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I can't, I suffer from depression!

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
ARGH! My little sister is 16, & suffers fro depression. They recently changed her meds. Anyways, I told her last night "You need to pick up your backpack." Her response? "I can't, I suffer from depression."

Since when is that an excuse? I talked to a girl I know who is a friend of hers, apparently she tells everyone she's depressed & they should feel sorry for her, blah blah blah. I found a photocopy of her medicine's side effects(can cause depression, wanting to kill yourself, etc.)...those symptoms were highlighted in pink & circled with "LOL" written right next to them!

Since when is depression a "crutch" or funny?!?!? I am seriously pissed....she does nothing around the house & seems to use her "depression" as an excuse. She even used it as an excuse for turning in an assignment a day late...she did get it done because she was chatting on MSN!
post #2 of 24
You know, it's attitudes like that that make it harder for everyone who is living with a mental illness to be treated as a normal person. Yes, I have depression. Yes, I work hard to combat it so it doesn't interfere with my everyday life. Some days are better than others. But I don't use it as a crutch, and it shouldn't be!
post #3 of 24
This is tongue in cheek, but...when my mom didn't want to do something, she'd say, "I can't. I have a bone in my leg."

As far as your sis, I would strongly suggest that you talk to the doctor who is prescribing this medication and tell him/her about this. She obviously needs more than just medication, she needs psychological assistance as well.

Either that, or she needs a good smack in the head (figuratively speaking) - ALL teens suffer from depression, it doesn't make her unique, and it certainly isn't to be used as an excuse for not picking up after herself!
post #4 of 24
I agree I think a pshch eval may be helpful//// and WHY is a 16YR old on MEDS .... MOST say no one under 18 for a reason
post #5 of 24
I suffer from depression myself, and I must say, I find her behavior insulting to say the least.
It does affect my life a great deal, almost every aspect.
I have never used it as an excuse and it certainly isn't funny.

I work very hard just to maintain a small semblance of normalcy.
I'd like nothing more than to have my own life back.

You sis needs a serious reality check
post #6 of 24
If she was really suffering, this wouldn't be a funny matter.

Depression/Anxiety/Panic Attacks are the most horrible things and no one who has them would use them as a crutch like that. You try and fight through the best you can, and not make excuses to not do things.

Sounds like she is just being a little over dramatic at the moment, quite possibly to get some attention
post #7 of 24
If I were your parents I would tell her if she didn't do her chores I would give her something to be depressed about.
post #8 of 24
Wow. Sorry, don't want to be rude here, but I find your sister's behaviour to be pretty offensive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
You know, it's attitudes like that that make it harder for everyone who is living with a mental illness to be treated as a normal person. Yes, I have depression. Yes, I work hard to combat it so it doesn't interfere with my everyday life. Some days are better than others. But I don't use it as a crutch, and it shouldn't be!
You've said it all pretty perfectly, not much more I can add. Ever since I found out exactly what the terrible thing affecting my life was, I made a conscious decision that I would never, never use it as an excuse. Maybe it makes me harder on myself than I should be, but once my depression starts "acting up" I make a very dedicated attempt to still appear normal and to keep up with my daily activities. Partially it's because I try to avoid having to explain to people in RL about my problems, and partially it's because I refuse to make any excuse for myself. As much as this is a condition outside of my control, I can still largely control how I behave and live a relatively normal life. I would be mortified to find that I was using this as an excuse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jane_vernon View Post
Depression/Anxiety/Panic Attacks are the most horrible things and no one who has them would use them as a crutch like that. You try and fight through the best you can, and not make excuses to not do things.

Sounds like she is just being a little over dramatic at the moment, quite possibly to get some attention
I hope it's just a sign of your sister's immaturity, and that it's something she'll grow out of. But honestly, if someone is making excuses and "using" depression like that I start to question how serious their issue actually is.
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
You know, it's attitudes like that that make it harder for everyone who is living with a mental illness to be treated as a normal person. Yes, I have depression. Yes, I work hard to combat it so it doesn't interfere with my everyday life. Some days are better than others. But I don't use it as a crutch, and it shouldn't be!
i would have to agree with that.
post #10 of 24
I hope that she has been correctly diagnosed with depression! That is one for the doctors. Assuming they have diagnosed her correctly, I'll say the following....

Your sister's behaviour/attitude is abnormal. Have your parents or a therapist talked to her about this? Her treating her depression as a 'game' or an 'excuse' will not help her overcome it.

Its easy with depression for the doctors just to hand out the tablets and think a person will get better, without finding the root cause or if that cant be found, just trying to make a person think and feel better with therapy such as cognitive behaviour therapy. Does she have thereputical treatment, in addition to medication?

Mental health is complex. There could be valid reasons why she is acting like this or it could just be a case of immaturity/attention craving/wanting to get her own way (which is what a lot of teenagers suffer from and that's not depression!), or more likely a complex mixture of both!

