Haven't been here in a while, but my mom moved back in with me 4 weeks ago and there are issues. ;-) Anxiety and depression (both untreated for the most part) have been issues for her since I was a teen. I don't know if it's worse now, or if I am less patient with it. I have had my own struggles, but with talk therapy, cbt, and meds, I'm in a really good place, and I'm not willing for that to change.
The negative rumination happened again this morning (before 8am!!), when I am relaxing before the day starts. I mentioned that I thought anxiety was affecting her sleep. That was enough to get her started on how her father died when she was 8, her mother was unkind, etc. That went on for 15 minutes until I stopped her. I've heard this story hundreds of times. Probably closer to thousands of time. She gets annoyed when I stop her (with a gentle reminder), but she does stop and leaves. She complains that she has no one else to talk to, but she literally tells this story to everyone she meets.
It is hard to have any discussion of a health issue without this happening. If the topic is anxiety or depression, she talks about her dad and PTSD. Sleep has been a big problem lately. When sleep is the topic, the constant repetition is that her sleep problems started when she had radiation for throat cancer 5 years. She thinks that if she can find out what happened then, she can fix it. She's had the same sleep problems to varying degrees for at least 35 years. Sigh.
A lot of times I can use the "shiny object" approach to get things on a different track, but that doesn't work for me when we actually have to discuss a topic and she gets stuck in the past. At some point, this may have an impact on my own depression and anxiety. We're working on adjusting meds, and I'd like to get her back into talk therapy, if she's willing.
What have others done? I think that she'd be happier if she stopped this. If she can't, what can I do to stay sane? Right now, I have a 15 minute limit on the repetitive moaning stories, but I/m thinking of going to 10.