My 80 yo mother has had depression and anxiety for quite a while now, plus what appears to be borderline personality disorder/narcissism. Three years ago she made a suicidal comment and ended up in a geriatric psych ward for a week, then sent home with outpatient therapy 3 times a week for about 6 weeks until she "graduated". She's been in and out of this facility now 4 times since.
Last fall, she kept making comments about "wishing it was all over" and such, so I called her home health nurse. She came out but said they couldn't do anything because when they questioned her, she said she wasn't going to hurt herself. A few weeks later, she wrote what appeared to be a suicide note. She made a big show of writing it in front of us, and when I asked, she said it was "a grocery list". When I walked nearby, she tried to hide it. So when she finished and went to the bathroom, I retrieved it and about fell out after reading it. I gently confronted her about it and offered to get her some help. She argued that she was "only putting her thoughts down like they (the outpatient therapy place) told her to". I said it didn't look like journaling to me and I wanted to call someone. She got so mad that I dropped it, but didn't sleep all night for checking on her. The next morning after she left for her therapy, I called her therapist and read the note to her. She said it sounded like a suicide note, and they would talk to her, but if she "doesn't say she's going to hurt herself, there's nothing they can do". Later that day, the therapist called to say mother assured them she wasn't going to hurt herself. She also said that mother "seemed to like the attention she was getting there and having something to do, but she didn't seem like she really wanted to help herself and they were getting kind of iffy about having her keep returning to the program". That same day I took the note and drove to her primary doctor's office asking for help, but was met with the same statement of "if she doesn't say she's going to harm herself, there's nothing we can do". A few days later, mother developed a condition that necessitated a trip to the ER. While there, I showed them the note. They seemed concerned about it and after the medical condition was cleared, they admitted her to psych for what I was told would be a 72 hr observation. The next morning, my mother gleefully called me to come pick her up as she was being discharged! I was floored.
She has since moved back to her old residence. She still mopes, gripes, and complains every day that she "wishes all this was over" and she "doesn't understand why God leaves her here when she's ready to go". Her home health nurse called me all concerned about mother's depression and I filled her in on all that's happened. They called her primary doctor and she in turn contacted the outpatient psych place again to get her back in. Well the outpatient place has called her several times to set her up again, but she refuses to go saying "I used to get more one-on-one time there, but now it's all group and I don't like it" and her frequently used phrase "It's boring". She used to go to the senior citizen place for activities but she won't go now because "it's boring" and they "don't do enough". She's been on antidepressants and anxiety meds for years, and will just start and quit cold turkey whenever she feels like it. She can't stand to be sleepy because she's afraid she'll miss something, and says if any of her meds "make her feel goopy" she's not taking them. She says the psychiatrist at the outpatient place is a "quack" and "doesn't know what he's talking about".
She expects us to visit all the time but it's difficult to want to spend time with her when all she does is mope, complain, and make those comments about wishing it "was all over". Plus we can't just visit, she always has a to-do list for us. Her "friends" call to check on her, but they don't visit as much for the very same reason. Same for when she lived in assisted living- she loved it at first but then started trying to micromanage the residents and staff so nobody liked her.
Any advice on how to deal with this is greatly appreciated, thanks! Sorry for the length of my posts.