I suffer from major depression and I'm seeing this in mom now. Any tips?


My husband, mom and I moved ( within same state) because of financial reasons. Mom was excited about it and happy for a few months. Not now. We moved to house with mobile home on property for mom, she had a mil house beside us before moving. She was okay until had 2nd mini stroke, dr said best if she's in same house. We've all been happy until last month or so. Mom had low potassium and was getting dizzy, started staying in her bedroom- she has tv, mini fridge and bathroom in there. She used to come out and eat with us , sit in living room and watch movies. Now she just wants to sleep, has hard time getting up( from laying around?) had to call emt to get her up and to hospital last week, said her feet wouldn't work. It turned out to be heel spurs. We bought a wheelchair so she could get out more, she was using cane & walker before Er visit. She's been out once since then. Stays in room , says she feels blah. I suffer from major depression and I'm seeing this in mom now. She has a dr appt next week to go over everything, always wants me to go in so I'm going to mention it to dr. I'm not a forceful person, especially with mom. It feels wrong. I need to know how to talk to her about this stuff, she doesn't hear well either ( has hearing aids- won't wear them) her eyes aren't great but just had them checked,she was reading like crazy ( always has) now she's not. Any tips would be awesome. Thanks

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Lynn, I have major depressive disorder, too. For the most part it is well managed. When I have a few days that are particularly inactive I wonder to myself, "Am I depressed?" This happened a few months ago and the cause turned out to be progression of my diabetes. Having high blood sugar is tiring! So then at least I knew which doctor to work with to fix things!

Your mother does sound depressed, and you are qualified to observe that! But there can a whole host of reasons for symptoms like that, and it is a very good thing you are seeing her doctor soon. The idea of a list of symptoms, odd behaviors, and questions is excellent.

In a way it would be good if the explanation were as cut-and-dried as "depression." As you know, that is a dreadful condition, but there are treatments for it.

Whatever it turns out to be, I hope there are some effective ways to improve Mom's quality of life. Please come back and let us know how this unfolds. We learn from each other!
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Lynn1972, it does sound like something is not right. I mean, if she had a heel spur, wouldn't she normally say, my heal hurts when I put weight on it. Why would she say her feet don't work. Maybe she has had more damage that is effecting her. When is the appointment? I'd try to get in soon. And be prepared with a list of things. She may get in to the doctor and start saying she's fine. I'd make sure you have the list so what's been happening isn't overlooked.

The doctor may ask her some questions to see how her mind is working and do physical exam. Maybe, he can answer some questions, but I think I might still consider the neurologist. We saw one with my cousin, just to rule out certain things and see how severe it was. At least it helped us to see what we were dealing with.
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Mom is 78. The heel thing just came out ether blue. I went in to see if she needed anything , her tv wasn't on( usually watching news). She told me her feet/legs wouldn't work. I had her try and move them. That's when I managed to get her to couch after we struggled with clothes. I was wondering about another stroke, maybe she had one and didn't know? Other than husband, moms my best friend, we talk about everything and she just shut down on me. We've been in new house since December and things seemed good. I'm baffled. Definitely going to make list for Dr. Thanks for advice.
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I knew as soon as I posted I'd remember what I had forgotten in my first post.

Stroke therapy and stroke support groups: That might be an option for her to help remember that many others have suffered from similar medical conditions. And it's an opportunity for interaction.

Check with your local hospitals to find one that has a stroke support group.
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I assume the doctor she's seeing soon will do a blood workup. Be sure to report the low potassium level. That could tire her out; I've had that and found that it took a lot of energy and motivation from me - it was very tiring to walk. If her potassium is low, you could ask why, but you can also address it through foods high in potassium, assuming she can eat them if she's on any kind of restricted diet.

Dizziness can be a great deterrent to getting up and around; you might want to address that as well when you see this doctor.

You might try to plan some activities around her being in her room, then gradually moving out in the common areas for more socialization with the family. Isolation can contribute to that "blah" feeling.
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How old is your mother? You say she's had at least 2 mini stokes. Her decline could be the result of them, though, it's hard to say. Since she's already scheduled to see the doctor, why not make a list of what you have observed, the changes, concerns, etc. If you wish, you could take to the doctor in advance of her appointment and let the doctor know to look it at BEFORE her visit. That way he knows what's going on with her and can look for specific things. He can rule out medical reasons, infections, depression, medication reactions, etc. She could needs meds. He might do an evaluation of her faculties.
I might ask to be referred to a neurologist. He could check the effects of the stroke on the brain and rule out various causes for her changes and also do an evaluation.

It could be that she's just tired. Most seniors who are up in age just like to rest sometimes and are not as active. Other times, it's more, such as dementia. My cousin got that after suffering multiple strokes. She also started staying in her room when before she watched tv with others. She stopped going anywhere too. She also would sleep most all of the time.

Was your mom able to report her heel spurs? Is there some reason you didn't know what was wrong in the beginning? I'm just curious as to whether she was able to report the pain to you.

After you get a diagnosis, you can then approach her, based on the diagnosis. Before then, you could just try to chat with her and see what's on her mind. See if there is something about the new place that is bothering her. Maybe she just doesn't like the tv shows that you like?
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