OT- Depression- How do you help someone who has it?
I have suffered from depression. I know how it can make you feel. However I have been lucky enough to help myself out of it. Working out was great for me. I don't care what anyone else says, it helped me. I understand I probably had a mild case of depression. I also was on Xanax during the height of skid drama for anxiety, stress, etc. When I do feel myself being depressed I try to refocus myself, not drink (alcohol as a depressant) and try to help myself through it.
So my mom has been on meds for depression. She often has to go back to get them adjusted. Her excuse for things is she is depressed and needs meds. That's her end game. She's depressed, needs meds. Not interested in anything else but the meds.
She goes through these waves where she is "fine" and then she is bad again. She doesn't want to leave the house, doesn't want to really do anything, etc.
A lot of her depression was brought on by working nights and then having to put my grandma in a nursing home, family issues with that and then my grandma passing away. (So all of this starting about 6 years ago).
She was living in hometown (my sister and I 2 1/2 hours away) and noticed change in her over time. She just wasn't excited about anything. Wasn't really keeping her house clean, etc. Just kind of blah, going with the flow.
She then decided to take early retirement, move to where my sister and I live. So initially she was doing better because she was excited about the move,being close to family, etc.
Fast forward (she's been here about year and half) and she is back in the same routine. Won't really leave the house, everything seems like a chore, isn't really keeping the house clean. She works (to keep herself busy) a couple of days a week so that does help.
When things don't go her way she gets bummed about it right away. She goes 0-60. Example- she was cleaning houses for 2 people and then she broke her toe/top foot so she couldn't clean. So she was just at home. Well she started drinking more (I'll talk about that more later) and then she never followed up with the people she was cleaning for and they never heard from her so they got someone new to clean for her. Well then she was all depressed about it. I explained it to her, well you needed to keep them informed of what was going on with you and your progress with your toe/foot.
She's had some issues with her insurance so that has been her most recent source of stress, anxiety and depression. She has paid out of pocket for her meds so she is at least doing that.
She drinks a lot. She enjoys just sitting at home, drinking and listening to music, watching tv, etc. Before she moved here, her drinking was becoming an issue. We were hoping it would slow down when she moved here and it did but now it's picking back up.
She uses drinking for an excuse- stressed? drink! headache? drink! need to get an appetite? drink!
She also drunk texts me and my sister and adult niece. Nothing bad but it just gets annoying. And she drinks earlier in the day. Or sometimes she will skip an invite to come over to my house because she would prefer to just sit at her house and drink.
She's not like an out of control alcoholic (just annoying and she gets on her high horse when she is really drinking), she goes to work, she doesn't drink and drive. She basically just sits at home and drinks and thinks.
I tried to explain to her that alcohol is not helping her depression. It's a cycle. Drink to feel better, feel better then the next day the depressant effects of alcohol kick in and then she starts drinking again to feel better. I don't think she realizes that she is using the alcohol (beer or wine) to cope.
I know the cure to depression is more then just "be happy" but I really feel like she needs to help herself to get better. Not just say "I'm depressed and get pills so it is what it is."
She also smokes a ton when she drinks and she doesn't really eat. She's a little thing probably weighs 100lbs.
We try to offer options to keep her busy and mind occupied. Sometimes she takes us up on that offer and sometimes she doesn't. I also try to encourage her to have her own life. She is only 60 years old. She's too young for me to be worrying about her health and having to help her with stuff.
My mom was always a super strong woman. She's no wall flower and I've never thought her to be weak. But the depression does make her "weak" in that she doesn't want to do anything for herself and she's just happy to sit in her apartment and drink and smoke.
Guess I'm kind of getting it all out but if anyone has any suggestions, HELPFUL advice or thoughts I'd appreciate it.