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My 87 yr old mum lives with my family and she seems to never be happy or make conversation. Always neg in replays to me. She makes me feel guilty if I need time for my self.

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I live with my mother and she is extremely negative and everything is in absolutes - when she is happy at something I do for her, or when I return home after running errands and she is lonely and afraid, she doesn't know what she would do without me. When I'm talking on the phone or too tired to wash the dishes right away, if it wasn't for her nothing would get done or all I do is spend time on the phone/computer.

There are a couple of issues at work in mom's situation. Yes, there is depression, and we have tried antidepressants but the side effects were too disruputive and the medication made no improvement on her mood. The more likely cause of her misery is her generally negative personality combined with being in a country she intensely dislikes while missing her homeland. She is looking back on her life with regrets, and is stuck in the past. This is something that no chemical can resolve. There are two general sources of depression - clinical and situational. Personality also plays a factor in how the depression is manifested and dealt with. At this psychosocial developmental stage of life, according to Erickson, people go through a task/crisis/resolution cycle of being satisfied with their life or feeling in despair. The individual is more than a mass of neurons, tissue, bones and organs. They also have a soul. They have also had life experiences that shape their perception and identity.

A parish priest gave me a sage piece of advice one time. I was struggling with not being as compassionate and empathetic with mom as I should be. He told me that loving and forgiving mom was one thing, but I did not have to descend into that abyss with her. Neither do you have to feel guilty or responsible for your mother's feelings. I've tried many options - having someone come in to visit her (she complained it was too often and didn't this person have anything better to do); visiting the UK with her (it's too late now, I'm too old, I don't have the energy anymore, it would be too painful to come back); everything I could think of. She rejected all sources of support. So it is quite possible that no matter how much you do, it will not be satisfactory according to your mother.
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Our Mom has PTSD, clinical depression, and narcissistic personality disorder. Just forund out about five years ago - while it's not a pretty diagnosis- we all breathed a sigh of relief -"THAT's WHAT THAT IS !" She's been this way for as long as we can remember- was terribly physically and mentally abused as a child. Her doc (who JUST gave us per practice due to Obamacare) prescribed several different things, (not all at the same time) but Mom doesn't like the way they make her 'feel' (RELAXED? CALM? PLEASANT???) I personally go to the Serenity Prayer: I fix what I can (meals, cozy home, pups to pet, sunshine/fresh air, appropriate physical/mental stimulation, outings, visits, etc.) DON'T FIX what I can't (attitude, internal strife, external:opinions/cutting remarks/scowls/judgements/nastiness/angry outbursts-tantrums), and have the Wisdom to know in my heart that I'm doing all that I can, and all that I can is more than enough. Our Mom always expected us to be a 50's TV family- we weren't allowed to be normal children. We had to be perfect. I know we live imperfect lives in an imperfect world. If you agree with me in that statement, then the only advice I have for you is to realize that aging and pronounced stress we caregivers deal with all the time is just a part of the imperfection that is inherent in life and can't be fixed. I pray to be able to tolerate and not lose kindness and compassion. Built into that is also my mantra from Maya Angelou "You alone are enough...You have nothing to PROVE to anybody". (I think TNovak gave us a new one here today, that I'd like to append if I may: "Love-Pray-Smile and Talk - God Bless Us Every One !)
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I totally agree with the above answer.......I have been in the nursing home environment for 20 years due to a family member and with medication, they can do miracles with depression..........it will at least lift her moods........if she is just a negative person generally and is getting you down, you need to set boundries in how she treats you and do NOT allow her to make you feel guilty......you need time to yourself, to recharge and be any good to her........pat yourself on the back, ignore her comments and make time for yourself.......
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Mom went from gregarious chatterbox to speaking only when spoken to. In her case, it was part of her dementia. At 87 years old, I would be hesitant to add more pharmacology to her mix.

Sometimes I think our loving intentions stand in the way of the winding down process that is old age working its inexorable way to the finish line.

