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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5509
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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How do I encourage my mom, who lives very far from me, to go

Resolved Question:

How do I encourage my mom, who lives very far from me, to go see a psychologist. She is in a deep depression from loosing her husband (together 23years) - I've seen all the signs, she has anxiety attacks and keeps running to the hospital or the doctor. I have found a psychologist near her to go to and have given her the number to call, but she is not listening. Please advise.....
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It is often hard to get someone to see that they need to talk out a problem. This is especially true if they are depressed and/or grieving. The very nature of depression makes the person unmotivated to seek help, at the very time they need it most.

It may help your mother to see her doctor first. Then before she goes for her appointment, contact the doctor and let him/her know what you are seeing with your mother. The doctor may not be able to talk to you directly due to confidentiality, but they can listen to what you have to say. Ask the doctor to talk to your mother about her depression and grief. See if the doctor might prescribe something to help your mother's symptoms. If she can alleviate some of her symptoms, she might be more willing to consider seeing a therapist.

Also, ask the doctor to refer your mother to a therapist. People who otherwise would not go to a therapist might do so if the doctor recommends it.

You may also want to ask her pastor to talk with her. Pastors are often trained to help others and he can encourage your mother to seek help at the church or outside of the church.

Also, learn what you can about depression related to grief. It can help you find ways to help your mother work through her grief if you understand what to look for and what support she might need. Here are some resources to help you:

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/grief_loss.htm

http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-grief

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/helping_grieving.htm

Most of all, just be there for your mother. She may not be able to respond to your support, but it matters a lot to her. Anyone who is grieving feels that sorrow less if there is someone there with them. Let her talk about her husband and her feelings about her loss. That can make a world of difference in how she works through her loss.

I hope this has helped you,

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5509
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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