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braveheart

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hi.

I wasn't sure where to post this...but here seemed as good a place as any...

My news is that I at last managed to tell my parents about my illness. It happened naturally, as it were, when I was 'freaking out' around crowds the last day I spent with them, mum asked me if I was alright..I said no, and that I haven't been for some time, and that I've been on anti-depressants a couple of years...and cried in her arms and had a hug...in the middle of a bookshop...

Although I am 36, I have been keeping my illness a secret from them, scared of worrying them -- when I was 17, my mum developed trigeminal neuralgia because she was worried about me - and told me that.. and with her having had a stroke in June... well...

But it was ok, they were very accepting, even admitting to suffering from anxiety and panic themselves... [but when I talk to them on the phone I find myself disappointed and craving to be able to talk about things and have all the support and loving I didn't get growing up... ]

I am looking for some good info for parents of adult children with depression....links/ideas of reading material welcome...please...My GP recommended from Mind, but its not quite what I'm looking for.

I also several weeks ago had a review at work of my transfer back in May to the back office, it went really well, and I am starting a couple of afternoons working back in the public libraries.

I still suffer from dissociation and tend towards anorexic thinking... and anxiety...but, after it peaking during a stressful time in the Autumn, and my landing in A and E with a very severe panic attack, and so dizzy I couldn't stand up... (and the doctor I saw was really nice, and took me seriously...) it has stabilised, and I am more able to contain it....
 

Halo

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Braveheart,

I just wanted to say that it took real courage to tell your parents about your illness. I know that I was in your same situation a few years back where I also didn't want my parents to worry about me so I shut them out of that portion of my life. I can relate to how freeing it is to finally have it out on the table and not feeling like we are keeping a secret anymore and trying to hide.

Again, it took real courage on your part and I am proud of you :goodjob:

Take care
:hug:
 

ThatLady

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Speaking as a parent of grown children, I can say that parents want to be informed. They love you and want to be of help. They may not always know the right thing to do or say, but they do want to know and to be a part of your life - the good parts and the bad parts. That's what being a parent is all about, as I see it. :)
 

braveheart

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Thank you.

I guess I ought to add that I don't live with my parents any more. (I'm 36) and only see them once every few months or so.
But it is still important to me that they understand me.

However I don't suppose I'll ever get them to understand dissociation....

But telling them about the depression at least, is really important still...my mum's 70 (and she had a stroke in June, and was in hospital for a month...) and my dad's 67.

Its amazing to me how accepting they are, given the way they didn't respect or know how to handle the early signs of my illness/es when I was a child and teen. I think my mum's recent illness, and their friendship with parents of very premature twins (I was 2 months premature myself, and my mum had anxiety and very likely PPD after I was born.)has mellowed them some. Its not the same as it was 'back then' in my family, and its good to keep getting affirmation/confirmation of that.
 

sister-ray

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Braveheart,

you did really well to tell your parents about your illness, its one of the hardest things to do to tell friends and family about the illnesses we have.
 

braveheart

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Thank you...it wasn't hard at all...amazingly....because it happened so naturally... it was a big deal for the parts of my personality that kept everything hidden and a secret though..
 

braveheart

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thank you :)

I have gathered some info, and will be sending it to my parents when the post gets more back to normal.

The thing is...I mentioned to my parents that I would be sending them some information, and mum didn't seem too happy/excited/"I really want to help my daughter" mode. That aches. I wish I knew how to do it properly. But then I kept it secret for years, and now I guess they feel betrayed, in a way...but I showed them I can manage on my own (with the right professional support) and that is good, as I had to train my parents out of clinginess, and set clear boundaries. That was some tough therapy, I can tell you.... and now I am continuing to build a relationship with them.... and it still seems to be hard.

Maybe they feel I am criticising them in some way. - " we need info sheets to tell us how to communicate with our depressed daughter" not criticising...being clear and direct..maybe...

Perspective welcome...Thanks..

K.
 

foghlaim

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Maybe your parents could, maybe, need to decide for themselves if They want the info. for instance, maybe let them know you have the info, and if they have any questions etc, they can either ask you.. and \ or ask for the info related to that particular question\s. That way they find out things at their own pace rather than having it thrust upon them.
Maybe they need time to digest the information you have already given them about your illness in the 1st place.?? as well as any issues they have surrounding they Why you didn't tell them sooner. (i'm not asking this )
Too much too soon might be a tad overwhelming for them.??

just my thoughts.. (from a parents perspective)
 

Halo

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Braveheart,

I think that Fog hit on a good point. I know for myself that after opening up to my parents again after shutting them out of my life for almost 10 years concerning my mental health was very overwhelming for them. They were completely unaware of what had and was going on with me and it took them a while for it all to sink in and register that their daughter was not "fine" as I had been telling them for years. It took them a while but they slowly started asking me a few questions and I answered them honestly and to the best of my personal knowledge. Even today they will still surprise me and come up with a question out of the blue and it will shock me but again I try to answer what I can and explain what I am going through.

