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cutepuppies

Help With Parents

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Hey guys! I'm new to this so please excuse me if I make an error.

So I've been dignosed with moderate depression since mid-September, I am taking antidepressants, anti-anxiety meds, and am seeing a therapist. Currently, I am a second year college students. Basically, my depression was brought on by the stresses of my life, money issues, family issues, work issues, school issues, etc.

When I first learned why I was having problems was because of depression I felt so relieved. I thought I had another mental illness. So I did research, and signed up for therapy, and made an appointment with an RN to gets some meds. Everything that the doctor prescribed. After researching, I found that it was a good thing to broaden my base of support. At the time only my boyfriend knew about it. So at the spur of a moment, I called my mom and told her I had some news. I told her about how I have been having problems being super stressed and angry all the time so I saw the counceling enter and the doctor there told me I had depression. I told her about my plans to see a therapist and to see an RN for psych drugs.

My mom completely flipped out. She blamed me for not telling her everything that was going on. Of course I had been keeping stuff back, I don't want to tell my mom every little thing that bothers me. Then she made me promise to not see the RN nurse to get meds. She treatened to drag me home from college if she thought that I wasn't getting better. She demanded that now I should call her everyday and that we really had to talk, I couldn't be holding stuff back from her. It was really bad and tramitic. Not the kind of thing I wanted from my mom. All I wanted was support. Instead, she flipped out and made it even harder for me to ever trust her enough to tell her anything. Now I would have to put on a false front everytime I called her or saw her.

As of right now, she is under the impression that I am not seeing a therapist, that I never saw the RN, and that I am not taking psych meds. I did that all against her wishes because I needed something to help me through this time, and quiting school or ignoring the problem is not an option that I am willing to take. As far as she knows, it was just a phase and I am back to normal.

So now, Thanksgiving break and Holiday break is coming up. I don't really want to go home, I don't want to have to hide me taking my medicines and pretending when I'm feeling down that everything is a-okay. I'm really not looking forward to the breaks. I hate having to live this huge lie for my family.

Is there anyone out there with similar issues of have parents or loved ones not believe that you actually have a problem? Has someone you've told about your problems completely flipped out when they heard? What did you do about it?

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:welcomeani:

Hi!

Tough situation - I'm sorry.

I can't relate, but I hate deception. And it sounds like you were doing the things you needed to in order to improve yourself. That is commendable!

But now your mother has inserted herself, perhaps being motherly, and put up a barrier between you and your wellness.

Again, I'm sorry, but I'd do what it took to make myself well. The holidays are your decision, but, again, I don't like deceit. What would happen if you'd go home for the holidays and simply tell her "I'm doing X, Y, and Z, and they're helping me cope. I do not intend to quit this path."?

Take care.

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My approach with my parents who had been rather overbearing and controlling at various points in my life was always shock therapy: So I'm doing this now, guess you gotta deal with it. Not necessarily my advice to you as every family's different.

I doubt your mom will stop helping you out with college or whatever. Call the bluff. And it'd be best to make a phone call and do it now so things are less awkward around the holidays.

I don't mean to sound harsh because I'm sure she loves you and cares about you but the only way to deal with controlling people, I've experienced through a life time of controlling people, is to be openly and brazenly defiant.

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Thanks John. I've been wanting to break away for awhile. Just haven't gotten up the courage. I'm not one for confrontation and I don't like having my mom upset with me. But breaking the news to hear before the break might be a good idea.

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Thank you for sharing! It is hard to grow up for you and your parents. Is your mom against counseling and meds? Would it be possible to sit down with them and calmly explain that you are not looking for answers from them, you are just looking for support as you work through things to find your own way? What is obviously helping you right now, is therapy and the medication you are on. Have you consulted your Doctor about your meds? HUGS!

~Ducktapetherapy77

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Hey Duck,

Yeah, my mother is against counseling because she thinks that she can solve all my problems and she knows best. But there are things I don't want to tell my mother, and she is one of my problems.

