Mom's throwing temper tantrums. What do I do?

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This has been going on for as long as I can remember. My mom constantly picks on my dad. Anything he does isn't good enough. Anything he does isn't fast enough. If my mom asks, more like demands, that my dad do the dishes, if he doesn't get on it within a minute she will start doing it herself and during the entire process complain about how my dad doesn't do anything. The thing is, without being asked, my dad does the dishes most of the time. This happens about many things all day long. My grandmother lives with my parents. If my dad helps my grandmother with something, mom will mumble that he helps his mom more than he helps her. From time to time, I've stepped in to defend my dad. Of late, I've told my dad not to take it anymore. What happens is that it then spins way out of control with my mom screaming incoherently at the top of her lungs. A primal scream. In between shes lashes out that everyone is ganging up on her. Today my dad said he was sorry even though I don't think he did anything wrong. My mom screams back that it was too late for that.

After the yelling my mom crawls into bed and cries for about an hour. After mom settles down, I try to talk to her about how she can express herself without all the yelling. As long as I don't talk about the incident she is perfectly calm like nothing has happened. She even denies anything has happened just an hour ago. She claims not to know what I'm talking about. If I push it a little more, she starts to scream and yell "I don't want to talk about it." with her eyes close like a 2 year old throwing a tantrum. It's impossible to have an adult conversation with her. I said that to her to today and her response was that of course everything is her fault.

I can't stand it anymore. Dad is brow beaten. I've thought about having her see a mental health professional. I've brought this up many times and she throws a tantrum yelling that we think she's crazy. The big problem is that english is not her native language and I can't find anyone that speaks it within 150 miles. There is a psychiatrist in Sacramento that does speak her native language that says she can have sessions over Skype but I'm not sure that would help. To everyone outside the immediate family, mom acts like the perfect mom and like everything is wonderful in the family. It's an act. I think it would take a while in person to get to the point where she drops the act, if ever. Over Skype, I don't see her being very responsive. What to do?

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My nephew is bipolar with severe depression rather than mania. He does rage at times. She may be dealing with it so I think she needs to go see a Dr for a mental health evaluation.
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You do exactly what you should do with a 2 year old does this.

Ignore her and leave the room. Or laugh at her and leave the room.

Keep a careful ear out to be sure that she doesn't get hurt...but ignore her.

She is seeking your undivided attention and using bad behavior to manipulate you. Do not reward it by leaping around trying to help her and make her feel better....it won't work anyway.
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My mother behaves the same way and suffers from depression. She had a very tough childhood. About 10 years ago, she gradually alienated herself from friends and extended family. She doesn't socialize outside of work and tv is her only friend. She says she's perfectly happy by herself. She belittles and complains about my father who has an active social life. For whatever reason, a trigger sets her off and she throws a temper tandrum. She curses at my father, throws objects and kicks, screams and shouts. He waits until it passes and afterwards, she acts as though nothing happened. My father keeps it from me so I'm not sure how often these episodes take place. He only tells me if I specifically ask. I got her to see a therapist and the three of us attended for three months. The therapist wanted to work with her individually. However she stopped going after six months. She doesn't acknowledge her issues and claims she's happy and fine. I told the therapist that when things settle down in my life, we will start the family sessions again. She was on meds for depression about 8 years ago. At that time, she lost weight and stopped going to work for a few months. My father protected her by keeping it from me. She had promised to go back to work if he let her stay home one more day...then one more week...and then one more month. When I found out, I met with her PCP and got her to see a therapist. She stopped going after two months for the same reasons as now. English is also her 2nd language.
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My mother behaves the same way 
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Thanks again all. I'm going to talk to her again about seeing a mental health professional this week. I'm waiting for a good time. Right now I think it would just cause another blowout. I think I'll call her primary care doctor for a referral regardless so that it's ready to go.
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Sounds like my mother. Have you checked out any narcissistic threads. I would venture a guess that she at least is one of those and maybe border line personality. My mother acts perfect sound others but that's her family like yours. It's a lifelong problem. Everything exists to either make her feel good or to make her miserable. She looks at life from the viewpoint of how it effect her, no empathy for anyone else. Good luck. I had mom in geriatric psych but v she was too clever for them. Said she was depressed and anxious. I think it's too late to fix mom now, all I can do is read up on these conditions and not be her puppet any longer. They are miserable human beings that you simply cannot help our make any happier. It's something within them. All you can do is work on yourself and not react to her crazy making actions.
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Always behaved this way? Grandmother/Mother-in-law lives there, too? This is a threesome and you are becoming a fourth partner. (Re: I told Dad not to take it anymore.) And look what happened. The dynamics changed but things got worse and nothing was resolved. And you want all this to change, now?

Maybe you should take both parents to a counselor, so at least Dad will get a chance to express himself and perhaps Mom will reveal her true self. Then the counselor can make suggestions to help each of them and possibly you. After a lifetime of this behavior, it will take time for changes to occur. Hopefully, you will see how you are being drawn in and can step back out to save your sanity.

If they cannot be at peace, perhaps, you can find your own. Good luck.
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Your mother needs professional help ASAP. I don't know her physical condition but that kind of rage/behavior could cause her to have a stroke or heart attack among other things. She is suffering whether she admits it or not. It isn't healthy for her or the family to let this go. Please get her to a doctor and if she refuses to go, call 911. There is help available, get some before something tragic happens.
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Dear Losiinghair: It sounds like your Mom has a serious mental/psychological problem and you need to get her help whether she likes it or not. The above suggestions to videotape her are a good idea - so easy now with the camera phones. If she's busy ranting at your Dad, she probably won't notice you taping her. Another valid reason mentioned was that she may eventually her herself or you or your Dad,or your Grandma. You might also try keeping a diary of these outbursts. You won't be able to videotape every event, but you could document the date of every event in a written/typed journal. After you go home from your parents, you could write the details before you forget them. Also, since your Mom refuses any counseling (regardless of the language issue), perhaps you could get some counseling for yourself, just to help manage your stress - you don't want to go completely bald, do you? LOL In the process, maybe your counselor can make some recommendations regarding your Mom. If you bring along the videos and/or the journal I mentioned, it would probably help the counselor pinpoint your Mother's needs.
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Do you have a smart phone with a video camera built in? Next time she does the primal scream and rage, video tape her. That convenient, "I don't remember what I did" won't be an excuse anymore.
Also, if possible, just call 911 on her and tell them that you have a situation where your mother is depressed, screaming in a rage, will not calm down and you are worried about her safety and the safety of those in the home.
If they haul her off, so be it. Her choice to act that way.
My FIL thought he would show off with all the yelling and fits and it finally escalated to where he took a gun and put it to his stomach. Later he cut himself with a knife. He got a nice week stay in a mental hospital. He is now in rehab at a nursing home. He can't quit playing mind games and demanding.
He's not coming home. He has blown all chances.
People don't have to live like that anymore. Get her help and out of the house before she goes off and hurts one of your family members and then her defense will be, "I just don't remember your honor, can I go now? Thanks."
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