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How can I help my depressed mum in the UK

Community Member
Hi I’ve never posted here before but I’m at a bit of a loss as to how to help my mum. She’s in the uk and on her own and suffers a bit with depression normally but can usually keep herself busy and keep it at bay. But with the whole Covid thing she’s found herself very isolated and has been talking about how nobody would miss her if she was gone as she doesn’t have anyone. My problem is that I don’t have the right words to help her, I’ve tried acknowledging her feelings, suggesting she sees a doctor, calling her close friends to check in on her and asking my brother for help (he just gets irritated by her and withdraws) but nothing seems to be working and I really don’t know what else to do. I can feel myself getting angry with her and I need that to not happen as it’s not going to help anyone but what more can I say? If these were normal times I’d be booking a flight to see her but I can’t even do that right now. Can anyone help?
2 Replies 2

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Seren13

It must feel pretty stressful, not being able to go and see your mum. I'm wondering if you just chat on the phone of if you've got a video chat thing going with her. Nice to be able to see a friendly face when things feel like they're getting on top of us. Seeing you might make some difference.

I imagine you've already asked your mum what's bringing her down or keeping her down. With all this covid business, I also imagine she's got a lot of free time to think about these things which challenge her. Wondering if you've given her something to look forward to like telling her 'If all goes well, I'll be coming to see you before the end of the year. Now, mum, how are you going to fill in the time between now and then?' This challenging time for her becomes about 'in between time' not a state that feels never ending.

Maybe you can do a bit of research on diet for your mum to help with the chemistry in depression. You don't have to share with her this is what the diet is specifically for, maybe just suggest to her that you're going to set a goal to create an eating plan for her (to generate a bit of creativity) and you want her to share her progress with you along the way, so as to inspire you to change your ways. Your ways may not need changing at all but leading your mum to believe you're in it together might help make some positive difference to her. A lot of research being done these days in the world of 'Mood and Food'. It's pretty interesting stuff.

I imagine it's tough for your brother dealing with the down side of depression (your mum's expressions of negativity and sadness). Wondering if he's done any research on depression, to give him some insight into why the brain ticks the way it does. Chemistry is a pretty powerful thing. It's like once the chemistry in depression takes hold, it takes us along for the ride (a pretty torturous and hopeless one). Lived both inside and now outside of depression and the perception between the 2 mind states is astounding.

Another form of creativity to perhaps suggest to her is colouring in. There are some fantastic colouring books for grown ups out there, to amuse the kid in us. Relaxed activity is good for the brain in many ways. Good for the soul too.

Don't forget to look after yourself too Seren. Someone so thoughtful and caring needs some care too 🙂

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Welcome to the forums, we appreciate you posting here! We are a caring, non-judgemental space to seek peer support, navigate mental health and make social connections. I'm sorry that your Mum is going through this and you are feeling the way you are, but you have made a great effort in trying to help her-posting here is proof of that.

Some threads that may be useful to you include these ones: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/treatments-health-professionals-and-therapie..., https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/supporting-family-and-friends-with-a-mental-..., https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/depression, https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/anxiety. Here you can read about people with similar experiences, and find general advice and even some community: the second thread may be particularly useful to you.

If you would like to to find out more about how to use the forums in a healthy, productive and safe way or have a chat about you are travelling here, please let us know. We are here to listen.

Sending kindness,