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My Mother Is Depressed, I Need To Know How To Help Her

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I am 19, almost 20. My mother is depressed (has been for several years) It gets worse when my siblings are younger, she doesn't do well with babies. I am the oldest. When my brother was born, (I was 10) he was a very difficult baby. He had trouble sleeping, would throw fits and objects all the time, and my mom had a really hard time dealing with it. It got better as he got older (he's 9 now) and so did she. Then she had another boy (he's 5 now) and the process started all over again. She really wanted a girl and we adopted a child from Ethiopia. She's beautiful, but obviously not perfect (shes's 17 months now) and has a problem with eating. They fed her too much, too often in the orphanage and now she appears to be slightly obsessed with food. I don't think it's anything that can't be fixed with a little conditioning, as she has gotten much better in the time we've had her. However my mother is having a lot of trouble dealing with the baby's issues, and it's causing her to slip into depression again. I have tried to help my mom as much as I can. I have always had an unconditional sunny outlook on life, and I do believe that that is why I am here. I want to help my mother see the other side of things. I can talk to her and she understands and accepts that what I am saying is true. However, in the heat of being frustrated and depressed she can't change. Late at night we talk and she tells me how sorry she is, that she cant help what she is doing and that she is going to try her best to change. I don't doubt that she is trying really hard, I'm just not sure if she can do this without help. She wouldn't like it, but I could get her to see a psychiatrist if that would help. She won't take medication, and I applaud her for wanting to beat this naturally (as I believe she can). Growing up I never realized my mother was depressed. I'm not sure if that is because she wasn't until she had my other siblings, or because I just didn't notice it when I was little.

I know it gets better as the kids get older, she has admitted to having post-partum depression (even with me, who she says was her easiest baby). But I also know that she lost her father when she was very young. Her mother (my grandmother) spiraled into depression and was never there for her. My mother lost her sister to cancer almost 2 years ago now. I think that has also helped to trigger this. I have also read that a form of post-partum depression can affect adoptive parents. This combination is probably just making things worse.

At times I think it's not that bad and I should just ride it out. I did with my other siblings, and things got better. But I am afraid that when my mother doesn't have baby issues to obsess about and use as her emotional crutch, it will be something else, something bigger.

I am here because I need someone to talk to, and because I want to take a proactive role in helping my mother out of this. I remember the way her and my father used to be, and I want to see them be that way again. I know they love each other, but, like me, my father doesn't know what to do and so they just wind up arguing.

My mother says that she has the most beautiful family in the world- four beautiful kids, and a husband who loves her and would give his life for his family. (He would.) But right now, we appear to have everything when we actually do not.

How do I get my family back????

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Posted · Report post  

Hi Electricsparks and :shocked: to DF!

I really applaud you for giving your mother support and wanting to help her! It may be helpful for you to read about depression the Portal (top tool bar) and pinned items toward the top of the Depression Central forum. Depression is caused when some of the chemicals in the brain are not functioning properly. Here are scans of the brains of a depressed person and a person without depression:


Depression is not something that one can just snap out of or think themselves out of. Medications are developed to correct the imbalance. There are other things that help with depression. The typical methods that help are eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables and exercise. Also, B vitamins and purified fish oil are two suppliments that can help. There are also some herbal suppliments that some people take. Alternatives to medications are discussed in the One Step At A Time forum. You can look there for pinned items with information and topics where members talk about what they are doing.


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Posted (edited) · Report post  

Hi Electricsparks,

You have been given some excellent advice by Iowa. Getting better from depression naturally can take some considerable time . It is documented that even without treatment most people would get better after about 9 months or less. Unfortunately for someone like your Mother I don't think this will be the case.

There are some very effective medications for the treatment of depression and they are a bit hit and miss at the start to get the right one.

Tis forum is testament to the effectiveness of those various treatment and medications that work effectively.

I congratulate you as a daughter for being so supportive and it sounds lie you have a very loving and caring family. In my personal opinion I would make an appointment and start getting effective treatment for your mother.

My Best Wishes

Jim Bow

Edited by jimbow15

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