How to overcome depression connected to dealing with Mom? - AgingCare.com

How to overcome depression connected to dealing with Mom?

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It has been a horrible last few months. And no end it sight yet. One lengthy problem after the other with mom. Her generalized anxiety disorder, rigid and negative personality doesn't help the situation. She is codependent with brother who has personality disorder and lives with her. I also have a few things coming up that probably with be ok. But I have generalized anxiety disorder also. Which means I'm dealing with my own anxiety problems also. I am on pills and have had years of therapy. I'm much better than years ago. But, the anxiety doesn't ever go away completely. Each situation dealing with mom is extremely hard and emotionally draining. Any suggestions. I know other people have worse problelms than I do. But still... Can't stop the depression.

Barbara

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You have to find a good counselor to talk to and a good intern doctor to talk to about your depression. Another part of the depression problem is you becoming physically sick from the day to day stuff that you are dealing with your mom and dad. Stress can cause your white blood cell count to rise so have the doctor run some preliminary test about your white blood cell counts.
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I can relate to this. I think my mom is your mom's twin! I have suffered GAD for a long time and back in 2010/2011 when my dad got sick it was really bad. The panic attacks were terrible, the OCD, ruminating, depression, lack of appetite, depersonalization, never feeling any real internal relief primarily due to my own thinking. Yes, the situation was bad with him and her worrisome, fatalistic thinking didn't help, but I knew I had to do something to get myself together, fast! And as a christian, I wanted to be a better witness to her and him as well as myself and others. I can look back now and see that my dad's illness was God's way of preparing me for the disaster they are quickly becoming now. Here's what I did and still do, not perfect and others have hit on many already.

1.) Exercise. Go for walk or do something every single day. I don't care what you have to do. Back then I was so out of it I stopped and my husband stayed on me until I got back to it. Physically and emotionally it does the body, spirit and mind good. I just seem to function better overall and manage the stress which is key to controlling the anxiety.

2.) Eat well most of the time. This goes without saying, cut down on the sugar and carbs that will cause the blood sugar to spike and create a more anxious body and mind. I have my treats but I try to really get in good fiber (over 20 grams most days). Getting and keeping the body calmer will help the mind follow suit.

3.) Meditation and Rest. I read the bible daily and pray even if it's just 10-15 minutes on the toilet. I also take time to lay down or sit and be quiet with nothing on, including the phone, TV, music, nothing. If I can get outside to sit and breathe in some fresh air I do that. Ideally 15-30 minutes, but do something even it's 5 minutes. Yes the mind will wander and the body will be jumpy too, but stick with it, you will prevail. Time and patience. Don't judge yourself if you feel nothing is working, it will over time, but stick with it.

4.) Social support. Find good friends, family, whomever that can support but hold you accountable too. They need to be healthy people though, not toxic to you! You really only need a few, they are worth their weight in gold!

5.) You are not your mom. I don't know about you, but I have to remind myself of that often. We look a lot alike and I copied a lot her behavior growing up which I think I have now moved past for the most part. I guess part of that disconnecting piece so you don't drown in the pit too. I love her, but not at my expense and those who in my life who need me too.

I hope that helps in addition to the excellent advice you've been given. I just know how debilitating this can be so I have a soft spot in this area. There is also a site, anxietycentre where I did end up going through some counseling. You don't have to do that, but there is a lot of good info on that site. I still have my notes and memories of what I learned back then that helps me now.

This too will pass. Sometimes you have to accept the feelings and float through them. Hard to do, but over time, the threat (meaning the anxiety, fear) you feel will begin to diminish. Let's pray I can continue to follow my own advice!

