I lost my mom, and I feel like I'm depressed

Last year, I just always felt hopeless. I don't have a great relationship with my sister. I lost my mother recently, and that really added to my sadness. My sister always brings up how I was never close to my mother.

Emily Freeze, MPH, MA, LMFT
Emily Freeze, MPH, MA, LMFT
Specialist in Women's Mental Health

I am so sorry about your loss.  Losing someone you love is always difficult, however, losing a mother is a significant loss in a daughters life.  What makes this loss complicated is that it appears you have also had a loss in your relationship with your sister.  It is difficult to know what happened with your sister with the limited information you have provided, but what I suspect is that there are some unresolved issues between the two of you and that she may be projecting her pain on to you.  

It is important to remember that your sister is also grieving the loss of your mother and may not be dealing with it in a very healthy way.  By her bringing up your relationship with your mother and suggesting that you were "never close" to her is her opinion.  Only you can define and determine what your relationship was like with your mother.  If there is truth to this, then it may be something you may need to talk about with a counselor.   There could be an added layer of ambiguous loss in that you are not only grieving her physical absence, but could be grieving the loss of a relationship you wish you could have had with her and the realization that you never will.  

You and your sister are both in the heart of the grieving cycle.  When two people are grieving the same loss at the same time, it is difficult to provide support to each other because of their own struggle, even if they both were on good terms with each other.  Depression is part of the cycle of grief.  It is absolutely normal to feel sad, as well as experiencing other depressive symptoms (i.e., feelings of isolation, lack of motivation, low energy, sleep or appetite changes, etc.).  Anger is another phase of the grief cycle.  Your sister may be stuck in the anger phase, not wanting to connect with her own feelings of sadness, so this may be why she is being hurtful towards you, in projecting her anger onto you in order to avoid the vulnerability of experiencing her own grief.

Finally, it appears that your depression proceeded the loss of your mother and is making your experience with grief more complicated.  Were you officially diagnosed and treated for depression prior to your loss?  Depression in grief is different than a depressive mood disorder.  Depression can be situational (i.e., triggered by an event) or related to genetics, undiagnosed health issues, stress, trauma or other potential risk factors.  If you have a family history of depression, you are more susceptible to have depression.  It would be wise for you to discuss this with a mental health provider, and if necessary, get treatment through counseling and medical interventions.  

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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