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Suggest treatment for depression and irrational behaviour during pregnancy

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Practicing since : 1983
Answered : 1484 Questions
I'm experiencing a very difficult situation with my daughter who is 5 months pregnant (due XXXXXXX 3rd). She will be 38 in XXXXXXX and this is her first pregnancy. She suffers from chemical depression and an eating disorder. She was treated for fairly serious anorexia in college and continues to struggle with weight issues. She told me it would be a life-long problem, along with her depression which she has been treated for since college, also. She will always be on medication for this. She and her husband planned this pregnancy and I am absolutely delighted for them. However, since the beginning of her pregnancy, she has been irritated, anxious, and even angry. I can't talk much about the usual things a mother would say to her pregnant daughter. I don't talk about baby names, her "baby bump", baby showers, etc. I recently patted her on her growing belly and she almost hit me and was furious. I left her house in tears. She seems "jealous" any time attention is given to the baby - which I discovered at Christmas when I gave her a few baby gifts. "I'm still here, you know!" she said to me, as if I were ignoring HER. I recently told her in a short email that I did not appreciate her rudeness and disrespect she had been showing me, responding to an incident where I looked after her house and did several errands for her while she was out of town and she never contacted me when she returned. She replied by curtly thanking me, and telling me she would "find somebody else" in the future to help with these tasks. I haven't heard from her since. This occurred a week ago. She is CLEARLY angry. I suspect she is scared, and feeling overwhelmed by the pregnancy and upset over the weight gain that is occurring, along with the raging hormones. I am trying to balance understanding she is a "special soul" with her challenges during this pregnancy, with standing up for myself when I am the target of her "abuse". I have made an appointment with my therapist but can not get in to see her for another week. I'm feeling hurt and am also very worried about her. So far, I have opted to lay low and give her the space she seems to want. I can't do anything right, so I'm afraid to say or do anything, for fear I will lose her entirely. If she cut me off from her new baby it would kill me...and I don't even really know what this is all about. I have considered calling or emailing her husband. I get along well with him and he is very grounded and her "rock" but I'm not sure it's a good idea. Normally, she's a funny, albeit "salty", smart young woman who makes me laugh and is fun to be around. Her depression makes her moody sometimes, but I'm used to that as my husband is a sufferer, also. She is a trademark attorney and I guess I should add that the stress of "billing hours" at her firm is a constant battle for her that adds enormous stress to her life. I suspect it's worse now with the pregnancy, as law firms are not usually very "mommy friendly". I believe she will have 6 weeks off and then be expected to be back to work or they will replace her. She's almost attained a spot as a partner in the firm. As you can see, it's quite the scenario. She is my only daughter and I love her, but I'm becoming depressed, too. I also have a son but he lives in another state and is not very close to the situation. My husband is my rock, too and believes she is being hurtful.
Posted Wed, 26 Feb 2014 in Mental Health
Answered by Dr. Saatiish Jhuntrraa 4 hours later
Brief Answer: Give her a private space Detailed Answer: Hello, Thanks for choosing WWW.WWWW.WW I can understand your point of view and concern about your daughter. I also can see that you are really scared of being left alone and isolated. You are acting the way you are due to this fear. Please talk to your daughter what does she wants and respect that. Talking to her husband may be a good idea . You already understand that she is under a lot of stress due to her job and pregnancy so let it pass off . Let her ask if she need any help, instead of volunteering. Please don't make her realize what you did for her . It was your duty. May be she will realize by herself. If her husband also feels that she has considerable difficult behavior and changed considerably, consider consulting a psychiatrist. Hope this will help you. DR SAATIISH JHUNTRRAA
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Suggest treatment for depression and irrational behaviour during pregnancy 13 hours later
Thank you, Dr. Jhuntrraa. So far she has chosen not to contact or speak to me. It is hard to just "let this happen" but I am trying to honor her apparent need for space. I am still struggling with whether I did the right thing by telling her I did not appreciate her not being very thoughtful after I helped her with her house while she was away. I do this fairly often for her. I was upset because she did not acknowledge this after several weeks of distant, unfriendly behavior. My frustration had built up. It was not "my duty" to do this. I was not under any obligation to do this. I did it because I care about her and had the time to help her out. I get the impression you are telling me I should not have called her on it. I thought I was standing up for myself, in essence telling her, "I don't like being treated this way." Do you think an apology is in order? If so, I'm not sure why. The more time that goes by without communication, I'm afraid the wider the distance gap will become :(
Answered by Dr. Saatiish Jhuntrraa 15 hours later
Brief Answer: HELP ONLY IF ASKED FOR Detailed Answer: Hello I can appreciate what you did for your daughter was out your concern and motherly love.There can't be a repayment or any amount of thanks for that is not enough but lucky are those children who can acknowledge this love. She has not thanked you, it is her problem, not yours. You have drawn a lot of satisfaction and happiness after helping your child. All mothers feel that. So in a way,you have already got your acknowledgement from your inner self. In this materialistic world, things are like this but you should respect your self as well. I am of the view that help should only be extended when asked for, otherwise it loses its value. Hope this will help you DR SAATIISH JHUNTRRAA
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Suggest treatment for depression and irrational behaviour during pregnancy 9 hours later
Thank you, Dr. have given me some peace of mind and something to think about. It's true that I do things for my daughter because I want to show her I love her, and it makes me happy to do so. Reminding me what is Her problem and not mine is helpful. Also, I will work on continuing to give her space that I don't always understand, but need to honor. I don't consider myself a "meddling" type of mother and certainly don't want to adopt that persona. She's obviously having a difficult time with her pregnancy, and I see that I have to trust she'll get the help she needs to get through it. If that doesn't involve me, so be it. If my heart hurts in the process, I'll just have to deal with it. I suppose it's all part of being a mother. I'm guessing she will understand that some day.
Answered by Dr. Saatiish Jhuntrraa 3 hours later
Brief Answer: Keep your interaction limited to once a week Detailed Answer: Hello I am glad to learn that my suggestions gave to you some peace of mind. I personally think your daughter is a wonderful person but is behaving this way due to stress of job and pregnancy.I can suggest to contact her by phone ,say once a week to know how is she and does she need any help? This should be helpful to you and your daughter as well. I am pretty certain she will be the same fun loving and joyful person after the delivery of her baby. DR SAATIISH JHUNTRRAA
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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