Mother Makes Me Depressed

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

My mom seems like a very miserable person and I believe that she takes all her rage out on me not physically, but emotionally she says hurtful comments like calling me heavy and I have too much acne so I should cover my face with a bag and never see anyone until it\’s healed. Our fights always end up with me crying and her telling me to do something about it. About what? About my acne? I try to cure it and my weight? I\’m 5\’8 and weigh 134 lbs. I don\’t believe I\’m that heavy. To me this isn\’t healthy,

I live with my mother and at least every once a week maybe twice we argue and I always end up crying and feeling depressed. My father dosen\’t live with my mom because, they argue all the time too. He can\’t stand the fighting either, I don\’t know what to do. I feel like if this continues between her and I, I\’m going to end up in a deep depression, misery after all you know the saying, \”misery loves company.\”

A: Your mother does sound like she’s miserable. She doesn’t like herself very much so she gives you a hard time. As one of my teachers always says, “When someone points a finger at you, she is pointing three fingers at herself!”

Your part in this is that you continue to try to win an argument that isn’t rational to begin with. You are not overweight. You are working on your skin. Your father confirms for you that it is impossible to get your mother to see reason. So why are you fighting with her? Give it up.

The next time your mother criticizes you, simply say something like, “Thank you for your concern” and go about your business. If she tries to fight with you, just tell her you aren’t interested in fighting and change the subject. If she persists, tell her that you simply disagree and that if she keeps it up, you’ll leave until she cools off. Then do it. When you get back, tell her that you’d much rather have fun with her than fight but if she can’t do that you will leave whenever she can’t control herself. Say all this in as loving a way as possible. Do not be sarcastic, angry, or scornful. Just be matter-of-fact and loving.

One of my other teachers used to say that the best way to handle irrational anger is to take our sail out of the person’s wind. Once your “sail” is down, all her huffing and puffing has nowhere to go.

If her comments don’t pay off, your mother may quit. If she doesn’t at least you will be taking yourself out of a painful situation.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 23 Jul 2013

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2013). Mother Makes Me Depressed. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/07/23/my-mother-makes-me-feel-depressed/