Hi, I could really use some advice. My mother is severely depressed. Physically she's suffering from the effects of immunotherapy (it cured the cancer but caused other issues) and a deepening depression. She's on TPN for nutrition because she's not thriving/eating. She won't do daily tasks that could help improve her health (control her allergies, get up to use the toilet, bathe, brush her teeth, etc.). Getting her out of bed for anything is a negotiation. "Come back in five minutes" or "leave me alone," are typical responses, and that's with consistent tries over several hours. This is hard emotionally, and I don't have siblings to help share the care/concern, so I could really use any tips people here have found useful in motivating severely depressed loved ones to do a couple things throughout the day.

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Yup--chemotherapy can definitely leave you with depression--and it can worsen the depression you already have.

Last year I went through it--came out with remission, but had to do chemo infusions every other month and that kept me in low spirits and so I quit it.

It takes the effects of chemo at least a year to leave your system--and some of the s/e are permanent. I have short term memory issues, vision issues, fatigue and nausea for no reason. Skin lesions I didn't have before--basically every single side effect listed, I had.

I was already on AD's--my psych doc gave me something help me sleep and that was VERY helpful. I also developed some heart tachycardia and have to take calcium channel blockers now and for life.

OF COURSE your mom is depressed! To beat cancer and then get slapped up the head with this COVID thing. I've been in isolation for 18 months, really.

PLEASE get your mom in to the Dr. She does not need to suffer any more.
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Reply to Midkid58

If your mom had diabetes, you wouldn't think you might be able to motivate her out of it. Your mother needs to see a doctor and probably take some medication to rebalance her hormones.

I found having a routine was useful when I was suffering from depression. I set myself a couple of goals- (and I'm talking "I'll be dressed by noon" goals. Small, achievable goals.) She needs to set the goals for herself, though, or it won't help her.

Depression makes you forget you were ever happy and you can't imagine ever being happy in the future. I found it helpful when people allowed me to express that I was sad without judgement or trying to talk me out of it. It was helpful to hear that although it was clear that I felt bad now, I wouldn't feel this bad forever. It was going to get better.

It is very often caused by a biological imbalance and it very often needs medical intervention. Call her doctor, tell them what you are seeing and see if you can get her an appointment. I think a geriatric psychiatrist is the best one to see. The elderly need special care when being given any drugs.

Best of luck to you and to her.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Marcia732

I’m so sorry that your mom is suffering depression. It’s very hard to see parents suffering.

Have you spoken to her doctor about medication for her?
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

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