More threads by Eunoia


i don't know what to do. My sister is so depressed... she's completely lethargic and cries so much. When you look at her she just stares off into space. And I am so afraid for her. I don't understand why she can't see how much she has going for herself... I mean I know she can't help it, and I know she just wants to "live a normal life"... I know she wants to do that so badly but it seems after all these years it never goes away... and one day it creeps back up on you and there is so pathetically little you can do about it. my mom then goes into her mode where she will be around her 24/7 (but is falling apart behind her back b/c she's so helpless as well and so I have to deal w/ that too) and I try my best to talk to her, to be there for her, and to understand... I try to cheer her up, I just sit there w/ her in silence... I try to distract her... I talk w/ her... and still it feels like nothing is helping. You don't understand how it feels like to see her that miserable and to be completely helpless about it. It feels like someone is ripping my heart out. B/c I know she wants to die and she just wants to be happy at the same time and she doesn't even know herself what's going on. I don't want her to give up, and it seems so "easy" for me to go to school and work and go out and it's difficult to understand how others can't do this.. but that's the thing... I can only do so much. I don't know what else to do. It seems like the entire family shifts to one person and everyone is exhausted and agitated and so unhappy and I just don't know what to do about this anymore...

Daniel E.

Is your sister seeing a psychiatrist now and/or taking meds? Even with drug-resistant forms of mental disorder, the meds can help in subtle ways. If I had your sister's lethargy and had already tried most antidepressants, I would ask my psychiatrist about a drug for wakefulness like Provigil, which is sometimes given to depressed patients with fatigue who do not respond well to antidepressants. However, since your sister has a history of bipolar disorder (which you mention in a previous post), stimulating effects from a drug like Provigil could lead to mania. My point is simply that there are different types of meds that your sister has probably not tried yet which could be helpful even if SSRIs and other drugs have not shown a major effect.

If your sister is currently taking meds, I would obviously ensure the meds were not contributing to the fatigue as a side effect. Antimanic drugs like Seroquel and the antidepressant Remeron come to mind as sedating.

It seems like the entire family shifts to one person and everyone is exhausted and agitated and so unhappy and I just don't know what to do about this anymore...

There are self-help books and web sites for relatives and caregivers of depressed patients. One such web site is: is for sale | HugeDomains (by the author of How You Can Survive when They're Depressed)



IN THIS SITUATION I BELIEVE YOUR SISTER IS IN DESPERATE NEED OF TEMPORARY HOSPITALIZATION. Of course I am no doctor and I seldom even think that hospitalization is even a good answer. I don't always agree that tons of psych meds are a good thing. BUT your sister is probably suicidal, she is obviously beyond your families help at this point and you will get exhausted and burned out trying to help some one who can't even help themselves at this point.

IF she were posting at the board, that mean that she had the energy to at least reach out, but since it is you, her sister, I think you ought to try to find some emergency medical care for her before it is too late.

I have felt that hopeless before, but I have an uncanny ability to eventually pull myself back up. When others can't YOU have to step in and do the right thing. I am very worried about your sister and will make an exception to say that she probably at least needs to be dragged to a family practice doctor if you can't get her to go to mental health or the hospital. If a family practice doctor can get her on something (and yes at one time PROZAC saved my life), something that will work just enough to help her realize that she truly needs help, that would be a start.

IF you could drag her out of bed each morning for a 1/2 mile walk.... after about a week she might improve a little. That excersize and individual communication time would be good for both of you. However it sounds like you may not be able to even get her out of bed. I can't stress that a daily walk is good for the MIND as well as the body.

She wants a normal life... can you order college material, housing applications, sign her up for a 'pottery class'? Anything that will get her out of the house or give her hope for the future?

I don't know how old she is so I can't judge just what might be good ideas to share.

Please keep me (or us) updated this truly sounds like a desperate situation to me.

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