On another subject entirely…

Nothing to do with Asherman’s in this post, and it’s not going to be cheerful. Sorry about that.

My dad is depressed. This is nothing new in itself, he has been depressed before, has never been treated for it, and so it has festered on over the years. He’s always been an anxious type of personality; this is just him, and something he has passed on to me, though I have learnt to cope with it.

About five years ago, he was very depressed. It seemed to be triggered by the stress of moving his practice to new premises. He was tearful, angry, sad, guilty and very anxious. He wasn’t sleeping, wasn’t eating, and lost massive amounts of weight. My mum thought that he was “so awful to live with” that she was considering divorcing him. I eventually managed to get him to go to the doctor, who gave him a leaflet. All that pushing, to get him to go, and he was given a leaflet. he didn’t go back.

After the stress of moving the business eased, he slowly started to improve. He took up cycling, and various other things, put on a little bit of weight, and got better. He was never back to his old self, but he was functioning. He’s always been prone to “self-punishing” thoughts, and “awfulising” (this is the most awful thing that could happen etc).

Recently, he and my mother moved house. It has been like history has repeated itself. He doesn’t sleep, he has lost weight, he cries, he says that moving is the worst thing he has done. He has just phoned me and cried down the phone.

I had spent ages on the phone with my mother yesterday, trying to explain (using my own experience as an example) how he is probably feeling and thinking, and explaining to her that he cannot “lighten up” on his own. He needs help. She wanted me to speak to him, so I arranged to go up on Monday to talk to him, to try to get him to go to the GP, to try to get him to ask for help. I found him a counsellor nearby and gave the contact details to my mother. I ordered a book for him which helped me enormously in the past, and explained to me why I was thinking and feeling the way I was.

And then he phones me, and to hear my father crying, a 60 year old man, who has worked so hard in his life, and has so much more to enjoy, and to be proud of, who (despite his depressive thoughts) has moved to a house in a beautiful location. I am aching for him. I cried too, when I hung up the phone. I so do not want my father to be feeling like this. I do not want anybody to feel like this. I feel so powerless.

Thankfully, I think that he is ready to admit that he needs help and to ask for it. I know that this is the most scary part, that involves the most bravery, that from here the recovery is easier, once he is put on the appropriate drugs, and has counselling. He doesn’t seem appalled by the idea of counselling, he even asked me to make him an appointment. I offered to go to the GPs with him, and he accepted.

I’m also dreading going up there. I know that it’s going to be emotionally exhausting and difficult. I feel somewhat annoyed that I’m the one who has to do it, when my sister is of the opinion that “he won’t admit he needs help so I’m not going to bother.” But I know that he needs somebody, and that it is down to me.

I don’t know that pink sparkly cupcakes are going to sort this one out…

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4 responses to “On another subject entirely…

  1. Oh, sweetie. So sorry. On top of the whole ‘it’s exhaustingly painful to deal with a depressed loved one,’ thing, it’s EXTRA foul when it’s a parent. The role reversal shorts out a whole section of coping circuits, I think. Courage, mon brave. Time for a cup-cake the size of your head.

  2. Poor you. Poor Dad.

    It sounds like you are doing exactly the right thing for him though. And cup cakes might not sort it, but they can’t do any harm.

  3. Ohhhh, lovey. So much I would like to say and not enough anonymity to say it in. We needs a coffee one day soon!

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