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Kelley, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1018
Experience:  BSW, MSW, LCSW
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My mom is very codepenant and was widowed 3.25 months ago

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My mom is very codepenant and was widowed 3.25 months ago and she still cannot pull herself together. She's almost completely lost it. She cries uncontrollably sometimes and apologizes for it but she can't help it. She's on Prozac and is prescribed to take Ativan a couple of times per day but it doesnt look to be helping whatsoever.
I've been in the USA for 3.25 months now helping her and now that I'm due to leave in a week she's crying even more and telling me she can't cope without someone.
I don't know what to do. I can't really live with her; or maybe I have no choice. Regardless, I need to know what to do to help her?
Psychologist? She's supposed to to go to a group therapy session in 12 days. What else should I be doing?
Kelley :

Hi. Thanks for using JustAnswer! I would be more than happy to chat with you about this. Before I can give you an answer can you please tell me how old your mother is? Does she have a history of depression? Is she suicidal at all? Is she seeing a psychiatrist or getting her medications from her regular physician? Does she have a strong support system, friends, neighbors, family, etc?

Customer :

She's 60yo. She has been on Prozac for some time with some depression yes. She only married her fiance after 2 years of dating and 15 years of friendship and she finally gave in to his dream of retired life. Then he passed.

She gets prozac and ativan from her GP. She saw a religious grief therapist the other week and for whatever reason she wasn't enthused by here. She's enrolled for grief support group but has yet to attend. She has a local sister who has been trying to keep arms length away (conceivably due to her husband warding off stress). Other than that she's new to the area and only knows a couple of other retirees on her block.

She is not suicidal but she does halfheartedly quip that she wishes God would just take her. But she's not the type to be of concern for suicide.

Her sisters arent all that supporting and they're more of a peanut gallery. Myself and a couple of her facebook friends are probably her only solid support.

She's expressed concern that I will be leaving soon and she mentioned outright how co-dependent she is and she's hurting to know that my actual date of departure is near.

I've contacted a couple of psychOLOGISTS via email this weekend and hope to speak to someone next week for her. I don't know what else to do.

Kelley :

I would suggest by getting her into see a psychiatrist (for a full evaluation to determine if her symptoms or grief related and after she goes through the normal cycle of grief if some of the symptoms will gradually subside or if this has increased her depression and the depression needs to be treated more aggressively). They are specially trained in issues such as depression and with her history of depression it is best for her to see a psychiatrist. Also it is really important that she gets with a counselor that she feels comfortable with. If she did not like the other one that's fine but she needs to find one soon. Maybe have her pick three she feels she might be comfortable with and then have interview sessions and then pick on to stick with. This weekly therapy support will be very important in helping her through this. Another option is having a companion services being with her. These services do cost but if she or you have some money it may be helpful for the time to have a companion checking on her daily or every few days just to make sure she is doing ok and can be your "eyes" on her to make you know she is ok. This may be something worth trying for a few months to see how she is doing in say 3 months with the companion services, psychiatrist evaluation, weekly therapy, and grief group. Another added support for her would be online grief groups which will also give her another level of support

Kelley and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you