So overwhelmed

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Lostandconfused, Jun 10, 2018.

  1. Lostandconfused

    Lostandconfused New Member

    Just came across this site because I am so overwhelmed and can’t stop crying. I am having a really hard time with my daughter who is 19. To give you our back story...
    We were just a normal middle class family. 3 kids, happy marriage,nice house. My daughter was excelling in school and sports. She was number 3 in a class of over 400. During sophomore year I started to notice the stress of school really taking a toll on her and had started to make calls to find her a therapist. Then our world fell apart. My husband was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer. He spent a week in the hospital having surgery and then six months of chemo. It was the most horrible time of our lives. My daughter just shut down. She was all ready struggling and this just pushed her over the edge. She stopped going to school. Things got really bad. She was suicidal. We had 2 trips to the ER and she was hospitalized for a couple weeks. This was before she was 18. After about a year she seemed to be better. Took some college classes got a part time job. Was actually doing well enough to transfer to a four year college and just completed her first semester living away from home. She had a tough couple weeks at school when the depression got the better of her and she missed a bunch of classes but she pulled through and finished the semester. Since she has been home she has just deteriorated. She hasn’t left the house won’t go find a part time job. Missed 2 doctors appointments and just sleeps all the time. Last night I asked her what is going on and she just started saying things she used to say when she was severely depressed. I don’t care. It’s all stupid. I’ll never get better. I just want to sleep and never wake up. I suddenly felt like we were back to square one back to when she was suicidal. I feel so sad and defeated to feel back there again. I don’t know what to do. I make her appointments but she won’t go to the doctor. I am so lost. How can I help her?? It’s weird how when she bottoms out I do too. I can’t sleep or eat or stop crying. How can you help someone who just keeps saying,nothing will help and I will never get better. She actually said she hasn’t been happy in 3 years. That even at college she felt like she was just faking it. Selfishly, I don’t know if I can handle all of this again. And now she is over 18 so there is even less I can do. I really thought we were through the worst of things and that she was getting better.
  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Sounds like Tough Love time to me. I was very depressed throughout much of my teen years and beyond. However I had to leave and work and I sought help and got better. My parents didnt care about me, but I think it helped me that I was on my own.

    Sleeping all day will make your daughter feel worse. You can tell her, if you can bear it, that she has to see a psychiatrist (she may need medications if she has been depressed that long so a therapist may not be enough.) If she won't go you can tell her that you won't let her give up on herself under your roof and that she either tries or she will have to leave. It's very hard to do this, but what she is doing now does not serve her. She has to feel the need to get help or apparently she won't. Sometimes doing the comforting thing doesn't do them well. Depression is better when you are forced to work and get help. I was in a hospital for ten weeks of my own asking and in the psychiatric hospital they don't allow patients to sleep during the day. There must be a reason. We had to be, socialize, do chores, clean up and be active...sports in the evening,. medications for most. I am still on an antidepressant as I get very depressed without. But my life is terrific!!

    I hope your husband is doing well now.

    Love and light.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
  3. Lostandconfused

    Lostandconfused New Member

    Thank you for your response. My husband is in remission and doing well. My daughter is on medication and does see a psychiatrist, except that is the appointment she refused to go to last week. I rescheduled for tomorrow and fingers crossed that she goes. The doctor is really only for medication management and I am wondering if my daughter needs CBT or psychotherapy in addition to the medication. I feel like her I don’t care about anything is a defense mechanism so she doesn’t have to deal with all the pain. It’s kind of like she just shuts her self off from everything and everyone. I guess my biggest frustration is that I know to get better she needs to see professionals and I make the appointments, but then she just won’t go.
  4. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Well, you can't control her but you can help yourself. It is a Codependent trait to feel what your daughter feels and it isn't healthy for either of you. Perhaps, to be good to yourself, you can get therapy. You have been through a lot!

    I am so glad your husband is doing well. Maybe the two of you can start dating again. This is great fun and you need to have fun and not focus on what you can't control.
  5. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome. I'm so sorry you are struggling with your daughter's depression.

    If feels so powerless, out of control and very scary when our kids go off the rails and we're on the sidelines watching the train wreck happen. I know how that feels. You might try contacting NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. You can access them online, they have chapters in many cities. NAMI offers parent classes that are very helpful for US. They offer information, resources, guidance and support. Many parents here have availed themselves to the support NAMI offers. Right now, you and your daughter are BOTH caught in your daughter's depression.....and you're going down the rabbit hole along with her. You must pull yourself out of the fear and get some help for yourself.

    Our kids go off the rails for different reasons, but WE are often the ones who must change......change being focusing on our own health and well being and getting the appropriate support so we can strengthen ourselves to be able to handle the present situation in the most healthy way. To that end, I would encourage you to seek out support in whatever fashion works for you......NAMI, private therapy and/or any kind of spiritual guidance......a safe place YOU can go to seek solace, vent, emote, feel understood and heard. As you regain your own balance, you'll be able to respond to your daughter without joining her in her darkness.

