My Mom has always been a Hypochondriac. Loves going to doctor discussing her illness. Any advice? -

My Mom has always been a Hypochondriac. Loves going to doctor discussing her illness. Any advice?


Gets what others have. Attention! She is 91. I want her to see a Neurologist, to find out what we're dealing with. And she is adamant about not going. I can get her there. But it's not easy. I have to get angry, just a big hateful conflict. Is this what I need to do. She has memory problems.Short and long term. bad choices. She cant't live alone anymore.My Brother has taken over Finances. And I am staying with her and doing her needs. Which are also conflict,

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A great sense of humor gets me and Mom through the day. She was asking me questions, over and over. Very distracting and irritating. Finally I said, Mom, NEW RULE. ONLY 2 questions at a time. Has worked so well. Once in a while she pops in with a third one. Then she claims its a statement, not a question.
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BOREDOM IS THE WORD! This is my mother to a tee. She lies around 24x7 365 and only moves to use the bathroom. Doesnt clean, cook, call people,go outside,take care of her dog,get mail,NOTHING! Just lays around complaining how sick she is & expects me to sit around with her listening to her nonsense. The docs dont find anything wrong so they send her home with more drugs for whatever illness she decided she had that day. Then the next day it is another illness. I tell her and the doc that she is so fake it is pathetic. So if she doesnt get some kind of pill she calls 911 and says she has another type of illness. This goes on every few weeks. When is somebody going to do something??? She needs mental help not more pills! Nobody seems to want to get involved. So yes I feel your pain every waking hour.
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Pam, what you wrote is so true. People dwell on themselves and symptoms when they don't have anything else to do. I'm sure that my mother had much anxiety about my father during his final years. She took Ativan, usually too much. Boredom and anxiety probably were huge factors in her hypochondria. The calming influence of her old doctor probably made her feel better and less vulnerable for a short time.

Old age is a troubling time. We watch our spouses die and realize that we too are old and fading. It is like being stuck in limbo, not really wanting to live but not wanting to die, either. The people who handle aging well are those that are dedicated to living. I have my fingers crossed that I will be counted in those numbers.
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We found the hypochondria lessened when we gave mom anxiolytics, like Ativan or Xanax. Boredom is also a big factor. Since mom moved to the ALF and is very busy there, aches and pains have disappeared. Social interaction with peers is extremely important.
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I so understand. Hypochondriacs will drive caregivers crazy and the Medicare system broke. For three years my mother kept us bouncing around from doctor to doctor with these various symptoms. I felt like I was losing my life to the appointments she was making. It turned out that some digestive symptoms she was having were due to her taking her medications wrong. These type problems healed themselves when she finally let me manage her medicines -- that was a real battle!

Strangely enough, her hypochondria ended when her doctor retired. We had to get a new doctor who she didn't like as much. She told me that her old doctor had made her feel safe and cared for. I guess that nice feeling she got with him is what created the symptom searching she did.

When the hypochrondria was at its worst, I had to put my foot down about the doctor appointments. It was ridiculous going to 2-3 appointments a week, only to hear that nothing was wrong or that her own behavior was causing the problem. She thought I was the bad guy for not wanting to take her to the doctor so much, so I had to deal with a lot of anger. It wasn't pleasant to have your mother so angry and saying "You don't care if I die." I wouldn't want to go through those years ever again.
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