Guilt Towards Family Due To Mental Illness

Posted by tonbop @tonbop, Nov 6, 2017

I don’t know about any of you, but I’m constantly feeling guilty about my mental illness and how it’s affecting my family. It’s as if I’m always the one with issues. I’m always sick either physically or mentally and I know it’s hindering my relationship with my family. I feel my husband pulling away and I feel I’m always telling my two children I can’t do something with them cause mommy doesn’t feel well. I just want to be normal! I want to be a wife and mother they are proud of. I don’t want to be the problem or the one with issues all the time! I need help digging myself out of this hole! Anyone relate?

@tonbop

Thank you all so much for taking the time to respond. I guess I know and feel the resentment my husband has towards me and I feel as if there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it. I guess that’s what therapy is for. Just seeing if anyone could relate and if you made it through with your significant other and/or children stronger or ended up a complete mess!

Jump to this post

GOD BLESS JIM. WERE ALL IN THE SAME BOAT. GET WELL.

Is this the boat traveling down the river Styx that circles Hades with Cerebus snarling, snapping and drooling trying to snatch one from the boat with the hooded figure at the helm? If so, I would that the one at the helm would steer a farther distance from Cerebus trying to sink his teeth into another victim as he guards the gates of Hades waiting to cast another to the blazing pit.
Yes, I read too much when I was young. Required reading for some courses. It does provide a visual as to how I am feeling about the boat I am in for the time being.
I will get through this…currently I see depression as Cerebus. I will not add a drawing even though it has been said that a picture is worth______________.
I will adhere to words. Have I hit 1,000 yet?
Yes, in the same boat. I ought to have remained at the airport.

@tonbop I can imagine how you feel. I feel guilt because of my depression, I see how it affects my wife and my son. My doctors keeps telling me that it is not my fault I’m like this and in my mind I know it’s like that. But when I see my wife worrying about me, or feeling frustrated because she can’t help me, I feel guilt. We should remember that none of us didn’t choose to be ill. It is like we have broken arm; we need to accept that we have currently some limitations, we will not go to play basketball then. And with mental illness we have again different kind of limitations. It is important to know and to feel that it is not our fault. But it is very easy to say it, much harder to believe it. I feel constantly guilty that I’m like this, I am just an additional burden to my wife.

@theotherone

@tonbop I can imagine how you feel. I feel guilt because of my depression, I see how it affects my wife and my son. My doctors keeps telling me that it is not my fault I’m like this and in my mind I know it’s like that. But when I see my wife worrying about me, or feeling frustrated because she can’t help me, I feel guilt. We should remember that none of us didn’t choose to be ill. It is like we have broken arm; we need to accept that we have currently some limitations, we will not go to play basketball then. And with mental illness we have again different kind of limitations. It is important to know and to feel that it is not our fault. But it is very easy to say it, much harder to believe it. I feel constantly guilty that I’m like this, I am just an additional burden to my wife.

Jump to this post

Hello @theotherone. As I see this is your first post at Mayo Connect, I would like to welcome you! We are glad that you have joined our online patient support group.

We appreciate your post regarding some of the difficulties of living with long-term depression and the guilty feelings that can ensue. I especially like your comparison to a broken arm. Sometimes we have to set aside our expectations and wait for recovery. We have had many others speak of this as well. As you are new to Mayo Connect, I would like to introduce you to some of our other members, Jim @jimhd a volunteer mentor, Lisa @lisalucier a Mayo Connect Moderator, @amberpep and @parus.

We hope to get to know you better. If you are comfortable doing so, please share with us a little more of your history of depression.
We hope that we can encourage and support you as you post.