    When our precious children are despairing, it's natural to focus all of our attention on them and their needs. Unfortunately, when it goes on for a long time, we become depleted, depressed and unable to cope well, we have essentially abandoned ourselves. It becomes necessary to find ourselves again, build our strength and resolve, learn new ways to parent non typical kids and how to care for ourselves when our kids are not faring well.

    I encourage you to continue posting here, it helps a lot to share our story and receive support and understanding. And, please get support for yourself, this is a tough matter too......what you're feeling and going thru matters....

    I'm glad you're here, you're not alone.
  6. Mumunderfire

    Mumunderfire New Member

    Hello lost and confused. I have witnessed depression in my family. It is an illness I don't agree that it is about getting people to pull themselves together. Clinical depression has nothing to do with self indulgence and you cannot harm someone by providing a safe place and kindness nor will this prolong depression. In my step mothers case a bad bout would end in hospitalization and then a slow improvement from there. Other times it would run its course and at some point she would start fighting back herself. Being the rock and the source of unconditional love is fine in my opinion but work on separating yourself emotionally so you can still be you and enjoy things like the others have said. I am trying to do this with my son it is a work in progress but I don't cry all the time now ! Best wishes to you.
  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Welcome lost and confused. You have been through alot and your daughter and husband too.

    You have gotten lots of good counsrl and support.

    I see some positives in your story

    Your daughter pulled through the semester. She was heading off a cliff and she corrected her course. Good for her.

    She got herself to the 4 year college. This is huge.

    I am inferring she had just been home a couple of weeks. It seems that this is a situational trigger. Are there options for her? Staying with a relative for example? Is it too late to go be a camp counselor? Is there money for her to attend a simmer session somewhere?

    As far as feeling like she is pretending and not being happy, this in my experience goes with the territiry of late adolescence.i am not minimizing her depression. And certainly it is to be taken seriously.

    But she may be playing for your sympathy too. Knowing that you will respond as you are. This could be a little bit of a control issue.

    There are options to college. Like job corps. Or the military or technical school. In my own case I would offer these as examples of options.

    I very much agree with mum. The need to separate emotionally in the sense that we feel destroyed when they are vulnerable. I raise my hand to this. This has not helped my son.

    I guess I am saying it is not clear yet this is dire. And there is risk at both ends. Taking it too seriously, believing she has relapsed, when this is an adjustment isdue, has its risks, too. it may be so but not necessarily. But yes, depression can be chronic and recovering. That is true.

    Meanwhile welcome. Take care of you, too.
  8. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

    My son is bipolar and once layed on my basement floor for 3 days and refused to move. I kept offering him food and drinks and coddling him. I finally got angry and he got up and went to work. Not saying it will work that way i am not sure why it worked. Which is the point sometimes the things that snap them out of it are unexpected. He has had depressive bouts periodically but he won't consistently take medications and i have come to realize that as an adult that is his choice and it is my choice not to live with the consequences of his actions. He is not allowed at my home.
  9. Lostandconfused

    Lostandconfused New Member

    Thank you all for your replies and support. I realize that my relationship with my daughter is not a healthy one. When things were really bad and she was severely depressed and suicidal, she was very difficult to live with. She cut ties with all of her friends pushed my husband and her siblings away and tried to push me away. I was the only one who hung in there and kept pushing her. Even though the rest of my family loved her they lost patience with her. My husband was also dealing with his health issues so dealing with her fell completely on my shoulders. And somehow it feels like it’s still all on me. I am afraid to do the tough love thing because I worry what the consequences could be if she feels like the one person who has always had her back has given up on her. I am pretty much cried out for today, and it has helped to have all of you to vent to. You have given me some good advice, and I know that somehow I need to “untie” my emotional well being from hers. It’s just extremely difficult and scary. Thank you all for listening.
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  10. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    It is extremely hard to untie the umbilical cord. I have had a very hard time with my much older son.

    Let me be clear here:

    You are not giving up on her by staying strong. You are modeling strength so that she can grow up a strong emotionally independent young woman. .I was unable to do this as a young woman without conflict, and it is affecting me as a mother.

    Please don't be hard on yourself or accuse yourself. You have been through a lot. You have every right to be scared.

    I am not advocating tough love. What I suggest is that both of us, you and I, chill.

    We do not have the power we feel we do. Our suffering and anxiety does not help them. They help themselves.

    If you go about your business and focus on you, likely as not your daughter will go about her business too. She is watching you to see what you will do. She needs to be strong.

    You are strong. Look what you've been through. Single handedly you kept your family together and safe. You nursed and cared for them .You did it. Nobody else.