What can I do to help my mother who is obsessed with taking medicine?

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My mother has an obsession with her medication. It is all she thinks about. She watches the clock for her next dose and thinks about nothing else. None of her medication is addictive or habit forming, just cholesterol, hypertension meds etc. She is always trying to get a medication added to her list(laxatives, tylenol, immodium, sleeping meds etc.) It is her only topic of coversation. Any one else with this issue and what did you do? I have given her a pill container with her daily meds in it to give her a little control over her meds but cannot give them all to her or she would take them all at one time.

Answers 1 to 7 of 7
My Mom likes the addictive variety. Tylenol with Codeine #3, #4, Valium, Fentanyl, etc. Anything she can get... And they're all prescribed. We have been talking to her Physicians, and are now talking to her Visiting Nurse about it. An ongoing struggle. Even today, my sister and I are trying to find a solution. Mom finds all kinds of symptoms to be treated, and has "so much pain," and "wants to stop, but can't..." She used to add alcohol on top of all that. It's not a pretty picture.
My mother was a prescription seeker because she is a hypochondriac. In the past 4 years, our family doctor caught on. My mom started seeking other doctors. She would take a pill one time and claim it made her sick. The doctor's had her prescription list and finally found that they could no longer help her. Mom had taken every med on the market for her "symptoms/diseases". She cried wolf one too many times.

My saving grace was when my mom got so psychotic (literally) claiming she had throat cancer or lung cancer (due to coughing up phlegm for years for attention), and she rushed herself to emergency (that was a laughable and very frustrating day), and after throat testing, etc, I was able to talk to a doctor and explain the history. They pulled records, a psychiatrist talked to mom and she contradicted herself about killing herself and was admitted to geriatric psych.

It turned out to be the best thing for her. She still has the core baseline personality, but she's not nearly as delusional and prescription seeking because now in the assisted living her meds are controlled. Now there is some great documentation on record that she did to herself.

Each situation is different, which is sad to say. Thank God these days resources are becoming more vast and obtainable and doctors are becoming more educated in geriatric care.

I was fortunate to have a patient doctor. He is still my angel and I am friends with our family doctor. I treasure him, and even now when I go see him, he always checks to see how I'm doing after this whole ordeal. He even apologizes to me because he felt so bad not recognizing mom's behavior sooner.

All I can ever say is just seek God. He had things all in control during this ordeal and placed some extremely helpful people in my path. I can't give back enough to them in my lifetime. Just never stop asking questions and NEVER be snippy with the people assisting (and it can get frustrating).

I hope this helped. Please let us know how things progress.
It helped a lot, Mitzi. I especially appreciate you giving credit to God! He does guide our health care professionals, our loved ones, and ultimately us. Yes, it is frustrating to try to diagnose, monitor, and guide someone else through this process. Thanks for reminding us to put our faith in the right place: God first, the professionals who are assisting our loved ones through the storms of life.

I get frustrated with Mom (especially) and with the various entities involved in her care. It seems, at times, they don't know what we see behind the scenes, and are blind to the games some people can play. My husband's opinion is that the Doctors are not blind or stupid
Hubby thinks the doctors know what they're looking at, and are just trying to make Mom comfortable. It's still up to us to be observant, and report anything unusual. No one sees it all, and no professional has the time to pursue in-depth immersion, as we do with our loved ones. We must be their advocates, at times; especially when they cannot do this for themselves.
I found some help for my mom in a new service by philips lifeline- it's a medication dispensing service and it has really made my life easier- and helped take away some stress between mom and me. My mother is really independent and having something easy but safe to store and dispense meds from is good for her- but I still get to load and control the schedule- and get calls if she misses them. It's been a life-saver.
Thanks for sharing that information, careformo. I went to the link you posted on another thread, and really liked the cool gizmo and the service that goes along with it. I will check to see if Mom's insurance covers is. That would take me out of the loop, as target for her "tirades," against whom she blames for anything she can. (Yesterday she told a physician that I've been "making mistakes with her medications." He agreed that she can no longer take care of her own meds, but didn't understand that she won't work with me, either (long story). I'm praying her PCP will prescribe this Phillips Lifeline option as an alternative, or something else. Neither of us need the additional stress of struggling over her "losses."

My mom was taking so many narcotics, just a short while ago. I am now thrilled to report that all the narcotics and addictive ones have been removed, and her pain isn't what she was telling everyone to get her beloved meds. Funny, those "horrible" symptoms haven't consumed her, and are actually going away now that the meds have been removed. She had no part in this, but it was my diligent efforts over the last 1 1/2 year, and consultations with many a physician. Thank God I found a few to listen. Mom almost died behind the wheel of her car, taking them, and only suffers the long term effects of taking so many. She's the only one who cannot see it, and tries to put the blame me. We do the best we can to help our failing, cognitively declining parents, no matter how hard that may be. Someone needs to be responsible when they cannot.
It looks like nowadays that addiction is not only a big problem for the young people, but for the elderly too, they do not immune to drug dependence, in fact they especially vulnerable to addiction. I think that one of the reasons why they become addicted to meds is that doctors often prescribe meds in doses that are too high for an older person who doesn't metabolize drugs as efficiently as a young one.. and sometimes some seniors have few doctors at the same time and ask all of them to prescribe something, and usually it's the same drugs.. We also all know that many drugs are meant for short term use, but most elderly people have difficulty stopping them.. and then they become dependent upon them, and may be unaware of their addiction, or just won't admit it..

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