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She is on a mood stabilizer (depakote) and 2 antidepressants Pristiq and Trazadone and Aricept. She is being treated by her primary care doctor and psychiatrist and psych nurse visits. She does not want to do anything... Activities, eat, bathe socialize, watch tv. Dad died in October 2009 and I think she is trying to die, given up on life. She was like this while dad was alive. Im at a loss with what to do.

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I too am struggling with a mother in law who now lives with us and suffers from severe depression. She is 85 and has been on severe medication as long as I have known her which is over 35 years. She does not have dementia at all but is sad and angry all the time. She resents that her daughter wouldnt take her in and reminds me all the time that I am not, nor ever will be her daughter. Her medications have caused severe diarrhea, where we are running, usually too late, to the bathroom sometimes 3-4 times within an hour and a half. When she speaks she half cries, half whines and it is very exhausting on me as a caregiver. My problem is I could never live with the guilt of putting her in a home knowing that she is not the type to try to fit into an new environment. She can be very nasty, has no desire to socialize and will basically lay in a home until she dies. That guilt is too much for me to bear, and so she stays with me, and every day is exhausting. She half sits and slumps in the chair watching tv and refuses to play cards, do a jigsaw puzzle, nothing, no matter how much I offer to do these things with her. When I make her exercise by walking with her walker or try to get her to do anything she gets so angry with me she doesnt talk to me. The problem is she has been on medicines for so long I think she is immune to them and has never tried to gain the behavioral skills to make her situation and attitude better. I know what you are going through and want you to know that you are not alone. Pray as much as you can for the strength to continue doing what you are, and try to not feel guilty. I know it is a constant battle for me.
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My mother-in-law went through a pretty bad depression after her husband of 60 years died. Her doctor put her on very little anti-depressants, because it was a normal reaction to the death of a loved one. She used to talk about dying, and wishing she had died with him, but then again I think that's normal. Not wanting to be left behind to fend for herself would make anyone depressed. Plus the fact that he basically made all the decisions in their marriage. She was just a compliant person and didn't want to fight about stuff, so she gave in A LOT. Which I have to say makes taking care of her now really easy since she is so easy to get along with. We just kept at it, taking her places, keeping her busy with regular life stuff and eventually she stopped talking about dying. Now she looks forward to me taking her anywhere I want to, she doesn't care, as long as she gets to get out of the asst living place for awhile, she's happy.
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busz, I am no doc or phsyciatrist so I hope I'm not talking out of turn here but isn't that a lot of medication? Add the meds, severe depression and mourning the loss of her husband, it sounds like your mother might not be able to do anything except sleep. I know when I went on anti-depressants, a low dose, when my father died, I didn't want to do anything either. The meds kicked in and I was able to function but it was a struggle. Thank goodness, I didn't have to stay on them forever or I don't know how I'd have kept my job, etc. This is just my experience for what it's worth.
Have you asked the doctors if her meds could be interacting? Have they said sleeping a lot is normal? Have they said you expect improvement? I sure hope they can give you some answers and some suggestions. Good luck.
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Buzymom I don't recall how old you said your mom is but she is for sure mourning the death of her husband, which will take time.

Have you tried putting pictures of happy times close to her so she can remember those times? sometimes that makes them smile. I also find that talking about old times would make my mom chuckle as well. Lately she's been laughing somewhat, and talking about old times. I talk about old times all the time, and because she has Dem/Alz has not detoured me from that. I still continue to tell her funny stories, and speak of people we know. Sometimes it hits home, and sometimes it doesn't. A lot of times she tries to tell me stories that are all scrambled, but I can pick through them.

Memories seem to work the best. Comedy is also a great trick for a treat as well. And sometimes I dance for my mom and she just watches as if she really wants to say something but can't.

Don't know if this helps but it's worth a try.
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