Teresa

Liked by Parus, Jan

When guilt attacks I try to tell myself that the guilt is the depression masquerading itself as guilt. Depression wears many disguises and as much as I don’t like to admit thus-it is an illness. Aarrgghh, sounds so disgustingly weak and pathetic. For those of us with depression we are constantly waging war with the venom that comes from the illness. I prefer to label depression as an illness and not a disease. I am currently in one of my dark phases and for no real reason. I get angry with what I view as a weakness. The very fact that those of us that struggle with depression are still in the battle says we are stronger than we sometimes realize. I also have chronic pain (what a yuck word) and everything else has been labeled hence in my gloriously mundane chart of maladies. Yup, the sarcasm and cynicism have once again taken the leading role.
Now if that was not a lot of talking in nonsensical circles-happens. On the bright side, my ear lobes do not hurt.
@hopeful33250 My profile picture is the design for my Christmas card this year. The title is, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”. Rather sums things up. Adding the image in it’s entirely without the circular distortion.

I'll Be Home For Christmas r

@parus

When guilt attacks I try to tell myself that the guilt is the depression masquerading itself as guilt. Depression wears many disguises and as much as I don’t like to admit thus-it is an illness. Aarrgghh, sounds so disgustingly weak and pathetic. For those of us with depression we are constantly waging war with the venom that comes from the illness. I prefer to label depression as an illness and not a disease. I am currently in one of my dark phases and for no real reason. I get angry with what I view as a weakness. The very fact that those of us that struggle with depression are still in the battle says we are stronger than we sometimes realize. I also have chronic pain (what a yuck word) and everything else has been labeled hence in my gloriously mundane chart of maladies. Yup, the sarcasm and cynicism have once again taken the leading role.
Now if that was not a lot of talking in nonsensical circles-happens. On the bright side, my ear lobes do not hurt.
@hopeful33250 My profile picture is the design for my Christmas card this year. The title is, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”. Rather sums things up. Adding the image in it’s entirely without the circular distortion.

Jump to this post

@parus – I like your description of depression as a disguise or a mask – that is very descriptive and true. If we think in those terms we don’t take our depressive thoughts so seriously.

Thank you for the entire picture – very nice! It should make a lovely Christmas card – I just envy your talent~

Teresa

@parus

When guilt attacks I try to tell myself that the guilt is the depression masquerading itself as guilt. Depression wears many disguises and as much as I don’t like to admit thus-it is an illness. Aarrgghh, sounds so disgustingly weak and pathetic. For those of us with depression we are constantly waging war with the venom that comes from the illness. I prefer to label depression as an illness and not a disease. I am currently in one of my dark phases and for no real reason. I get angry with what I view as a weakness. The very fact that those of us that struggle with depression are still in the battle says we are stronger than we sometimes realize. I also have chronic pain (what a yuck word) and everything else has been labeled hence in my gloriously mundane chart of maladies. Yup, the sarcasm and cynicism have once again taken the leading role.
Now if that was not a lot of talking in nonsensical circles-happens. On the bright side, my ear lobes do not hurt.
@hopeful33250 My profile picture is the design for my Christmas card this year. The title is, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”. Rather sums things up. Adding the image in it’s entirely without the circular distortion.

Jump to this post

@parus – cool pic.

Jim

@parus

When guilt attacks I try to tell myself that the guilt is the depression masquerading itself as guilt. Depression wears many disguises and as much as I don’t like to admit thus-it is an illness. Aarrgghh, sounds so disgustingly weak and pathetic. For those of us with depression we are constantly waging war with the venom that comes from the illness. I prefer to label depression as an illness and not a disease. I am currently in one of my dark phases and for no real reason. I get angry with what I view as a weakness. The very fact that those of us that struggle with depression are still in the battle says we are stronger than we sometimes realize. I also have chronic pain (what a yuck word) and everything else has been labeled hence in my gloriously mundane chart of maladies. Yup, the sarcasm and cynicism have once again taken the leading role.
Now if that was not a lot of talking in nonsensical circles-happens. On the bright side, my ear lobes do not hurt.
@hopeful33250 My profile picture is the design for my Christmas card this year. The title is, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”. Rather sums things up. Adding the image in it’s entirely without the circular distortion.

Jump to this post

Neat art, @parus. It’s your own creation, correct? Very nice.

