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Topic: New here - need advice to support mum

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. Milly100
    Milly100 avatar
    1 posts
    24 February 2019

    My mum has anxiety and depression after an illness. She is on medication and sees a Psychologist once a week (medication for 5 weeks now). There is very little improvement and she phones me for support.

    I don’t know what to say when she calls. She says she is scared (doesn’t know of what) she’s been crying for hours and none of the suggestions by the Psych are working. This happens regularly. She has told her GP and has been told not to change/increase meds for at least another 2 weeks.

    I don’t know how to safely get her through the days.

    She phoned a well known help line and the suggestion was to smell the flowers outside - they were not helpful at all.

    Any suggestions are very welcome.

    Thansk

  2. Gelati
    Gelati avatar
    80 posts
    24 February 2019 in reply to Milly100

    Dear Milly,

    Gosh, that has got to be tough for you both. It’s so wonderful that you care so much for your mum that you have sought guidance from this forum. She’s a lucky lady to have you as her daughter :)

    I don’t have any advice to give but I wondered if the following sorts of things could help? Maybe you could ask your mum if she would like you to join her for one of her medical appointments? I don’t know about your other commitments, but might it be possible to stay at her house (or she at yours) one night a week for a little while, so you can spend some time together and , and maybe it will make her feel safe? Or you could have a mother / daughter brekky one day each week?

    You could take a jigsaw puzzle over one day/evening - I find distractions can be a good mental escape from revolving thoughts :)

    Could your mum entol in a painting or art therapy course? I did that for my mum a year ago when she was going through a tough time, and it worked wonders for her to be in a supportive group environment, meanwhile creating beautiful art!

    Best wishes.

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Skary Bill
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Skary Bill avatar
    145 posts
    24 February 2019 in reply to Milly100

    Hi Milly, good on you for reaching out for ideas.

    Some good ideas there from Gelati. I just wanted to add a suggestion specific to when you find yourself on the phone with mum. Just try to take her mind off things. Tell her about your day.. Tell her a story.. Pretty much anything to get her out of her own head and take her mind somewhere neutral or pleasant.

    The scared thing she's unable to pinpoint is really quite difficult to describe. But I'll tell you what I tell people as it may help you to understand a little. Picture you're standing too close to a very high edge. Your body screaming at you to step back to safety. The anxiety I experience is often like that fear of impending doom.. But there is no edge to step back from and the feeling doesn't go away.. After feeling that way for a while it really wears you down emotionally.. Hence the crying, etc..

    Truth is, almost anything could work... Even smelling the flowers outside. But when you're in the middle of it, you kinda panic and suggestions like that seem really annoying. Anyway, good on you for doing your best. When mum calls, just have a good chat.

    Bill.

    3 people found this helpful
  4. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    9072 posts
    24 February 2019 in reply to Milly100

    Dear Milly100~

    I'd like to join Gelati in welcoming you here, that reply contains some good advice.

    I've only a couple of things to add. The first is that you are doing more good than you realize. Of course you do not know what to say, nobody does.

    As an example a close family member lost their partner very early in life and rang me once or more every day from a remote location I could not go to. I would hear the phone ring and would feel so helpless. There was no 'fix-it' phrases or solutions.

    I'd listen, sympathize and try to steer the conversation towards happier thoughts, old times that had been enjoyable, pets, movies we has seen, anything. I stocked up on (not particularly PC) jokes and scattered them though the conversation. Eventually the call would end - until the next time.

    I've never felt more useless.

    Years later that person told me I'd made a huge difference, all the difference in the world.

    I'm not saying use anything I did, except maybe try to conjure up happy scenes from the past. Trying to use logic and persuasion did not work for me.

    You are doing more good than that 'well known help line' at the moment.

    Medications react differently on different people, this excessive fear may well be that this is simply a symptom of the meds getting up to speed, and having side effects on the way. I'm glad the doctor has been contacted and is aware of the situation.

    I remember how much pressure this was on me, and you will be under the same, so can I ask who is there to support you? You need it too. I had my partner, and it made life a lot easier. I'd also suggest seeing your own GP, partly for advice, partly to monitor your own health at this time.

    Please feel free to talk here anytime, let us know how you go

    Croix

    1 person found this helpful
  5. geoff
    Life Member
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    13352 posts
    25 February 2019 in reply to Milly100

    Hello Milly, and a warm welcome.

    It does become quite confusing when the two of you are struggling, but in different ways, your mum trying to overcome an illness and on top of this depression and anxiety, so the three of these are combined, unfortunately.

    Another concern is how you are going because all you want to do is help your mum but worried if and when you might receive the call and be prepared to listen to her and try to talk with her.

    What those above me have said are great suggestions and I know that it's not easy for yourself because you too are affected and knowing what to say isn't easy, you may feel awkward and unsure at
    first but ask her if she wants you to go to the appointments and if so then take for a coffee, look at the shops and try to get her mind off how she feels.

    What I'm also worried about is you and how you are standing up to this, and recommend you see your doctor.

    Best wishes.

    Geoff.

    1 person found this helpful

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