Agony Aunt

Patricia Marie, MBACP qualified counsellor is a member of The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, practising in Harley Street, Essex and Scotland. She has many years experience of dealing with domestic violence, relationship problems, bereavement, depression, addictions, post traumatic stress and many other emotional issues. If you have a dilemma, please email

My family don't care that I'm depressed

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Thursday, 31 July 2014
Dear Patricia Marie,

My husband has always been sympathetic of the depression I have struggled with for years, but my sister and brother have been so unhelpful and my mother positively cruel. It came to a head last week when she said I was just like my dad, who died 30 years ago when I was 10.

I always thought he'd had an accident, but from what she'd said, he'd killed himself and she thinks I'm bound to do the same and would be stupid if I did.

Patricia Marie says...

Depression can be so draining. It's not just about sadness, but about feeling helpless, isolated and having little, if any, energy. It can run in families, but whether that's genetic or because of shared experiences, experts can't be sure.

Your father's death and your family's lack of support may be linked to you feeling as bad as you do. Friends and family support is crucial for the recovery and well being of those suffering with the brutal illness of depression - indeed, lack of support and feelings of loneliness can make the sufferer more vulnerable.

It seems to me that your mother's anger and lack of understanding demonstrates she hasn't fully been able to come to terms with the death of your father. It may not be easy, but you could try suggesting she gets some professional help, which would assist her in understanding depression better so as she can relate to your needs.

If your father did kill himself that doesn't mean you will follow suit, nor that suicidal thoughts are stupid (certainly, they aren't uncommon in depression). What is a lot more silly and annoying is your family's unhelpful behaviour.

Contact mental health charity mind (0300 123 3393; for its excellent information and help in finding good support. They can give you details of their group therapy sessions, where meeting other fellow sufferers may prove helpful to you in feeling understood.

Have a dilemma? Please email  Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.

In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows
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