Anyway, so what I am trying to get at is try not to be upset with your mother's reaction just yet as she is probably still trying to adjust to the "new" information which is old news to you but so new and foreign to her. Let her have her time to process what she needs to and in time I am sure that she will come to you with the questions/information that she needs to know. As Fog also said, you can let her know that you are open and willing to talk/answer questions/provide information when she is ready.

I still admire your courage for being open and honest with them as I know how hard it was :goodjob:

Take care
:hug:
 

braveheart

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Thank you both.

It was hard to hear what you had to say, which is why I've taken a while to come back and respond.

I have discussed this with my GP and therapist now, and feel more able to accept things. I've sent my parents a card asking what would help them. I'll let you know how they respond.

K.
 

Halo

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Braveheart,

I know that it was probably hard to hear that it may take your parents some time to be as open and accepting as you are. One thing to remember is that we have had a lot more time to become accustom to talking and understanding depression then our parents.

I am so glad that you spoke to your gp and your therapist and that you sent a card asking your parents what would help them. That is so great. I am very proud of you :goodjob:

I look forward to hearing how they repsond and will await an update.

Take care
:hug:
 

Misha

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Braveheart,
My parents have had a hard time accepting my illness, and it's been an interesting journey, so I understand your worries there. I think you made a wise choice writing a card and asking them what they need from you. I hope that it works out well for all of you. Keep us updated how things go, because it's so important to not let these worries consume you. Your job #1 is taking care of yourself. Hope to hear soon!
 

braveheart

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My parents have received the card. Mum left me a message to say thank you for the card, and that they appreciate it, and will make room for it.
She said nothing about the contents of the card.
Not even "we'll think about it and let you know"
:(

Thank you Nancy and Misha.
 

Halo

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Braveheart,

Try not to be too upset that she didn't comment on the contents of the card. She did call to let you know that she recieved it and to say thank you and maybe, just maybe that is about all she can handle right now. Remember, this is all new territory for her and it will take a while for her to wrap her head around. I am sure that she will come to you when she is ready to learn more....as long as you remain open to receiving her. That is what happned with me.

I think you did a really good job here and I am proud of you :goodjob: Keep us posted.

Take care
:hug:
 

Misha

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If that were my mom she wouldn't say anything either. But maybe it's for the same reason that you didn't phone her to talk about this. Maybe she needs to think for a while, as you did, and then will write back. Don't discredit that possibility. The fact that she responded at all shows that she is not ignoring it completely... so hang in there. I know it is hard to be patient with others when we feel they should be patient with us, but this is probably a struggle for her too.
 

ThatLady

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There's always the generation gap to think of, as well. A lot of people just haven't been exposed that much to mental illness, either by their own choice, or because they didn't know enough to look into it - to research. Therefore, it's an unknown to them and people are always a bit afraid of the unknown. They're not sure they want to know.

Give them a bit of time. Share things slowly, over time. Let them mull over the new information you provide. Perhaps they'll come around. Perhaps they won't. It will be awhile before you know whether or not they're going to be able to open themselves up to new ideas that are often sorta scary when you haven't considered them before.

I wish you luck, hon. I hope they do develop some interest and curiosity, and begin to make an effort to become better informed - not only for your sake, but for their own. :hug:
 

braveheart

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Thank you.

I think they're a bit scared. ["how can I find info on depression that doesn't include suicidal thoughts..."]

Since I posted here earlier, I had a message from mum--- "I can't remember what you said you were going to send."

I texted her to tell her.

Then she responded.. "Its up to you, whether you think it'll be helpful for us. You know us![the last said in jokey type tones]"

*huge sigh*
 

Halo

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Braveheart,

I know all too well the joking type tone as I can just hear that same tone coming from my mother too. I often hear it from her when she is experiencing fear but doesn't want to show it. Like she wants the information but is afraid to ask for it and is generally just afraid and scared. That is the way that I would interpret the joking tone as I do with my mom most of the time.

I would definitely go ahead and send her whatever information you have or feel the need to send her. Was this part of your post a request for help to find information?

["how can I find info on depression that doesn't include suicidal thoughts..."]

If it was then I will definitely see what I can find.

Take care
:hug:
 

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