My mother is also against meds. My family is the all natural milk your own cow type of family. Literally, they have a cow to milk. I had to promise her that I wouldn't see the RN for a prescription just so I could get her to stop freaking out on me. And yes, the RN and my therapist work together to make sure that I am on the right medicines and that they are not giving me negative side effects. There's a point in your life when you have to make all of your medical decisions for yourself, and I guess I am to that point.

I am just having a hard time coming out to her and explaining what I'm doing. For one reason, she blew up when I told her I had seen a psychologist. For another, I did specifically what I promised I wouldn't do, just because I was desperate and needed some sort of help. Thirdly, I am my mother's golden child, the smart one, the one who has her back, the one she can complain to about my father. I am sick and tired of it, but I don't want to completely shut her out. I am one of her only friends and I am afraid that she couldn't cope without me.

It's kinda scary when for once your family doesn't have your back when you're going through some tough times.

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Hi,

My take on this is a little to different to others.

What I first wanted to say is well done for having the maturity and self confidence to do what you needed to do for your health despite being young and having great pressure from a parent to do something different. It is a far from ideal situation but I believe it shows qualities that will help you a lot in getting well.

Secondly, although it is awful to have to hide things, I would carefully consider the possible consequences with the help of your T (as you already plan to do) before telling your family anything more. If they were to do what they threaten to do (there are absolutely parents who would regardless of how assertive or reasonable one is) then that on top of the depression and college could make things very hard for you.

What is best is going to be dependent on what you think your parents are capable of and only you can figure that out. Going from home milked milk to psych meds is a very big step to take!

Yes, I have had a whole host of bizarre controlling reactions to various things of mine from my parents and you are far from alone. You often see posts on forums like this one discussing how family refuses to see the need for professional help. I think there can be many reasons for that. Denial, parents own prejudices against mental health or vulnerability, control issues, family or cultural value systems, abuse, refusal to accept children as independent human beings, codependency etc.

Its sounds like you might want to discuss your mothers reliance on you being the golden child in therapy too as there may be a whole lot of things lurking there.

Its a shame that what your mother has done has created a situation opposite to what she wanted and one that has added an extra burden to your others.

Edited by Fizzle

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Thirdly, I am my mother's golden child, the smart one, the one who has her back, the one she can complain to about my father. I am sick and tired of it, but I don't want to completely shut her out. I am one of her only friends and I am afraid that she couldn't cope without me.

Hi cutepuppies,

Love your name first of all. Second of all I could have written those 3 sentences about my relationship with my Mom. It's really tough to be that person for your parent. It puts a lot of pressure on you.

As someone who has also lied frequently to my Mom just to get by and not have to deal with a freak out, I get the temptation to continue to do so but again that's a lot of pressure.

One thing I have found helpful to do before a difficult conversation with my Mom or one of my sisters is to role play the conversation with my therapist. We've done it several times where I've been the other person and my therapist has been me, then reversed it and then reversed it again. it really helped me.

Most importantly, I am learning while it is good to take care of others, it is most important to take of my own health first and that includes dealing with my depression. I hope things get better for you. Know that you are not alone.

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Hey Fizzle,

Thank you for your suggestion. This is exactly why I wanted to ask the community what they thought. I wanted different ideas to help me and my therapist decide what to do. Everyone has a deferent approach and should choose what's best for them.

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Hi cute puppies,

Sorry about the situation with your family.

Do you think some of her anger is confusion about mental illness? She may not understand, ( or want to understand) that it is an illness.

Perhaps when y are feeling stronger, you can tell her that it is no different to having diabetes, for example.

I don't like he idea of you having to hide your medication use from them, but I am not sure what the alternative is.

What is their exact issue with medication and therapy? From what you have described it is a combination of ignorance and control.

I hope that you and yr therapist can find a way of dealing with it that works for you.

As the mother of a teen who had depression, I will admit I so thrilled when she decided that she needed medication and therapy and accepts the help.

Again, I just hope that your family come around and realise that your health is the most important thing. If they don't, you will need to do what you need to get well, and then work on educating your family. It may be that they will never understand your illness.

