Medical Specialty >> Neurology

Doctors Lounge - Neurology Answers

Back to Neurology Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/04/2017.

Forum Name: Neurology Topics

Question: Mom and mental illness

 michelle6810 - Sun Aug 05, 2007 10:40 pm

Hi! I am writing in regards to my Mom who is 62. She was diagnosed with depression five years ago and is currently taking paxil. She has always had a negative out look on life and seeks attention. Some days she's a vampire, some days the victum. Three years ago she had a nervous break down and was hospitalized for two weeks. She told the Doctor that I had beat her until she agreed to go get help...I was completely dumbfounded when she asked me why I did it after she was released from the hospital. We argued about it back and forth and to this day she really believes it happened even after my Father and Sister told her no such thing happened.
Nineteen months ago my Father died of cancer and since then Mom thinks every man she meets is helplessly in love with her. She tells of her dates as if she's reading a romance novel. I'm really getting worried about her mental health. She takes fits of crying, has trouble sleeping, and has to be the center of attention whenever family visits...she does whatever it takes to see that she's the topic of everyone's conversation. Two things she is doing that really hurts me is she tells me people ask her how she ever lived with my Dad, what a good and fine lady she is, and how bad he was (My Dad worked twelve to sixteen hours a day to provide for us) the second is: she can't stand for me and my siblings to talk to one another on the phone. She tells each one of us what she thinks we want to hear and her stories grow wilder and wilder each time they are told.
Despite all the mental tormoil, she did see to it that we had clean clothes and three well balanced meals a day. She currently takes pain pills for degenerative disc disease. She never drank alcohol or did drugs that I know of when we were children but since Dad died she has been drinking liquor. I'm at my wits end.
I know it's wrong, but I don't visit Mom as much as I should because her lows are alarming and I don't want my six year old daughter to see her like this. I usually take her to her doctor's appointments, when she goes, but never go in the exam rooms with her. I'd like to take her to a mental health facility but can't stand the thought of her telling people I am mean to her! What should I do?
 Debbie Miller, RN - Thu Aug 09, 2007 10:44 am

User avatar Your mother needs a thorough psychiatric evaluation to be sure she is still on the correct medications if she has not had this recently.

You can give information to her provider, privately. Even though they cannot discuss her case with you unless they have permission, you can still offer information to them. I hope this makes sense.

This is a very frustrating situation for all of your family. It takes an amazing amount of patience and perseverance. I can certainly understand your reluctance to subject your child to her irrational behavior and the hurt you must feel at being blamed. Remember this is her problem and her behavior is coming from an illness; not ill-intent.

You may want to contact NAMI for information and support about mental illness. They help families to cope with these things. Hopefully there will be a group near you.

Good luck.

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us