@theotherone

@tonbop I can imagine how you feel. I feel guilt because of my depression, I see how it affects my wife and my son. My doctors keeps telling me that it is not my fault I’m like this and in my mind I know it’s like that. But when I see my wife worrying about me, or feeling frustrated because she can’t help me, I feel guilt. We should remember that none of us didn’t choose to be ill. It is like we have broken arm; we need to accept that we have currently some limitations, we will not go to play basketball then. And with mental illness we have again different kind of limitations. It is important to know and to feel that it is not our fault. But it is very easy to say it, much harder to believe it. I feel constantly guilty that I’m like this, I am just an additional burden to my wife.

Jump to this post

@theotherone— welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. You seem to have a very wise, thoughtful perspective on your illness.

You said you thought it affects your son. What are you noticing in him?

@theotherone

@tonbop I can imagine how you feel. I feel guilt because of my depression, I see how it affects my wife and my son. My doctors keeps telling me that it is not my fault I’m like this and in my mind I know it’s like that. But when I see my wife worrying about me, or feeling frustrated because she can’t help me, I feel guilt. We should remember that none of us didn’t choose to be ill. It is like we have broken arm; we need to accept that we have currently some limitations, we will not go to play basketball then. And with mental illness we have again different kind of limitations. It is important to know and to feel that it is not our fault. But it is very easy to say it, much harder to believe it. I feel constantly guilty that I’m like this, I am just an additional burden to my wife.

Jump to this post

Hi, @theotherone – I think that many of us feel similar feelings of guilt. Depression became a serious problem for me in 2003, and just got worse over the next 3 years, until I made several suicide attempts, and all of a sudden, people realized I was in trouble. I wore a great mask.

Guilt has been a significant component of depression, and the other maladies on my list, along with a bunch of other effects. I know my therapists have told me that the guilt and other garbage aren’t there by my choice, but we know how hard it is to internalize that information. I think every day about the burden I am – to my wife, especially.

Lately, I’ve been trying to set aside the negative stuff so I can give more attention to my wife, who’s in a lot of pain and is waiting for the wheels to turn ever so slowly to approve surgery on her lower back. Spinal stenosis is squeezing her sciatic nerve.

Have you ever talked with a therapist about the depression and guilt? I’m alive today because of some caring therapists.

You’re right – easier said than done, stopping the guilt, etc. I hope you’ll be able to work around it so you and your family can enjoy Christmas and the other holidays this time of year.

Thanksgiving is a good time for me. I find myself thinking thankfully about all the people around me, and all of the blessings from God.

I’m at the clinic, waiting for my appointment with the therapist, and my battery is almost dead. I’m glad you’ve joined us, and look forward to hearing more from you.

Jim

@theotherone

@tonbop I can imagine how you feel. I feel guilt because of my depression, I see how it affects my wife and my son. My doctors keeps telling me that it is not my fault I’m like this and in my mind I know it’s like that. But when I see my wife worrying about me, or feeling frustrated because she can’t help me, I feel guilt. We should remember that none of us didn’t choose to be ill. It is like we have broken arm; we need to accept that we have currently some limitations, we will not go to play basketball then. And with mental illness we have again different kind of limitations. It is important to know and to feel that it is not our fault. But it is very easy to say it, much harder to believe it. I feel constantly guilty that I’m like this, I am just an additional burden to my wife.

Jump to this post

Many times my son wants to play, but I am just too tired or feel down so I can’t. And when I’m under some pressure, I get nervous. I know it is not good for him to see that.

@theotherone

@tonbop I can imagine how you feel. I feel guilt because of my depression, I see how it affects my wife and my son. My doctors keeps telling me that it is not my fault I’m like this and in my mind I know it’s like that. But when I see my wife worrying about me, or feeling frustrated because she can’t help me, I feel guilt. We should remember that none of us didn’t choose to be ill. It is like we have broken arm; we need to accept that we have currently some limitations, we will not go to play basketball then. And with mental illness we have again different kind of limitations. It is important to know and to feel that it is not our fault. But it is very easy to say it, much harder to believe it. I feel constantly guilty that I’m like this, I am just an additional burden to my wife.

