Parents in Denial

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 2/21/2006 3:46 PM (GMT -6)   

I just emailed my mom about how I think I have a serious problem and I need to go see someone about my recurring depression. This is the response I got from her:

Why dont you try doing some service, so that your head stops spinning
around your-self? There is a lot of need in this world today for people as
talented and brilliant as you to go out and give your contribution for a
necessary change. You are here for a reason, we all go through what you are
feeling right now. Do you want to get out of it?

While I know she means well, my whole life she has given me some variation of this answer whenever I told her about my major depressions. I'm starting to realize that she's probably in denial. She thinks it's as simple as changing my mindset. Well, guess what? I wish I could do that and I don't WANT to have a depression problem...why would I keep bringing this up after all these years if it wasn't a big deal? Part of it is that I do have "good periods" in my life where it seems that I'm making great progress but I always somehow return to this depressed state. It almost feels like the "progress" that I make is all a waste since it always brings me back to the same exact place.

Do any of you ever feel guilty for being so obsessed with your own problem when there are so many other problems in the world? Like this depression cloud is a self-indulgent act to somehow keep us in this miserable state we've become so comfortable in?? I for one, have tried being of service to others, but come to find that if I'm not happy with myself, I am not doing much good for anyone else in the process. And it makes me feel worse that in my attempt to help others, I'm only bringing them down. SO I've accepted being selfish for awhile to find help but sometimes feel I am wallowing in self pitty, which feels terrible but somehow numbingly reassuring because I don't really have to be part of anything other than myself.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 200
   Posted 2/21/2006 3:58 PM (GMT -6)   
sounds familiar wife gets the same response from her family ...they are a close family but we keep our distance now and see them on holidays only as tyhey would do the same thing your mom did to you and would usually drive her further into depression .

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 2/22/2006 10:24 AM (GMT -6)   

One of the things everyone of us does is attempt to seek approval from our parents.  It doesn't matter if it is at childhood or adulthood.  Some of us are able to break the cycle and say "oh well I will never be able to live up to their standards"  but for most of us we continue to try to communicate our feelings and thoughts. 

Yellow - It sounds as if your mother does not understand what you are trying to say to her.  Or maybe she just doesn't understand Depression.  Counseling is an excellent idea but you should still be able to talk to your mother about it also.  Maybe instead of trying to e-mail of how you are feeling why don't you wait until you can sit down with her one on one and talk to her about your feelings so you can clearly make her understand what you are going through and explain to her how her comments make you feel.  Hopefully this will open up a better line of communication for you both. 

Please let us know how it goes.  My thoughts are with you.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 1372
   Posted 2/22/2006 2:23 PM (GMT -6)   
I am 43 and have given up on my mother understanding me or depression or crohn's disease.  It is too hard to have it all go in one ear and out the other so I just quit telling her.  When she asks me how I am I tell her fine and leave it at that.  Luckily I have a great friend whom I can talk to instead.  Discussing this problem with a counselor might be a good idea for you.  Some people just do not understand depression no matter what you say.

Sandy C.
Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 129
   Posted 2/22/2006 11:34 PM (GMT -6)   
My mom is the same way. Almost verbatum what you posted is what my mom says. Today I told her today that I am getting really depressed and I am having trouble coping with my life. Then the conversation ended for me when she compared her taking pills for hypertension is just as bad as me taking daily (extremely painful most days) injections daily for my multiple sclerosis, and she copes just fine! Imagine that! Not to nit pick here but I also have hypertension and she doesnt' have MS.

I struggle for my mom's approval and support, but it's not there. I know she loves me, but she has her own struggles in life and doesn't want to see me "sick." In fact, it does seem like when I finally have a line of communication with my mother she get physically ill in some form. Which makes it harder to talk to her.

Our mothers care, but they don't want to hurt either. If they don't have the coping mechanisms to deal with our problems then it will be hard for them to "be there" for us. Is it ok to feel selfish and think that they should help us cope? I dunno. Maybe. Sometimes I just want my mom to rub my forhead like when I was little and tell me everything is gonna be ok and for me to sit back and trust her.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 2/23/2006 9:14 AM (GMT -6)   
My mom and I went through a lot of the similar stuff as you all have described.  My mom is a nurse and has heart problems (she has to have four heart valves replaced) probably sometime in the next 2 or 3 years.  I also have MS and just was diagnosed with Multiple system atrophy and received a pacemaker this past September.  My mom although supportive she often compares herself to me and it makes me feel as if she minimizes what I go through on a daily basis to what she goes through.  It is frustrating and infuriating.  Finally after much thought and consideration on my part I spoke with her about it and told her that our situations are nothing alike.  How can she compare and know what I go through and how I feel?  I don't know if she gets it or not but I figure why stress myself over it she isn't going to change.  I have resolved myself to agree to disagree with her on it.  Since then there has been no more conflict. 


Texas Aggie
Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 80
   Posted 2/24/2006 9:47 PM (GMT -6)   
My mom and I have had troubles too.  I have chronic pain due to a bad back (5 surgeries etc.) and this is when my depression and anxiety kicked into overdrive.  She was visiting and I was so anxious I couldn't leave the house and she was mad that I didn't take her to the airport. She had no idea what a mess I was - almost suicidal.  She understands better now, but it took some time.  In the mean time, I started taking Effexor - which helps both anxiety and depression and I got counseling - both of which saved me.  Now she constantly complains about her aches and pains to me - while I am in too much pain to do life's normal activities - like going to the mall - which she has no problem doing. She says she shouldn't complain to me and the next sentence it starts again. It makes me want to scream. I love my mother a lot- and I am not going to change her - so I have been working with my therapist on how to deal with this on my side.

Lumbar post laminectomy syndrome, radiculopathy, spinal stenosis, disc degeneration, otesoporosis, spinal cord stimulator. No accidents - just inherited a bad back.
Meds: Effexor, Gabitril, Hydrocodone, Percocet, Ativan, Flexiril (not all at the same time) :)

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Friday, September 21, 2018 10:48 AM (GMT -6)
There are a total of 3,005,431 posts in 329,226 threads.
View Active Threads

Who's Online
This forum has 161774 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, Lexi_40.
299 Guest(s), 14 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
hrwin, Mind body spirit, logoslidat, BookWyrm, mattamx, Kent M., Serenity Now, 3timechamp, Anitas, BillyBob@388, Yellow19, Tudpock18, three 5's and a jack, MK1965