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How Do I Help My Depressed Mom?

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From Iran: I am very frustrated right now because my 57-year-old mom is very depressed, which by the way is not a new topic, yet it bothers me so much. She is always tired and sad. She is sad because her knee hurts and she is frightened to go for a surgery although she has so much trouble walking, nobody helps around the house, my grandma visits her everyday and drives her crazy, dad is so messy and unhelpful, and many other things that she calls me everyday to nag about.

I try to listen to her, but I am so fed up with her everyday drama that the only thing I can do is to nod along and feel guilty. I visit her 3 days a week and try to help around the house, but I can’t be around all the time, and she is so frightened to go for a surgery because who does all the household work she says. I am very helpless right now. I am a happy woman and I want to see my mom happy too, but I can’t take her outside for a change because of her knee, and no matter what I suggest, she does not want to see a therapist.

Is there any other way I can help? I really want to.

How Do I Help My Depressed Mom?

Answered by on -


You are doing everything you can to be helpful, but your mother isn’t accepting the help. That suggests to me that her fear of the surgery is bigger than her pain. She complains about your father and grandmother because it takes the focus off the real issue — her fear. If I’m right, it’s very possible that she would only find something else to complain about if your dad started cleaning and grandma didn’t come so often.

My best suggestion for you is that you make an appointment to take her to see a surgeon who can explain to her how modern surgery can help her. Yes, she will be in pain after surgery for a short time. But with good physical therapy she will be out of pain and back into life within weeks. Perhaps if she has the facts from a doctor, she will be reassured enough to get the operation.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

How Do I Help My Depressed Mom?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). How Do I Help My Depressed Mom?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 30, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 6 Apr 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.