Some symptoms of untreated depression (although she is on medication, that might not be actually treating the depression) are to lose sense of reality, to pity yourself, to not do anything much all day and not help yourself/become dependent on others. It not right to use depression as a crutch...but for every behaviour, there is a reason.

Your parents/her therapists/doctors need to ascertain those reasons for her behaviour (I know easier said that done with a 16 year old!). Its common depression terminology that 'it has to come from yourself', so she needs to be talked to (not sternly, but seriously) about helping herself, making positive changes in her life and, herself, she needs to talk about her depression and how she feels.

I don't condone her actions at all. But I know from working in the mental illness field, a depressive person's behaviour will not always seem normal or right to others...and sometimes they just need a little help getting back on track with life.

It may also be beneficial for your family to make it clear that they love her but they are not going to treat her like a victim or allow herself to treat herself like a victim. She is a good human being with every chance of a bright future ahead of her. She needs help with seeing that.
post #11 of 24
I don't mean to sound rude, but, does she really have depression? A friend of mine has a daughter who read everything she could about depression and began "showing" the signs. She did it because she wanted the attention it gave her. Her doctor truly beleived she did have it (and gave her meds for it) but my friend found out the truth. Her daughter is in therapy now because they are trying to find out why she did it.

I suffer from anxiety attacks and mild depression. Let me just add, too, that it's not fun, no laughing matter and not an excuse to get out of doing things.
post #12 of 24
Sounds to me like she is milking her depression for all that it's worth. Pretty manipulative, if you ask me.
post #13 of 24
I had some pretty severe issues when I was your sister's age, and they were considering taking me out of school for a few months and after this session with the psychologist when he told me that, I said I didn't want to be taken out of school--- and my mom looked at me and said basically to get my butt back in gear and go then, and on time. And that was that. It was hard to go to school on time and consistently, and I wasn't magically better, but somehow the fact that everyone was making it so easy for me to sink into the problem instead of trying to work through it was some of what was wrong. You know, the whole enabler idea.

Before I get flamed, I am in no way saying that anyone can "just get over it", but having concessions made for you to the point that life is easier wrapped in the blanket of mental problems than it is to try and be a functioning member of society and do as best you can anyway is why lots of people continue to struggle with things like depression for years. I've witnessed it in my own family-- those who get comfortable and are surrounded by people who let them act like your sister stay stuck in it, and those who are given what they need (support, love, but encouragement to get better) for the most part do better.

Allowing your sister to act like that (and I don't mean to say you in this instance "let" her, but somewhere someone is letting her get away with that) is making her worse, and maybe she would have as lots of people do recover from their depression after not to long a time. People who really can't do something because of their depression a)don't usually say so and b)are NOT online iming their friends all night.
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sprocket View Post
Sounds to me like she is milking her depression for all that it's worth. Pretty manipulative, if you ask me.
Agree - but its sometimes the case with depression when something is still obviously wrong/untreated. Combine that with your standard * teenage attitude/attention craving/ immaturity to not see how actions have consequences..lethal!

However, being told she's lazy or manipulative or 'doing this on purpose' won't help..she needs positive reinforcement, she needs therapy, she needs ideas/options of direction for herself...and of course the willingness to get though it.

* standard meaning what we see today in teenagers, not necessarily what is acceptable in some families!
post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 
I agree that her behavior is wrong. She has been to 4 different doctors & it is depression. She is currently working with a therapist of some kind.

She blames her being depressed on me. I am a meanie. If she doesn't pick something up, I throw it away. She can then go get it out of the garbage if she really wants it. She isn't pushing me around. Yes, it may be harsh, but I tried asking her politely for a long time, it does not work. She left a plate of food sit on the counter for 3 weeks before I finally cleaned it up. My parents make her do chores, but in winter she just gets lazy(I do too, but I still clean up).

Somewhere there is a card with the next appt. with the therapist written on it. I believe I'll call their office & speak with them about this. Honestly....my lil sis lies about things, IMO. I highly doubt she's telling the therapist this is her "crutch".
post #16 of 24
I think there is a lot of derogatory response targeting the 16 year old based on a sisters aggravation only. I as well suffered from depression when I was a teen and after, in no way do I defend this attitude either, but think that this is not something easily understood, and hope that your patience will help her understand the self defeat in this approach to life.
post #17 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheylink View Post
I think there is a lot of derogatory response targeting the 16 year old based on a sisters aggravation only. I as well suffered from depression when I was a teen and after, in no way do I defend this attitude either, but think that this is not something easily understood, and hope that your patience will help her understand the self defeat in this approach to life.
I just wonder why she thinks this is a laughing matter? My older sister suffers from depression as well. She even tried to kill herself more than once. That was never funny. She's seen what depression can do to people, yet its still funny. I guess that could be a her way of reacting to the fact that she was diagnosed with depression....

