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She throws tantrums, screams non-stop, wets herself and refuses to go into a Behavioral Rehab. 5 different Doctors have said these actions are all her choice. She's been seeing a Therapist for over a year but refuses to change. She has been in a Behavioral Hospital 4 times this year because she was violent and repeatedly hit my sisters/father. How do we care for her? An in-house nurse is not an option because she has bankrupted my family.


She has been on several different medications but nothing seems to work. She never calms down. Her screams have caused neighbors to call the cops. What do I do?

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If this is new behavior, there is obviously something seriously wrong.

I would push for getting to the root of the problem, especially since the meds are not working. Are you sure she takes the meds? Not to be mean, but until her problems are resolved, I don't think she really gets a vote in refusing to get help and/or change (which I don't think she really has much if any control over). With her violence and over-the-top behavior, she is certainly a danger to herself but mostly to others. It is not a safe place for the rest of you. I would get her back to her doc ASAP and nicely but firmly demand that SOMETHING be done.

Personally, I could not live with someone like that. She needs professional assistance, much more than you and your family can even consider giving her.

If it's ever in a really really bad place, you could always call 911 to have her taken to the ER and then let them know how bad her behavior is and refuse to take her back home. At this point, it is NOT her choice. She does not appear to have the capacity to make choices of this importance at this time.
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worriedinCali Aug 18, 2019
You can call 911, yes, but your mother can refuse to go and unless they think she’s a danger to herself, they won’t be able to force her to go.
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What sorts of doctors have worked her up?

Behavioral issues are sometimes caused by physical issues. Brain tumors, Wilson's disease, demyelinating diseases spring to mind.

Get her to a Board certified neurologist or psychiatrist at a university hospital for a complete diagnostic workup. I'm glad to hear that she doesnt have dementia.

ALL of the physical possibilities need to be ruled out before someone says that these behaviors are " her choice".
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Frances19 Aug 18, 2019
I will make this suggestion to my family. I know she has had certain testing done in our local hospital and even an out-of-state hospital but I'm not sure which tests. Will do a follow up on that!
Thank you for your suggestion. I do appreciate it.
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The comments from your mother’s therapist ("lock her outside the house during the day and only allow her to come into the house to sleep at night"), from the Behavioural Health Care facility (isolate her and ignore the screaming), and from 5 different doctors (these actions are all her choice), all suggest that your local Health Professionals really think she is choosing to behave badly – have lost patience and are at their wits’ end. It seems an unlikely choice for your mother, unless you can think of any ‘rewards’ she gets from acting this way. It seems more likely that something bizarre has gone wrong in her brain. Reading Oliver Sacks’ books is an eye-opener about just how bizarre and unusual things can be, as a result of a brain malfunction (eg The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat). The sudden onset (a year ago) would be in line with this. Barb’s good suggestion is to go up the ladder as far as you can, to get the possibilities assessed by neurologists and psychiatrists. Is seems like everyone local is out of their depth. I wish your family the best of luck.
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Frances19 Aug 20, 2019
She has been thoroughly examined and any neurological issues have been ruled out. It is a behavioral choice because when the cops have shown up in the past, she acts completely normal (very meek and calmly answering questions).
The therapist says this is her way of punishing my family for moving on with our lives while she is still miserable. Though she did choose to move with us she has not wanted to actively participate in her life.
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Has she had a full neurological work up. MRI scans and checked for tumors or other brain issues.?
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Frances19 Aug 18, 2019
I'm not sure but I will certainly check up on that.
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This will seem cruel, but your mom seems resistant to changing her behavior. She is risky to have at home since she harms others. Apply for Medicaid. Get her into a locked psych/rehab unit that will take Medicaid.

This is my weird thought. Have folks pray for her, you, and the family. Prayer does seem to help people... even folks that don't believe.
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NeedHelpWithMom Aug 23, 2019
That’s not weird. Can’t hurt to pray. We still have to do our part along with prayer.

I think of the nuns at my school who always instructed us to turn to God but not be lazy and expect God to do everything. We were told to pray to do well in school but it was our responsibility to study and work hard for our grades.
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If your mother has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's (per your profile) it's hardly fair to say that these behaviors are her "choice". Did she have mental health issues before her dementia diagnosis?

What level of care do her psychiatrists recommend ?
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Frances19 Aug 18, 2019
I didn't realize that I had put she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. She does NOT have Alzheimers nor does she have Dementia. I included those in my research for how other Caregivers cope with family member diagnosed with those conditions.
She is only diagnosed with Depression and Anxiety. She has never had issues with any mental health conditions up until this time last year.
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Apply for Medicaid as she has no money left. Why do the Behavioral Hospitals release her if she is no better?
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Has a physical cause, like a brain tumor, been ruled out?
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Frances19 Aug 20, 2019
She has had all neurological testing done. She has been thoroughly examined at according to my father and her records. No brain tumor.
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Has she seen a neurologist?
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This doesn’t sound like normal stubborn behavior to me. How do you lock someone out daily and just allow them to enter a home to sleep? That seems cruel.

Can you video tape her and show her psychiatrists the tapes? If she is bankrupt can she apply for Medicaid to receive free mental health help? I hope all of you, including your mom finds peace soon.
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