I am worried about the health of my parents. What can I do?

I’m worried about my parents. My mother is in her mid-50s and my father is 49. I’m worried that they are dying of stress, seriously. There’s a history of depression in my family and I think both of my parents are depressed, even I’m depressed. It seems like everything is hard in their lives (let alone mine) but I’m more and more worried about them, and their ailments are also physical. I don’t know what to do and I can’t even get them to go to a doctor (even though it’s free). What can I do?

Many of us get into a downward spiral. Negative things happen. We become pessimistic. More negative things happen. Depression is always caused by many things. Genetics, trauma, and stress are important. One of the most important is how we look at things. Reasonable optimism, looking at the brighter side of things, is important. Good things happen to people who are optimistic. First of all, they feel better. Second, they become more healthy. Third, optimists are able to make good things happen.  Pessimism robs us of happiness. It drives people away.

There is no magic bullet, no easy way. However, you can do several things to help your parents.

  1. Find a time to chat with each separately. Tell them your concerns. Ask them to go to their doctor and discuss what you think are their problems. Ask them to go for your peace of mind, even if they don’t want to go. Offer to go with them.
  2. Find small things to be positive or appreciative about that concern your parents. Don’t make a big fuss about them, just a low key remark. For example, it could be a positive remark about a meal. It could be a mention of how grateful  you are that they have helped you be a person who knows how to work hard. Work in 2-3 low key positive remarks every day.
  3. Don’t dismiss difficult issues. Just try to balance them with more positive issues.

If you are becoming depressed you should chat with your doctor.

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