Jump to this post

@theotherone

Have you considered reading out loud with your son or getting some sing-a-along CDs? Often you can bypass stuttering by singing. These might be things that you could do with your son that would not require as much energy as other activities. Once your energy begins to return, you may feel more like being active.

Here is a link to a website that explains how singing can bypass the stuttering phenomena, https://www.stutteringhelp.org/content/singing-and-stuttering-what-we-know-0.

As a shy child, who also stuttered for several years, I understand the frustration and embarrassment of stuttering.

Teresa

Liked by Parus, Jan

@lisalucier Yes it is my own creation. Thank you.

@theotherone The suggestion of singing with your son is a positive option. Youtube is an endless supply for children of all ages. I do understand about your concerns when your son sees you struggling. Your depression does not make you a poor mother. Try not to allow those kinds of lies to rob you of spending time with your son. It is hard as depression drains one of motivation. Depression is a thief and I am in no way criticizing you. The fact you have stated your concerns says you do care and you are a good mom. Try what @hopeful33250 mentioned and check out the site she mentioned. Music can help in so many ways. Youtube children’s songs-even the words are with them. One of my favorites is Bull Frogs and Butterflies. I sang these with my kids when they were little-when we listened on an old record player-yup, vinyl. Music can be energizing too.
Thankful you have come here to share with us.

@parus

@lisalucier Yes it is my own creation. Thank you.

@theotherone The suggestion of singing with your son is a positive option. Youtube is an endless supply for children of all ages. I do understand about your concerns when your son sees you struggling. Your depression does not make you a poor mother. Try not to allow those kinds of lies to rob you of spending time with your son. It is hard as depression drains one of motivation. Depression is a thief and I am in no way criticizing you. The fact you have stated your concerns says you do care and you are a good mom. Try what @hopeful33250 mentioned and check out the site she mentioned. Music can help in so many ways. Youtube children’s songs-even the words are with them. One of my favorites is Bull Frogs and Butterflies. I sang these with my kids when they were little-when we listened on an old record player-yup, vinyl. Music can be energizing too.
Thankful you have come here to share with us.

Jump to this post

@parus @hopeful33250
Thank you very much for your advices.
When I am at home, I don’t stuter that much, but if I let’s say go to playground with my son, it is hard to start a conversation with other parents.
My son loves to sing. He has several favourite songs in Youtube like Johny, Johny, yes Papa and like that. He is 3 years old. I need to try to sing with him.
By the way, I’m his dad, not mom. ☺

@theotherone

@tonbop I can imagine how you feel. I feel guilt because of my depression, I see how it affects my wife and my son. My doctors keeps telling me that it is not my fault I’m like this and in my mind I know it’s like that. But when I see my wife worrying about me, or feeling frustrated because she can’t help me, I feel guilt. We should remember that none of us didn’t choose to be ill. It is like we have broken arm; we need to accept that we have currently some limitations, we will not go to play basketball then. And with mental illness we have again different kind of limitations. It is important to know and to feel that it is not our fault. But it is very easy to say it, much harder to believe it. I feel constantly guilty that I’m like this, I am just an additional burden to my wife.

Jump to this post

@theotherone

I’m not clear as to what your son shouldn’t see. Is it your nervousness? I think that it’s healthy for our children to see us in a variety of emotions. That’s something I missed out on as a child. My parents over protected us from things they thought were negative, but the result of doing that is that we kids didn’t learn how to handle things like emotions.

Do you have the capability of recording yourself? You brought to mind the book our kids’ cousins gave them one Christmas. The cousins were young, but they took turns reading the book on tape. She read one page, and he read the next, tapping on a glass with a spoon at each page turn. Our kids loved it! I’m thinking that if you stutter under stress, perhaps when you’re alone and relaxed, you could make books on tape for your son. Then you could enjoy sitting with him while you play the recording. Just a random thought that jumped to mind as I read your concern for your son. (Another thought is that someone else could make recordings.)

Whatever you do, I hope your son feels and hears your love for him. What a huge gift that would be!

Jim

Please login or register to post a reply.