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Dear Stressedout,

I think this is very common. Even as an adult dealing with an elderly parent it can become overwhelming and exhausting. I think my mother is a narcissist and possibly bi polar. As a sensitive child this has been hard to cope with. For myself, I wish I was better at setting boundaries and seeking out supports for myself. I needed to talk to a professional. Please know you are not alone. And there are many wonderful threads on the forum.
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In answer to your question, I was raised by a personality-disordered mother. She's still going strong at 91 and was diagnosed with dementia last year, which has exponentially worsened her personality quirks. Her conduct for many years includes cold, withholding behavior, verbal, physical, and emotional abuse, raging, lack of empathy, self-absorption, total inflexibility (my way or the highway attitude), enjoyment of other people's pain (usually inflicted by herself), obsessive behaviors and paranoia. I'm not a doctor and can only guess, but she fits the profile of narcissist, and that may only be the tip of the iceberg.

The fallout to her family is far-reaching. Among us we have severe depression (including bipolar), anxiety issues, underachievement, depersonalization, alcoholism, and self-defeating behaviors, to name but a few, particularly among those of us with the closest contact. I'll allow that many of these problems would have developed anyway, but after watching it all unfold over the years, I think Mom's maladaptive behaviors towards us have played a part.

This kind of conduct cannot be changed. It's as much a part of those afflicted as the color of their hair. Dye will conceal it for awhile but it always grows back to its true color, whatever that is.

We can only change ourselves and how we react to these personality disorders. This site has wonderful discussions on this topic. I would suggest doing a word search, and you'll be amazed at the stories you'll find of how others dealt or are dealing with the same issues you're experiencing. Wishing you success!
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Bumping this up. Yes, there are folks here who are. Do you have a specific question about dealing with your loved one?
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