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She suffers from crippling anxiety and depression. I've literally been taking care of all of the bills since I was 18 years old and I'm barely managing. Her problem is legitimate and she can't seem to get any professional help.I'm really drained and stressed. We don't get along at all and I am all she has. It's been driving me to depression I think. I don't know what to do anymore.

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Andy PMed my to say he was going to take my advice and seek help on a different form, hopefully he can find some help there.
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Anxiety and depression are very real disorders, as Scaredtaker shares. They are both treatable. Could you explain a little of what your mean by she can't seem to get professional help? How has she tried? There has got to be help out there. You need to get on with your life, and also to see your mom getting healthier. Don't give up on finding help for both of you.

Is your father in this picture at all?
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Dear Andy,

Sorry to hear what is happening with your mom and how you are feeling. I know you love your mom a lot and want to help her. I know there is a lot on you right now. I would try to access some community resources. Maybe speak with a social worker. There has to be some program or doctor that can treat your mom. I know you don't want to upset your mom further, but you have to try and get more help. Consider counselling or joining a support group even.
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What happened three years ago to leave you in charge of all the bills, Andy?

This is going to sound harsh. But one reason your mother can't access help for her difficulties is that she has you. Look at it from the authorities' and the providers' point of view: "this lady lives with her able-bodied, responsible, adult son who takes care of everything. She is therefore not at risk, so we don't have to do anything for her."

What's going on in the rest of your life? Do you have a job? Are you still in education? Do you not have any other family at all?
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Andy, what kind of doctors has mother seen?
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Oh this is hard on you. Sounds like she and you would benefit from therapy & volunteer / respite care. At your age it is so important to be out in the world living your life. This is a huge responsibility for you. She needs help and that is legitimate. She needs a thorough medical exam and then appropriate therapist & medication to help even out her illness. She is in pain, and so are you. You have got to enlist help for both of you. When you both get help, your relationship will improve, but remember that as you get healthy, she may spiral before improving.

I suffered from depression & anxiety as your mom did and put my daughter through hell because I was terrified. Eventually I had to learn to be accountable and responsible for my own mental health and not at the expense of anyone else. My daughter and I have a very healthy and happy relationship now. I say this to let you know there is hope and to hang on to this while seeking support
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Hi Andy, sorry no one got back to you.
While you may see your mother's problems as elder care most of us on this forum are caring for the very old and aren't well versed in mental health issues or their solutions.
I do feel that you deserve to have a life of your own without the burden of caring for your mother and I'm sure that if she were well she would want that for you also. She is clinging to you as her only lifeline, you need to find her new lifelines, you might start with her case worker or social services in your area.
You may also find some more helpful suggestions and support if you search for "forums for family of those with mental illness". ((hugs))
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