how can I cheer up my depressed mom?
July 25, 2008 6:36 PM Subscribe
How can I help my mother deal with anxiety and depression after going through cancer?
posted by osloheart to Human Relations (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
About six months ago, my mom finished treatment for breast cancer. She had to have a mastectomy and it was a long scary process, but now she is a survivor. For the first couple of months after chemo she was eating all organic foods and taking extremely good care of her health, and she seemed to have a new outlook on life. I was so happy to see her never getting upset about minor things anymore and to see her exercising, socialising, etc. Everyone was so happy, my dad was promising that they would take the vacations they kept putting off. It was like a whole new beginning.
And then it sort of went downhill. Mom has had steadily increasing pain throughout her body, which finally after three months of tests they may have diagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis. It has gotten worse and worse and the stupid doctors just keep throwing more pills at her. Most of them make her drowsy, dizzy or sick, so she stops them, and we are all now very worried about the amount of prescription pain med she takes, but without those she can barely walk because of the pain. Lately she has been having severe hot flashes too. So Ive walked in on her crying in her room a couple of times. She sleeps most of the afternoons and she eats fast food and ice cream. She is also very sensitive to little things, she is often worried and anxious and has crazy mood swings. We were in the store the other day and she burst out with this desperate look on her face "We dont have enough money for this!" and I was surprised and embarrased, she never does things like that. She is often on the verge of tears over things, and I just dont know how to react.
I think she feels sort of defeated. She watched her mother's cancer come back three times and finally took her life, and I think she is scared. And I think she feels like it doesnt matter now if she eats healthy or exercises so she may as well get comfort from food or whatever... Im not really sure what shes thinking. All I know is that she is really bummed and to top it off her and dad are fighting about money and not planning their holidays anymore.
Im moving away for college in a few weeks (a few hours away). I am so worried about leaving her here, she is so depressed all the time.
What can I do??? Is there a great book I can buy her for her birthday next week that would inspire her? (She isnt much of a reader, though, and she might get offended and depressed again if I give her a self-help book for her birthday). What else can I do that would help?
Any ideas are appreciated. Im really overwhelmed and sad. I want to help her, but I dont know how.
Thanks a bunch :)