I think my bipolar mom stopped taking her meds, please help!

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Please help. My mom is 77 years old. She has bipolar disorder with psychotic tendencies, OCD, anxiety, and depression. I have had general power of attorney for her for the last 16 years, and also have full health care directive.

I believe my mom has stopped taking her meds. She was calling me up to thirty times a day. Now she has stopped calling me altogether. When I call her (in a panic) she is so anxiety riddled I cannot talk to her because it stresses ME out. (I also have generalized anxiety disorder.)

Throughout my life, my mom was in and out of mental institutions and half way houses. Initially this was due to not having a correct diagnosis. Later it was because she would willfully stop taking her meds as a means to "punish" my father and I for not giving in to whatever she wanted. She would threaten to stop taking them, and used this as a means to get attention. She was terribly abusive to us us. It took me many years to forgive my neglectful, abusive mother. But I did manage to. My older sister never has and refuses to even call our mother on the phone.

My mother relies on me for almost everything. I pay her bills, buy, deliver and put away her groceries, take her to her doctor appointments (psychiatrist), and keep virtually everything in order as best I can.

I feel such incredible guilt because I am thoroughly fed up and so angry with her that I do not even want to see her right now. However, I am not willing to relinquish her care to a stranger. I think I may need some temporary help. Is this possible? Who would I go to? I have no family to help me, and not much money.

My mother will not listen to me or do anything I ask no matter how simple it would be for her to do. I do not trust her at all at the moment, because I think she has lied about taking her meds for well over a month. She's a very manipulative woman, and has been for years. She wants to remain in her home, so I bought her a Life Alert pendant. She refuses to wear it. I spent $4,000 for her to have hearing aids, but she refuses to wear them. She refuses to let me take her to a doctor for a routine checkup/physical which she is long overdue for.

My mom only wants to talk about what I must do for her, and gives no regard to my requests at all. I do not ask very much from her. All I've ever asked is that she take her meds, see doctors when I feel she needs to, wear her hearing aids and wear her Life Alert Pendant. My resentment is building quickly. I need to do something that shows her that this is not a game, and that refusal to take her meds will have unpleasant consequences.

I love her, but I am SO SO ANGRY. Please help,me. I am feeling so alone right now.I'm sitting here in tears not knowing what to do.
Thank you in advance for any advice you can give me.
PS..Please forgive me if my post if scattered and not well-written, I'm very distraught at the moment and cannot concentrate. Feeling so over-whelmed that it's almost incapacitating.

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Thank you so much! Getting advice from people that actually deal with this is priceless. I try to talk to my friends about it, but i know it hard for them to really graso what i am saying, or the behaviors i am describing, or how I feel. This is just a blessing that i came across this board, and avtually feel understood. Thank you!!!
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Yes you do.

And if you feel yourself weakening out of fear of "what might happen", remember this: your mother will get better care and support from people she can't manipulate so easily because they don't love her so much. Separate for her good, as well as your own. Be strong!
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Syringa, don't take it personally. I know, I know, how can a relationship with your mother not be personal? I used to take my brother's behavior personally and then I found out he had bipolar disorder. OMG -- that made everything fall into place. Some of his behavior was still annoying, but at least it wasn't really about me. Work really hard on not taking it personally!

Withdraw. "Mom, I still love you. I will always love you. But it tears me up to see you do things that aren't in your own best interest, so I really am going to back off. Call me if you go back on your medication."

I know what you mean about "raising my mother." But in one very important way you are not in a parental role with her -- you really have no authority. While you could probably find a way to insist that a child take medication, you don't have that kind of power over your mother.

Withdraw. You didn't have an option about putting up with her abuse when you were a child. You do now. Protect your own mental health.
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Pamstegma, thank you. The more i think about it, the more i am seeing the manipulation tactic, and behaviors that keep me "in line". I realize that i need to come to a plave of acceptance, let her so her thing, enjoy the good times that i donget to have with her when they happen, and stop cow towing to her behavior. I need to make myself a priority.
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Syringa, she is daring you to take control of your own life. She wants to see you buckle and give in, allowing her to maintain control of you. Your safe option is to really back off, do not continue to enable a controlling personality. Your safety and sanity come first.
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Hello! I am new to this board. I was doing some research on bipolar, my mother is 54, living on her own, bipolar and also has nocturnal seizures. After several years of battling with her, she finally agreed to start therapy, and get on medication for both the bipolar and nocturnal seizures. Along with traditional therapy, she is also recieving specific treatment for PTSD. She grew up in an extremely abusive home, and was also extremely anusive towatds me in my childhood. I am now 34, she relies on me for everything when it comes to socializing (im her only friend), caretaking/decision making when she is manic, help with her work when she is in a downswing, companionship, parent. I am raising my mother. Yesterday she told me she stopped taking her meds for her bipolar, and i let her have it, i was brutally honest and just laid it out for her where i was coming from. Her response was that she isnt going back on the meds, and if i want to withdraw from her because if it, she respects that. How do i not take that personal? How do i not take any of it personal? The saddest thing is is i am a psych major, i know how bipolar is, i dont take it personal with other people i know who have it, but when it comes to her, it just is devastating. I am at such a loss at this moment. Any advice?
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Hi all, I have a similar issue. My mom is 53 and she is supposed to be treated for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. She refuses to take any drugs. After all those abusive 15 years now, I don't know what to do.
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Thanks for the update!
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Hi everyone. I wanted to update you all on what happened yesterday. I went over to my moms as planned.And I found out something that I'm not soon to forget, (at least I HOPE not.)

