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I started noticing something odd in my mother’s behavior years ago, but it was nothing more than the usual craziness. But recently, she’s displaying odd signs and symptoms and I know that something definitely isn’t right here.
In our old apartment we had problems with an upstairs neighbor. Were the neighbors annoying, yes. Were they noisy, yes. Were they following her around from room to room, probably not. She started believing that the woman upstairs was following her around the house harassing her. It got so bad that she would scream and bang on the ceiling. The worst situation with this was the time they had a party. My mother cried in the living room thinking they were mocking her from above.
Suffice to say we moved, and now in our new apartment, she believes the neighbors are once again harassing her. When I asked if they were “following” her like the other neighbors she said no, it was different. But in my eyes the situations are similar. She says they don’t like when she plays music or watches TV, and they bang. I have yet to hear banning, all I hear is the usual noise of people moving and living.
When I try to confront my mom that something might be wrong she’s extremely hostile and aggressive in nature. She gets loud and confrontational and denies being “crazy.”
I’m kind of at my wits end and I have no idea what to do. I tried to get her help once but she lied and kicked me out. I believe that she’s having persecutory delusions, but that is just from my research. What should I do about this situation, if there’s anything that I can do.
 

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:/

How old is she? I don't know what to tell ya. My father is very mentally ill but he can't be committed to a hospital here without saying he's going to harm himself or others. I didn't look to see where you live so the laws may be different.

It's not common for mental illness to strike in the 40s or 50s but it happens. If she's older it could be signs of dementia, sometimes early onset can hit in the 50s.

People don't usually exhibit behavior like that outside of a serious mental illness or neurological issue(sometimes even brain tumors cause behavior that seems like mental illness so it's important to be checked out). Did she experience a very traumatic event that triggered it?

Very sorry:(
 
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It could be paranoia as part of depression. I had moments of extreme paranoia (thinking my sister was standing outside my room, listening to me) and my sister had it too (thinking people could read her mind/people going to attack her). As soon as we both got rid of our depression, the paranoia went away.

Maybe try getting her to go to the doctor - CBT is good for things like that, or medication (it could be a hormonal imbalance caused by her being close to/in the menopause).

I'm sorry you're having to go through this :( It's always awful to see family suffer.
 

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Wow. That sounds pretty serious. She might have dementia, because hallucinations are generally common with it and it happens around that age. You should look at more of her behavior and try to see a psychiatrist or doctor again to report more information.
 

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Nothing traumatic happened. She just turned 54.
Maybe turning 54 was traumatic for her, just as traumatic as turning 53, or 40. Aging causes anxiety. Does your mom have a career? Woman this age need to feel they have a purpose, even if it's just looking after grand kids. Basically, the years add up, and with each one comes more emotional problems than the last. I think depression and anxiety are causing her to act like this.
 

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First of all, I'm sorry that you have to deal with this. My mom started having issues when I was 17 and it felt like I'd lost her, even though she was still there. I know it's rough.

The tough thing here is that's she an adult who doesn't have to get help if she doesn't want to. It sounds like she needs it, though. I'm going to agree with the people above who suggest getting her to a doctor. I'm not sure how you can persuade her to do that, but you know her best, so hopefully you can find a way. Being as gentle as possible, and respectful of her delusions (yes, they are delusions, but telling her she's crazy probably won't get her to do what you want) might work toward getting her to go.

Also, maybe you could try alerting other people who are close to her? That way, you won't be alone in facing this issue.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My mom’s handicapped and she hardly leaves the house. We recently got a dog, and she has been leaving the house more because she likes to walk her. The crappy thing is that she refuses to go seek help. I have talked to my family and no one believes anything is wrong with her. I’ve talked to her doctor, and he says there’s nothing he can do. So I’m kind of alone in the situation feeling hopeless. I realize that because of the stress, my patience with her has decreased. Sometimes in extreme situations, I call her crazy, which really doesn’t help things, I live in NYC, and I can’t force her into seeking treatment unless she’s a danger to herself or someone else. Which apparently she is not.
 
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