My mom has always had mental illness but has gone undiagnosed for the most part. She was diagnosed as agoraphobic with separation anxiety and always had trouble going places, leaving the house or letting family members leave her sight for fear of something bad happening to them. But just as bad was the paranoia she had that either was never discussed or diagnosed correctly by a therapist or doctor. Constant fighting over my dad's "infidelity." Her proof? A female cashier at a pharmacy recognized him from a previous time he was in there and spoke to him, leading my mom to believe she was actually a girlfriend who pretended to know him from somewhere else. Or the belief that he had another wife and family when he was at work...the list goes on. She also has quite a bit of paranoia related to my brother and me. She swears we get together to talk about her and plot to take my dad's life insurance. She spends most of her time trying to figure out how to keep us from talking, which includes telling each of us lies about the other one, hoping we will be so mad at each other, we don't talk anymore. If she finds out we HAVE talked, the endless interrogations start about what the motive was, who said what, what it meant, how long was the conversation, etc. She also swears the neighbor man who helps her with yard work is stalking her. All of this was BEFORE dementia.
Now with dementia, it is a LOT worse as you can imagine. She sees a psychiatrist but has enough of her faculties about her that she refuses to give anyone else consent to talk to her doctor. Any suggestion to go with her to her appointments raises the suspicion even more that we want to have her diagnosed as "crazy" so we can get dad's life insurance. She has moved to a senior living apartment on her own but tells everyone we "put her there." She asks my brother for help around her apartment. After he helps her, she kicks him out and tells him he is trying to steal her will to have it altered, trying to get into her bank account info, etc., etc. When he leaves and doesn't come back, she swears he abandoned her and can't figure out why she doesn't hear from him. She does the same to me when I am there but I live 2 hours away so he catches it worse than I do. What's worse is she tells her neighbors we want her money and steal from her and people who don't know her tend to believe her.
This is not new behavior for her. It is much, much worse with the dementia though. I dread the phone calls. It always starts with the question of have I talked to my brother. If I have, I am bombarded with questions about motives. If not, the conversation turns to who else is doing her wrong...things that are not true. If I refuse to answer the questions, she becomes angry and slanders me to everyone. If I don't talk to her for a while, she accuses me of abandoning her and says she "feels so alone." I really am at my wit's end and don't know what to do. I don't know how much is the mental illness and how much is dementia/stress. No matter how ridiculous it all is, it is real to HER and I know she is suffering. But these phone calls keep my stomach tied up in knots.
Is there anyone I could talk to without her consent or without her knowing? She would really hit the roof if she knew I wanted to talk to her doctor. I mainly just needed to vent but also find out if anyone has any suggestions.