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She went to the hospital like her doctor wanted her to. They said it's just old age and not depression. She was very very good at fooling the doctor and seeming like a perfectly normal and kind old lady. They didn't want to hear what she's like to me! Didn't think that crying excessively and getting angry all the time and needing to be with me every minute was depression at all. Just old age. I really want this to stop and maybe it will be me who goes to the hospital next. I just don't think I can do this much longer. I love her so much but I'm exhausted and she plays on my emotions. She knows how to guilt me and it works most of the time. My marital relationship is feeling the weight of this as well as there is NO private time with my husband. She needs to be with me always. No relatives to help and not much money. What do I do?

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Sound like she needs a good exam from someone who knows something about depression and dementia. It seems her doctor has a clue and may be able to refer you to someone helpful in your area with more expertise than he has. He can always prescribe an SSRI which seems to help somewhat for some of these behaviors. I would suggest not telling her it is for depression, but give her an explanation she will accept. The acting 'Normal" is common and then following that at home "the bear" comes out from the effort expended. Also the hostility sometimes comes from anxiety. It's a frightening world for someone who sees their control slipping away. But you need to care for yourself and your family first, or you will soon have all the same symptoms. And then who will there be to help..Give guilt a kick in the pants, It won't help anyone. Let us know how you follow up....Make sure you do follow up...Call her doctor back today and request the referral...You might say...I know something is wrong and I need help...I can't deal with this anymore... a little dramatic, but otherwise sometimes they just don't pay attention.
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Amen to boundaries -she WANTS to be with you all the time, not NEEDS. It is so important to distinguish between the wants and the needs when dealing with someone like this. Decide what you can and want to do, and what you will not do, what time you need for yourself, work on giving up the guilt - it is what she uses to get you to do what she wants, learn about detaching emotionally. It sounds like your mum has become narcissistic -it happens to some as they get older, and some have it all their lives. You can't go on like this, and only you can make the necessary changes. Ask your husband for support in making the needed changes in your own choices, Good luck!
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I agree set boundaries and let her know your own family -your husband needs you to be there for him-I think taking her to a nurologist is the best option and he might be able to perscrib her some meds that would calm her down-and I would call her doc and tell him what happened at the hospital and call the head of the ER and report how they blew you off and why. You do need to try to change her behaivors or you will be getting sick-it is not your job to make her happy-if there is a senior center in the area try to get her involved but I have a feeling she will balk at this idea-she likes to get you upset and have you give all your attention to her-it works for her so you need to counter that with what works for you for a change-she will not be happy not having you all to herself-but you are not happy now-good luck-try it once-not meeting her immediate demand and when it works it will be easier the next time and you will feel like you are in control and that is what you need.
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Sorry - pressed a wrong button and got redirected to another site! As I was saying we just have to 'suck it up' no matter how unjustly they treat us, even though it is emotionally and physically draining, and carry on doing for them as we would normally do anyway. That is not to say that you have to allow her behavior to ruin your personal life. You must set boundaries - she is the 'child' now, and you are the caregiver 'mother'. So exercise some discipline in the sense that you don't have to give in to every demand, nor give her every second of your time. You must distance youself emotionally or you will end up with a breakdown. Mentally block out the emotionally hurtful things she says and does. Keep a schedule/routine to meet her needs, and do for yourself in between those times. When she gets difficult (and you know you've taken care of everything she could possibly need at that point in time), say "you're OK Mom, I love you, I've got to go now, see you/talk to later' love you", give her a kiss (if she lets you) and MAKE YOUR EXIT!! By the time you get back, she will most likely have forgotten what her imagined issues were, and be glad to see you again. Don't forget, your husband needs you too, and you need him. Also as others have said, stand up to the doctors, have a private talk if necessary, and if they do not want to get involved, find another doctor who is more experience in geriatric care. One more thing - if money is a critical issue, look into Medicaid. If she qualifies financially, they will medically evaluate her, and you could possibly get an aide to come in for a few hours a day to give you some respite time. You deserve it! Good luck and God Bless you..
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Save yourself and your marriage by setting some boundaries. You see the game she is playing with her emotional blackmail tactics. Let her dance her dance, but you don't have to dance with her. Does she really need you there 24/7? I imagine that your husband would like to have his wife back as much as you would like to have your life back. Is getting a therapist to help you not be so vulnerable to your mother pushing your buttons? I wish you well in seeing that your mom is safe and taken care of without having yourself and your marriage thrown under the bus.
