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I am worried about my own well being. I am 60 years old, my mom is 88. She is a widow. I moved back into her home three years ago -- having me here keeps her out of assisted living. We generally get along.
My mother has some short-term memory problems but is not Alzheimer's. She is very hard of hearing. She can only move with a walker and has problems with balance. She has problems with depression and endured a bad marriage with my father who is deceased. Her health is maintained as a type 2 diabetic with a heart problem.
Here is my problem.
My mother has always yelled and shrieked at me. For as long as I can remember. There is at least one period a day where something upsets her and she explodes. She has a very loud voice, it can cause headaches.
Things are getting worst as she ages and becomes more forgetful, and is unable to hear my answer my questions. She also is angry that I "ignore" her -- i do not.
I have accepted that I will not change my mother, and that I will never completely accept being shrieked at. it is simply how things are.
Here is my question. I am increasingly internalizing stress, developing headaches over "fights" like i had with her tonight, and frankly, and getting more miserable.
I am not a depressive (have been told so by doctors), do not take psychiatric medication or tranquilizers (I refuse to), do not drink or take drugs.
I do not want to see a psychologist or psychiatrist to help me deal with stress. I have tried this before -- it is not for me.
I also tried going to a senior care giver group that was offered hers for people living with family members who have an onset of dementia or alzheimer's. . I got little out of it. It was mostly people talking about how stressed out they are.
Now, my question is where can I go?
Are there any books I can read?
I do have two sisters who live about 1000 miles from here who do talk to my mother -- but unfortunately, I do not have enough of a relationship with them to talk about things. This is not going to change.
I am so tired -- and down right now I am not sure what to do.

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You say you've accepted both that you can't stop her shrieking and that you will not be able wholly to tolerate being shrieked at. Um. Doesn't this mean that you've accepted a partly intolerable situation? The internalised stress would seem to me to mean that while your superego might have accepted that, the rest of you is digging its heels in and complaining bitterly.

JessieBelle's answer sounds good. You could perhaps preface it with "mother, when you yell I feel ill." Then if that short sequence of (yelling-statement-you leave the room/house/neighbourhood) is repeated often enough, and your mother's slight cognitive impairment doesn't altogether prevent it, there might be a slight change in her behaviour. There'll certainly be a change in your behaviour, in that you will allow yourself to cut the intolerable episodes to a minimum. Worth a try?

I'm also going straight away to look at Babalou's Mood Gym suggestion. Sounds great!
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SoCalEddi, I understand so well what you're saying. When my mother gets like that, I just walk away. I won't be able to stop her anger, but I don't have to listen to it. It's usually about something she wants me to do that I don't want to do. It's always a control issue, with her thinking that if she gets mad enough she'll make me do whatever. Total bullying. There's nothing to do but walk away until we both calm down. Sometimes I write on here about it, because I don't have anyone that would listen, either. If I were to talk to anyone, the sympathy would be to my mother and not to me. Kind of strange -- we can be the one going through the pain, but the elder is the one who gets the sympathy if we talk about it. It is the nature of elder care.

I've also found that no one really wants to hear about it. They want the caregiver to absorb and deal with it. This includes family and friends.
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Google Moodgym. It's a free online Cognitive Behavioral Therapy app. You might find it useful, or you might, as Jeanne did, try a different therapist who might be more helpful. I'd also like to try to change your mind about SSRIs. They can be very used ultimate in rebalancing brain chemistry that has been thrown out of whack by long term stress.

It's often useful to ask yourself where mom would be if you died, and perhaps give some thought to making a plan for that. Stress like this kills. Make sure you get your regular checkups and make sure that your doctor knows about the stressors in your life.
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You need to talk to somebody. Sisters are out. Professional counselor is out. Support group is out. Hmmm. Do you have a VERY close friend you can talk to? You can vent here, of course. If you are venting and not looking for advice, be sure to say that in your post. You can also talk to yourself, in the form of journalling. Many people say they find it helpful. Physical exercise is highly recommended by experts. A creative outlet such as knitting or painting or cake decorating or playing an instrument can also be helpful.

Can your mother be on her own for a few hours at a time? If so, take regular breaks with activities you like, be they shopping or biking or getting a manicure or taking a class. If not, hire someone to stay with her on a regular basis. Respite is an awesome stress reliever for caregivers.

There are MANY books on managing stress. I expect other posters will indicate which they found useful. (I personally like fiction, especially murder mysteries, to help me unwind.)

You may also find some of the many books about dementia to be helpful. Knowing what to expect to some extent can reduce stress when it occurs.

In my ten-year journey with my husband's dementia, the most helpful stress-relievers for me were
1) physical activities (water exercise at a gym)
2) reading
3) learning about dementia
4) a caregiver support group
5) respite time to myself (I didn't do this often enough)
6) a therapist (tried two -- one was useless, the other very helpful)

Each person is unique. You need to work up a list of your own. I hope you get some ideas from what AgingCare members will share with you.
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