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Can someone be trained and raised to be depressed by a parent?

By Anonymous October 20, 2015 - 6:27am
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depressed woman

I ask this because my mother and father divorced at a very early age. But to get back at him, she led us to believe all of these awful things about him. That's not the only thing she never taught me how to budget as a kid or take care of finances . It was always about her, my money went straight into her bank account and me being a good daughter I never once did anything about it. She lived threw me, bought me clothes she thought I should wear and trust me her style is not mine. Now that I am older I fight back but she still tries to use my kids against me and my family all think I am the worst daughter in the world for treating her like I do. but I get majorly depressed and try not to show it because then I know she has power over me and I am trying not to give her that anymore. Even my kids recognize now how much my mother hurts me and they are only 7yr. old and 5 yrs. old . how do I get over this depression when we live in the same house?

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Hello! I am a Board Certified Psychiatrist.

The raising of a child involves many developmental challenges and if they are not handled in a sensitive, caring manner, children do become unhappy. As they grow up their unhappiness may turn into depression.

A good book to read is "Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents" by Lindsay C Gibson. It is written in plain language and can be very helpful.

If I were you I would see a psychiatrist, not simply your general practitioner. A psychiatrist goes to medical school, earns an MD and has four years of supervised training in the treatment of psychological problems. An internist goes to medical school during which all students work with psychiatric problems for six weeks. Then they do four years of training in everything else but psychiatry.

A psychiatrist will help you figure out if you are depressed, have an illness called "Major Depression," have anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or one of the many disorders that result from less than ideal parenting.

Then the psychiatrist can help you decide if you'd like medicine to be part of your treatment plan.
S/he will suggest a therapist/counselor.
A counselor, such as a social worker or psychologist will be necessary and important in your recovery. Take time to get a referral to an effective one. If you don't feel comfortable talking to your counselor/therapist or you feel you are not getting better, do not hesitate to seek another opinion. This is also true of the psychiatrist.

I hope this was helpful, and that you can get away from your mother and live a happy, fulfilling life.

May 26, 2017 - 5:31pm
EmpowHER Guest

Mothers (or fathers) like the one described are why their children used to "move to California; the palm trees are wonderful." The move had nothing to do with the weather, but with a fresh start that excluded a dysfunctional, abusive or otherwise debilitating parent.

May 25, 2017 - 2:21pm

Hello Anonymous,

Welcome to EmpowHER and thank you for reaching out to our community with your issues with your mother.

It appears that you might be confusing control issues, unhappiness and anger with depression.

Most people say they are depressed when they feel sad. Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn't worth living.

Anonymous,depression generally isn't a disorder that you can treat on your own. I urge you to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician or a psychiatrist.

Medications and psychological counseling (psychotherapy) are very effective for most people with depression.

How old are you? Are you financially independent? Why are you and your children living with your mother?

The first step to self help would be to disassociate yourself from your mother. If this is as toxic a situation as you describe, the best thing to do is move out, get a place of your own and work to healing.


October 20, 2015 - 8:24am
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