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I really think your situation is quite common, especially when we have a parent or elderly person living with us. What are your mother's interests? It would be nice if you could help her find something that she could look forward to on her own...something to give her a purpose. Some new friends, perhaps? It is not easy to be the extra person in any situation..I suspect that this is part of the frustration that you mother is feeling. My mother used to get depressed ( mainly because she had to give up her little house and live with me) she missed it and blamed me of course. Being old and having to live with someone else is frightening and almost the end of the world for the one going through it. We have to keep this in mind when dealing with the elderly. Mother got as she called it "blue"...She would get depressed..but her doc gave her some meds that helped her a lot. While I am not into taking lots of meds I do feel that no one should be suffering when there are meds that can help. And if taken along with other measures to keep one interested in life, hobbies, friends, And plenty of love and hugs at home, etc. I think they are a Gift from God. ...they can help put a smile on a sad little face. If I were you ...I would take my mother to another doctor as it does not appear that she is getting the best treatment for her health and well being. I have worked with seniors my whole life and I know so many happy, seniors (they all have various ailments) who are having the time of their lives...I challenge anyone who says that depression is about old age!!! You have to find what is the underlying problem that is causing her tears. Did they check her thyroid? I am not criticizing or anything...just throwing some suggestions out there for you to consider. We do not know the heart of another and it bothers me so much when we often do not give the elderly the benefit of the doubt even if they can be rascals...there is always that possiblity that their tears and acting up has a medical reason behind it.
I admire you for taking care of your mother. You are are an angel. One day you will look back and be glad that you were there for your mother. I took care of my mother who had alzheimer's ..she passed away in 2009. There were times I feared that I would not make it another day...but some how I always managed to come through. I learned a lot about unconditional love and today I am so thankful that I hung in there with her. II often think about the fact that we are all heading in the same direction..I cannot help but.wonder how we will be acting when we have to look old age in the face?? Might we be tearful? How would we like to be treated...I say this because I notice how the doctors and everyone else seem to talk over the heads of a lot of the elderly patients just as though they were't there. I think it is important to keep the elderly actively involved in their life. I hope that I have given you some things to think about that could perhaps help a little.
Many hugs for you dear...just do your best, that is all you can do. Please do try and find some healing time for yourself. This is so important and I can see it will be a challenge for you...but make it happen. Do some meditation...it really helps to energize and relax you. Much love and blessings to you and I will say a prayer for you and your family. God less you! Bobbi Henderson
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Double what, rosetindall?
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I think you answered your own question when you said she knows how to quilt you. when you take care of your mom we forget about ourselves and give into them until you just had a wake up call in what you have been doing for her. It took me a while to see it for myself with my mom. Set your boundaries with her and let her no her behavior is unacceptable. please don't take what she says about you personally and separate her illness from it. You are doing a great job with her and always remember you will get double for your trouble.
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The heck with the hospital, go to a neurologist with her and get the truth on whats wrong. My Mom could fool in the beginnings, but soon she will be worse and not be able to. Good Luck, I know how hard it is, been there, still there.
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Your question is confusing to me. This doctor just told you to take mom to the hospital?.Is he or she an M.D or a D. O. with priveledges with the hospital ? I cannot imagine that the hospital would just kick mom out without consulting with that person? Maybe you and your mom need to consult a different qualified physician.
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There is a book called "how to deal with difficult people" by Lieberman that I found to help me tremendously in dealing with the manipulations from my father whom I care for. It's a small book so it should be cheap. I highly recommend it to you.
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Isn't it amazing that to anyone else our loved ones are "just fine!"
If asked by a home health care nurse that is there to help them (but also us) the answer is, "I am great" When asked by any other family member that checks in occassionally, the answer is "getting better everyday!" I really feel for you, because I know that you took your mom to the hospital for her well being as much as yours. I wish I had an answer. What are the plans for your mother, as far as where she is living? What is the next step for her?
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Wow! what great advice. My mother is like this too, though she has not said she would hurt herself. I really appreciate this site, and these replies have helped me a lot -- especially to let me know I am not alone in this. Thank you so much!
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If her Dr. is unwilling or unable to understand the situation going on at home, find a new Dr. who is skilled dealing with this type of patient. My mother-in-law has alzheimers and is living with us full time. I am a nurse, and have left my job to care for her 24/7. I have a wonderful relationship with her Dr. He is very knowledgable of her behavior and is willing to help us any way he can. Their are many Dr. who specialize in geriatrics. I would start checking your area.
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hi,i'm single,thats a blessing for my partner that i don't have.beacuse its me and mom 24/7.
no family help,oh sure they say they'll come and sit with her, but don't do diapers,so that won't work.mom has no control,so every couple hours i ask her?thern clean her up.
shes been depressed since my brother died in 02,my father in 06,
takes zoloft daily,i don't think it works,so i asked her nurse about a glass of wine every other day,naw,i think why would i even concider that move,that could turn ugly very fast.let the sleeping dog lay.
so yesterday, i brought over a movie somebody got me years ago,jim carrey,when nature calls,i think,anyway, she actually laughed at something.
i haven't seen her do that for many moons.
she doesn't talk, just lays around and stares off into space.
shes bed ridden,24/7 in bed.
so i'm thinking for depression,get some funny,dumb movies.
tonight will watch dumb and dummer.
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I'm not qualified to diagnose your mom, but I will say that for dementia patients it's extremely exhausting to 'act normal' in front of others. They understand there's something wrong with them and are terrified of being seen as 'crazy,' or having Alzheimers, or whatever. My point is that folks with a mental deficit are struggling to fit in and eventually reach a point where they just explode. Caregivers, being trusted and loved (believe it or not), often take the brunt of that. This may be of significance to your situation.
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One word: Celexa.

