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Day 792 - Depression Hurts

Monday, January 30, 2017

Let me preface this post by saying that I am not a doctor or clinical psychologist. But I've read enough articles that I think I can recognize some of the symptoms of depression. I may not be able to diagnose the disease, but I can point out the signs and encourage someone to seek appropriate medical attention.

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My mother suffers from severe depression. It was "full front and center" this weekend when we went to visit my parents at their apartment. Mom was miserable, constantly apologizing for everything from the quality of the food to the color of the carpet. Even watching a movie caused her supreme embarrassment (there were nude scenes in the film we watched, which has happened before, but this time her reaction was severe).

As we were leaving, she started to cry. She usually doesn't tear up when we are going back home, at least not in front of us, and this time it wasn't about us leaving. Instead, she was fretting because the weekend had been "such a disaster." I reassured her that the weekend was fine. We had a nice dinner out at one of their favorite restaurants. We watched a movie together. We had enjoyable conversation. There was nothing to be sad about.

The more we talked, the sadder she became. There was nothing I could say to console her. It broke my heart, but it also made me angry. She's afraid of doctors, so she doesn't discuss her emotional wellbeing with them. She doesn't like taking anti-depressant medications, because she had a bad reaction to one of them. My dad is no help because he is incapable of understanding depression, since he's always happy.

I was reminded of a TV commercial that says the depression hurts everyone, not just the person suffering from the disease. I know that it's an illness, and this article verifies that the illness is not just mental.

www.psychologytoday.com/
articles/200207/when-depre
ssion-hurts


If you recognize yourself in any of these symptoms, I encourage you to get checked out by a medical or mental health professional. Your life, and the lives of your family, may be dependent on it.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • OSHEONA
    It's good that the medical community is finally admitting that pain is a symptom of depression, and can even cause it, as well as drive people to commit suicide. Hopefully, they will develop better treatment protocols. That would really improve a lot of people's lives.

    I'm sorry to hear that your mom is so depressed to notice that your weekend there was fine, and instead thought that it was totally messed up. I'm not really comfortable with nudity and steamy scenes either, especially when I am in the room with my family. I'd just rather they left them out of films. Not everyone likes that. When she grew up, the movies were much cleaner, so you might try to understand that. It likely shocks her each time she sees that sort of thing. If you want to watch really clean movies with her, so that she's less unhappy, and she has cable, you might try watching the Hallmark channel. Anyway, I'm sorry your mom isn't happier. Some of it may even be learned, she may have learned to be so self-effacing and humble as a young person that it feeds into her depression and makes it worse. Try not to be angry, because she clearly can't help it, and it will only bring you more down if you get angry.

    It's really good that you are so aware of your mother's depression, and all of the symptoms and the latest treatment options. This will really help you in the future, if you start to feel this way yourself. Thank you for the helpful information, it's really nice of you to pass this on! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1467 days ago
  • BEESHELL8
    Hi - so sorry to hear this and hope you follow up with your mom. I went through a really bad episode 2 years ago and it was really isolating. I didn't think anyone wanted to be around me because I was so down and miserable; a lot of what you wrote about your mom reminded me of some of my symptoms, It can be hard for a partner to live with someone suffering from depression. It was really hard on my husband and he didn't understand it. It sounds like you have resources, but there are lots online too. Wishing your family all of the best
    1471 days ago
  • LOVELYSPIRIT16
    Thanks Steve for writing this blog. My mother had severe depression. She would not get any help. She was always sad or angry at those she loved mostly because it was safe to her we loved her back. Depression runs heavily in mt family. I have 2 bothers with bi-polar and myself. My daughter is bi-polar. my son and husband are suffering with situational depression. Our particular situation is not going to change. We have 2 children a son 32 and a daughter 31 that were born with a birth defect that affects them physically. So this is the situation that will not change.

    And like the title of your blog "Depression Hurts for those that have it. And the loving people around us that care for us. It hurts them too in many way.

    Great blog Steve emoticon
    1476 days ago
  • DONNALEE-53
    emoticon My DH suffered from depression for years. He takes medicine now. It was hard until he did.
    emoticon
    1486 days ago
  • WENDYANNE61
    So sorry to read that your mom is so updet and anxious, but is scared of looking for help - all of you are experiencing the fallout. My grandma was and my sister is badly affected by depression - one of the most tragic illnesses. Thinking of you!
    1488 days ago
  • 1DAY-ATA-TIME
    Steve, my heart goes out to you and your family. Depression is a difficult to understand in so many ways. I suffered from dysthymia depression for many years before it was diagnosed and treated. I will admit that the medication's side effects can be bothersome and disagreeable. I don't take antidepressant medication anymore. Counseling, exercise and meditation/mindfulness is my prescription. I still have my moment particularly with my recent injury. It's been an interesting journey understanding and coming to grips with depression. A story too long to discuss here. Sending hugs and prayers to you and your mother.

