My mom is depressed, how can I deal with her depression without getting depressed myself?

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When my Mom cries and say's things like "I won't get to see my Grandson's get married" I don't know how to get her to stop. I just get depressed right along with her. When I take her to the doctors and they ask her how she's doing and is she experiencing depression, she always tells them no. I am an only child and feeling very overwhelmed with everything.

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Try calling or writing to her doctor and telling him or her that your mom IS depressed. It's so common for elders to gloss over their problems with the doctor. There are medications that may help. You could likely use a good checkup, too, to make sure you aren't clinically depressed. Please tell your doctor what your are dealing with, as caregiving is very stressful. If you are sick or down, it's going to hurt you both. Also, you may want to look into a support group or counseling.
Good luck and take care of both of you,
I do understand how very difficult it is with all the dr. appointments and working full time. I, too, am working full-time with not many hours accumulated for vacation since I've only been full time for a year and a half. Seriously, it is so much more nerve wracking going to all the dr. appointments, and such. I did try prozac or something, but it made me nauseaus and we, as caregivers, cannot afford to be under the influence. I don't know, a support person has been my best medicine and believe me, you have to seek them out. I wish you the best as i have struggled keeping my head above water from depression also. Let's face it, you will have depression doing this, sorry
Lots of wonderful posts - But I will throw in my two cents anyway...My mother was depressed all her life...and some people are just naturally not as upbeat as we would like them to be. And as the care giver it is not our fault. My mother was a whole lot happier in life once she was diagnosed with alzheimer's and I think one of the reasons was that she received the proper meds for her depression or SAD. They helped her a lot. 2nd. She had a healthier diet and 3rd.. She received more attention that she had ever had in her life.... I kept her active with things that interested her and ..of course once she could not leave the house or refused became a full time job just trying to keep an eye on everything she was doing and trying to have a little bit of a life for myself.

My heart goes out to all you who are now caregivers. Try Meditation it helps to relax you and you can do that as you sit with the family member. That is what I did and I tried to plan everything in my life pretty much around her naps so that I could be more in the moment with her. Try it... I admire all you folks so much. Those who have not experienced caregiving will never understand what we give up or what we go through or the real feelings of unconditional love. You are all so... awesome!!!! You are an inspiration!
Kareninmd, it IS overwhelming for an only to take care of an aging parent. I know because I am one too. You do feel alone and with the weight of the world on your shoulders. There is always one thing after another after another after another that there is no relief in sight. And when the attitude of the parent is a CHALLENGE, it is all the more draining...

I don't know all of your circumstances, but try to get help for your mom and delegate things in anyway that you can. When things became too much for me and my dad's near constant beligerent attitude wore me down, I enlisted the help of in home-caregivers to do things like the cooking, light cleaning, grocery shopping, etc. that I felt comfortable not having to do myself. This freed me up to manage the health stuff with more energy. They are not cheap but fortunately I was able to get my dad on board.

Believe me, I know how hard it is to manage someone else's life (and health) for them especially when they can't or won't do it for themselves - I am on my 3rd LARGE notebook for dad and have MANY files used to run my dad's life for him.

Sounds like your mom could benefit from an anti-depressant. This will help her tremendousy and help you too. There is nothing wrong with getting some medication for yourself too to see you through this time. Remember, you are no good to your mom if you burn out.
is it clinical depression or is she/you having self pity and manipulation.
Her/your MD can do some simple tests with an interview and tell if it is DEPRESSION. If it is, then treat it with meds and get into a depression help group. you will get alot of help from them.
I agree with above - great advice. My mother has had problems with depression and is on medication for it. She had been prescribed it years ago, but would not take it, unfortunately. Now that she is on it, there is much improvement. I am actually taking anxiety medication myself now as my health was deteriorating due to caretaking of MIL who was living with us with Alzheimers, incontinence, etc., and my mother is in nursing home, plus husband laid off now from job for almost one year. It has helped me tremendously and I am so less anxious. So, the right medication might just help both of you.
Thanks for your care and understanding. Working full time with all of her doctor appointments and health issues, I neglect to address this as I feel overwhelmed when I'm at the doctors and they are talking about this follow up test and appt. and that follow up appt. But I will address at the next appt. or make one for it if it's going to help. I tried asking my GYN for xannox and they referred me to my primary and I just don't seem to have the time to take off at work but will have to make the time.

In the meanwhile, try to get outside for some fresh air everyday. Take a few minutes for personal self care daily, even if you have to go lock yourself in your room, car, bathroom and even if it's to do nothing but have a few minutes of silence for yourself. Make everyone else wait while you do this and don't feel guilty about it. Start writing a journal or come on over to the "grossed out" thread and post there. You will find support there. If you feel like crying then CRY, it's okay.

Other things you can do to help fight depression is to eat healthy, dump the excess fats and most importantly sugary foods, except for fresh fruit. Drink lots of water everyday and get some form of exercise daily even if it's only a walk around the block or a few trips up and down stairs or a step or two. All of these things will give your body the right stimulation to produce healthy hormones/body chemistry that will naturally fight depression. Exercise even in light small amounts produce chemicals in your brain that fights depression naturally so you won't have to get them in a pill form from a doctor. These are things you can do that will save you time and money because you don't have to go to the doctor for them. Of course, if you don't want to do any of the above you can go to the Doctor and get on anti-depressants. We all have our preferences. Just don't let yourself get caught up in the rut of telling yourself that you have no time or energy to take care of yourself... once you let go of your self care then you are setting yourself up for health problems of your own.. if you feel that you can't take care of yourself and your mother, then get help and get that healthy balance. It is proper humility to recognize your limitations rather than to try to do it all and be someone you are not.

Most of all pay attention to your thoughts... are you repeating negative thought patterns over and over in your head? for example, every time your Mother asks for something do you repeat... "now what" or "this is killing me" or "I can't do this anymore" note these statements might be a reflection of your feelings and it's normal to feel this way at times but if thoughts like these are dominating your thoughts they will tear you down bit by bit and drain all your energy. If you find you are doing this with your thoughts perhaps you can catch yourself when you do it and purposely replace a thought with a more positive ones like " I will get through this" or "I will find help soon", try this and see if you don't feel better at the end of the day. Also, it might sound silly but wrap your arms around yourself and give yourself a hug everyday and tell yourself what a good person you are and that you are doing the best you can. You need this.
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(¸.•´ (¸.•` ¤ Chirp Chirp Cricket Hugsღ
Have you considered getting her to attend the senior center in your town for a day a week. Is the symptoms worse on a cloudy day or in the evening? Could be "Sundowners syndrome" Sometimes a pet or visiting dog helps also.
Let her doctor know that your Mom is being untruthful to her. If she feels better you will too. I always have to talk to my MIL's doctor alone because she also doesn't tell her the truth. The doctors are very aware that they do this.

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