My mom is driving me crazy.

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My father died 18yrs ago and since then I've been taking care of my mom financially (she's been living with me all this time)…and she's driving me crazy. Today she asked me to take pictures of the decorations around the house, I asked her to give me a break since I had just woken up and was starting to pay the bills. Well, she got mad and took down all the decorations in the house and started crying…she's been diagnosed with anxiety and depression but never wants to be on medication.

She constantly makes me feel guilty…today she even said that if these were her final Christmas that she hoped I felt bad because I had ruined them for her. She feels that since we are each others only family and that she's my mom that I have to drop everything to do whatever she wants and when I don't she becomes upset…that I do more favors for other people, like my friends, than I do for her. Anything can set her off and then she spends days in that mood. I feel that I don't have anyone to talk to…I don't want my friends to think she's a bitch if I share with them every time she does something that upsets me.


old timers with or without dementia are, imo, going to revert back to the mental / emotional equivalent of a 5 yr old. its not easy to deal with but coming on here and comparing your problems with others can really help you keep a perspective. there are some freakin horor stories on here from time to time .
Yes, you are being played like a fiddle. The classic guilt card ploy always works. Yes , share this with your friends and you will find out you are all in the same boat. Start rowing together. Captain is totally on target.
Thanks guys…I've been ready some of the other discussions and I can see myself in many of them. Our situations are hard but it's good to have a place we can share and that others understand
Anxiety and Depression are both very real conditions, just like diabetes and high blood pressure. I am sympathetic to people who have any of those 4 things (and many other conditions.) But if you have diabetes, for example, and you refuse to pay attention to your diet and exercise and won't take the pills or shots prescribed for you, then my sympathy is somewhat reduced.

I'm really sorry that you mom has depression and anxiety. She would feel better (and so would you) if she followed good medical advice regarding exercise, sleep, getting sunshine, getting counselling, and possibly taking medications. She has a right to refuse all this, of course. But her refusal to help herself does not obligate you (in my opinion) to tip-toe around her waiting for the next outburst. It is your house (right?) and you can decoration up if you want them. If you do, put them back up and tell her that you want them there and she is not to remove them. If you only had them up for her sake, then leave them down.

Sounds like you need to set some boundaries and be firm about enforcing them. Since your mom is sick it may feel "mean" to have rules. But it is for the sake of peace and harmony in the household, and that will be best for both of you.

A good person to talk to in this situation is a professional listener -- a trained, objective counselor. At the very least, you deserve some help with all that unearned guilt you are carrying around.
I so sympathize, I had posted for first time the other day how my Mom has angry outbursts, first denies they happened and then like a day later twists it to make me feel I am being ridiculous (guilt) because I tell her she can't talk fresh or yell at me. She calls me Monday night (she lives in condo next door to me) once again says something mean and hangs up! I am left shaking as I can't believe her anger ( I am the only one taking care of her for last 6 1/2 years) I won't be treated like this and have not called or spoken to her, I feel so guilty but feel I must put my foot down as the angry outbursts are accelerating.
Well all the decorations are down including the Xmas tree…she really showed me, huh? I really don't care about the decorations, I know is the only way she can think of to make me feel guilty. I do appreciate everyone input but its like the old saying…you can take a horse to water but you can't make it drink. I've tried all kinds of things but when she's in her moods everything is a confrontation, there is just no reasoning with her. I just try to stay out of her way and say nothing till it all passes over.

I can see her point of view of certain things but she can't ever see mine. I just wish she was more empathetic…only thing I can do is keep praying and have faith in God that someday things might be a little easier. Just finding this website has made me feel better…it allows me to vent without worry.
Does your mom have a diagnosis of dementia, or of a personality disorder? It sounds to me as though she has a serious mental health issue. Knowing this might help you keep things in perspective. As Jeanne says, setting limits is the key here. You need to wait until a time when your mom is calm and in a relatively good mood to have a little talk about the guidelines that come with living in YOUR home.
ba8alou…she is 76 and the doctor checked her out and doesn't think her behavior is related to dementia. I talk to her doctor about her behavior and he believes is from her depression (and also her strong personality) but we have tried several medication and she always stops taking them because of one reason or another.

I was 20 when my dad died so it wasn't like they had a home and then she came to live with me. I was still living at home when he died…once dad died the roles then reversed and I became the head of the household, the income provider. We have moved several times because of my job. She always sees her living arrangement as OUR home…she takes it as an offense if I differentiate between MY house instead of OURS. I think the reason she might be "acting out" is because we recently moved closer to a friend of mine and I have been spending more time with my friend and less time with my mom. This also happens when I start a new relationship and spend more time getting to know him than at home with her.
You do need to set boundaries and have your own life. Is there a way you can go to a family counselor? There is no way I could live with my Mom, she has BPD and is so difficult.
Is her doctor someone who would recognize early dementia? Can you have her evaluated by a geriatric psychiatrist or neurologist? Her behaviors are symptoms not manifestations of a "strong" personality. They are signs of weakness and fear.

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