And I am a big pharma skeptic. I have the same problem. Anti-depressants make my ultra crotchedy mother so much easier to deal with. It is the difference between night and day. Ask her doctor.
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Wow - I think your mom knew my mom and exchanged strategies! I'm an only child and my mom could also have won an academy award for the way she acted. She was great with her doctors, staff and all her friends and neighbors. Me? That's another story - she wanted me there 24/7 - she lived 10 minutes from my husband and I (thank God my husband was so understanding and supportive of me!). If I stopped by for an hour it wasn't enough - and why would I want to stay longer when all she did was rip me apart. She was evaluated by two psychiatrists and they both came back with the same (a year apart) diagnosis - no dementia, no bi-polar, no nothing along those lines - BUT she wanted to control me and was actually jealous of me. When my husband and I were going on a cruise I took her on our weekly grocery shopping trip and told her to make sure she got extra food because I would be gone the following week. I met her an hour later in the store and she hardly had any groceries. When I asked her why she answered "Well I'm not going to eat while you're away and when my friends come over I'm going to show them that I don't have food in the house cause you're not taking care of me!". I almost had a heart attack in the store! But I kept my calm with her - because she WANTED to upset me. I walked away and called my great husband and told him - he calmed me down and said that none of her friends or neighbors would even believe that because they always see me taking her shopping, to the drs., hairdresser, etc. (she never drove). When I would do something for her - it was always wrong. She broke her hip in 2010 and I was at the hospital daily and dealing with the drs., and plans for assistance for her. I spent so much time running around behind the scenes and researching - but she didn't care one bit. Her friends would just love her cause she was soooo pleasant with them - waitresses would come over and hug her cause she was sooo nice to them. I asked the psychiatrists why the difference in attitude and they both told me that the elderly lash out at their caregivers - WHY? Because they feel that since we are family and helping them we are obligated to be there no matter what and will always show up for them no matter how they treat us. Friends and neighbors on the other hand they treat with kid gloves because they're afraid that if they're not nice to them they will stop coming over and calling them. All the drs. and staff couldn't believe the difference in her personality with me. She told a few drs. that she had to fake pain when I was in the room so that I would know how bad she has it. But you know what - I did what I had to do - made sure she had what she needed, had meetings with drs. and staff, etc. and then when I walked out of her room - it was MY time. I couldn't let her get to me cause in reality that's exactly what she wanted. So make sure you take care of yourself - go shopping, take a walk, just sit and have a cup of coffee and think about things for yourself. Luckily I have a great husband of 35 years, and he would make sure I took time for myself. Good luck and keep us all posted. Believe me - it's hard being a caregiver and especially hard when we are being manipulated but remember you need to give time for yourself!
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If you are the sole or primary caregiver there are times when you simply have to do what is right for you. There's no need to feel guilty about that because it realy is in your mother's best interest for you to have things under control. If you fail, she fails too. Other than that generality, I believe every case has to be treated individually based on the facts. Your mother's doctor should be able to help or steer you to others who can help, but we all know that being a caregiver is not easy. Take care of yourself, and good luck.
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My experience with my father who has had severe depression issues several times over a period of many years is this: Most hospital ERs are not the best place to deal with depression issues. They are set up to deal with what they consider to be emergencies. Unfortunately, mental health issues do not seem to meet this criteria. So, unless someone tries to hurt themselves or something like that the ER typically will not do anything quickly or provide a sustainable solution. If you can find a way to get your mom in to see a pshychiatrist or a facility that is equipped to deal with mental health issues that would be best. As someone else mentioned, research all the possible ways to get help paying for this. Medicare, Medicaid, VA benefits (if she was a veteran or if she is the widow of a veteran the VA may be able to help a great deal with costs). Good luck and God bless.
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I'm in the same boat with my mom. She's good in front of others, but she's been & still is very depressed esp. since Christmas eve. Needless to say xmas was a sad, dark day. I'm an only child with NO help. My mom did attempt suicide in the past (2004), and I found her in time. Now I can't ever trust her again & her severe depression concerns me. I know that if she decides to try and end her life again, it's not my fault. EMJO is correct in all she said! I've read alot about DAUGHTERS OF NARCISSISTIC MOTHERS, and I think reading up on this would explain alot in your situation. You deserve to have privacy and not be an abused caregiver! "Perfect Daughter's" is another awesome book that is helpful. God Bless, Kathy
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I don't know ... your mother's behavior could be the result of depression. Or maybe she is narcisstic. For all I know, maybe she has an undiagnosed bipolar disorder. Dementia is a possibility. Yes, it would definitely be good to get an evaluation and a treatment plan.