Stop LETTING her "make you feel guilty." She probably isn't trying to do that -- or at least wouldn't want to if she were the mom you've always known. In order to be the best you can be for mom? You need time for yourself. Mom doesn't need a martyr, she needs a rested and invigorated daughter to help her on her journey. Take that time. Lunch or dinner with family...shopping respites..wherever you find your joy. School will keep. You'll be the better for it, and so will mom. There are myriad services that will send caring help your way.
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Mom just passed a few weeks ago and looking through some of the old pics I was actually looking for the last time she was genuinely happy. This is May 2015 and it was Spring 2013 the last time she had a true smile. Sad and hurtful to know how miserable it was for her in the past year. Yes, I am still coming to this website for help and support. You've all become a much needed friend over the past few year and it has been greatly appreciated.
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From what little you write, it sounds as though she's clinically depressed. Have you discussed this with her doctor, or had a consult with a geriatric psychiatrist?
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The suggestions so far are all very helpful. A physical and a mental health evaluations are necessary to rule out underlying causes for this condition. It may be a symptom of something. How much socialization does your mother get with her peers? My mother went through a depressive bout that occurred mostly this winter after the death of her older sister whom she had not seen in over 5 years. She was not bathing, changing her clothes, and began not eating. Along with other physical issues, her doctor ordered a move into assisted living. Now my mother is thriving-- eating meals with new friends, daily activities available (participation is optional), playing games or cards in the evenings, monitoring and medication management. She is truly happy! What is nice for her is that she is among peers who share similar memories and current realities. They support each other in ways we cannot give them. With structure, routines, and safety, assisted living can be a relief not only to the caregivers but also to the elderly person and her dignity. Something to consider.

Regardless, socialization with peers is essential for the elderly. Does she attend any functions at perhaps a senior center? church? other activities? Does she have hobbies? Even with playing cards, there are times when my mother's group will play together and a few will be playing totally different games at the same table, which is fine as long as they are not alone and lonely. Because others are going through the same issues, they oftentimes can laugh at themselves and the situation. Acceptance is so important.

Hope this post gives another helpful perspective.
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Simple, blunt, and least frustrating of all actions is to just be happy and converse with her and the rest is out of your hands. You can't know what is inside her right now, but living long in this world is pretty tough on most of us. Love Pray Smile and Talk! God bless.
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I literally take it one day at a time with my husband who has PD. I see a counselor and am on an increase with depression meds. My counselor has told me that I have to accept him as he is now and accept the changes that are taking place.
I expect your mom has had lots of losses, parents, siblings, friends, her abilities to do for herself, aches and pains of old age, not knowing what to do with herself and having no purpose?
Is there anything at all that she can help with? folding laundry? setting the table, watering plants, even if it takes her all day?
My husband still cooks, does the laundry and goes shopping for groceries. i have to drop him off because he no longer drives. it takes him all day and sometimes two days to get the laundry done and put away.
he nearly drowns in sweat when he is cooking and sometimes he gets weak and can't finish the meal. when he does the dishes often they are not clean and i have to do some of them over.
i let him do as much as he possibly can for as long as he can so that he has purpose. he is responsible for his meds and when he takes them. i was doing that fore months and then decided he needs as much control has he can manage.
i find it hard to take time for me but i have a good friend who i can call almost every day and i go out for lunch when i have the energy. being a caregiver is emotionally exhausting. seeing the deterioration is so disturbing.
i try to tell myself that getting old is natural and getting weak is to.
I also truly take life one day at a time and i pray a lot.
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I have written many times here about the impact that a SENIOR BEHAVIORAL CLINIC had on my mom. (they are all over--just ASK.) She was just as you described. They kept her for ten days and fine-tuned her meds. Now, even six months later, she is delighted to see me EVERY SINGLE TIME I SHOW UP. IT IS FABULOUS. We go for rides, play cards, get ice cream, go for lunch.... she is always easy going and content. I thank God for this clinic every day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do not delay! And, btw, insurance paid for all but $1,000. Well, worth it to me!
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