Good afternoon,

Hope you’re all well.

I’m not officially a carer on paper as such but I do care for my Mother. I currently live at home with her, she’s 67 years old and suffers from depression,anxiety and COPD. Growing up my Father was abusive to us, but I’ve always been close to my Mother.

I sort out the bills, shopping, appointments etc but I currently work, I have a decent job so unable to claim carers allowance.

Last month, she went for an eye test, and found she had a lump behind her eye, further scans shown it was cancer, and last week she had to have her eye removed, and thankfully it hasn’t spread elsewhere.

This has now made her anxiety and depression worse, even though it was good news it hasn’t spread and she’s thankful for that, but still a life changing shock.

I’ve been off work for nearly a month now looking after her and taking her to appointments, work have been good with me, but obviously they won’t carry on supporting me if I have time off.

I’ve joined to hopefully chat with people in similar circumstances.



Hi and welcome

that must have been scary indeed. I’m glad it has been thoroughly dealt with, but of course having to lose an eye is highly ‘non-trivial’ even if it was the better option than a spreading cancer…

I hope you are getting good support from her doctor, and maybe orgnisations such as the RNIB if that is appropriate?

(Hopefully, once she is used to monocular vision, she will adapt well - I once worked with a young woman who only had one eye - you just ‘couldn’t tell’ at all!) (no, she didn’t amuse us by taking out her false eye at intervals!!!)

Chronic anxiety is ‘horrible’ and can eat away at all the pleasure in life. To be honest, in my mind, I think that at her age, if she started to resort to ‘little white helpers’ to enable her to manage her fears, I don’t see the harm in it?

Are there any ‘real’ reasons for her anxiety (ie, other than her COPD and the cancer scare/eye business), or has it sort of ‘grown into her’ do you think?

Despite what she’s been through, she is very young, as in, she could easily live another thirty years! What is happening to YOUR life in the meantime???

Hi Jenny, thanks for your reply and hope you’re well.

Yes, we are both grateful(not sure if that’s the right word :-??? ) it was only the eye, and nothing more serious and that’s she’s still here for hopefully a long time. When we found out about the eye tumour she was convinced it was a lot worse and didn’t eat through worry and stress, which has lead to now and seems to be carrying on, even though the cancer has gone. Not sure if it’s just the shock of the past month catching up.

Not sure where her anxiety & depression comes from but she’s had them for years, I think being with my Father she suffered with domestic violence and controlled for many years until we managed to escape.

Might be me being stupid but not sure what white little helpers are, I’ve even googled it and comes up with kids table and chairs :laughing: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Thanks for your welcome :slight_smile:


What I’m saying is, that at some point, ‘quality of life’ takes precedence over ‘sensible caution’ in my book. Yes, 67 is ‘young old’, but what is the point of her living another 30 years ‘in dread’ (ie, with her chronic anxiety and depression)? Isn’t it ‘less worse’ for her to be on medication to improve her daily quality of life?

That said, best of all of course would be counselling. Did she ever have any in respect of the abuse she suffered, and even if she did, clearly it ‘didn’t work completly’ did it, since she is STILL left with anxiety and depression. I would strongly recommend going back to the GP and at the least ‘getting in the queue’ for more counselling, probably along the lines of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (as abuse IS traumatic!)

I think, too, surely it would help if you made a start on getting in touch with charities and support organisations for victims of abuse (that includes you, as well as your mum). These days it is an ‘accepted grim truth’ that many, many, many women (and sometimes men!) DO suffer from partner abuse, and there is SO much more that is done about getting victims through to a better place mentally.

To my mind the logic is simple. EVERY day that your mum is ‘unhappy’ (depressed, anxious) is another day of victory for her abuser…

That’s why they say ‘the best revenge is a life well lived’. Don’t let your abusive dad cast his grim shadow over your mum any longer…

(It may help to explore reasons WHY your father was abusive. Sometimes abusers are fundamentally very sad, fearful people - they have abandonment issues of their own, and so seek to ‘ensure’ they are ‘loved’ by ‘coercing’ their wives/husbands into ‘making’ them love them, or at least ‘fear them’…it’s about ‘control’ in the end, and sometimes wounded souls can want to ‘control’ others, if they feel THEY themselves were never ‘cared about’ by their OWN parents, etc etc.)(That said, some abusers are simply pyschos who enjoy hurting others, and in that case, there is no hope for them!)

(I’m not saying that understanding WHY someone abuses another human being then excuses it, let alone warrants forgiveness, but it DOES make it more explicable, and maybe less frightening? To see the abuser as actually a ‘wounded soul’ makes THEM more vulnerable, and takes away their ‘power’ over your mind and memory? They were, in the end, just ‘saddos’…nothing ‘powerful’ about them at all…‘pathetic’ more than ‘threatening’…)???

Hello Martin
I think you are right to focus on Mum’s mental/emotional issues as being the main problem. Once the shock of the eye has faded she will find, as long as the other eye is relatively good, that she functions well on one. Indeed loss of an eye doesn’t count for benefits or prevent driving as long as the remaining eye is good enough. I became partially sighted in one suddenly and apart from a few bruises from bumping into door frames initially now nobody would know. The only problem I had was when a piece of grit or something got into the good one while driving and it was bit scary for a minute or 2 as was on a motorway!

It will help her to help someone else by volunteering in some capacity, or with animals, anything looking outward rather than inward. Anxiety and depressiin can be very inward spiralling and anythjng that breaks that cycle is good.

Also There are some uplifting and life confirming pieces to listen to on apps like Insight Timer and other mindfulness apps. One I like encourages me to daily :
give a smile
Give a compliment
Give someone my full attention.

Sounds easy, but it isn’t. Get Mum to try it, aiming for at least 10 days in a row, by the end of which her mood will have lifted somewhat so she can then continue being happier from within

Praise and encouragement work better than commiseration and over protection


Very wise words from Mrs A (as ever!)

‘Looking outward’ is THE best way to tackle inward looking depression and anxiety.

At 67 your mum really is ‘young old’ (or ‘late middle aged’!), and she still has a lot to give to others, whether that is animals, or humans.

For example, if she has experience of abusive behaviour, she is in a good position to help others (even just on a forum for other abused wives perhaps).

The key about ‘helping others’ is two fold - it takes us out of our own misery and 'self-obsession with our own unhappiness AND, most importantly, it is ‘empowering’. Instead of feeling ‘weak and vulnerable and fearful’, by helping others we realise we ARE ‘stronger than we think’ ,and that makes us feel so, so much better.

Fresh air and exercise is also key - so getting out and about as much as possible, whether for drives or walks, or in a wheelchair or whatever. Just ‘seeing the outside world’ is empowering as well.

Depression is a ‘cancer of the mind’ and will eat it up if it gets a chance. Fight back! She has you at her side, and that is THE greatest comfort to her.