I'm writing because I am at my wit's end. I'm 25 years old, and live with my mom and dad, and brother and sister (15, 14 yrs). My mom has been severely depressed for as long as I can remember. She has never been to a doctor, but she has all the tell-tale signs. She has is almost constantly in a bad mood, lashes out (I mean, really jaw-droppingly hurtful and abusive verbally) to the people I know she loves most, lethargic, suffers chronic pain, doesn't work, so shy and self-conscious that it is crippling...the list goes on and on...

I love my mom dearly, and I know she does her best, but frankly, living with her is miserable. I've recently moved back home after living away for some years, and hoped to be able to help her now that I'm older. I thought the first step would be to help her physical condition, but she resolutely, 100% refuses to see a doctor. Even for a breast exam! She hasn't been for a basic yearly physical in decades! And she literally blows up when the idea is presented to her. This has to be one of the most frustrating situations, she truly has no interest in getting better in any way.

So, as you can imagine, talking to her about mental health is entirely out of the question. Entirely.

It's been so long since she's been a healthy person, physically or emotionally, that I am not even sure that a full recuperation will ever be possible. At this point, even the slightest of improvements will feel like a success.

This is really only the tip of the iceberg of the experience with my mom's depression. I'm not sure I can express the gravity of the situation in so few words, because her problem has been going on for so long, and worsened so gradually. She really has some deep-seated psychological issues that are too complex to touch on here. I just hope someone reads this and recognizes something simliar to something they may have experienced.

I just don't know what to do. I am absolutely desperate...as my brother and sister get older, I fear my mom will feel she really has no purpose anymore. I don't want to imagine what that will feel like for her, or how she will handle it. I think her plan is to never take care of herself physically, and then she never will have to face a doctor, and whenever she dies, that will be just fine with her...

I don't know how to help someone who not only doesn't acknowledge she needs help, but truly doesn't want it...

[I must also include this as a P.S.--I know that if I were to read this, I would naturally recommend trying to talk about the issue with my mom. But let me just say a cliche here: that really that won't be as easy as it sounds. My mom has been like this for more than 20 years now, I'm actually afraid that she is not stable enough to handle a conversation based on herself.]

Thank you so much for reading this. I greatly appreciate any input whatsoever (comments, concerns, questions, or advice).

- W


2703 days ago
Sorry to hear you're in this difficult situation with your mother. Do you have a family like her mother/father/aunt or is your dad in the picture, so they could talk to her? Would she be willing to exercise with encouragement? Does she say what's bothering her?

The only thing you can do is get all of you together and nicely tell her she needs to get a physical and discuss how unhappy she is - offer to make an appointment and go with her. If she doesn't listen, there isn't much you can do and then it would be a matter of establishing healthy boundaries, so she doesn't drag you/siblings down.

2703 days ago

I wish I had a solution for you but she has to agree to go to see the doctor, you cannot force her. The only way it could be forced would be if your dad could prove she was a danger to herself or others (Baker act)

If possible, try to ensure she is eating healthily and getting some form of exercise, as that can help with depression. Getting her to eat foods high in inositol is good too


I do hope you can all convince her to go to the doctor and get help. It will make her life, as well as all of yours, so much better!