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I think my mother has a mental illness?


Qut81

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For years and years I have kept this to myself in fear of embarassing my mother. However, I just cant anymore. I have to know whats going on with her.

 

I started to notice the problem when I was about 14-15 yrs old. She would say people are coming into our house and damaging our belongings. At the time, I didnt think much about it bc she had a problem with our neighbor at the time. Then I noticed, she has a problem with every neighbor we ever had. It got worse as she got older. About 7 yrs ago, she started saying people were putting cameras in her house (in her bathroom, living room, and even in her toilet?) and watching her undress. The last time I visited her, which is only every cpl of yrs, she had newpapers on her wall, tissue in her toilet, and took a shower in the dark. When I talk to her on the ph, she seems fine, but when I visit her I know there is a problem. Whenever my sister and I try to confront her about it, she goes off saying we dont love her or believe her. That we are horrible children for not believing her. I dont know what to do since she refuses therapy and doesnt think anything is wrong with her. She is also a strong christian and believes God will help her. Which I have noticed she is getting better when we are on the ph, however, I havent seen her in a couple years. I know it sounds bad but it breaks my heart to see her like that. Thats why I dont see her very often (she lives in a diff state). I want to help and dont know how. Any suggestions? I have read this is extreme paranoia? Does anyone know anyone else like this?

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I think you need to talk to her and either get her to the doctors or to a counseller. It sounds to me like shes paranoid, or delusional, but Im not qualified to make a diagnosis.

 

Thats the issue. She refuses to see one and says she is not crazy. She doesnt need to see a therapist.

 

I went to a therapist before bc I have a hard time dealing with breakups and attachments. Anyway, I started to tell her how great I feel and how normal it is to see someone, hoping she would do the same. It doesnt work. Even tho she tells me she is proud of me for taking care of my "issues". She doesnt think she has issues. Its like getting a drug addict to agree to rehab when they dont feel they have a problem. Ive been waiting for years hoping she would realize it.

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Severe paranoia can often be a symptom of schizophrenia also can happen with Bipolar but she would probably be aware that she had a problem if that was the case (hard not to notice depression).

 

Is there something in her past that you think might have triggered it?

 

I think the only way you could really force her to get help would be going to court to declare her unable to make her own medical decisions.

 

Probably a much better idea would be to get some of your family members or her friends if she has any and stage an intervention. That seems to be the last resort when dealing with drug addicts, people with eating disorders.. basically people who can't see their own problem. There are probably professionals (like therapists) who can aid you guys in that.

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My son has something just like your mother, so I understand your pain. There is, sadly, no cure for what he has, but we keep it under control as much as possible with medication. Your mom really needs some help from her family right now. But I know it's hard to do that if she isn't willing.
Really? Has he always been like that? What is it called?
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if she really thinks people are coming into her house and doing things then why hasnt she thought to call the police yet? that would be the normal response for people.

 

and i really hope you can find a way other then this but, if you think that this is a major problem that needs to be fixed and you have a legitimate reason to believe that (ie. it is disrupting peoples lives or there is some sort of physical problems because of it, or you think she may be uncapable of taking care of herself) you can go visit her and then go to the police and ask them to put her on a 4140 hold (at least that is what it is called in california) but it is basically a 42 hour psychiatric hold where the police take her and keep her for mental evaluation. then she will get help if she needs it and if she doesnt then she will be left to her own business.

 

but as i said if you have a better option take it.

 

good luck

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qut81,

 

We do not call it anything. He has been under the care of a doctor for two years now, and he still doesn't give a diagnosis. I think it is schizophrenia of paranoid type. His doctor isn't convinced though. He is also autistic, so that is making a diagnosis much more complicated.

 

This is one of the scariest things you can imagine. My son has seen ghosts and reflections, thinks there is Mafia in the attic or crawl space of our home. It's so heartbreaking, and he is only 21. I have to stay on antidepressants to get myself through the day, it helps tremendously.

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Severe paranoia can often be a symptom of schizophrenia also can happen with Bipolar but she would probably be aware that she had a problem if that was the case (hard not to notice depression).

