12 years later

auntneteJuly 3, 2007

My only child passed away in November of 1995. If anything my pain has gotten worse. I am now 50 and in failing health and do not want to do anything but be miserable. I have been 'dreamless' over the past years but the past 6 months or so I dream horrid dreams. Some about her and some not but most of them are dreadful. My husband has been wonderful and supportive of anything I want. I see a mental health professional once a month but his solution is more medication. Any thoughts here? Thank you.

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I lost a son 14 years ago November 1 so I have some small idea of how you feel.

I would keep trying everything, including changes to your medications to escape your depression. It can take a long time to get them just right so please keep trying.


    Bookmark   July 4, 2007 at 12:12AM
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    Bookmark   July 4, 2007 at 8:34PM
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Apologies in advance for my hyper-pragmatic response. I don't know what to say about your loss.

Trust your higher instincts. If you feel you're not getting what you really need from your doctor, look for what you need elsewhere. (Getting meds straight is important, but I sense that you're hoping for supplementary tools beyond the chemical help.) It sounds like your doctor's toolbox is limited to meds, but your needs are valid and not limited to his tools.

Does your area have groups for parents who've lost children? Even if you tried it twelve or ten years ago and it wasn't helpful, it might be worth looking into once more.

Another resource is a general ongoing therapy group. If well-facilitated, a solid group can bring more than one-on-one therapy.

Sorry this sounds so dry. I care ... but you're living my nightmare with courage I wouldn't have, so I feel bad even offering 'tips.'

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 2:17AM
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I would begin by finding another mental health professional, perhaps avoiding psychiatrists and seeking someone with life coaching and grief counseling experience.

I say this NOT to minimize your grief (I, too, have lost a child, and my grief will be a part of me always), but it sounds as though other factors might be involved in your depression as well. Failing health, for instance, is depressing in itself. But in your case is it a cause for depression, or caused by the depression? This sort of thing can become a downward spiral, difficult to break away from on your own.

I think possibly you and your counselor need to look at the full spectrum of factors affecting your mood, rather than limiting it to brain chemistry.

When you're feeling this bad, it takes all your energy just to get through the day, I know. But sometimes the best thing we can do is force ourselves to leave our comfort zone (which is not all that comfortable at this point, after all) and do something entirely different, something that has a chance of helping you feel better. It can be a scary proposition, but if we keep doing the same things over and over, we keep getting the same result.

I'm thinking some meaningful work, volunteer or otherwise, would help take you out of your own misery, especially if the work involved helping someone else alleviate theirs. It's often the best prescription for depression.

Good luck to you. Come back and let us know how you're doing.


    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 8:05AM
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I'm so sorry you lost your daughter.

veganhunter & alisande have given you excellent excellent advice.

The only thing I can add is my standard mantra:

oxygenate your blood;
get some exercise that gets your heart pumping.

It makes the synapses in the brain fire more efficiently, which helps the body overcome depression.

If you can't muster the strength to do it on your own, sign up for a class with a buddy;
sometimes obligating ourselves to do something makes us do it, & having someone who's looking for us to be there really does help.

Twelve years is way too long to still be in this kind of pain & to be fooling around trying different medications & giving them "time to work".

Your daughter would not want her mother's life to be wasted, frittered away in misery & unhappiness:
Maybe a new mental health practitioner can help you return yourself to the healthy woman your daughter knew.

holding you in my thoughts & in my heart, I'm sending you warm golden energy for strength & healing.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 9:00AM
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Apologies for butting in again, AuntNete. This question just came to me: do you feel in some way that having any enjoyment from life would dishonor your daughter? That moving on would make less of her life?

(Help with re-phrasing welcome.)

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 4:59PM
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