Coping with Mental Illness

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artisticsolution
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Coping with Mental Illness

Post by artisticsolution »

Dealing with a mentally ill parent has been difficult my entire life. Now I am dealing with a mentally ill elderly parent and it is harder than I ever imagined.

The problem is I developed the skills to handle the abuse, the drama, the control....in the past.... I simply took the good and walked away from the abuse...easy. I visited the nice person and politely excused myself when the abuse personality showed up.

This worked for years.

The problem is now, my mom broke both shoulders and can't do anything for herself. Not only that...she has other serious complications ...pneumonia, diverticulitis, and now blood clots have formed in her lungs. She is understandably terrifled but also out of her mind unreasonable. She is screaming and yelling threatening to walk out of the hospital and go to another hospital despite docs telling her it is dangerous and telling her that insurance won't pay for it if she does.

She could lose everything.

That worries me for various reasons....

1.even if she gets moved there is no guarantee the other hospital will do anything. In fact, she has so many new things wrong, i am certain that they won't....i.e. she wants all her old meds, even though they are not comparable with some of the new meds.

2.The move itself would be dangerous, she's in Afib.

3.She changes her mind on a dime, and will certainly demand to go back to the first hospital or another hospital if they do not tell her what she wants to hear

4. She could lose everything and not have enough money left to take care of herself if she has to go to assisted living or if she gets another illness.

Etc.

She is screaming and yelling and basically acting stark raving mad...which shocks the nurses a doctor's so bad they are bringing in a psychologist to give her an evaluation. I told them that this is how she has always behaved...the trouble is, now her unreasonable behaviour is a threat to her health.

I told them that she will be totally sane with the psychologist. Despite everyone in the hospital seeing her irrational behavior at the time.

This dynamic has gone on my whole life for various reasons, whether if it was someone trying to "kill her" or if it was someone who said something to lead her to believe they were "evil" in some way...its always drama. I can never be sure if it's drama or insanity. I'm not a professional...so I can't say for sure.

Despite everything I love my mother and want the best for her. Today when I tried to reason with her she told me all I wanted was the money. A tactic she has used throughout the years with everyone.

I said, "I never wanted or expected any of your money. "

She said, "Then why are you still here?!"

I said, "it's called unconditional love. I'm trying to save your life."

Side note...she doesn't have any money. She has 2 houses...not paid off. If she blows all that money on one illness...she has nothing left for the next illness. So you can see my delimma. I can't physically or mentally take care of her even if I wanted to...which I don't.

But you can't reason with her...no one ever could. This time is different though...this time her life is in jeopardy.

It's so hard to watch someone do something against their best interest....but moreso If it's a parent or your child.

Anyone have any advice?
Impenitent
Posts: 3002
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:04 pm

Re: Coping with Mental Illness

Post by Impenitent »

breathe

understand that she will do as she will do regardless of what you wish

breathe

listen (she doesn't have to make sense but she knows who is listening)

breathe

stay by her side

breathe (repeat as necessary)

-Imp
uwot
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Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:21 am

Re: Coping with Mental Illness

Post by uwot »

So sorry to hear this. My mother died just shy of a year ago. She was fairly stoical, but there is a degree of role reversal, you do what you can to alleviate any fear and continue with the unconditional love.
Dalek Prime
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Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:48 am
Location: Living in a tree with Polly.

Re: Coping with Mental Illness

Post by Dalek Prime »

It's a tough situation to be in, certainly. Trust me when I say you cannot save your mother from herself, and can only work within the confines given you. It is really in your best interest to accept certain inevitabilities, taking a more detached approach to her, and possible outcomes. I understand that this may not be easy for you by any means, but you must take your own interests and well-being into account. Give yourself compassion, and survive. You need to do this for your own good. The key is to be kind and forgiving to yourself, AS.

I will post a link to an article concerning parents for you, should you wish. I think it may be a valuable read in these times.

Stay well, AS.
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henry quirk
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Post by henry quirk »

thedoc
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Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:18 pm

Re: Coping with Mental Illness

Post by thedoc »

For several years before my mother passed away she had dementia and it was pretty bad. We would visit her and she would start asking the same questions again after 15 minutes, or she would either tell us that her husband was out or ask where he was, My dad passed away several years before she did. I don't know where I got the patience to deal with her, but I did and I believe you will too.

