Why is my mother telling me that I should be checked by a doctor because she thinks I'm losing my mind when she is not able to remember what day it is?

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Can anyone tell me why my mother is telling me that I should be checked by a doctor because she thinks I'm losing my mind when she is not able to remember what day it is, her appointments or what she asked me five minutes ago. These comments happen when I tell her that she has already asked a question several times. I now know from reading all of the posts that this is a no-no. Also, why can't she tell me that she is scared ot what is going on in her mind and most importantly why is she placing the blame on me and trying to make me believe that I am the one who is forgetful? I think it must be part of her personality since she has always blamed me for things since I was a child....it is very hard to be there for her but I won't abandon her - I just need to understand how to deal with this situation of her harsh comments when I am only trying to help. Does anyone have advice for me

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Top Answer
First, try to see the humour in this situation. Tell it to your friends in such a way that you all wind up laughing.

Of course it is your mom that should be checked by a doctor. Has that happened? It is generally a lot easier to deal with disabilities of our loved ones when we know what to expect.

When you find out that something is a no-no, stop doing it! :)

Just because she can't/won't articulate that she is frightened doesn't mean that she isn't. On the other hand, she truly does not remember that she asked that question before. She thinks you are crazy for saying it. So why should she be frightened for herself? You are the one (in her mind) that has a problem.

You are only trying to help. But it isn't helping. So, don't keep doing the same thing and expecting different results. Instead of saying "Did you remember that appointment for this afternoon?" say "Do you need help getting ready for the appointment for 2:00 today?" (Remind her without making her defensive.) If she says "I don't have an appointment," instead of saying "Yes you do!" try "Oh. I could be wrong. Let's look it up in your calendar." In other words, the point isn't to convince her that she can't remember things. It is to help her compensate for her failing memory.

If she has never confided her deepest feelings to you, I doubt that she is going to start now. If she is quick to blame others for her problems, that will probably continue. Now you are the adult, and she is regressing. You will need to set the tone of your relationship. You can control your behavior. You can learn (from others on the board, for example) techniques to try in dealing with a failing memory. Expecting change in your mother's way of coping is probably not realistic.

I admire your determination to not abandon her even though your relationship is not story-book perfect. Best of wishes to you as you struggle to make the situation less stressful for both of you.
Thanks Jeanne - slightly harsh (although I'm sure it's not intended) but a welcomed reality check for me in reading your words. I will do the best I can in setting the tone of our relationship realizing that she will continue to fight me every step of the way. As far as her doctors, the one MD that she has decided to keep told me that she is senile and I should expect anyone her age to be forgetful - she did say that based on Mother's personality (controlling, etc) that she was able to make a decision - whether it's a bad one or good one. The dr did not suggest any meds when I mentioned to her and in my opinion not helpful at all.... Mom will not go to another doctor and on another note her attorney said that she is cognizant. So I am stuck, but thanks for your suggestions - I will keep them in mind
I have heard something very similar from a relative...
RMtuc I have no advice but can tell you that I am going through the same thing right now. My mom's doc wants her to go to a hospital to get checked out mentally and get on meds. Mom is really trying not to and I find it hard not to give in to her. She has always had a way of making me do what she thought I should do. I find it hard to tell her what to do now. Mom should be on meds and if I can help it at all, after Sunday, she'll be going. If she doesn't, I will be the one going to the doctor for a nervous breakdown which I certainly don't want to happen. No one should be harsh to you or judge you at all. We each live within our own personal heaven and hell. I can't say what is right or wrong for you to do when I am still trying to figure myself out in all of this. My hope is that we both come out better for it although that's hard to imagine right now.
My answer was a little harsh, wasn't it? Sorry. I didn't mean to direct it at you. The situation you are in is harsh, and there is no way to turn it into a Normal Rockwell picture. But it is not hopeless. The fact that you are on here and looking for advice is very encouraging. Good luck to you.
Rmtuc Since she is treating you badly I would try not reminding her of appointments and let her find out how forgettful she is-I can relate -growing up I got blamed for everything and my mother is still mean to me-to the point when I go to visit my sister has me stay at her house so I am not exposed to Mom very often-she even picked on me for using too much toilet tissue and she is the one in the bathroom every 30 min. during the morning. I had to distance myself from my abustive husband who I took care of for many years-I had to teach him it was not ok to treat me badly-on his deathbed he even found a way to punish me by not responding to me but did respond to nurses , friends. and other family members. If she has the funds I would expect her to hire help so you can get away from her for a few hours a day or some will think this is mean maybe it is time for placement. My elder lawyer told me that 60% of caregivers die before the ones they are caring for-that was a wake up call for me. I had to rescue myself from the bad situation with the husband. You will get a lot of advice -just listen to it all and do what is right for you-and good luck.
Wow. I didn't seen Jeannegibbs as harsh -- just straightforward. At this point, your Mother's attacks on you aren't personal. They are reflexive but not personal. In her reality, YOU are forgetful, not her. In my Dad's reality, I never know what time of day is appropriate to wake him up, and that's why he never knows whether it's day or night. I echo the advice to find ways to tell this to others in a funny way. It will help your spirit so much. ANd that's all you CAN help. Good luck to you!
You are doing a great job in an unfortunate situation. By the sounds of what you describe, your mother has alzheimers or signs of dementia. Everyone can be forgetful, for example you cant remember where you left your car keys but this changes if you cant remember what your car keys are for or that you even drive. There are fantastic websites through health care that will answer your questions professionally. One thing I do suggest is that it is important to be patient. If your mother is developing any of these conditions, the frustration for her is that in the beginning, she knows that all it not right but cant express it. People do regress back to their childhood and usually from my experience if the person has been a cranky person as an adult they become more passive and pleasant and the opposite occurs if they have been a pleasant person in adulthood. I dont know if any of this makes sense but these are my personal observations from working in the health care system for many years and also watching my mother in law go through the same thing. Whatever the case, you are doing your best and that is what counts. Seek professional advice from your doctor on services available to you mother. You dont need medical help yourself, just some support. Kind Regards.

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