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My dad is just like his father, and I'm so worried I will end up like him: dementia, hateful, abusive. Is this kind of narcissistic hate in our DNA? (I don't know what my mom would have been like because she died at 61 but she was always wonderful). I'm just so scared that I will somehow end up a terrible person like him and his father.

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That's why God gave me Cymbalta. To save my family from the Wrath of Old Age. And it's funny how they can be so acidic to children, but just plain wonderful with their MD, the grandkids, and people their own age. Pass me the meds, please.
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sandwich42 and TammieLee, I feel like we are kindred spirits. Isn't it wonderful to have a place where those of us who are dealing with issues like this can come together and discover that we are not alone! My mother was extremely verbally abusive and in course, I married men who mirrored my mother. Although I did everything I could not to be like her, I gravitated toward men who were exactly like her, still seeking that all elusive approval. I finally found the courage to accept the fact that I did not need anyone's earthly approval. It was such a liberating feeling and now I protect that as I would my physical being. Like you two, I strive to be the antithesis of my mother...happy, joyous, compassionate, and loving. I know it is easy to "slip back" but knowing is the first step.
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I am so different than either of my parents that I won't become them. I may become ill or old, but I still won't be them. One thing is I don't have any kids, so who could I be mean to?

If I could hope for one thing in life it would be that, when it my time, that I just drop dead. I don't want to be kept alive by pills, surgeries, and the charity of others. I want to make a clean break and cross over.
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Mental illness wrecks havoc. It destroys lives and breaks down families. There is an abysmal lack of awareness and understanding of most brain disorders and medicine has a long way to go in regards to diagnosis and treatment because mental health can be very complicated.

Having a parent with untreated mental illness is a nightmare at any stage of life, especially when the accompanying behavior is abusive. My heart goes out to you. I know because my family is rife with these illnesses, whats worse, our family never talks about it because of the shame. Our parents were raised at a time when mental disorders were feared and terribly stigmatized, sadly that attitude has not changed all that much. I am not surprised your Dad refuses to see a doctor. Much of my family is the same.

Little by slow the public is being forced to see mental illness as just that...illness. It sounds like you are taking charge of your mental health, thank goodness! I am doing the same for my own illness. I believe things will be different for me when I am older than it is for my parents. I have sent years learning coping skills and building a support network around me. I believe the same for you.

I don't hear judgement for your Dad in your words ... I do hear worry and perhaps confusion. I hope your Dad gets the attention he needs. Meanwhile you might want to check out NAMI the National Alliance on Mental Illness. They are a wonderful resource for anyone touched by mental health issues.
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As a retired Army Nurse and I have seen many deaths. There are many things to consider. as to their attitudes during this inevitable event. Some, who are on many type of medications can exhibit side effects, which run the gambit from calm to the volatile. Some, as in dementia may have no memory from one moment to the next and like wise can be mean then nice. Many who have not accepted their impending death may be angry, hopeless, no control and lash out at the very people they love most. Those loved ones can not understand a person who has been nice becomes a tyrant. Some people just deny the process and once again, in their anger stick out. Constant pain can bring out the worse in anybody. On the other end of the pendulum are those who have accepted the inevitable and are calm, loving, and talk to their loved ones as to how they are feeling. Many have lost any shred of dignity, must be helped with there bath, and leave them naked for others to clean their most intimate area which leads to embarrassment and a total loss of dependence. Those who have a God of their understanding, and feel there is life after death can even be grateful, as they see a future without pain, suffering and see that they will be going to a much better place. Many believe this is a natural process and see a new spiritual beginning. The bottom line to all of this? Each person dying may exhibit an array of emotions, due to their medications, their beliefs, how they have lived, if they are remorseful, guilt ridden, and may be in incredible pain. The people/loved ones, left behind, are on an emotional roller costar. The family can have feelings from empathy to no love at all toward the person dying. And that all depends on how close the family have been over a course of decades. The children now take care of their parents and this my friends is the circle of life. We come into this world with nothing and we leave with nothing. It can be seen as a time of rejoicing or a time of upheaval. Patience is a virtue. Love is forever. How we die is an individual process. A very normal process we will all face. There is no crystal ball as to how we will handle our own death and we do not know how we will act until faced with our own immortality. Those in the process of dying, can be loved. Some may die alone. Some have no one left to love. The care givers are tired, depressed, and are in a constant state of grieving and have feelings of guilt arising to their own anger towards the dying person. If you are a family of faith in God. You must let go and let God. And prayer goes a long way for all concerned in coping with so many emotions. As hard as it may be just breath, slow down, and have faith, love and know that God is with you both. God bless. Sylvia
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I can't take this stuff anymore; parents who would never want to be a burden to their children are, and horribly. Making them quit their jobs and wipe their asses. I will be long gone before I get that bad. I think these parents are selfish.
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I have spent my entire life sprinting away from the choices my mom made that are why she is the mean person she is today. I cultivated interests, friends, education, and have been open to love, affection, joy, and beauty. I purpose to be an optimist and find the reasons to be happy even when things really suck. I struggle with depression every day, but I work on it all the time.

She has always preferred to sit in the dark, alone, and look for the negative. I have told her that if Jesus did take her, she'd nag him to death. Not even heaven would please her. No anxiety or mood altering med has ever helped her. She would never consider therapy or self-help books. She is the passive victim in life who has zero control over events and her emotions. Everybody else is responsible for her happiness and we have all been a giant let down.

No thanks. That isn't how I choose to be now or intend to be later. I want to be that funny old lady wheeling around Shady Pines saying a friendly hello to everybody.
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He needs meds so bad but he refuses to see the doctor for anything but his prostate cancer. And he's mean to everyone else; the neighbors have tried to get him kicked out of the retirement community but they cannot seem to! I take meds, and have taken care of my mental health in my lifetime. I guess that's the difference!
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Except in cases of organic brain disease, it's been my experience that snarky individuals just get snarkier with age. That is, our worst personality traits tend to become "reinforced" with the aging process. This process may be compounded by mental illness such as schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, etc.

However, I have also observed that innately resilient individuals seem to "weather the storms" of old age better than those who do not possess spiritual resources. (I am not talking about religion here - spiritual resources are something different.) When a person has never developed coping skills along the way, they sometimes become impossible personalities by the time they are senior citizens.
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I can't imagine ending up like my mother. I take after my dad rather than her anyway. Also I seem to have become the opposite to my mother in some ways; maybe this is how a family balances itself. A mother without empathy may produce a daughter who has a sort of empathy sickness - too much empathy for the wrong people. Maybe if all the family members lacked empathy, it wouldn't survive as a family.

My mother totally lacks curiosity about the outside world. I am curious about nearly everything though I was not as a child; I think my natural curiosity was suppressed. So mother calls me in the middle of the night to say her water isn't running. It never occurs to her that this is happening to half the town because of the freezing weather because she doesn't care about anything beyond her own gate. But I am curious enough to read her local small town newspaper on the computer and can tell her about what's going on in her own town and so what to do about the water problem. I know this is ridiculous. I phoned her the other day to tell her her local mall was flooded, so don't go shopping there. I am my mother's curiosity.
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