FYI we had arranged for my older brother to have 'power of attorney' over them but I don't know how or if that would help you.
thedoc
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Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:18 pm

Re: Coping with Mental Illness

Post by thedoc »

If she is old enough Medicare might take over, find out. My brother was under the impression that when My Mother's money ran out we would have to take over the debt, but Medicare did instead, in fact Medicare might kick in for the expenses now.
artisticsolution
Posts: 1938
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 1:38 am
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Re: Coping with Mental Illness

Post by artisticsolution »

Thank you everyone for the advice. I will put to practice all you have said to be sure!
thedoc
Posts: 6473
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:18 pm

Re: Coping with Mental Illness

Post by thedoc »

At first my brother went to the wrong lawyer, he use one that didn't know everything about older adults. Make sure your lawyer or legal advice is correct and accurate, my brother was making mistakes for a few years after my dad died.
commonsense
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Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:38 pm

Re: Coping with Mental Illness

Post by commonsense »

You are your mother's hero,
gaffo
Posts: 3476
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:15 am

Re: Coping with Mental Illness

Post by gaffo »

artisticsolution wrote: Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:30 pm Dealing with a mentally ill parent has been difficult my entire life. Now I am dealing with a mentally ill elderly parent and it is harder than I ever imagined.

The problem is I developed the skills to handle the abuse, the drama, the control....in the past.... I simply took the good and walked away from the abuse...easy. I visited the nice person and politely excused myself when the abuse personality showed up.

This worked for years.

The problem is now, my mom broke both shoulders and can't do anything for herself. Not only that...she has other serious complications ...pneumonia, diverticulitis, and now blood clots have formed in her lungs. She is understandably terrifled but also out of her mind unreasonable. She is screaming and yelling threatening to walk out of the hospital and go to another hospital despite docs telling her it is dangerous and telling her that insurance won't pay for it if she does.

She could lose everything.

That worries me for various reasons....

1.even if she gets moved there is no guarantee the other hospital will do anything. In fact, she has so many new things wrong, i am certain that they won't....i.e. she wants all her old meds, even though they are not comparable with some of the new meds.

2.The move itself would be dangerous, she's in Afib.

3.She changes her mind on a dime, and will certainly demand to go back to the first hospital or another hospital if they do not tell her what she wants to hear

4. She could lose everything and not have enough money left to take care of herself if she has to go to assisted living or if she gets another illness.

Etc.

She is screaming and yelling and basically acting stark raving mad...which shocks the nurses a doctor's so bad they are bringing in a psychologist to give her an evaluation. I told them that this is how she has always behaved...the trouble is, now her unreasonable behaviour is a threat to her health.

I told them that she will be totally sane with the psychologist. Despite everyone in the hospital seeing her irrational behavior at the time.

This dynamic has gone on my whole life for various reasons, whether if it was someone trying to "kill her" or if it was someone who said something to lead her to believe they were "evil" in some way...its always drama. I can never be sure if it's drama or insanity. I'm not a professional...so I can't say for sure.

Despite everything I love my mother and want the best for her. Today when I tried to reason with her she told me all I wanted was the money. A tactic she has used throughout the years with everyone.

I said, "I never wanted or expected any of your money. "

She said, "Then why are you still here?!"

I said, "it's called unconditional love. I'm trying to save your life."

Side note...she doesn't have any money. She has 2 houses...not paid off. If she blows all that money on one illness...she has nothing left for the next illness. So you can see my delimma. I can't physically or mentally take care of her even if I wanted to...which I don't.

But you can't reason with her...no one ever could. This time is different though...this time her life is in jeopardy.

It's so hard to watch someone do something against their best interest....but moreso If it's a parent or your child.

Anyone have any advice?

no advise sadly. sounds like you are doing all you can. my dad died only 3 months ago. found out he had no money, had 2 million a few years ago, but none today. i was there with him when he died, step mom said there would be no funeral (she was cold and did not offer me to stay with her when my dad was in the hopital (he died of pneumonia) so stayed in motel for nearly 2 weeks).

found out after returning to my home 1000 miles east, that she did have a funeral (minus me and my sister - we found out after the fact).

my mom is now elderly and so far sound of mind, though for how long who knows, and she is adament about living on her own - and lives miles from me and my sis as well.

i understand your plight, and wish you well.

only sad i cannot offer you advise, sadly we are not alone in this. this is an all too common plight in modern america today ;-/.
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Luxin
Posts: 227
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:49 pm

Re: Coping with Mental Illness

Post by Luxin »

Giving what one can to others may be good, but looking after oneself is vital to continued giving.

"You as much as anyone else in the universe deserve your love and respect." (Dalai Lama)
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