My mother went through a terrible depression in her early 40’s. I was there for her, supported her, the whole nine yards. She quit driving, I drove her around, and took her shopping. I have been diagnosed with Epilepsy, Severe Anxiety, and Depression. She’s almost insulted that she has to drive me around and do things for me. She didn’t even want to go to my disability hearing! I’m hurt, upset. She tells me: “I should be over that by now”. I have bulimia, I try to diet and she’ll say: “you should have lost 40 lbs. by now.” This is how my dad spoke to her, I told her more than once that when he was drunk, he had touched me. Three times I can remember. I cry over this, I’ve talked to her and she flat out does NOT want to talk about anything. I feel she chose to stay with my dad instead of protecting me. She’ll do anything for my son, and she does help me with money, but her attitude and demeanor toward me is awful sometimes, I don’t think she hears herself sometimes.

I was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2009, my ex-husband left me and my son had major shunt brain revision surgery. All within 6 months of each other. I started having seizures at work, eventually quit and had to move. My hair started falling out. I’m a self-harmer as well. I’m on some medication, but I don’t think it’s strong enough. I’m so anxious all the time. I feel like I’m still in 2009. I can cry at the drop of a dime, I’ll start crying and don’t even notice it. Thanks….there’s more, but that’s what I’m dealing with the most right now.

A: Thank you for writing in. I’m sorry life has been so difficult for you these last few years. It sounds like you are in a lot of pain. I’m sorry that it seems like your mom is unable to support you with your difficulties, even though you were there for her when she needed you. However, sometimes “broken” people can’t help other broken people. I mean no disrespect by saying this. I just want you to look elsewhere for support. You have some legitimate leftover anger from childhood when your mom was unable to protect you, which I’m sure just adds to you feeling let down now.

You are struggling with issues from childhood, health issues, your son’s illness, a recent divorce and your own mental health issues. You mention that you are on medication but didn’t mention whether or not you are seeing a therapist. With the amount of stuff on your plate, I really hope you will seek out some professional help. I would also suggest speaking with your doctor about some possible medication adjustments.

Additionally, you would benefit from developing a broad support system. Reach out to friends and other family members, try out some local or online support groups, and look into transportation services your city or county might offer to help those with disabilities. Bottom line: don’t look for support in places you haven’t received it in the past. Good luck with everything.

All the best,

Dr. Holly Counts