I think sometimes as caregivers, we may tend to let our worries overpower us and sometimes this can lead to a bad call. Although it is true that my mom is not doing anywhere near as good as she could be, I was wrong to jump to conclusions without cementing the facts in place first.

My mom has told me that she HAS been calling me on the phone, and she HAS been taking her meds. Her urgency that I believe this struck me the other day, and I felt I needed to look into the validity of those claims, because WHAT IF she WAN'T LYING? Well, I now know she was telling the truth about the phone. I picked it up from her coffee table and dialed my cell phone, which I had in my handbag. I did not ring. I got a recording about the call being unable to be placed. I found out that the problem was on MY END, and I fixed this as soon as I got home. In light of that, I have to give my mom the benefit of the doubt when says she's taking her meds. I looked at all three bottles, and they do look like they are being taken.

I had a surprisingly productive talk with my mom after that, which began with my sincere apology. I explained to her why I was so very upset, and told her that I will always take care of her and help her to live life as she wants (in her home, independently) as long as it is safe for her to do so. I told her that in order for me to do this, I absolutely REQUIRE certain things from HER as well. But only THREE things, and they are very easy to do:

(At this point, I whipped out a pen and scratch pad and wrote down those three acts that I needed from her which were...)

1. Take your three meds as the labels says to, every day.
2. Wear your Life Alert pendant every day. (Told her she could take it off at night but to keep it beside her on the bed within reach.)
3. Wear her hearing aids every day. I explained she had to do this not only so she could hear me when we talk on the phone, but because I need her to be aware of her surroundings. (My mom lives in a high crime area and even though I installed "the mother of all home security systems" in her house, I still worry.)

Believe it or not, she did two of the tree right there in front of me.
I brought groceries to her today, and she has the pendant ON and her hearing aids were IN.

(Pausing, as I breathe a huge sigh of relief.)

I'm very lucky, and believe me I KNOW it. My mom's anxiety level is severely high, and this (as I told her) is a problem that needs to be addressed. I told her that she will likely need an adjustment in her medication. A dosage increase. (Exactly what she does not want.) I told her it had to be done, and that she had to comply with it. I also pointed out that their would be a benefit to her in that she will feel tremendously BETTER once the meds are in her at a dosage that she needs.

My mom's meds haven't been changed in years. After over 16 years of the same meds at the same dosages, I would think her body has grown very used to things and we just need to kick it up a notch. I'm hoping that things will fall into place after this. We always run the risk of my mom becoming defiant after she sees we have REALLY changed things around, and simply stops the meds as a result. She's done that in the past. But I feel I have to take the risk, because her life is a terribly unhappy one the way it is now, and this cannot continue. She cries, is frantic, "wrings" her hands, and has a very desperate way about her. I hate it because she must be suffering and it hurts me to see her this way.

XO
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Angels19, your tough love does not sound disrespectful to me. There is someone with bi-polar disorder in my family and I understand what you mean about this being the only kind of message that gets through.

You should NOT be paying for her medications out of pocket. I know what you mean about how complicated Medicare can be. Walgreens has a service to explain your options to you. Take advantage of it!

It is possible that your mother would be eligible for Medicaid at this time. My husband's income was over the limit for qualifying but he was accepted anyway and simply had a monthly deductible ("spend down") to pay for services. It sounds like Mother may be headed to placement if she won't take her medications, so getting Medicaid in place is a good idea. If it turns out she can manage at home a while longer, Medicaid also has a program for some in-home help. Of course, she'd have to be willing to accept some help, but cross that bridge when/if she comes to it.

Once again, hugs to you. Take care of yourself!
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