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I would like to ask a question about my mother. She is a…

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Hello. I would like to...
Hello. I would like to ask a question about my mother. She is a 50-year old france teacher. She lives with my father in our village. My sister (22 years old) and i live in a city where we study for university. We don' get home very frequently, but at the last few days that we were here, I discovered by accident that my mother takes the andi-depressant Seroxat. I don't know for how long. She hasn't told me and my sister anything. I also don't know if she sees a doctor or a psychologist. I am almost certain that she doesn't and that she started this medication by herself because in our country you don't need a medical recipe to buy these pills.
I wasn't surprised to discover this because i suspected for years that she has depression. I remember she always used to sleep all afternoon for 4-5-6 hours after she got home from work at noon. Then she would wake up and sleep again after 3-4 hours and wake up early in the morning. I also never remember her being particulary happy or going out of the house with friends. Basically she has no friends in the village where she lives (it is my father's village). The last years she wakes up earlier and sleeps almost 8 hours in the afternoon. Sometimes she wakes up only for half an hour and then sleeps again until early morning.She has also lost some weight recently without going on a diet. Also she cooks very rarely now. She has been through a lot the recent years (her brother died because of cancer at a young age, i was diagnosed with a autoimnune didease, although i am fine, we were forced to move suddenty to a different flat, she is going through menopause,her parents have a lot of health problems and she is the only one that can help them and my father seems almost completely indifferent towards her). What i want to ask is what can i do? I think that my sister and me are the only ones who can help. My father doesn't care much (he comes to home just for sleep) and my grandparents are too old and sick. My mother doesn't have any close friends. She generally avoids talking about problems with anyone. I don't think there is a single person that she can talk to completely honestly about her problems. What can i do? Is it better to tell her that i know about her depression or continue to act as if i don't know anything?
Submitted: 10 months ago.Category: Mental Health
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Answered in 9 hours by:
10/7/2017
Mental Health Professional: LeahMSWuofm, Clinical Social Worker replied 10 months ago
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm, Clinical Social Worker
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1,160
Experience: 10 years post-MSW experience
Verified

Hi, thank you for writing. My name is***** am sorry to hear that your Mom has these difficulties. It is clear you care about her and want her to feel her best. Personally, I think you and your sister should talk to your Mom about the things you observe including the medications. Depression is a real illness and she should not need to feel shame or secrecy around this struggle. That can ironically make it worse. You can approach the conversation respectfully ***** ***** her know that you support her in every possible way and only want her to feel her best. You can also come at it from an angle that is meant to reduce the shame she may have in regards ***** ***** depression. Let her know that she is strong and brave but that depression is a real medical illness. You can review with her the signs and symptoms of depression asking if she feels she has these. Share that if she gets the right support, there is hope and likelihood that she could feel so much better and have a much more positive and engaging life. Perhaps you can go so far as yo helping her set up a counseling appointment or an appointment with her medical doctor to discuss this.

Most people who have depression need support around the issue. Social support is an important component of being human, but especially so when being human proves challenging. Family is absolutely one of the possible supports and your Mom needs to know she does not have to do this alone . You and your sister can help her see this.

I hope this helps but am here to chat more if you'd like.

-Leah

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Mental Health Professional: LeahMSWuofm, Clinical Social Worker replied 10 months ago

Hi, just checking back to see if I can help further since this question remains open do to being unrated. Please let me know if you have anything to add. I welcome your thoughts!

-Leah

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