writing to them saying I was suffering from depression. Even after I had a couple of really bad breakdowns in my early 20s the penny never really dropped as to how serious things were for me. I remember sitting both my parents down in a hotel room once and explaining I'd had depression for years and going over lots of points and explaining it all. My Dad vaguely agreed to me seeing a therapist but they completely forgot about it all.

It's done so much damage to my life (I'm 40 now) and I just feel so much anger towards them. Did anyone else have similar experiences? It was like explaining it to little children.
I just joined and saw your post which I can really relate to. I'm also coming to terms with it more, at over 40. I saw my parents/relatives for the first time in ages a few years ago, and it really hit me the generational suppression and misunderstanding of these issues. Not just about me either but different family members and the connections between them, whether they're quite blatant or more subtle patterns. Like you I tried different ways to get points across, and that's as someone who's studied and worked in this area as well as all my own experience. I wouldn't say they ignore it as such but it's heartbreaking to realise they've just been forming all these opinions and assumptions over the years, and all somewhat innacurate about what's really going on but there just hasn't been a process in place to find out and correct things. It's like the principles of the Open Dialogues approach need to be used in general by families or something.
 
Drawings_T

Drawings_T

Active member
Joined
Feb 21, 2020
Messages
41
Location
SW London
Yeah, so difficult. My Dad's not alive any more and I wish we could discuss all this and get it straightened out in a positive way. Towards the end of his life I was so pissed off with him but just didn't know how to tell him about certain things. Well I did a few times but he didn't really respond. I get so upset with my Mum sometimes when I'm deep in depression and I wish I didn't. She still can't fully get it. She just says people didn't talk about it as much when she was younger, which is a fair point. We needed a family therapist or counsellor in my family so badly, it would have done so much good.
 
A

aisha23

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 29, 2019
Messages
1,398
Location
UK
Oh wow, no mine were just clueless about it. It's more frustration in my case, and just disbelief at how they were. So sorry to hear about your struggles, like trying to put a fire out with petrol. Hope you're in a better place now.

thanks for your post

I am away from my parents now, so this is good
 
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