I should also add that she has lied to teachers & my parents, which were proved lies. I guess technically her behavior is "self destructive". (I've been reading up on depression tonight)
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv View Post
If I were your parents I would tell her if she didn't do her chores I would give her something to be depressed about.
That is something my mom would say to me!! Except she would usually use it in reference to me being angry at her for something. I know this is a serious topic, but I couldn't resist! I just busted out laughing.
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheylink View Post
I think there is a lot of derogatory response targeting the 16 year old based on a sisters aggravation only. I as well suffered from depression when I was a teen and after, in no way do I defend this attitude either, but think that this is not something easily understood, and hope that your patience will help her understand the self defeat in this approach to life.
Now THAT is a very interesting perspective that I never considered. Thank you for pointing it out. I can definitely see the behaviour as being slightly self-destructive, and almost as though she is throwing around the word "depression" to avoid having to deal with what the reality (thoughts and feelings) of depression actually mean.

Quote:
I just wonder why she thinks this is a laughing matter? My older sister suffers from depression as well. She even tried to kill herself more than once. That was never funny. She's seen what depression can do to people, yet its still funny.
Well if we continue on with the self-destructive/avoidance theory, she could be laughing at the situation because she doesn't actually know how to deal with it. Maybe is she scared of getting into the same bad place that your other sister was in, and in trying to avoid that she's laughing at it? Often you hear about how comediens tend to be depressed people, and they use their laughter as a way out of it. Maybe that's what she's got going on right now?

It's a tough situation you're in. I would be totally, completely irritated at her right now, but as previous posters have pointed out, there's probably a lot more going on that we can understand, and it's probably not the most helpful reation.
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
I just wonder why she thinks this is a laughing matter? My older sister suffers from depression as well. She even tried to kill herself more than once. That was never funny. She's seen what depression can do to people, yet its still funny. I guess that could be a her way of reacting to the fact that she was diagnosed with depression....

I should also add that she has lied to teachers & my parents, which were proved lies. I guess technically her behavior is "self destructive". (I've been reading up on depression tonight)
I am sure that this is not anything other then an easy way of shocking those around her into a response. It sounds like for what ever reason, she has defined herself as unimportant, invisible, a nuisance , reflects this on the responsibilities expected of her. Maybe this is the only way she knows of to get a response, receive attention. Let me add that lying is another way to get attention, even though it is not the attention she really wants or needs.
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
I found a photocopy of her medicine's side effects(can cause depression, wanting to kill yourself, etc.)...those symptoms were highlighted in pink & circled with "LOL" written right next to them!
I have no great words of wisdom that can compare to what other people have said already, but I do want to say that I hope your sister gets better quickly, and that she appreciates your love and concern for her!

I also want to comment on this line quoted above. I want to make clear that I don't know your sister and am certainly NOT questioning your interpretation of her writings, but is it possible that what she thought was funny wasn't depression itself, but the side effects of the the drugs? I can't help it, but that's the first thing *I* think of when I hear that on TV. "This drug can cure your depression!!! Side effects include depression and thoughts of suicide." I mean, come ON, that is irony at its max! You cure your depression with a drug that CAUSES the symptom you're trying to cure? That's why I would have "LOL"ed that.

Just a thought, and I really do hope things work out!!
post #22 of 24
When I was wokring for a medical professional and inputting all of the New Patient Info forms, it seems like they give Zoloft out like candy. I wonder how many of those people receive comprehensive care, and how many just get a bottle of pills and are sent on their merry ways?

Now, I'm not saying that there aren't some people that don't profoundly suffer from mental illness. But, going through that is like setting a broken bone..it's not an excuse to get out of things, it's a very painful and involved ordeal to "get better" or maintain normalcy for many people.

However, i think every single person on the planet suffers chemical imbalances at some point in our lives. It doesn't mean we need to be babied and medicated...it means we need to receive the proper care in order to feel better, whatever that turns out to be. People who use rough times as an excuse to wallow or be pitied iritate me like no other.

I also think we waaaaaaay over-medicate our youth. The OP's sister needs something much greater than a prescription and a pat on the head.
post #23 of 24
It sounds to me like she's using it as an excuse or joke and isn't really taking it seriously.

Most of you know me, and know that I have a disability (cp). I try my best every day to do things I didn't think I could do and do whatever I can to rely on myself and be independent, even if it's not the easiest thing. So when someone uses any sort of disability, physical or mental, as an excuse (sometimes it IS an excuse I'll admit) to just get out of doing something they CAN do, or to feel sorry for themselves, it just really p!$$3$ me off.
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
ARGH! My little sister is 16, & suffers fro depression. They recently changed her meds. Anyways, I told her last night "You need to pick up your backpack." Her response? "I can't, I suffer from depression."
I think her remark did exactly what it was intended to do - tick you off. Her older sister was telling her what to do and she didn't like it. The fact that she suffers from depression is very serious, but IMO, has nothing to do with her comment. She was just doing what teenagers do - rebel.
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