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My Dad is depressed but I don't care? Am I a horrible person?

Community Member

I'm 21 years old, living with my parents. Earlier this year my Dad quit his job out of the blue and earlier this year my Dad got diagnosed with depression and anxiety and has been taking antidepressants.

Since I started my teens I have always disliked my Dad immensely. Growing up he has always been loving and caring towards me and never did anything to hurt me and yet I just absolutely hate him. I feel like our personalities just don't mix that well. Reasons I don't like him are he's a slob and one of the most laziest people I know. He doesn't clean up after himself, he farts in the middle of us eating dinner, he takes a dump and doesn't flush the toilet after. When he shaves, he leaves all the little trimmed hairs in the sink without cleaning up. His room is absolutely filthy - it is the most disgusting thing you will ever see in your life.

Throughout my life, I am always the one who has to clean up after him. I spent an entire day cleaning up his room one day. There was months old food under his bed rotting away, like 30 dead cockroaches in the closets. I clean the shit stains he leaves after he uses the toilet, I clean the dirty dishes he leaves behind. He doesn't help around the house at all. I have talked with him numerous times about this but he continues with this behaviour. He tries to spend time with me and tries to talk to me but I always distance myself from him. I can't stand being 1 metre away from him. When he hugs me or touches my face, I feel extremely uncomfortable, uncontrollable angry and feel like clawing my face off but I just grit my teeth, smile and hug him back. I then proceed to wash my face 100 times. His personality is extremely unlikeable and always avoid talking to him but when he does talk to me, I smile and pretend to be interested in what he's saying.

I would move out but my Mother is very ill and with both of my parents not working, I live with them to support them financially and also with chores around the house and when I heard that my Dad has been battling depression for the past 2 years, I did not have an ounce of empathy for him. I feel like he deserves to be depressed because of how much I hate him. He sits in his dark room all day, moping around, drinking alcohol, depressed but I don't even care. Sometimes I feel happy that he's suffering with sadness and this makes me feel guilty that I take pleasure in his suffering.

3 Replies 3

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Shyla, welcome

I've read your post. I feel that, like a lot of situations, the answer lies somewhere in the middle.

Its my opinion but I'd move out regardless. I'd move nearby so you can drop in everyday to see how your mum is going. You can continue to help them anyway you can but you should not be living with your dad at all.

His "laziness" and bad habits are unacceptable but its his home and you've done your best. You aren't responsible for him to life his game. Depressed people have their own basic responsibilities also. Google-

Topic: who cares for the carer- beyondblue.

Depressed or not some basic cleanliness is required.

Sometimes in these situations, they lift their attitude once the hard worker leaves home. He is used to you doing your stuff, cleaning up after him.

That's just my views. Others might think otherwise and that ok, its what this forum is all about.

Tony WK

Community Member

Hi Shyla,

Goodness, you're under a lot of pressure. You're the child yet it seems like you're parenting your own parents. I think, considering everything, it must be hard not to feel what seems like resentment towards your dad.

I can empathise with some of your feelings of frustration. My family situation was/is somewhat different to yours (I'm 20 years old btw) but my parents- especially my dad- had (has) a lot of their own issues.

While I can see why you feel the way that you do towards your father, I think that the messiness, poor hygiene, lack of motivation, etc that your father has been showing is part of his depression.

I mean, depressed people sometimes act that way, and it's not something that they're purposely doing or something that they can snap out- they're unwell.

I think it's like some people have physical illnesses and others- like your dad- have a mental illness. Physical illness symptoms could be, say, headaches and fevers. Mental illness symptoms can sometimes include very poor hygiene and lack of motivation.

In saying that, it must be hard on you as you're the one who is financially supporting everyone, cleaning and doing the hard yards. That's really rough on you, and I wonder if you're suffering from burn out.

Can I make some suggestions? You know, you're brilliant for supporting your dad and mum but I think you need to make sure you're getting some support too.

On a personal level, do you have friends, partner, etc that you can open up and let off some steam about the home situation?

Is there anyone else who can help- like a sibling or other family member- with the cleaning, etc (so you get some time off)?

Also, sometimes professional help is good too like you could give the Beyond Blue line a call to talk to someone (sometimes a release is good).

As for your dad, I feel he could benefit from maybe some counselling. Perhaps this is something that you could discuss with him?

Hang in there. I know it's hard.

Dottie x

Community Member

Hi again,

Tony WK also raised some valid points. As he suggested the answer often lies in the middle.

Sorry you've been put in this situation. It's rough, I know. My mum was depressed growing up (though she had different symptoms/behaviours to your dad) and it was really hard so I feel your pain.

Dottie x