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Depression

Seeking help for my depressed mom

04/07/2009

Question:

I am 17 years old and my mom is 47. my brother is 7 years old and he has autism. lately he has been doing extremely well, but the school he went to and my mom are having conflicts and lawsuits and other stressful stuff. My mom has been depressed basically my little brothers whole life up and down. i used to be depressed too so our life just seemed like a black hole. i am in therapy now and doing very well. my mom on the other hand, is over eating, feeling hopeless, having crying spells, is never happy. lately with all the school lawsuits she is doing, she has been very depressed. she won`t get counseling or medicine because she has already been to multiple therapists and such in the past. the thing is, her depression is affecting me greatly. i don`t know what to do and i just need some help on how to help her. i`m sick of being the adult.

Answer:

You're in a tough position, but I suggest you begin by working with your therapist to develop a plan to recruit adults with influence on your mother to urge her to seek more effective treatment for her depression than she has had in the past. Consider approaching her doctor, her siblings, her friends. You don't need a lot of people, but a few who come to her with the same urgent message on your behalf and hers may persuade her to try. In the meantime, keep up your good work. Your example of making treatment work is a strong part of the argument you make for her to join you.

For more information:

Go to the Depression health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Lawson  Wulsin, MD Lawson Wulsin, MD
Professor of Psychiatry and Family Medicine, Training Director of the Family Medicine Psychiatry Residency Program
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati