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She is married and lives at home. She also has outbursts of anger. We just can’t get her to even try one. She says nothing is wrong with her. It’s everybody else. Just need some advise on how to help her understand that it wouldn’t hurt to just try it. Thanks.

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Jo, sometimes it is indeed ‘everyone else’. Situational depression is real, and it can be understandable when facing the trials of getting older. I don’t see myself as depressed, but we have had a lot of seriously difficult times that have worn me down. Two bushfires, the house burning down, a neighbour’s fraudulent damages case that lasted seven years, a legal case with our sheep breed society who wrote off all our stud stock, three deaths that mattered, a big problem with a daughter, and a lot of scoliosis pain for me. I’m not as tough as I used to be, and I fell in a hole when a sister picked a physical fight with me recently. And yes I’m 72 and that doesn’t help either. Last week the doctor put me on an anti-depressant that is not addictive, and said he didn’t care if I stayed on it permanently. Re-assure your mother that an anti-depressant doesn’t mean that you’re nuts, it just says that the world has got a bit too hard right now. She can sensibly use any help there is to cope with ‘everybody else’. Read this out to her with my love and best wishes.
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lealonnie, I thought my mother was the only person on earth who read the package inserts of all her medicine bottles. I can’t tell you how many times she stopped taking her prescriptions because she read the inserts and it caused a billion kinds of side effects. Stopped taking an antibiotic because it MAY cause diarrhea. The doctor gave her cream to put on her toe after going to the podiatrist and she called the pharmacy to ask the pharmacist if she may have gotten sick with flu like symptoms because she “sniffed” the cream. I just rolled my eyes in the back of my head, when she wasn’t looking of course.
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lealonnie1 Nov 29, 2019
I think it's part of the mental illness and/or personality disorder(s) they share in common. Dr Google and I have yet to pinpoint exactly WHAT the concoction may actually BE, but hey, we're working on it.......lol. When I was a kid I kept a black and white marble notebook about all of her off the wall behaviors which she kept hidden from everyone but me and my grandmother. I figured when the men in the white coats came to take her away they'd need a history of what had been going on for years. Sad, isn't it?
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Oh Lord, Barb.

Yes, there are reported side effects on all drugs. Most of us have even experienced side effects of drugs. Doctors practice medicine. It has never been an exact science. So it’s not uncommon that meds will need to be adjusted or changed from time to time BUT we don’t get all of the side effects listed on every drug that we take.

I hated when my mom read those inserts! I hated when she watched the news! If she saw anything about a recall I couldn’t convince her it was only a certain brand of peanut butter or whatever. Yes, it’s stressful and I understand how you ended up telling your mom that you couldn’t do it anymore. I wish I had done that years ago. Could have saved myself lots of heartache.
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BarbBrooklyn Nov 29, 2019
NHWM, I guess I was lucky in the sense that there was no way I could stop working to provide care for my mom in her home, or take her into mine.

I had/have my own mortgage. I live in a tiny 1000 square foot apartment in Brooklyn. There was just no way for me to be mom's caregiver, but I would have said no in any event. I was not cut out to do that.

I guess I was fortunate to know that in advance.
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My mom was prescribed an antidepressant. She took ONE PILL and told us she was suicidal (she read the package insert).

That's when I sat her down and said "Mom, I can't do this anymore".

She wanted to know what I was talking about.

I had rushed 50 Mile's one way from work to her house to respond to an "emergency".

I was clearly going to 1. Lose my job
2. Die from stress 3. Crash into something.

I told mom she needed to be somewhere where there were people around d all the time to help here. She fussed.

I said again, "Mom, I can't do this anymore".

I recommend you do the same.
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lealonnie1 Nov 29, 2019
Ah, my mother is the QUEEN of reading ALL the package inserts on her medications (before she was on the Magical Medication Program at the MC, that is to say) so she had EVERY single side effect there could possibly BE to have, plus a few she invented herself!! Plus, she's an 'exaggerator' aka 'liar' and so her side effects were The Worst Case Scenarios EVER. My all time favorite example is when she got a bridge from the dentist; I bought her a denture bath & a package of Polident cleaner. Yep, she read the back of the package and INSISTED she couldn't use the Polident because it would POISON her! On the market since 1958 with no reported deaths from poisoning, but hey, my mother WOULD have been the first case had she used the tablets!
I just threw the bridge and the bath & the Polident out in the trash when I moved her from the ALF to the MC she's currently living at.
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People who are dead set against psych meds are not going to try them. People that continuously blame others will not see their own faults. You can tell them that no one is right all of the time and it won’t matter.

Sometimes I would get so frustrated with my mom that I would say to her that it must be nice to be perfect!

Meds in general are controversial. People are confused. How is her health in general?

Some even feel they aren’t good for the elderly if they are fall risk. So she really would need to speak to her doctors first to see what is feasible for her situation.
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Have her doctor speak to her about what's bothering her. But, if she's like my mother, who's never ever wrong, then it's ALWAYS going to be somebody else's fault because they can't take responsibility for their own actions. Sometimes, an elder will believe what ANYBODY but their daughters or sons have to say to them, so that's why the doctor's words may hold more weight for your MIL than yours.

Has she had a medical workup? She may not be 'depressed' but may be suffering from dementia or some other medical issue that hasn't been diagnosed. Argumentative behavior is VERY common with dementia, so perhaps she's starting down that road? In any event, see if you can get her to the PCP for a full work up.

GOOD LUCK!
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