 

Is there something in her past that you think might have triggered it?

 

I think the only way you could really force her to get help would be going to court to declare her unable to make her own medical decisions.

 

Probably a much better idea would be to get some of your family members or her friends if she has any and stage an intervention. That seems to be the last resort when dealing with drug addicts, people with eating disorders.. basically people who can't see their own problem. There are probably professionals (like therapists) who can aid you guys in that.

hmm, she was diagnosed with bipolar disease when she was 18 and was hospitalized. While she was in the hospital, she tried to commit suicide. She said she was only playing ill bc she didnt want to live with my grandmother anymore? I will research that more.

 

I thought about committing her but that is too painful for me. Besides, she is not hurting anyone or herself so I dont feel it is necessary. Ironically, besides that she is pretty normal.

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When you say she isn't hurting herself, is it not getting in the way of her functioning? As in, is she able to leave her house or is she constantly afraid with anxiety while in her house?

 

Another thing to note, there are many overlaps between Bipolar and Schizophrenia (but not for all people). If she was diagnosed when she was 18 it is quite possible the diagnoses was wrong. Mental health wasn't nearly as good back then.

 

Antipsychotic drugs should be able to help. Major Depression can also cause psychosis and delusions in its most critical form.

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My older son has Bipolar I, and he is treated with antipsychotics, antidepressants and mood stabilizers. And let's not forget sleeping pills.

 

There are some rough side effects, but they are necessary if we are to be able to live in the same home together.

 

At least you aren't living with your mom and having to see her all day and night struggling with this. But still it has to be very stressful. I think if it were my mom I would intervene. Being institutionalized isn't a bad thing. My son was, and it lasted just a little over a week. He loved it there.

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Suzy: Actually, she is perfectly fine with leaving the house. She does positive activities where she watches movies at the library and so on. As far as anxiety in her house, she prays a lot which can be a stress reliever. I do believe in God and I hope He is helping her.

 

Miss Firecracker: That is the thing. She is now physically ill and at one point I was going to allow her to live with me. However, I dont know if I can deal with the stress. My sister is 9 yrs older than me and took care of her most of her life. She graduated top of her class with a BA and bought her own house. In the last couple yrs, she lost her job, her home, and her health. I believe it has to do with focusing on my mother. I know I should take up my end of the bargin and help my mom. But I dont think living together would be healthy. I have my own mild depression that I cant handle sometimes and I know this is selfish but I dont think I can handle her problems and my problems.

 

I forgot to mention, when she was younger, she was on medication and she did not like it. She said she felt like a zombie and would never do it again. My mother is very stubborn.

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I agree with Firecracker. I was also in a hospital for a bit after a pretty serious mixed episode. Actually, my first real.. "episode". The thing you have to realize is that often people feel that something isn't right. Sometimes they start to feel trapped in their bodies and delusions and become desperate for release.

 

Even though the psychiatric ward may be scary for people not in this state, (and scary at first for those who are..) it is kind of comforting. You feel safe from yourself and know that you are going to get out of it. They also usually focus a lot on therapy so a lot of progress can be made in a shorter time.

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I'd be the last person to judge you for that decision.

 

I know I should take up my end of the bargin and help my mom. But I dont think living together would be healthy. I have my own mild depression that I cant handle sometimes and I know this is selfish but I dont think I can handle her problems and my problems.
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I agree with Firecracker. I was also in a hospital for a bit after a pretty serious mixed episode. Actually, my first real.. "episode". The thing you have to realize is that often people feel that something isn't right. Sometimes they start to feel trapped in their bodies and delusions and become desperate for release.

 

Even though the psychiatric ward may be scary for people not in this state, (and scary at first for those who are..) it is kind of comforting. You feel safe from yourself and know that you are going to get out of it. They also usually focus a lot on therapy so a lot of progress can be made in a shorter time.

 

I think its the stigma with mental hospitals. Most ppl see it as a horrible scary place where they chain you up and give you electric shock treatments etc.