Whatever she has, you need relief. Don't get so busy arranging for her evaluation, etc. that you overlook arranging for some respite time. You will need that and you certainly deserve it regardless of what your mother's problems are. Like putting your own oxygen mask on and then helping others in an airplane, take care of you first. Nobody benefits if you get a permanent case of the screaing memeeis. And I think the place to start is to get some private time.
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A couple of words come to mind here - narcissism and boundaries..

It is not healthy for someone to want as much attention as your mum does. Maybe she has a personality disorder.Or maybe, with aging, as sometimes happens, she has become very narcissistic, Maybe she has the beginning of dementia. It sounds like a thorough evaluation is needed. My mother's personality disorder was not diagnosed until a couple of years, She is 99. I had figured it out long ago. Has you mum been like this before in her life?. Mother has had it and narcissism all her life. People knew she was difficult but there was never a diagnosis, nor would she have gone to a doctor for it. She happened to be in hospital and they saw it there. It sounds to me that, in any case, boundaries need to be established as to what you will and will not do for her, what time you need for yourself and for your husband and what you will give to her etc, You need to get rid of the guilt (easier said than done but you have nothing to feel guilty about). Using guilt is manipulation and that is what makes me think of narcissism. With someone who is narcissistic, boundaries are essential. They use FOG (fear, obligation and guilt) to stay at the center of attention which is what the narcissist craves. They are huge drama queens. If you google a site daughtersofnarcissisticmothers dot com you will find much that is helpful, and maybe recognize your mother there, and also the kind of games that are being played, and how to not play the games. I would think a frank discussion with her doctor - or may be yours, or a specialist and a thorough evaluation is in order too. Mother would not take meds for it so my only recourse is to distance myself emotionally. She is in an ALF in another city- by her choice and really very well for her age, though has a running list of complaints and demands. All I will respond to is something that, in my opinion, is a real crisis. Do I get told off? Of course, what's new? Am I a dreadful daughter? Apparently I am, and she does not hesitate to tell that to other family members. Does she ignore the fact that I have needs too. and my own health conditions to deal with at the age of 74, so I cannot do what she wants me to (even if I would)? Yes, she ignores that. She would make a world war over her oatmeal not being properly cooked, calls it elder abuse. and wants me to take the ALF to court. Do I need all of this? No! The stress of it in the past few years has affected my health, so my contact with her is limited though I "oversee" her care. She is very well off though she can't see it. I am not responsible for her happiness, nor are you responsible for your mother's happiness or anyone else's. I don't think it is old age per se. There are some very good suggestions from the others. Follow up on all possibilities, so you know what you are dealing with, then take the steps you need to, and I wish you all the luck in the world. You are in a very difficult situation and it is dragging you and your husband down. Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries!
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My Mom is great playing the sweet old lady card and is a witch with me and my sister but behaves when with my brothers they have no idea what is is usually like and really do not want to know about it. My husband consantly threatened suicide and only one NP picked up on it-his doc believed him over what I said and I am not sure he caused his own death while in a nursing home but no one besides me and my son really knew how he felt and aides we hired so I gave up trying to convince others that he was memtally ill-but if he had committed sucide while at home I would not have felt quilty.
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Sounds like you're doing the right thing by taking her to the doctor again.
