I have been reading on here for some time and see so many stories with similarities to mine but here it goes. I could really use some help sorting out what to do.
Now that I understand depression a little better, I’ve come to the realization that my mother (now 77) has been suffering from depression (perhaps manic depression) for most of my life. She would never even think about mentioning anything like that to a doctor for fear of being “locked up.” My Dad and I just learned to live with it and her mood swings. I live quite far as an adult - couple hour plane ride. My Dad has had to bear the brunt of her mental illness alone all these years, even worse that almost all of the hatred coming out of her has been directed at him. But he stays by her side anyway...
A couple years ago, she got shingles and started to act quite off - paranoia, hallucinations, hearing voices. Over time, that passed and she went back to normal (still depressed). Then last summer, it was incredibly hot and they don’t have air conditioning so she got dehydrated and stopped eating and drinking water. In connection with this, she started hearing voices telling her terrible things about my Dad - stealing, plotting to kill her, affairs, many other conspiracies. The voices also told her my wife and MIL had attacked me and one of my sons and beat us to a pulp. Horrifying stuff to hear over the phone for me. My Dad has always sheltered me from the trouble but this time asked me to come help. Long story short, we called an ambulance and had her treated for dehydration. While there, we got a full psych eval and dementia testing. The psychiatrist recommend something for the paranoia but she thought we were trying to kill her and refused to take it. Since coming home from the hospital, she now refuses to take any meds (worst ailment being high blood pressure) and won’t even see a doctor. She eats minimally - bread and milk. She cries all the time and finds no joy in any part of life, including young grandchildren that she once cherished. Her life is all misery right now and her goal in life seems to be to ruin my Dad’s life as much as she can. Yet he’s a loyal, good man and sticks by her (mostly to spare my own family the misery of taking care of her). There’s more of course but this is it in a nutshell.
As much as I want to help her, I want to save my Dad from this jail more than anything. I don’t know how.
Are there psychiatrists that will come to our house? Can I force one on her? Even if I find some way to get her into the hospital, we will likely get released and she won’t take any meds again so it will be a vicious cycle. She’s showing some signs of dementia but can gather herself with adrenaline to get through any verbal tests. I just don’t think she’s at the point where I can force anything on her. And unfortunately, no POAs in place. Getting her to do it now (or to even leave the house) seems impossible.
I’ll stop here. Any ideas are welcome. And thank you so much to this community. I see how you have supported others and now need you too.