 

If it gets worse I will talk with my sister about it. (I believe she would have to agree if it came to that?) My sister wouldnt do it though. My mom is on disability. I am going to see if they can schedule a therapy session with her and call it a "routine exam"? I dont know...Im just thinking of options. Im not even sure if shes still experiencing these things because she doesnt talk about it. (maybe bc when she does I politely and calmly tell her she needs to talk to someone) One time she was in the hospital and we got into an argument. I told her I was going to call them and tell them to give her a mental evaluation. She said she would call my job and get me fired so I didnt.

 

Someone asked if she called the police about the damaged items and cameras etc. Yes, she has. They dont do anything...what can they do?

 

I even went to the extent of researching a device that checks for hidden cameras etc. (I know its extreme but I felt this way she would think I believe her and maybe see for herself she has a problem) She never bought the thing and so everytime she mentions it, I tell her (nicely) if it was a real problem that wouldve been the first thing she would buy. She gets defensive and upset. One day she told me she was too depressed to buy it or something like that.

Its actually feels good to talk about it. I am not "allowed" and I dont want to anyway. I never want ppl to know how crazy my family really is.

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It won't go away, believe that.

 

My younger one just put his pants on and said he is going outside to look under the crawl space. sigh...........

 

Well, you can vent here if you like. It must be frustrating. Meds arent helping? What is he like when he doesnt take them?

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Suzy: I know you mentioned an intervention, and that is great advice. However, she doesnt want us to tell anyone for fear they wont believe her, so that would be violation of her trust and might make it worse? My mom is the type to make drastic decisions like move far away without telling anyone. I am afraid she will do this. She did it when I was young and lived with her. She would get depressed or someone would piss her off and move accross the country with 50 bucks in our pockets.

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i dont know if this will help or not but it just occurred to me, have you tried getting her involved in something meditative and relaxing like yoga or tai chi? they are supposed to quiet the mind and help you relax so maybe if she doesnt want to get "real help" she'll go for something like yoga and tai chi which are just relaxing and that might help

 

 

and as a side note to suzy and firecracker, mental institutes are many times not helpful and they can just make things worse. i was put in 3 of them. the first one was just a babysitting service and they didnt do anything, and in the other 2 the staff got physically abusive to me, but noone cared because i was just the defiant crazy patient and they were "doing their job". so it can make things a whole lot worse then they already are. so you need to be careful.

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Well, you can vent here if you like. It must be frustrating. Meds arent helping? What is he like when he doesnt take them?

 

 

It's unbearable! We have made an appointment for April 3rd, and I am going to ask the doctor to increase his dosage of Abilify. It's tough, and not only that but I have thrown my back out and am in severe pain today. Overdid the exercise yesterday. Good grief! And wouldn't you know it, my sister and her husband are coming for a visit tomorrow.

 

Thanks for letting me vent a little. Having extreme muscle spasms and psychotic family members on the same day is a bit much, you know?

 

My older son gave me a Birthday card Sunday that said:

 

Thanks for caring for us beyond the point of legal responsibility. (Brother) and I could not survive without you! Love,

 

That was the sweetest thing, and those are the things that get me through all this. There is much love here.

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Im so sorry I keep shooting down ideas but this is a very complicated situation with a head strong woman.

 

My mom is christian and does not believe in yoga. She feels there is a new age/buddist connection which conflicts with her religious beliefs.

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It's unbearable! We have made an appointment for April 3rd, and I am going to ask the doctor to increase his dosage of Abilify. It's tough, and not only that but I have thrown my back out and am in severe pain today. Overdid the exercise yesterday. Good grief! And wouldn't you know it, my sister and her husband are coming for a visit tomorrow.

 

Thanks for letting me vent a little. Having extreme muscle spasms and psychotic family members on the same day is a bit much, you know?

 

My older son gave me a Birthday card Sunday that said:

 

Thanks for caring for us beyond the point of legal responsibility. (Brother) and I could not survive without you! Love,

 

That was the sweetest thing, and those are the things that get me through all this. There is much love here.

 

No problem, vent away! lol

 

I am so sorry you are having a bad day. Plus with your family members coming, that must be stressful.

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