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My Mom Is Depressed and I Don’t Know How to Help Her

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Hi there,I have a strong feeling that my mom is very depressed. I know she is holding a lot of emotions (negative ones) inside of her.

My mom has been through a lot throughout her life. She went through a nasty divorce when I was a child. She has been hurt a lot by her blood family. Right now, things are horrible with her current husband as they are CONSTANTLY yelling and fighting, saying mean things to each other, getting upset with each other easily, putting each other down when frustrated etc. ( divorce is not an option for either of them right now). Things with her kids (3 younger kids apart from me ages 14, 12, and 10) are very stressful because they all are too much to handle sometimes even for myself, they don’t listen, no respect at all, keep forgetting instructions, fighting with each other all the time etc. Things with money, debt, and expenses are really tight and difficult to manage. She works as a cleaner as a police department, and the employers there treat their employees like dirt. Also we were robbed a few days ago, so the loss of expensive things and insurance paperwork is really stressful too. She also has an obsession with what other people mainly family members and others of the same ethnicity will think about her. These are the main issues that I can think of that she has complained and been stressed out over.

As her first child, she tends to confide in me very very often. I am studying to be a social worker so I suppose I have some counselling skills, not much though as I am not completely qualified. I feel nervous about using the skills I’ve learned in school in fear of making things worse for her emotionally because of my inexperience.

However, I have suggested that she go find somebody to speak to professionally. The problem is she cannot afford an effective psychologist/counsellor. The prices for psychologists are ridiculously expensive. It almost seems as if it’s only for rich people.Sigh.

Tonight my mom said something to me that really really worried me. As we were having dinner, all of a sudden she got really teary eyed and said in Tamil ” I don’t know what it is but I dislike going to work, I dislike coming home, I dislike everything. The only thing that seems appealing right now is to die.” This scared me because my mom has had a history of suicide attempts as a younger woman, so she does have the potential to do something. To be honest the only thing holding her back is the fact that her kids are still kids. I am really worried and scared. I want to help her but there is only so much I can do.

I don’t want to lose my mom. What do I do?

Thank you. (From Canada)

My Mom Is Depressed and I Don’t Know How to Help Her

Answered by on -


I admire how much you want to help your mom. It sounds like your mother is willing to get psychological services. Many regions in Canada have counseling at low or no cost and this one near you may be able to help — or point you in the direction of a facility that can.

Her needs are too great for you to manage alone. I’d begin the search for a nearby facility that has a sliding scale, rather than a private therapist. This way your mom may be able to get the help she needs.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. DanProof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral


My Mom Is Depressed and I Don’t Know How to Help Her

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). My Mom Is Depressed and I Don’t Know How to Help Her. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 27 Oct 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.