SD60 was here today doing some cleaning (her suggestion). As usual, I was polite, civil and non-committal. The backstory is that after a long mini-wife career, SD had to move in with us 5 years ago when she'd been booted out of her apartment and had no money. The 10 months she was here, our lives were a hell of watching her drug use, hearing her lies and watching my possessions disappear. She does have physical and mental problems that put her on disability. After 10 months, we moved her to quarters we subsidize. DH and I separated finances at that point. She's been her usual self these last years with her emotional outbursts and poor judgment.
She just called me crying. Says she just needs somebody to talk to, so depressed. Recitation of meds that don't work. Rehash of car crash 2 months ago, Worry about her daughter. Thinks she shouldn't be living alone. Is there someplace she could go where they'd make sure she ate and slept. I listened but said very little. Her psychiatrist appointment is tomorrow. I urged her to just get thru to tomorrow, tell the doctor about her wreck (and to me sounds like PTSD) and get a new referral to a therapist. Shes also having a recurrence of a physical problem, I suggested she call that doctor for treatment.
I'm trying to stay strong and stay out of it. Anybody else, I'd be doing daily follow up calls (I did this with my depressed sister for 15+ years) but I know SD60, 2 hours from now, she could be out shopping and happy and I'd still be here worrying. I'm definitely not following up on any hints about her moving back here. Aside from the fact that I dont like or trust her, I've got my mom98 in long-term and DH is 84, I have enough going on.
I know many of you have dealt with depression. If anybody has any suggestions, I'd be grateful. Thanks.
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You Gave Her The Correct Information
She needs to bring this up to her therapist/psychiatrist and possibly get her meds adjusted. DHs oldest son suffers claims he suffers with depression but won't do a damn thing about it. On our last visit 4 years ago, he was actually crying. I told him exactly what you told your SD. Seek professional help. It's to note he uses his depression to not work or be focused yet he sure knew how to make it to all the big club nights and parties. SMH
Sorry I seem a bit jaded. I went through a bout of depression myself a couple of years ago. It truly is horrible. It's like the weight of the world is pressing you down into the earth. I would never marganalize that for anyone. I just find it hard to balance mental illness with narcissitic behaving people, especially when the behaviors have seemed so planned.
Your SD reminds me of SD. She doesnt follow thru on the professional advice she gets. I would almost say she does the opposite, just to prove "they" are wrong. She wants to do what she's currently doing, optimally with some kind of magic drug that will make her feel great, attract friends, solve all her problems and improve her looks. I suggested talk therapy but, realistically, she's missing 2 requirements for success: ability to be truthful and willingness to change.
She needs professional help
You must or DH must tell her to get real help.
Other then that, disengage, as stay out of it. It will not end good
I agree, it won't end well. But, it's hard to watch the trainwreck. She has a psychiatrist and a platoon of doctors although they change frequently, whether her choice or their's.
Screen your calls and stop
Screen your calls and stop answering. She is not your responsibility.
Her opening question was whether I prefer she call my cell or landline. I thought, neither. Lol.
DH deals with anxiety and
DH deals with anxiety and depression. Meds need to be reevaluated and dosages changed over time, either because they don't work as well or because the aging body is changing. DH is in the throes of changing meds and dosages right now, and it is NOT fun. Some days he's a zombie and some days he's super sad, and some days he's "normal" DH. It's hard sometimes. Unless he gets to the point of being really out of it and incapable of making rational decisions, I tell him to call his psychiatrist. He HAS to be in charge of his own health care, and most days are fine.
All you can do is refer her to her psychiatrist, as you have. If she threatens self harm, then a call to the EMTs or crisis hot line.
I bet your DH wants to "fix it" for her. Well, he can't. And there's not even anything to throw money at. She needs help from professionals.
He's almost past wanting to fix it
He's done so much for her but it drives him crazy when she won't take his good advice. He's growing more exasperated. I heard him on the phone with her a few days ago saying he "didn't want that in his life". I'm guessing she was starting in about her anxiety and panic attacks. Then today when she wasn't taking his car advice, he said, "then don't call me when you're stranded". Its all hard to watch.
Sounds like a typical addict
Sounds like a typical addict manipulating other's to get something out of them.
You got it
Not many people take her calls so lets manipulate the ones who do.
You can't help her
But your a good person for listening to her. You did the right thing. Only other suggestion I can think of is look up a hotline for depression/suicide prevention and give her that number if (when) she calls like this again?
Also does she go to AA or NA? It sounds like she could use a program like that,and a sponsor to call.
I might mention the suicide hotline. I know people mistakenly believe that their family member would never do it but then it happens. In her case, I would see many dramatic alerts but no final action. As it is, she's probably driving her neighbors nuts with the screaming out and emergency knocks on their doors. But we had good luck when she was here with "Cut that out: and SGD had luck with "Stay in your room and quit scaring Grandma". We love drama.
That's A Great Suggestion
The Suicide / Crisis phones. They are not just for suicidal thoughts. I volunteered for several years, manning the crisis line for our local Rape Crisis & Sexual Response Center. I had to go through a rigorous training program and because I had one very special client acclimate to me, had additional training to deal with her extreme mental issues. (She had several favorite volunteers and somehow figured out our schedules and would only call us). Most of my calls were from women who just needed to talk to someone.
This may be beneficial for your SD, as the person she would speak to is a stranger and can empathize with her without judgement (as she won't know any details of SD's life). We were also trained to direct them to help and give them reasons they could NOT get around to get the help (at least where I volunteered....that was part of our training). The only issue is your SD's age. That's some serious time to be "stuck" in a behavior pattern....wonder if she can even break it after that long? Add in your DH's behaviors with her. Ugh.
You're a good person, JRI.
I will definitely make a note of that number and forward it next time. If some kind person would want to listen to SD"s troubles, that would be a blessing. I can tell you that all the family members are maxed out.