Hi All - Great resources in these forums and from the posters so thank you in advance for any input or feedback. I was encouraged to post here after posting in an unrelated forum. I will try to keep it short ...
My father (70) died suddenly in June. It was unexpected and my mom was present when it happened (sudden massive heart attack).
Prior to his death, my mother struggled with anxiety/depression. Depression seemed to arrive when anxiety disrupted her sleep. She was in/out of inpatient care for almost a year. Also had many rounds of ECT (electroconvulsive therapy).
Before the signification bouts of depression starting ~5 years ago my mother was pretty normal. Shopped, traveled, etc. She was a negative person, but found joy in many places in her life. She's always been fairly self-absorbed, too. I have never been close with my mother (neither is my sister), but she would tell you we are. Communication in my family was never made important.
Now that you have some background, we're at a strange crossroads. My mother doesn't go anywhere or do anything except necessities like groceries, oil change the car, haircut, etc. She has a poor diet and does not exercise. She's close to not being able to walk the stairs. I think her weight probably prevents her from properly washing / wiping herself. Sometimes she smells. I believe she's aware of all this.
She's going down a path that ends in death. She virtually meets with a counselor, outpatient therapy, and grief counselor once a week for ~1 hour each. I've met with all of them, spoke with her doctor, etc. Most of them say if she's doing the activities above then that's really good enough for someone with depression and we shouldn't do anything to majorly disrupt her daily flow.
So my issues or questions are this. She's clearly functioning and seems content. She still lives in the home her and my father owned. She hasn't moved anything just has kept things as is. I haven't seen her smile in years, but she otherwise exists. She likes to spend time in my house, but she just exists like a wallflower. I have 4 children under 8 and she will sit in a recliner for the duration of her stay. Seemingly she likes to be around other people, but doesn't want to interact or be helpful, etc.
Naturally I feel guilty watching her struggle to get up stairs successfully and eat healthy. When she coughs it often sounds like she's going to throw up, which I attribute to the weight. She seems like she'd enjoy a elderly home, but speaking to the better ones around here they say she's far too young. She doesn't maintain relationships with us, my kids, my sister, etc. ... we still have her over for holidays. It's at the point where I hate having her over. It's like a 5th child.
It seems like she's content to live alone and not be bothered, except for holidays/birthdays. I just feel like I have some obligation to tell her she's going to die if she keeps eating this way. I know any conversation on this topic with my mom will be devastating to her. Her pajamas are size L and she refuses to wear the correct size .... her midriff hangs out.
Comparing my story to many of yours it seems like I have it 'easy'. Does my mother seems a bit crazy or depressed to you? As someone that's never had a mental health issue I feel like my mother is just selfish and lazy ... she's using her 'depression' as a way to make all her laziness okay ... I feel like her counselor's enable her by not encouraging her to push more and make long term goals.
Anyway, this was a lot. I know a lot of this is a rant. It's just foreign to me how a mother doesn't want to have a relationship with her own kids. Who can watch her kids raise their children, while she's present, and just sit in a recliner and wait to be served drinks/food. My kids, though young, can already recognize she doesn't 'like' them.