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Mom is an expert at both! My daughter and myself are the only ones who hear get the brunt of everything. I was told to bring her to the hospital because she was saying she just wanted to die and would do it herself soon if nothing happened to her. I too know about depression as I have it also. Thing is, we are very very good at hiding it when needed. I know that there is not one person in my office that would know I am on meds and very depressed at times. My husband knows and he's getting upset with my mom for constantly "needing" me and causing me stress. My hubby is an angel but how much can someone put up with? The only time he gets mad is if someone is hurting me or making me stressed. I am brining her to a doc soon to see about all but again, another day off of work for me. Last year, every vacation day was used for her to take her somewhere or another. I know I sound resentful and in some ways I am but I do love her
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My Dad has chronic depression and it seems like his mental health has gotten worse the older he gets. He sees a psychiatrist and a psychologist on a regular basis. I had the same experience when I took my son for depression to the hospital. That's because the ER isn't going to do anything unless he is a threat to himself or others. What worked for this situation and will for yours is making an appointment with the Dr, psychiatrist and counselor. Perhaps you can call your local hospital and talk to the folks on the unit for treatment of mental health issues for a possible referral.
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Hmmm ... I know that people with dementia can often hold it together at an office visit or in front of relatives for a few hours and seem normal. There is even a name for this -- it is called showtiming. I don't know whether it applies to depression, but I wouldn't be surprised. Naheaton, showtimers do indeed seem to have amazing acting skills. But none of them can sustain that for more than a few hours, and evenutally those with dementia can't pull it off at all.

I'm puzzled about why Mom was sent to a hospital. Was she threatening suicide (or homicide)? Was there some emergency related to her depression? It would seem to me more common to refer someone with the symptoms you describe to a psychiatrist and/or a mental health counselor. A geriatric psychiatrist might be an appropriate choice. She needs to see someone who is qualitifed to assess her situation and prescribe a course of treatment. I'm just puzzled why that would have to be in a hospital. Perhaps there is more to this than you wrote about.

If she can get some treatment that is effective, maybe she will not need to be a shadow permanently attached to you. That would be a good outcome, and worth working toward. Or maybe that is not going to happen.

What I think you need to do is arrange to have some private time. You need to take care of yourself and of your marriage. If Mom can't afford to pay for in-home care, spend some energy researching what assistance programs she is eligible for. I'd say do that now. If she gets treatment that helps her be less dependent, that is a bonus. But don't wait for that.

Good luck to all of you.
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My grandma does this. She's not depressed, but she pretends she's charming when she's really a very difficult person.

I myself have had depression since I was a teenager. When I would go to the psychiatrist, I would pretend nothing was wrong. My explanation was that I forgot what happened. Your mother probably thinks nothing's wrong. She probably thinks the doctor's wrong about his assessment.

I know also about being hospitalized for psychiatric illness. I was hospitalized myself. With depression, as long as the person is not a danger to him/herself, or to other people, there is no obligation to keep the person hospitalized. If your mother is a danger to herself, you must take her to the hospital. If she is lying when she gets there, that is not good enough, because she is still a danger to herself.

If the hospital seriously did not accept her based solely on her word alone, tell your doctor. And then take her to another hospital with a good reputation for treatment and assessment of mental illness. This is unacceptable.
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Are you saying by some miracle your mother suddenly turned off her tears and acted 'normal' at the hospital? If that's the case, then instead of depression, it sounds like your mother ought to win an academy award for best actress. Are you sure she's not 'acting' for your sake at home? I mean either a person is depressed or not right? Which is she REALLY? Whining at home for your attention because she's depressed, or is she just an expert at manipulation?
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