    1488 days ago
  • JUNEAU2010
    It is very hard to talk about depression. The stigma around mental illness, especially for those who have seen it in family members, is enough for some to choose to suffer in silence. The thought of having that entry in a medical file could be terrifying enough to seal lips and stifle any hope.

    I have no answers, no bright cheery magic wand. I only have a heart that understands many sides of this painful issue and I am sorry that this has been front and center for you and your mom.
    1489 days ago
  • PJDANIELS
    So sorry. It is incredibly frustrating when you are dealing with mental illness. When dealing with my son, who has many issues, including severe depression, I try to remember, he is ill. He doesn't see things the same as most other people. When he is in a full blown depression he sees no point in seeking help because "nothing will help". When is on the upswing, he "doesn't need help". My heart goes out to you. Sometimes the only thing I can do is limit my exposure and check in with him to let him know I love him. Anger has never worked and then I feel mean. It is a difficult situation.
    1489 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/30/2017 9:43:47 PM
  • no profile photo JEANNETTE59
    Is there any way you can reach out to your Dad to help him understand that your Mom's situation is serious?
    The last time I remember you writing about this she seemed to be socializing a little more and you were hopeful that she would slowly become more positive.
    You and your parents are in my prayers.

    Many emoticon

    1489 days ago
  • TRACY6659
    I hope that your mother can find some relief. There are times when it truly takes medication or some other support to break through. My DH has bi-polar disease and suffers from severe depression with it. It does hurt to watch someone you love suffer and not be able to help. Know that we care and are here for you emoticon emoticon
    1489 days ago
  • BE-THE-CHANGE
    It can be very difficult. I was lucky to find a great doctor that I trust. She asked questions and figured out I was depressed. Prozac can be a wonderful thing.
    1489 days ago
  • 911BRAD
    Steve, thanks for sharing your feelings... you're a wonderful son. My best to you and your family!
    1489 days ago
  • FOLLYBEACHKELLY
    Sorry, to hear about your Mom. I know how you feel. You feel helpless Hang in there buddy. If it gets worse, maybe an intervention will be in order.
    1489 days ago
  • DCFELLA
    That is really tough. Have you or your father ever had a really frank conversation about how her depression effects you? For a lot of people living with chronic depression, it becomes a weird sort of security blanket or control valve for them. They forget (or have forgotten long ago) what life would be like without the cloud of depression hanging over them--and the thought of changing that situation causes fear and anxiety. So they dismiss getting help because of a previous bad experience, or a doctor that didn't treat them well, or about the bad things they hear about the drugs, etc. Perhaps the hardest part about the disease it that the person living with it is the one that has to actively take the initiative to get help. So most, they never do. Hang in there, Steve.
    1489 days ago
  • PICKIE98
    I am praying that your dad steps up to the plate and insists that she get to a doctor immediately. This disease can make organs weaken and eventually shut down. It has most of the same effects that dementia has: internal, physical weaknesses, strokes, kidney and heart problems. She needs HELP! Could you maybe talk to your siblings and all talk to Dad privately and at least get her an appointment and let her try a medication?
    1489 days ago
  • SNOOPYLINKOS
    Try talking to your dad about your mom, he may feel the same way but doesn't know what or how to take action. Make an appointment with her doctor, it may be time for a "tune-up."
    1489 days ago
  • CHERALA
    emoticon
    Here's to your family figuring out how to help your Mom. In order to get positive health and well-being changes made for mine, we researched and accompanied her to a new doctor whose practice is geriatric medicine. Much better level of concern and care. I'm sure some of it has to do the fact that the practice is smaller as well.
    1489 days ago
  • CARBMONSTERII
    How horrible, to see someone you love hurting, and not be able to stop it. Hopefully, your dad learn more about depression so that he can help your mom. You don't have to have a disease to help someone else fight it. emoticon
    1489 days ago
  • KRISZTA11
    I'm so sorry, sounds like your mom is subject to severe emotional pain and stress,
    and her behavior really hurts all who care about her.
    emoticon
    I hope you will be able to get her some help. There are many new antidepressants that may be safe for her, also I read cognitive therapy helps relieve depression symptoms.

    Thank you for sharing the article, what it said about physical sensations was completely new to me.

    1490 days ago
  • LADYIVYMON
    i do have sever depression....you r right it does hurt everyone around you.
    1490 days ago
  • SISSYFEB48
    Know I am holding your Mom in prayer....and you as well because it is so painful to see and feel so helpless. Consider yourself hugged long distance! emoticon
    1490 days ago
  • FITNIK2020
    The article is interesting. Sleep disorders could certainly be a factor. I hope this can be sorted out so she can be content.
    1490 days ago
  • FITNIK2020
    Oh, this is sad to hear. It certainly does sound like depression. My understanding is that seniors often experience depression. I wonder if she can be cajoled into seeing a doctor or if there are is a geriatric service where she lives.
    1490 days ago
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