How can I tell if my mom in law is mentally ill or has dementia?

Follow
Share

She has had outbursts of anger, rage, screaming fearfully. she can't follow a line of conversation for long. She sits and moves papers from pile to pile in her room and thinks she is cleaning. She will read junk mail for hours and hours. She won't eat sometimes unless I make her. She was always mean to most people in her life and a loner. She pushed me down when I was pregnant, told me to get an abortion, sabotaged our marriage, and the marriages of her other son. she has always wanted control over everything. She seems nicer now that she is older and does have some dementia, but she seems paranoid and has major outbursts of anger, chasing me in her wheelchair saying she wants to kill me and her son (who lives with her). I am sooo tired of it at times.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
8

Answers

Show:
This sounds like more than "some dementia." She may have a combination of mental illness (perhaps she's been mentally ill for years from what you've said of her horrible behavior). But people can have dementia along with mental illness. She needs to see a psychiatrist who can deal with both. Please take care of yourself. This is too much for anyone to handle alone.
Carol
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Let me echo Carol: This is too much for anyone to handle alone.

I hope you can get her to a geriatric psychiatrist to find out more specifically what you are dealing with and what therapies and treatments could help.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

If you can get her an appointment with a geriatric specialist, they can run scans on her brain to see if she may have one of the several types of dementia. For example, my father had some vascular dementia due to strokes as well as his brain was shrinking. My mother on the other hand, just has dementia because her brain is shrinking. My father became suspicious and physically violent. My mother on the other hand is her usual sweet self but can't remember anything.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I agree with Carol. Your mil has likely suffered from mental illness for many, many years. How else could she have behaved the way she has to you and all of her children. This is not your fault, nor is it the fault of her children. I think you should try to get her to a geriatric psychiatrist and hopefully there are medications that can help her. This will not be an easy road, so I hope you have some support and can possibly educate her children on what her mental state is as more is discovered. During the process, please take care of yourself and don't be the martyr. Sounds like you have been a giver where this family is concerned. Do what you can to get her help, but don't give up your life in the process. Blessings to you, Cattails
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thanks so much for the replies. It helps me know that I'm not crazy for feeling this way. One of her son's died of an overdose about a year and a half ago so only my ex is left. She doesn't have anyone to help so that's why I do. I am learning how to set boundaries and everything as I go.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

She has peripheral artery disease and has one leg amputated about 8 years ago. I was over at her house today and it was a rather good day. She smiled and talked like she was happy. although it takes her a long time to get a sentence out. We had a nurse see her with home health last week, and she tried to hit me and her son in front of the nurse. The nurse said that she needed to go to the doctor but didn't say which kind. So I thought a neurologist. would a geriatric specialist be better? She flipped out when the nurse said that and said that she would NOT go. she refused. but i figured that when the day comes for the appt. i can get her to go. (sorry, some of my keys are broken on my keyboard)
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

and by the way, this is my EX mother in law.. lol. There is no one else to help her, so i do it.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

ok, I'm seeing light at the end of the tunnel. I got my ex mil's doctor to get a referral to a neurologist. I will get an appt. hopefully within about two weeks. Now I have to brace for her to be mad about going. ugh. anyone have any suggestions of what I could tell her to make it seem a good thing to go? She seems to get so angry and defensive at times. then at other times she thinks I know all the answers and she can't do without me. I don't know if I answered a question above before, but yes, she was mean before dementia hit. hateful and very self absorbed. I think she had ocd and maybe even asbergers because she couldnt really form relationships with anyone....even her family.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions