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My Mom is Depressed and Won't Help Herself

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May 17th, 2008, 07:09 PM
Just-Jay's Avatar Veteran
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Dania Beach, FL
Posts: 420
This is a bit long, but I'll try to cover the main points...

When I was 13 my Mom convinced herself that she was depressed and needed help. She'd always complained about how fat she is (but she's never stuck with anything to keep her healthy and drop the weight.) After one session of therapy she accepted the anti-depressants the psychiatrist prescribed her. (Essentially, just medicating her problems, not solving them. ) My Dad and Sister both agree it's only made her worse.

Her mental health has never been great, and now that she's just been diagnosed with with Rheumatoid Arthritis, it's even worse. My family has begged her to get healthy and try ANY of the Rheumatoid medications (which she won't). She's supposed to be going to the gym (to keep her joints active) and eating a no red meat, low salt, low fat & low sugar diet. Instead she decides "everything is toxic" and won't drink tap water, and orders fried chicken at almost every meal and I've caught her eating LOTS of candy.

Since I've been pregnant, she's been depressing to be around. She cries to me about how "everything hurts", but won't do anything help herself. You can't talk to her about it, she gets pissed and ignores you. I feel bad for her but lately it's just been too much to deal with, I've had my own problems.

I had a scare at 37 weeks that my LO may not be growing enough. My heartburn and acid reflux has been so bad I haven't wanted to eat much, making me super weak. (I had ketones in my urine which meant I was burning fat for fuel.) Now I'm 40 weeks (today) and stressed about induction next week.

She wants to complain and have all the attention, cry and throw fits in MY apartment- THEN JUST GET THE %$&* OUT. I have no patience or pity for her. I've had to deal with it for 8 years now. Honestly, I don't want her around my son if she can't fix her attitude. I'm so upset I'm crying now...

____Ryan Tanner Jr.____

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May 17th, 2008, 07:27 PM
~Trina~'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Minnesota
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I can definitely see your point! I thought I might respond though ... as somone who struggle with depression and RA as well. It's tough, and I'm sure you KNOW that. However... something to keep in mind is this: Sometimes, the options for treatments availible are overwhelming and downright scary. They can be so overwhelming (especially someone predisposed to depression) that they sort of "shut down" and it's not that they WON'T get help ... it's that they CAN'T ... even though it's readily availible.

For instance, I've explored nearly all treatment options for RA ... and they are so frightening! Sure, they help the disease.... but the side effects and risks are so huge. For example: I take a cocktail of 8 medications for my RA (I think, I lose track of the actual # ). One is a chemotherapy drug (and the most commonly used to treat RA) and it can be so toxic that it kills your liver. If you aren't diligent with blood tests, you can destroy your liver in a matter of a few weeks. Another is a biologic drug that I have to inject myself with .... essentially it all but shuts down my immune system. This is good because then my immune system can't attack my joints. This is BAD because it can't attack anything else either .... such as other infections. If not caught in time, those infections can be deadly. Then there are the increased lymphoma risks to these meds. The RA won't kill me, but the meds might?!?! That's an awfully big idea to swollow. I know it seems to you (and other loved ones) that the choices are pretty cut and dry .... because I used to think the SAME way!!

Another little tidbit: Statistically, RA patients go without treatment for quite some time after being diagnosed for a variety of reasons such as denial (they know they are in pain, but can't admit that they might REALLY have something like RA), plain old fear, and confusion.

Depression is extremely common in RA patients (and most other autoimmune disorders) and if she was already depressed before the DX ...like I was ... it can really make it that much worse. Here lies a good part of the "CAN'T" get treatment versus "WON'T". I know it sounds dumb, to resist treatment even if it might make you better.... but sadly, it's reality. Fatigue is a huge factor too ....it is prominent in both conditions. Man, there are some days I just CAN'T get anything done because the fatigue is soooooo overwhelming even when I've had plenty of sleep.

If you're still reading.... thank you! It's almost as hard being a loved one of someone with EITHER conditions as it is to be the afflicted one. It's frustrating, irritating, and plain old sucky. I'm so sorry that she's not on track right now to get herself some help. I really do empathize and sympathize and I hope that comes through in this post. I just thought MAYBE someone giving you something from HER perspective (but from an objective person) might help YOU in dealing with it.

She doesn't need your pity, she needs your love right now ... even though it's HARD to give. As a mother, I find it hard to think that she wouldn't do the same for you in a reverse situation, but I don't know her either!

Good luck with your birth ... I hope it's a wonderful experience for you and you face no complications.
"Do not judge, for you only see the parts of me that I feel you've earned the right to see" --Author Unknown

"A woman is like a tea bag. You never know how strong she is until she gets into hot water." -- Eleanor Roosevelt
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May 17th, 2008, 08:04 PM
Just-Jay's Avatar Veteran
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Dania Beach, FL
Posts: 420

TY, hopefully I'll go into labor before next weekend so I don't have to be induced...

My mom JUST started that immune system treatment, and it's like she wanted to get sick... I told her not to come over because DH had a cold and she shows up and touches everything over here... I know the medications for RA can be terrible and I understand everything your saying, I really do. At this point it's hard to be anything but frustrated- I love her so much and I miss the old her... My "old" mom would've attacked this head on. It's hard to see her struggle and know that there's nothing I can do or say. She's not willing to even try, not even a little. She'll do just the minimum, and complain that "nothing works". I would do it for her if I could! My family has tried to be supportive- going to her appointments, finding doctors for second opinions, driving her to work (she can't shift the car anymore)... I've even offered to help her clean her house on Sundays. It's really just all her underlying depression issues that makes dealing with RA worse. She can't even be happy for me. She tells me my life is over now that I'm going to be a mom. I guess I can't sympathize anymore because she's always been the type of person to constantly play the victim. I'm tired of all the negative. I know what you mean when you say can't and won't, but she never would.

____Ryan Tanner Jr.____

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May 27th, 2008, 04:10 PM
in_mommy's Avatar I am just me
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 14,873
How are things going?? Did you have the baby yet???
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