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My Severly Depressed Mom Frustrates Me To No End.


Kyle

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(if you want the gist of this post you can skip ahead to the last two paragraphs, sorry it got so long)

To give a "quick" summary of the situation in hopes of making things a little more clear, I'm 22 years old living on my own and making my way through a very expensive school. I have two younger brothers, one in Afghanistan and the other is a severely disabled 16 year old kid (had cerebral palsy and meningitis at three weeks). When I was in 7th grade my parents got a divorce and ever since my mom has been on this steady downward spiral into severe depression. Since the divorce she's had two boyfriends neither of which I liked very much at all and when they did break up with her, both times she had severe emotional breakdowns (one time after the second one broke up with her she went missing for a day and a half not telling anyone she was at a friends house). Eventually a few years ago in 2005 one night she randomly told me she was an alcoholic and had been for the past three years. Despite me trying to help her and making one attempt at going to meetings I'm not entirely sure she's completely cured herself. She would never drink in front of me or my brothers but I could start to tell when she was drunk. If she still does drink I'm not sure its as much as she use to. My middle brother, the one in Afghanistan doesn't like my mom very much and hates every moment he has to talk to her which leads him to call her names and tell her to "shut the hell up". He didn't even want her to take him to the airport the day before leaving overseas which killed her. Whenever he comes back from missions he never calls her either unless I keep reminding him. I honestly don't like my brother very much at all for this reason and have as little contact with him as possible.

Around 2004 I think my dad eventually got remarried, which really bothered my mom, she doesn't like to say it but ever since the divorce its been like a competition in which my mom is the only competitor to see who can get married first. Obviously my mom is loosing this "game" since she's not married. My uncle (her brother) even told her its not a race to see who can get married first and she shouldn't worry about what my dad is doing. But anyways, I feel like I'm starting to ramble so I'll cut this "quick" summary short.

For the past few years she's been jumping around jobs either in search of better pay or she doesn't get along with her bosses. Combine this with numerous bad decisions on her part and you get a mother with very little money, no job, no health insurance to help her with this depression, a house thats slowly falling apart, and no one there to take care of her. I'm really really worried about my mom, but I have no idea what I can do anymore. I fear she's in this hole of depression and there's no hope of her ever getting out. I feel like the only way to make her happy is if my dad got divorced and fell into a depression himself while she got a job, a husband and a new house. None of these things I can give her.

Last year when I went home for Christmas the house was a mess. In my 22 years of knowing her I've never seen anywhere she's lived as messy as it was. Despite my 12 hour bus ride and two hour car ride home I spent the next 4 hours after getting home cleaning the kitchen alone. And from what I can tell from talking with her on the phone the house is even worse this year. A rat got in through an open window a month ago and she's been terrified of it ever since even though she hasn't actually seen it, and she told me theres rat droppings in my closet and some other type of rotted food or some sort of goo in the pantry, both of which she said she's been afraid to clean up because it all grosses her out too much to touch it. It may sound mean but I find it to be a lame excuse to live in what I'm assuming is a filthy house, the whole idea of cleaning is so you're not grossed out anymore. Even when I do come home and clean the house I feel like she doesn't care enough to keep it cleaned after I leave. Its like its gotten to the point where she doesn't' even want to help herself and just wants everyone to feel sorry for her.

Last week she had a job interview for a position at the school my disabled brother goes to, unfortunately she didn't get the job and said that was the first time she didn't get a job for a position she applied for but that she's going to try for another one at the end of the week. Its really starting to worry me that she's running out of money and that she's going to end up living on the streets. This is a serious fear I have, in 2006 she bought my brother a used Cadillac that he didn't even want. Everyone told her not to buy it, but she thought if she did buy him this car it would get him to like her...it didn't. So for the next two years we had this car sitting at the house not being used since my brother ended up moving in with my dad since he couldn't stand living with her anymore, literally every 30 minutes they would fight about something stupid for hours. Then a couple months ago when I didn't have the funds to pay rent, she paid for it when I doubt she had the money. My uncles been having to help her out as well giving her temporary hourly work for the company he works for.

Then last year both her car and the Cadillac broke at the same time with a total repair bill between the two being somewhere around $3,000, again more money she doesn't have. Oh and another one, a couple years ago she spilled an entire can of wall paint on the carpet, but since we don't have the money to replace it we have this giant paint stain in the hallway which makes the house that less attractive to potential buyers (shes been wanting to sell the house). And last month the AC completely broke down which cost her a good amount to fix. No matter how hard any of us tries things just seem to go wrong in every way possible with her. She doesn't have a job, she doesn't have money and she's stuck with a house that's falling apart that she doesn't even like. She was talked into buying it by her last boyfriend who had plans of moving in (plans of which she didn't know about). Esentially she bought the house he wanted, not the one she wanted.

I really don't know what to do anymore, every time I talk to her its the most depressing thing in the world. She never has any good news and only talks about how much she hates my dads wife, how little money she has, and how messy the house is and how much she thinks everyone hates her. She told me just a few hours ago on the phone that the only reason she's living is because of me and my brothers. This really worries me that she's at least thought about suicide. In the past she has threatened it in front of me and my brother but I dont' know how serious those threats were. She would make the occasional comment about how if she were to die right now no one would miss her because no one loves her. And another time because I didn't have a 75 cent drill bit to help her hang some curtains she put a sword to her throat and said she should just off herself right now because we wouldn't even care.

There's got to be something I can do for her, something out there that can help her. Is there any sort of non-prescription medicine out there that helps with depression? I once read about St Johns Wort and how its suppose to be a natural remedy for depression that can be found at any vitamin store but she said that hasn't really been helping her. I also find it impossible to believe that there is no government aid out there for an unemployed single mother living on her own with a severely disabled child and no health insurance. There has to be some sort of monthly government or charitable aid for her. I'm getting at my wits end, I find myself increasingly impatient with her seemingly infinite lack of desire to help herself. Is there any help at all I can get her?

Edited by Kyle
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hi depending where you live yes there are plenty of agencies out there however through my own experience owning a house hinders the help. but i'm sure your mom is behind on the mortgage have her check with local department of health and human services there is help out there

When you say owning a house do you mean having it completely paid for? Or just living in it? My mom is far from having it paid off and she still says she's never missed a mortgage payment in her life but I'm not sure about that. Is there any way I can call the department of health in her area and see if they can help her first? I get the feeling she won't want to call them on her own. Oh and we both live in Florida.

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Kyle-

I want you to understand that there is in all likelihood some, if not many, support systems out there to help you through this truly traumatic experience. You've stated that "There's got to be something I can do for her, something out there that can help her." Let me point out that right now, at this point, you are her sole support system, or so it seems. It's critically important that you get her linked to agencies/professionals/paraprofessionas who have experience in dealing with matters like this. "You" cannot change her. She must be willing to allow you to support her through this, yet she is the one who ultimately must change "herself". That's why I feel it's vital that in your support of her you link her with those that can lead her to recovery. If she feels that she's disempowered to do this on her own, she may have to sign "releases" to keep you involved on a personal level. Medical information is so protected that you may have no voice in supporting her without these releases of information being signed by her.

If you have a state supported MH agency where you live contact them ASAP. You can even look in the phone book under "mental health" and probably find something. Just one phone call can link you to so many resources that you'd probably totally fail at finding on your own. Have your mom present so that she can speak to the agency on her own behalf. She's likely to have to provide any more information but "feel I need help", or "my daughter feels I need help".

I don't want to be anything less than supportive here, but from what I hear you saying, it's likely this situation could spiral downward rather quickly. We don't want that to happen.

I am wishing the best for you in this, and if I can provide more specific information, I would be more than happy to do so, even perhaps through PM if you do not wish to share openly on the forum. However, the more we share here, the more benefit to a larger number of people, and the more likelihood you'll get even more support from other members, and thus get more help for more member sharing similar circumstances.

Regards,

Deepster

Edited by Deepster
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Hi Kyle, I'm pretty sure that your mother should qualify for assistance because of your brother at least. I assume she is not getting unemployment pay. Did she quit her last job? If not, she should qualify for unemployment. I personally haven't looked into the program but there is some kind of housing assistance from the feds because of the recession -- so they won't lose their homes. You can look into that. Don't call the morgage company because some of them are less than happy with the program. The state of Florida, Department of Health and Human Services has a program for people with mental illness but if she doesn't have a diagnosis, it would be impossible to get assistance from them. They should also have emergency housing and food help if it comes to that. I'd call them, explain the situation and ask what services she would qualify for. Click on my user name to send me a message for a web site address.

Iowa

Edited by iowa
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hi depending where you live yes there are plenty of agencies out there however through my own experience owning a house hinders the help. but i'm sure your mom is behind on the mortgage have her check with local department of health and human services there is help out there

When you say owning a house do you mean having it completely paid for? Or just living in it? My mom is far from having it paid off and she still says she's never missed a mortgage payment in her life but I'm not sure about that. Is there any way I can call the department of health in her area and see if they can help her first? I get the feeling she won't want to call them on her own. Oh and we both live in Florida.

oh no my house is far from being paid off. my dr. wrote me out of work for my mental illness my benefits stopped went to departnnt of social services gave note from dr and started process. yes you can call them yourself and explain situation but your mom will need documentation. what about you do you have health benefits if not and you are in college you can qualify for public assistance good luck let us know social services will be able to direct you in the right direction

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It's critically important that you get her linked to agencies/professionals/paraprofessionas who have experience in dealing with matters like this
Do these agencies and professionals cost money? Because she hasn't had a real full time job in about a year she has no health insurance which means she can't afford to see doctors or refill an prescription for he depression medicine. You can provide me with any information here in the thread.
Hi Kyle, I'm pretty sure that your mother should qualify for assistance because of your brother at least. I assume she is not getting unemployment pay. Did she quit her last job? If not, she should qualify for unemployment.
She didnt quit her last job, but it was only contract work and the contract wasn't renewed in August so I don't know if that makes a difference. The last time she had a full time job she quit that as well.
The state of Florida, Department of Health and Human Services has a program for people with mental illness but if she doesn't have a diagnosis, it would be impossible to get assistance from them.
I don't know for sure, but I think she has diagnosed depression. I know back when she did have health insurance she would go to the doctor all the time but said that even though they had her try every medicine under the sun nothing really worked for her. I think at one point she was using experimental depression medicine to see if that would help.

I have the feeling it isn't entirely a chemical imbalance thats effecting my mom, I have a feeling 90% of it is the situation she's in at the moment.

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Quitting a job and contract work are not covered by unemployment. Your state does have an assistance program providing mental health services for mentally ill people. Call the state department of Health and Human Services. That way she can get professional help. Services will not cost you. That department will know about any services that she qualifies for so you can explain about your brother, housing, unemployment, etc. and they'll tell you what the state offers for her. She probably qualifies for the food stamp program. It's very easy to use because they use a card now and it's used just like a credit card. Also, she should be able to get a handicapped parking permit through the department of transportation (not that it matter a whole lot but might make her happier).

It doesn't matter what the cause of the depression is. Plus if she's had it awhile (which she has), it will have affected her brain chemicals so by now it will be physiological as well as situational.

Iowa

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