Jacky
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I agree with the writers who talked about space. It is difficult to deal with someone who is negative all the time. Space is a good buffer. do what you can do for them but you don't have to be there 24/7 Set your own schedule and visit when you can and feel up to it. If the talk is negative and you can't get the subject changed you need to distance yourself from it by ending the conversation and or visit. I know it sounds mean and cruel but this person is controlling you and the situation.
You do have some options.
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I was at the level you are for about 5 years, actually 13 since my Mom was diagnosed with inoperable cancer and was told she had 6 months to live...13 years ago. I have been on anti anxiety meds on and off. I am currently not on medication and doing ok, but do get depressed if I think too much about the situation. For 5 years my activities were getting more and more restricted until last year when my Mom fell and broke her arm and then it was one hospital stay after another and 2 nightmare nursing homes rated 5 stars by Medicare for rehab, and then to my home bedridden...one more hospital stay due to continual UTI's and found a better nursing home for rehab, and now back home on hospice completely bedridden again. I am so glad that I did not know this would happen 5 years ago....I get through it one day at a time...do what JessieBelle suggests by eating well and keeping hydrated, try to get enough sleep and compartmentalize my days. I have learned to enjoy the very little things in life most people take for granted. I try to deal only with the people that support me and avoid the vacation braggarts. I am going to end up weeding a lot of people that have shown their true colors out of my life and that feels good. You really learn who your friends are at a time like this and that gives me confidence knowing I do have the power to control some things. Start by taking care of yourself even if you don't feel like it it will boost your spirits.
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My mother is ALF now for the past year. It has been four years now dealing with my parents. My Dad past this year at 92 and was never a problem. Always glad to see me, thanked me for all I was doing. Now on the other hand my mother wouldn't say thank you if her life depend on it. She accuses me for all that has happened over the past four years. That I have done nothing right. I did not ask to take care of them?? They had no idea they may live as long as they have so they did nothing to prepare for the future. I have done my very best with what I had handed to me. I got breast cancer in the middle of all this and all I got from my mother is "I feel sorry for you" no tears or hug. I try and visit once a week do not call her as I don't want to listen to it. One out of four visits are pleasant. Actually getting to the point of not going at all as my blood pressure can't take. It is so very hard!
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I have generalized anxiety and depression and my mom is a very positive person. I try to be positive with her and this helps us both. It is important to consider if you all are a good match. If there is too much negative emotions then it is not a bad idea to consider hiring a companion who can draw out the best in her.Some people just have the gift to draw people out of themselves. I have a friend who does that for me. She is a very uplifting person. She speaks of things that I learn from her and this encourages me to share things that I can teach her. She talks about her kids and family in a positive way. It just leaves the both of us feeling encouraged and different and more better people. It works. Try to avoid negativity.
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I agree with JesseBelle that humor helps. eGADs (generalized anxiety disorder), what you must be going through makes me MAD, (major affective disorder), and so very SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Are you sure that you are diagnosed correctly with GAD , because your issues with listening to Mom's negativity seem very specific, not generalized. The fight/flight response (you should flee) when ignored long enough would cause a sane person to become anxious. Get some phone numbers, have your Mom call them. Maybe you have hadnuff, but maybe your Mom has not had enough medication. Call her doctor.
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hadnuff - my mother is/was like that. She now has vascular dementia and is on an antipsychotic which has helped a lot. It was quite a ride to get her on it. Finally I realised that she does not want solutions, she wants problems - for the attention. As soon as one is solved, another one surfaces. This is pretty narcissistic. As Jeanne says, you need to detach and limit your involvement with her. I stopped answering the phone altogether sometimes. Does she like it, no, but she got used to it. They feed on attention/drama and get it by having crises all the time. You have become her narcissistic supply by getting so involved. There is no rule in this life that says you have to fix her crises or even listen to them all the time. You need to look after yourself and that means staying away from mama drama. Limit phone calls and visits. Your life will improve.(((((hugs)))))
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Oops ... that may require some DEtachment.
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You do need to take care of yourself, and that may require some attachment and some boundary-enforcement.

"Mom, I'm sure you will understand this. I'm just not strong enough today to listen to other people's problems. Let's talk about something pleasant." And if Mom goes on about the past or new problem, "Mom, I can see you need to talk about problems now, and I can't do it. I'll call tomorrow afternoon and hope things are better for both of us then." And then end the call! I don't suppose that Mom can help her anxiety, but you can refuse to dwell on it with her.
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