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Helping a family member with Depression.

My sister is suffering from Major Depression right now. Her medication has recently been switched from Cymbalta to Budeprion XL 150 MG which is generic for Wellbutrin XL. She tried to kill herself a month ago after breaking up with her boyfriend and last week she made another attempt after he royally screwed up and made her think they were getting back together. She's been in counseling but today her doctor said she should see a psychiatrist. She's slept most of the day but now she's up and crying. When she was in counseling, the counselor told us that she needs to cry because she's mourning the death of her relationship.

I've been talking to my dad who agrees with me that right now she's such a mess she needs more help than just therapy once or twice a week and drugs. We've hidden the pills, we watch the knives, my dad bought gun cases for his pistols, but I'm afraid we're going to slip up and she's going to do something stupid. I'm tired of her crying all the time and living at home that's all she seems to do. She and I work at the same place but she's been calling in sick a lot or leaving halfway through the day. Our employer is pretty relaxed (unbelievably relaxed) about attendance, and our supervisor is aware of the situation and sympathetic, but there are limits. My sister has student loans and a car payment, but they're in my mom's name, making her responsible. If my sister loses this job, given her current condition, it's extremely unlikely she'll be able to find other employment, leaving the responsibility of paying back all that money on my parents and they don't have that kind of money.

I'm becoming stressed because not only do I have to watch her at home, I have to watch her at work as well. To me, this is kind of ridiculous. She's tried to kill/seriously harm herself twice now. Once should have been enough. My parents are wonderful people but she's become the wedge between them. I want my sister to be in an environment that entirely encourages her to become well while my family attends some sort of class or something to teach us how to provide a better home environment.

My mom is extremely overprotective of my younger sister since she's the baby. I'm frustrated because both my dad and older sister have the mentality of 'just tell her to get over it' while my mom is stretching herself to her limits trying to take care of her. I love my sister dearly, but I don't know what to do. My mom says the local mental health facility won't take her as an in-patient unless she's psychotic or suicidal, but she's tried to kill herself twice now and I don't want third time to be the charm. Everytime she starts crying it upsets my dad who, as a retired first responder (firefighter/paramedic combo), has responded to many suicide calls over the years and is having flashback issues because of her. I've talked to the counselor before about working with the family to help us help her, but she keeps telling us she needs to focus on my sister right now. My sister skipped her therapy appointment today after telling her doctor she's tired of talking. If the counselor isn't going to tell us what we need to do to help her, I want somebody who will. Can anybody tell us what we can do to help?
2 Responses
Avatar universal
You being there for her in her time of need is honorable and you sound like a wonderful sibling.Suicide is a metal thing and depression plays it,s part.You have to keep her spirits high and encourage her all the time so that she feels loved and wanted.Counselors can make the situation worse if your sister is not willing to adhere to the treatment.Medication is a tricky subject aswell you have to find the right medication for her.Often with depression a good way to tackle it head on is to distract the mind because it,s the mind that is making you feel depressed in the first place.I had depression and ocd and the only thing that helped me was to focus on other things and distract my mind and thoughts so i wasn,t dwelling on things.Spend time with her until her depression becomes managable and certainly be around her and ask her how she is feeling.This is obviously having a great inpact on your family especially you.They call depression the black dog in your head but it can be defeated it just takes a huge effort from all concerned.
1291268 tn?1274810922
You may wish to talk to her psychiatrist about involuntary commitment.
A brief hospital stay may be just what she needs to get back on track.  She's pulled out of her current enviornment, given counseling and meds, and closely monitored until she 'turns the corner'.  
You are right to be concerned about waiting too long.  Hospitalization can and does help.
Bless you for fighting on her behslf.
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