You do not have to be your mother's support. It os commendable that you have been, but she is an adult and needs to have her own support group.

You are yourself... You do not have to live up to anyone else's ideals.

I hope that you continue on the road to recovery.

Stressedmum

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Hi Stressedmum,

I think part of her problem was that she is ignorant about what depression really is. When she heard I had depression, so automatically thought major depression and me not functioning. I tried to explain to her that at the time my depression was caused by stress and was mostly shown in anger. That I could still function and didn't have to go home. Still, she doesn't understand that depression is more than me worrying too much. She thought she could fix my worries with simple reassurances and me trusting her. Since that awful phone call and two very stressful weeks of have a helicopter mom, I haven't broached the subject again out of fear of her reaction.

I believe that her problem with medications is the fear of negative side effects mixed with her misunderstanding.

My family has always taken the approach that you can't always trust modern medicine. She didn't understand that at the point when if first started taking my medication. I was desperate and willing to try almost anything to help me function normally. I couldn't take an off semester. If I skip one semester or my GPA goes below a 3.25, I will lose all my scholarships and no longer have a way to pay for school. School was the only thing that kept me away from home and made me hopeful that I wouldn't end up one day in my mom's situation in life.

Thank you Stressedmum for your time and support. It's good to hear from another mother.

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You are more than welcome cute puppies.

If you need the medication to help you cope with uni, the that seems to be the right decision. It is great that you value your education and can see where it can take you in life.

As a mother, I can understand that your mother was being a helicopter mum for a while. I too have done that out of fear and worry. I am not saying that she is right, just that I understand that particular feeling. From your mum's point of view, she feels that she should be able to fix everything that is wrong in your world, and she probably feels guilty that you are unwell....even though nothing you or she did to bring this on.

At least by posting here, you can find support and understanding.

I have been very lucky, in that my daughter's friends were very accepting of her depression when she chose to tell them. I have also found people understanding,although I have only told a few close friends.

Perhaps you have some close friends that you could share with. It is nice to have support where you can just be you.

Good luck with the rest of the uni semester.

Stressedmum

Edited by stressedmum

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Hey guys,

I just wanted to give you an update on my therapy session. I've decided that I wanted to work at the university some of holiday break, not all of it but some. And I also want to work a summer job at school instead of going home like I promised my mom. I'm ready to be an adult and am taking the steps there just like I've been doing since high school. I just need to get my mother to see that I am.

I talked with my therapist about my concerns about telling my mother about me taking depression meds, seeing a therapist, and working the break and summer. My therapist helped normalize it for me that it's perfectly okay to want to branch out and set boundaries with my parents. I'm 20, this is my second year of college, and I've done everything for myself besides car insurance since high school. I even took care of my first a speeding ticket by myself without my parents knowledge. I've also taken myself to the emergency room, seen a doctor about medical concerns, seen a doctor for birth control, and have gotten my summer and school jobs by myself with out any help from my parents. I shouldn't have to be asking my parents for permission to do anything.

So now my plan is to tell my mother, "hey you may not like it, but this is what I'm doing and these are my plans". Then be prepared for her to not agree and be upset with me. Then use positive self talk to reassure myself that the plans I have is normal and seeking medical help for myself is normal and that I am doing the right thing even if my mom believes otherwise.

You guys have been great in giving me the confidence that I am doing the right thing and that telling my mother the truth is okay even if she doesn't like the truth.

Wish me luck!

-cutepuppies

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Hey guys,

One last update. After talking to my brother who went through some similar stuff with my mother, I decided to keep my mental illness to myself. Not sure if it's the greatest idea, but I don't see anything good coming out of telling her anything. You can't change a person. However, though this process, I have identified other people who can help be my support.

What I have told her is that I have made the decision to work Winter break and not come home as early as planned. When the time comes, I will also tell her point blank that I plan to work at college this summer and not come home. So things are still rough, but as long as I get to make my own decisions about what I'm going to do, I don't see how it's her business in what I do.

Thank you for your support along the way. It hasn't been easy, but I'm getting there.

-cutepuppies

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