When A Loved One Suffers From Depression And Anxiety…


    This past week has been a difficult one because my mother had a severe anxiety attack last weekend.  As a family, we have dealt with the fact that she has suffered from depression and anxiety disorder for over thirty years.  We are not ashamed of talking about it whatsoever because it is an illness just like any other illness and she has no control over it.

    As far as we know, it began right after my birth when my mother was eighteen years old.  She suffered from postpartum depression after giving birth but was able to recover from it after a few weeks.  Unfortunately, four years later after giving birth to my brother, she again sank into a depression but was not able to feel better on her own.

    This is the way that depression and anxiety presents itself in the lives of many people.  It is brought on or awakened by a traumatic or stressful experience in a person’s life.  In my mother’s case, the stress of giving birth to three children in four years, at such a young age, catapulted her into this depressing abyss.  There began her thirty year journey of receiving therapy and taking medication to regulate her emotions.

    What has been difficult for me to accept over the years is how difficult it is to get help for people who suffer from mental illness.  In my naiveté, I expected for it to be treated just like any other medical condition but that is simply not the case.  Whether anyone wants to admit it or not, there is still a huge stigma around receiving a diagnosis of mental illness.


    It has never been more evident than this week that a lot more needs to be done in the medical community to treat mental illness and to make more support resources available to those who battle depression and anxiety every single day.  My mother has told me for years how others continue to label her due to her condition but it this week I witnessed it with my own eyes.

    I have literally felt like I have been made to jump through hoops just to get information from the insurance company on what they will and will and will not cover when it comes to mental health.  Never mind that nobody can give you any real answers when it comes to finding out how or where to get help.

    What I can tell you all is that it is extremely important to advocate for your loved one if he or she is suffering from any type of mental illness.  Make sure you ask a lot of questions and don’t take “no” for an answer.  I shudder to think of those who have nobody in their corner to be proactive on their behalf.

    As we forge ahead in our quest to get the proper treatment for my mother, I encourage you to take it seriously when your friends or loved ones tell you they feel depressed or that they are having trouble coping with daily life.  Depression is a very serious thing and it can be debilitating for those who are experiencing its symptoms.  Your intervention on their behalf just might save their life…

Let’s Discuss:  Have you or anyone you know ever suffered from depression and have you found it difficult to get support?


© 2015, Tough Cookie Mommy. All rights reserved.


  1. Lesley Stevens says

    Depression is so serious and many don’t take it as seriously as they should. I have suffered depression after having a child, that was very difficult.

  2. Unfortunately, mental illness is something that many folks have and that too many folks don’t understand. They approach it like a cut or something. Like it’s something that you can just power through.

  3. I have a sister who went through severe depression with other mental struggles as a teenager and into her 20’s. Thank you for stressing that our loved ones need an advocate!

  4. I have to admit that I have been fortunate not to know anyone who has suffered through severe depression. That said, I think it’s an illness that many people suffer through and it’s hard to get the help they need. I can’t imagine how difficult it is to be the child of depressed parent and getting them care. I am wishing you prayers maintaining as you deal with the situation. T

  5. I don’t know anyone personally. It sounds like your mom has had a tough time, but it’s great that you guys are there to support her in her battle.

  6. A Debt Free Stress Free Life says

    My mother has suffered with anxiety and depression for over 60 years. Even now with late stage dementia I can see her anxiety and how it is manifested. She was in the hospital this week and we discussed putting her back on buspar to help with the anxiety symptoms I can see on a daily basis. In Massachusetts, support services are pretty good. But I spent my previous career in the MH field so I had an advantage and knew where to get help for her.

  7. Lisa Brower says

    It is definitely not an easy road to travel but it is definitely refreshing to see so much love and support!

  8. We have dealt with it in the family also, and also find it difficult to get questions answered. It was explained that too many people ‘fake it’ to get benefits, so they’re careful about what they release.

  9. Thank you so much for sharing. Depression and other mental illnesses have been plaguing my family. I have had to deal with watching my family members suffer. It’s so sad…and all I can do is try to support them with love.

  10. It’s so crazy how our body can mess with us when we have kids. My Mom is on medication for depression, and has been hospitalized in the past, so I completely understand how you feel. Just seeing her eyes in that picture brings me back to years ago, when I went through it with her. So many people look down on those that have this, but being a problem with your body, does not make it something that you can just fix overnight!! Praying for you all!

