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The last few months she has had one problem after the other. I know I'm not responsible for solving all her problems. But ........ It's just so depressing to hear one problem after the other from her. She makes some of her problems more difficult because of her relationship with my brother. Allowing him to determine what she buys and spends. Letting him rule her life. She is in her right mind and has been allowing my brother to rule her life since he was a young teen. He is now 52 years old and lives with her.

Barbara

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Staying depressed won't help. If your mom is happy staying with him, let it be this way.. or else you can talk to your brother and try to sort things out.
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You are getting excellent (if hard-to-follow) advice. Detach. Learn to differentiate between situations that are beyond your control and things you might be able to influence. Avoid the items you have no control over.

You ask how you can avoid depression. If you are at a point where you are clinically depressed (rather than just feeling bad a lot) then I urge you to seek professional help with that. The traditional therapies are medications, exercise, and talking to a counselor. Typically they work best together. Often starting with an antidepressant helps prepare you for counseling and allows you the initiative to start walking or doing other exercise.

We are all advising you to change your behavior -- to react differently to the things that are causing you stress. But if you are clinically depressed, that can be very hard to do, even if you agree you should do it. I hope you will seek treatment for depression.
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Get busy. Get a job. Volunteer. Stop obsessing on your mom and your brother. It is what it is. Don't let it color your whole life. Get a hobby. Get a dog. Exercise.

You're going to go around once. Stop wasting time obsessing about things you can't change.
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Devote this much time to enjoying your own life.
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Constant Complaints. Sounds like the start of a country western song. I never ask my mother how she feels because I always already know the answer.With my nursing background it is a little easier for me to "triage" her complaints,which are ignore worthy or call 911 worthy. I feel bad for those caregivers with no medical background that are constantly having to assess and ask themselves is this real or imagined, should I call 911 or is this just another behavior issue? being constantly in emotional limbo about whether you are doing the right thing or not.
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IloveMom, I understand that position. I recently terminated a friendship because I was so tired of listening to hours long complaints about a specific family member. I felt so fatigued by the time these conversations were over and realized how the negativity was affecting me. I feel much better now that I don't listen to the complaining.
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I checked one of your recent posts as I wanted to refresh my memory on the family dynamics. (https://www.agingcare.com/questions/can-only-do-so-much-versus-overrule-mom-181676.htm).

You raised the issue with your brother, homeowners insurance and your mother's acquiescence to your brother's domination of your mother, and added that these problems are decades old. It doesn't appear as though they're going to change.

As to what you can do, ask yourself these questions:

1. Have you been able to effectuate any changes?
2. Have you been able to solve any of the problems of which your mother complains?
3. Do you see any way of affecting the long standing family dynamics?
4. Is there anything else you can do that might be effective?
5. Is this affecting your health?

If the answers to questions 1 through 4 are no, and the answer to 5 is yes, then it's time to accept that the situation is out of your control. You can't change it; worrying about it isn't going to solve anything but could make you more ill. The choice of your screen name says it all.

Your mother's negativity is only dragging you down. You're the only who can affect your reaction. Time to accept the situation and move on,
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I was using my friend to "Air Out". she told me to stop, she didn't want to hear it any more. We have nicer walks now. I am getting used to finding a better side to things. It's almost working
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Maybe they need each other. How often do you drop by your Mom's place?
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Tell mom you're just not up to discussing her problems anymore...that they're just the same-old-same-old recycled.

NOW!! If mom wants to discuss SOLUTIONS with you? Then you're all in.

Sometimes we have to have a cold heart to make people understand that their problems are solvable, but they need to, you know, actually do something different. ;)
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It won't make any difference to your mom if you suggest separating herself from her dependency on your brother right? She's going to keep on keeping on with the dance she and your brother set up decades ago, so my suggestion would be to 'let it go'. Like the song says. When she starts harping on the woes of her son, tell her you don't want to hear it, and change the subject. You're just spitting in the wind at this point unless she's willing to make a life change. Like you said, she's in her 'right mind' so LET IT GO. ♥
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