I'm depressed - How to look on the bright side of life?

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Going through stressful time with mom again. She lives in her own home. I live an hour and a half away. Beginning to get depressed. What I would like is for her to disapear from my life but that isn't going to happen. I write a gratitude list every few days. I write my feelings in my journal. Try to distance myself from mom emotionally. Any other hints on how to cope with a difficult mother?


Barbara

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She does have frequent emergencies about needing things I buy and mail to her. Then there is a break in between where she needs one thing or nothing. Of course she needs it right away. Bandages, over the counter pain medicine, poise pads. Sounds frantic and needy over the phone. She is calling a lot and is very upset about a serious problem. Dad owned small house that had four apartments in it. Mom wouldn't sell when he died. Former tenant is suing mom cause son got lead poising when lived in home. Former business partner of father is dealing with the lawyer and case for mom. But mom wants to settle. Fathers partner isnt calling lawyer to find out what lady wants and pay it. She says if it goes to trial that they can set any amount they want and mom has to pay it. Mom told me a few weeks ago one of the lawyers said it was too late to settle. Mom also mentioned to father partner that she was going to ask me to call lawyer. He said if you don't trust me then your daughter can handle things and I'll quit. I wont drive beltway. Have to drive back roads to get to moms house. I have anxiety disorder. Would have to drive to moms then take cab to court house and lawyer. Plus I know nothing about the apartments. Fathers partner hired the painters, collected rent etc. This last eight years since dad died. Mom extremely afraid brother wont have enough money to live on when she dies. He has personality disorder. And insists on living in house when mom dies. So she insists he have it. He won't help her much even though he lives with her. I could go on forever with my story.
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Sometimes depression isn't just a chemical imbalance it exists as a reasonable response to a genuinely bad situation. Hadnuff, perhaps this is a call from your spirit to let you know that it is time to fundamentally change some aspects of how you deal with your mother? I'm sure if the changes were easy you probably would have already done them, but perhaps if you share here with us what you want to change we can brainstorm here with you. There's probably a lot of middle ground between where you are now and no contact at all with your mother. Even if you could claim 20% of that ground you might feel so much better.
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Could be time for an adjustment to dosage or medication. Maybe a few talk sessions could help at this time. You are wise to recognize the signs of the depression growing. Act before it gets worse.

You say that you have detached emotionally from your mother. Would it be possible/practical to detach further from her in physical ways? You live an hour and a half a way. That in itself should provide some detachment! How is she interacting with you now that causes your depression? Does she call repeatedly? Does she keep having "emergencies"? Does she tell lies about you to people who matter to you?

I believe you that she is hard to deal with, but without knowing the nature of the contact I don't have specific suggestions. Perhaps you can pick one interaction that particularly pushes you depression button, and work hard on modifying or eliminating that particular interaction. And perhaps this is a good thing to go back to your therapist about. How can you ramp up your "detachment" to protect your own mental health?

Good luck to you, Barbara. Please let us know how this works out. We care -- and we learn from each other.
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I am on Prozac for anxiety and have been in therapy in the past. My depression is relatively mild. I have wanted mom out of my life for a very long time. And just recently am trying to deal with the reality. She is not going anywhere. I used to keep telling myself I wish she would die. Not helpful. Now I'm trying to learn a positive attitude. But her situations and personally are hard to deal with.
Barbara
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Barbara, it sounds like you are doing some very helpful and practical things to help your mood. Good for you!

We use the word "depression" kind of loosely. We say "I'm so depressed that my favorite tv series has been dropped," or "The list of requirements for that job was depressing." We can probably get past these feelings without any particular therapy.

But true clinical depression involves chemicals in the brain. Writing feelings in a journal may be helpful, and may even be enough for mild depression. It sounds like you are past that point. DIY methods may not be sufficient. Please see a qualified medical professional -- preferably a psychiatrist -- and get a treatment plan. Often these involve a medication and some talk therapy.

You deserve a chance at happiness. Get some treatment.
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See a therapist and get an antidepressant.
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Cymbalta. Either you take it or she does. Great Relief.
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