  11. I agree with you that there is a stigma to admitting you are depressed or need help. My MIL often says she’s depressed or stressed and all her doctors do is write another prescription. They don’t ask for the why’s of it, just send her on her way. It’s sad. I am a happy person by my very nature, so I’m always giving her ideas, books, talking with her etc. on ways to help her find activities to enrich her life. Thanks for sharing part of your families story.

  12. I am so sorry to hear about your mother.
    It makes me sad, but many insurance don’t see mental illnesses as a health issue and so they are not covered. I think more people would seek the care they need if they can get the proper coverage.

  13. I have dealt with depression in the past and it can be so hard. Even when there are adequate resources, you don’t always feel like reaching out.

  14. I worked for many years as an office manager/bookkeeper of a small psychiatric hospital. It took a lot to even get insurance companies to pay for any type of psychiatric condition-there was a time it was just not covered. Yes, depression and severe anxiety are very real and the person can not always reach put by themselves–they need the help of family and friends.

  15. It is more commonplace than people think or care to believe.

  16. Alison Shaffer says

    we have some mental illness in my famiy too. finding the right doctor it key.
    hope all goes well for you.

  17. Chrystal M. says

    I am going to be 40 this year and have been suffering from depression since I was a young girl to being sexually abused for 12 years. As an adult it turned into manic depression (bipolor) and I have PTSD, anxiety disorder along with panic attacks. Inivisible illnesses are horrible because people just don’t know you are sick. Not to mention, many people don’t get mental illnesses so they just think you can stop being sad. It just doesn’t work like this. I can appreciate your post and thank you for sharing your mothers story with us.

  18. I know a few people who have suffered from depression. As far as I know they were able to seek support, most of which through medicine which to me isn’t really support but I found they really wouldn’t talk about much else. It’d a tough subject for so many. I love that you are spreading awareness and that you guys aren’t embarrassed or hiding and are speaking about it. That’s amazing. I hope more do too!

  19. I think many just suffer in silence and keep it behind closed doors. I think if more people would talk about it, they would realize that they are not alone in their situation and would probably get better help and support.

  20. I have suffered form depression for years, but it really kicked in after the birth of my daughter. You definitely need someone who can help advocate for you.

  21. I wish mental illness didn’t have such a stigma. As a therapist, I work really hard to have my clients accept their “diagnosis” & to accept that they are NOT their diagnosis, but that they are a person with ____. Person first always!

  22. Lois Alter Mark says

    I think more people suffer from depression than we can imagine, and it needs to be talked about. Thanks for sharing your mom’s story — I hope she gets the help she needs.

  23. Debbie Denny says

    This is so frustrating trying to get the right help. There needs to be an easier way to get answers

  24. I don’t suffer from depression, but I do have issues with anxiety. It is a horrible feeling.

  25. It is a shame there is not more help and support for those that need it.

  26. I personally have not suffered from depression but my mother did and I believe my brother is now. Its so rough. I try to help but he’ll only accept so much from me.

  27. Ann Bacciaglia says

    I suffer from Anxiety. It can be very difficult for someone that has never felt anxious to understand how you are feeling. I have a lot of support from my family that helps me.

  28. I have a friend who suffered depression for years and did not get any help, because she refused to talk about it, After a lot of convincing she visited a doctor and got her treatment and she is much better now.

  29. Melissa Vera says

    I suffer from seasonal depression every winter and summer I withdraw into myself. Depression is tough to deal with.

  30. Amanda mcmahon says

    I suffer from depression and know my cues. I work hard to stay out of depression but i had a pretty bad 6 or 9 months in 2014.

  31. Good advice on the strength needed to be an advocate. Coverage can be difficult at best in so many situations, including, I’m sure this kind.

  32. I have struggled with mental illness since i was 13, didn’t get help until 3 years ago. Now, with the right help, I’m doing ok and can be a good parent even if it’s hard sometimes.

  33. Veronica Solomon says

    It has to be tough not knowing how to help someone you love who suffers from mental illness. You are right, there is still such a stigma attached to it

  34. Thanks for sharing this. I have dealt with anxiety for years but didn’t know what it was until I was older.

  35. It is tough to deal with depression – thanks for the heads up on this – so many people are dealing with it everyday,.

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