I understand all the obvious reasons, especially when they are agitated or overly frustrated, but it seems that the more accepting I am by agreeing with her or smiling and saying anything encouraging makes her sink further into depression or ohpoorpitifulme-ness. The only time I can get her to eat, go to the bathroom (she doesn't care if it gives her UTI's but she'll go if I tell her she stinks and it makes her mad) or stop sitting there staring at me for hours on end and DO something (color, paint, watch tv, read, sort fabrics, fold clothes) is if I challenge her to just stop it with the pitiful act. When I say nice chatty things or sweet encouragements as you would a child, she just moans pitifully that she's old and can't do anything. But if I tell her to stop being pitiful, don't give up like this and 'rage against the dying of the light' she fires up and cusses me but then she actually tries to do things besides just sit there and become more and more depressed. So I ask again, is the not disagreeing with them a no-no across the board? Is it inherently harmful to their condition (mentally or physiologically) for the sufferer to be contradicted? if so, can you tell me why?