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How can I talk my mom into getting help?

I think my mom is depressed and has a low self esteem among other things. She keeps bringing up things from my past as far back as 20 years ago and saying I was mean to her and did all kinds of bad stuff. Well, I think I was a typical teen and young adult. I'm sure I did some things that weren't nice, but I didn't drink, do drugs, or sneak out of the house. When I was in my early 20's I dated a guy that she hated. She thinks he took advantage of me, which he didn't. I also went to college for a while and dropped out. She is still mad about this too. There are other things too. I was far from perfect but so was she. I don't bring up things all the time that she did or said. I'm over it and have moved on. She hangs on to the past so much that it is making me and her both miserable. I live with her right now and she helps take care of my son while I'm at work. I want her to get professional help because there is nothing I can say that will get her to leave the past in the past. I try really hard not to make her mad but I'm afraid if I tell her she needs a psychiatrist and/or counciling she'll accuse me of being mean. I have had problems with depression for years and still take meds and see a doctor. It's not like I'm asking her to do something I wouldn't do. How can I get her to get help? I hate seeing her so miserable and I hate that she won't leave the past alone!

Answer Question

Asked by FroggyFeet at 7:44 AM on Jun. 20, 2011 in Relationships

Level 16 (2,353 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • Sadly you can't get her help unless she wants the help. The best I can offer is talk to her about maybe seeing someone together, like Hey mom I am thinking of seeing a therapist how about you come with me. Other then that I am not sure there is much you can do unless she is willing to try herself.

    Good Luck!

    Answer by cornflakegirl3 at 7:48 AM on Jun. 20, 2011

  • It's one of those things you really can't change. She's an adult and needs to make the decision for herself. Taking her with you to your appointment may get her to see that she could benefit from therapy and/or meds.


    Answer by JSD24 at 7:57 AM on Jun. 20, 2011

  • Theres got to be something I can do! Maybe write her a letter explaining how I feel? Buy her a self help book? I just don't understand why she hangs onto my past. She dosen't do this to my brother or anyone else.

    Comment by FroggyFeet (original poster) at 8:23 AM on Jun. 20, 2011

  • Writing her a letter is not a bad idea.  You can mention how you would like to move on and have a nice relationship from now on.  Does she do any reading? She might get some help and support from What Happy Women Know by Dan Baker.  It should be in your local library.  Also what about her joning some groups who share her hobbies.  Church groups or maybe.  She can plug any activity she likes into the search bar at meetup and find groups in her area that enjoy it.  Just ideas..........GL


    Answer by whitepeppers at 8:41 AM on Jun. 20, 2011

  • My mom is just like yours! She is also stuck on the past, everything that happened gets thrown back in mine and my sis face at times. We used to do a lot together and talk on the phone everyday, but now we very rarely do things together anymore. I quit calling her each day because it was bringing me down. My sis and I have tried to talk to her, telling her she needs help, but her constant response is that there are no good councelors, and everyone else is the problem, not her. I see her depressed, and it has worsened over the last few years. She does not sleep good, her diet is bad, and she never feels good. It is really sad to see her like this. I have 2 children who absolutely adore her, and she very seldom sees them(we could walk to her house) because she never feels up to it. She is taking care of her mom and she is really hard on her. It has something to do with things "we will never understand" from the past.

    Answer by AngieBry at 8:42 AM on Jun. 20, 2011

  • cont. We feel like there is nothing else we can do. I have told her I feel like she is letting her life slip away and she is missing out on her grandchildren and all, but nothing seems to work. It is always everyone, but her. I am married and have been out of the house for several yrs now, but she still feels the need to keep up with me and worry about anything and everything about my life. She even told me the other day I was the one depressed and needed help. I am not depressed(if I were, I would get help) I am just overly stressed! I wish I had a solution for you, because I know exactly how you feel and how this affects the family. I hope your mom will get help not only for her, but for you and your child. Please feel free to friend me if you ever need someone to talk to! I wish you the best!!

    Answer by AngieBry at 8:50 AM on Jun. 20, 2011

  • Maybe when she brings up the past, you can use some therapy talk. Like instead of "that's the past mom" you can say "why does that make you so angry now?" say it kindly and listen with love. Understand that what she says has little to do with what you DID and a lot to do with how she feels. Use active listening and let her talk it out. Try to go do this when no kids are around so if you end up crying together it doesn't stress them.

    Good luck and I wish you the best.

    Answer by cueballsmom at 9:12 AM on Jun. 20, 2011

  • If you haven't already, apologize to her for whatever you have done and ask her to forgive you. After that, whenever she brings anything about it up to you, just tell her this has already been dealt with and you aren't discussing it again. Tell her that if she keeps on the topic, you will leave the room or the house. Then follow through. Don't stand and listen to things you've heard over and over again. If you will consistently do that, she will stop rehashing the past. She does it because she has been allowed to do it. You should not be disrespectful of her, but you need to be firm. I don't think this has anything to do with depression or self-esteem. I think that for some reason your mom wants to control you and this is the tactic that she somehow thinks will work. If that is true, the one thing you can do to stop her is to take more control of your own situations which she is creating. BOUNDARIES is a good book!

    Answer by NannyB. at 9:19 AM on Jun. 20, 2011

  • Maybe you could get in with a therapist and have her join you? A self help book may help. Good luck mama!

    Answer by Dahis at 9:33 AM on Jun. 20, 2011

  • it's hard i'm sure cause she's your mom and you only want the best for her and for her to be happier and healthy,i would ask her in the nicest way that maybe you guys to go together for the first visit and then she agree to get help....the best of luck,hope things work out for the best..

    Answer by monkin38 at 9:53 AM on Jun. 20, 2011

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