Posted by: Concerned | 2005/06/13

Is there a way out?

Dear CyberShrink,

I am looking for advice for my girlfriend.
Firstly she was sexually abused as a child, something which she has never really dealt with although she has been to several psychologists but never really spoke about it. I know that part of her life has not yet been dealt with.
Secondly, she does suffer from depression and has recently hit a down patch, and she was placed on antidepressants. She is at university, and did try to go to the psychology department for some counselling, but the guy that she saw told her she must rather see someone outside in private practice. Wrong of him to say that, now she refuses to go back.
Next thing is her mother, who is a completely destructive person. She is trying to destroy her own daughter and I am watching this and I cannot do anything about it as I am at university myself. She is still financially dependant on her mom, her mom is all the family that she has here.
When I say her mother is trying to destroy her daughter I mean emotionally. She is trying her best to break us up, throwing us out of her house, screaming at us both. She tells her own daughter that she hates her and that she is not her blood and she will never love her. She told her she wished that she was out of her life, and that she never had to see her again. She lies and brings her daughter down all the time and tries to make everyone believe that her daughter is such a bad person. I have never seen my girlfriend look so hurt in all the time I have known her. Her mom refuses to send her for therapy. Her mom also withholds money at times, I do not know why. I think this woman is deeply disturbed maybe? But refuses to acknowledge it or get any help.

She almost drove my girlfriend to suicide this weekend, telling her to just go and do it (suicide) and that it would make her life a lot easier and left saying that she hopes she never sees her again.

I am in a rut here on what to do, I cannot find a solution to this problem, and am afraid that she really might be driven over the edge. I know I love her deeply and I wish I knew what I could do. But not while I am studying, I am also financially dependant on my parents. I feel like we are both stuck in this big black hole and her mother is throwing us in there.

Do you have any suggestions on what I can do regarding therapy other than at the university or that costs any money. What can I possibly do about this situation? If there is anything at all I can do?

Thank you, any help is appreciated.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Unfortunately, to start wih, people need to remember that no psychologist has a crystal ball, and they can only work with the facts you present them with. So when you lie to them, or hide things from them, you are damaging only yourself, as your gf did. It sounds as if she is very ambivalent aboput actually seeking treatment and giving it a proper chanc of working. She sees a shrink, but avoids telling them imoprtant facts ; she sees one shrink and because he is discouraging, she gives up.
It is most unfortunate that she seems to have such a cruel and unhelpful mother, but many people have had o deal wih similar situations, and she can rise above that. She must never allow such a cruel person to determine her fate. She needs to be more demanding and persistent about seeking free or low cost counselling, probably through the university. I would suspect that, ever since the stupid decision was taken years back by one of the the previous govt's pathetic Health ministers, to avoid paying salary increases by giving university staff the right to do private practice, that the guy she saw in the psych dept could have been angling to persuade her to see him privately and pay for the privilege. She might try the Psychiatry Dept of her nearest Medical School as an alternative, or someone else in the Psychology Dept. And she must make it clear at the time how desperate she is feeling, rather than muting her complaints so it may not sound as if she significantly needs such help

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Purple | 2005/06/14

Your girlfriends mother sounds dreadful.

Being depressed she probably doesn't have the energy to look for part time work, but if she can get work waitressing, or packing shelves at a supermarket, or working on the tills then she can at least pay her own living expenses. It doesn't sound as if her mother is the sort who would pay her university fees, so I assume she has a student loan or bursary. If she is already working to cover her fees, then perhaps she needs to approach a bank about a student loan and speak to the university about finances so that she can work to cover living expenses, and pay back her tuition once she is in full time work.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: timesaver | 2005/06/14

your gf can get free counselling at lifeline, get your local phone directory and contact them, i've been in more or less the same situation and it's extremely hard, she's lucky to have someone to stand by her, hope you will not expect her to snap out of it just bcoz she's been to counselling for a while, it takes time, i thank God for people like you and may you be blessed. as to moving out maybe she needs to get a job to maintain herself, that's what i did and i'll make a plan in the near future to study, so maybe you need to run that by her coz if she does not move she will end her own life. good luck!

Reply to timesaver
Posted by: Male23 | 2005/06/14

I'm sure the other readers will give good advise, the only thing i want to add is, your gf should leave somehow, she cant stay with a mother like that. Financially its a problem, a BIG problem, but there must be a way. I would rather sleep in my car than to live with a mother like that. Good luck xxx and dont loose hope, at the end everything will be ok....and if its not...well then it aint the end yet.

Reply to Male23
Posted by: Buzz | 2005/06/14

Concerned, it's not surprising that your girlfriend is depressed with a 'mother' like that. Have you considered asking your parents if your girlfriend can move into your house, or maybe she has a girl friend whom she can move in with? As far as counselling is concerned, isn't there any other psychologist at university who she can see except for this man? I get so upset when I hear stories like this, and wish you and your girlfriend a better life. All the best...

Reply to Buzz

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