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Mom has been in a depressive episode for over a month

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Gray2476

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Aug 3, 2020
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Hi all. Any guidance at all would be appreciated!

Just a little background: I am 30 and do not live with my parents. My mom, dad, and younger sister live together. My mom has been diagnosed with depression since menopause (~10 years now). She retired around 5 years ago, and since then her depressive episodes have been extremely long and terrible, especially in the past few years. Each time it’s about the same: she hardly eats (maybe 4x/week and it’s a few bites) or showers (2x/month) and she doesn’t get out of bed and doesn’t want to talk to anyone. Her episodes last around a month and she speaks of suicide often. In fact, she has been in an involuntary hold once after an attempt and has also had a voluntary check in to a hospital. She refuses therapy and stops taking medicine when she feels like it. She also is incredibly dependent on my abusive father (in all senses of the word) and they both live in this isolated bubble of judging everyone they know and don’t know, not realizing what toll it takes on themselves and the family. They both use the excuse that their generation doesn’t believe in mental health. Even my dad who sees his wife in this state thinks she can’t get help. He constantly begs me to come home and gets angry and lashes out at my family at home when I tell him that I’ve been trying for years but thay she needs more help. I know that my dad and sister have been doing everything they can for so long and much longer than me, since I haven’t lived at home since college (because of my family’s toll on my own mental health).

My mom is currently in one of these episodes of feeling extreme shame and misery, and while my sister and I have constantly pointed out the obvious reason she feels this way (having been controlled by an abusive man who she can’t live without, but who has also made her hate her own family members and friends) because we knew the trigger into this episode was because she was scared her husband would be jealous of the birthday gift my sister and I gave her, she is so stuck in her thoughts. For years I have been at her side, just letting her talk through her thoughts and offering love and support when she is ok and when she is not. She sometimes comes to the conclusion that her life has been stripped of its freedom after getting married to my dad, but that sends her into a depression that lasts weeks to months.

I just would like any sort of guidance. I know many people have told me to seek mental health guidance for myself and I have. But that doesn’t take away from the fact thay my mom is suffering. Nor does that take away from the fact thay my sister is dealing with this every single day while I just hear about it through the phone. I wish there was something I could do for my mom, but she feels burdened by thinking thay she is a burden on us. I never tell her anything to that effect, nor does my sister. But sometimes I think us telling her that we want to be there for her adds to her feeling of burden too. But when we give her space, she thinks we’ve given up on her. I’m at such a loss.. Does anyone have any similar experiences or advice they can give me? I would appreciate it so so so much.
 
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treasurebox

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Try giving your mom a music therapy. Let her listen to good and uplifting music from youtube. Music helps, soothes and encourages. It refreshes a person's heart and mind.
 
P

Prycejosh1987

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But when we give her space, she thinks we’ve given up on her. I’m at such a loss.. Does anyone have any similar experiences or advice they can give me? I would appreciate it so so so much.
Never give her space, it will start to affect relationships. Communicate with her and find out what she wants from life.
 
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