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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: daughter worried about mums mental health state

 chewy0901 - Sat Oct 27, 2007 2:04 pm

I am a 16 year old female with a mum who has been sectioned 3-4 times within the past 3 years with each lasting at least 2 months.

My mum is 41 years old, married, and has 3 children. She is (was, is more accurate, but thinks she is) a dedicated Buddhist who went for the silent treatment starting about 8 years ago. When I say silent treatment, I mean by not socialising with family or friends, and answers others with only yes or no responses. She decided to go through with this because she thought this would benefit our family as she used to argue with my father constantly and threatened divorce several times.

Throughout the 8 years, she has increasingly become more lifeless with no emotion. However, she did have events where she showed extreme mental health problems starting 3 years ago. She drank half a bottle of disinfectant dettol in an attempt to…well…I don’t exactly know why. I found her lying on the bathroom floor with the dettol in her hand and asked her what had happened. She said, “I drank it.” I asked her why but she replied with “I don’t know” and that’s all I got from her. A year after that event, she randomly went into a trance where she stayed in bed all week, eating nothing and saying nothing to any of us. At that time there were parts where she’d get up, her eyes closed, and randomly start pointing at objects and seem to be talking to someone (God maybe, as she has a feeling that she has a strong connection with God.) When we finally brought the hospital involved, she left with no argument.

After that she still fell silent but talking slightly more, only spreading the word about Buddhism and what she thinks is right and wrong. Since a year ago, she began with the strange personality. The first ever sign, was when her and me were on our own, and she asked me whether I had ever slept with my dad. This to me was very painful to hear as I knew it wasn’t true. I tried to think of where she got it from but there were no clues. Later on she was very ‘happy’ (but I could tell she put it on for show) and was being romantic with my dad. She had a strange personality to her and my whole family could see something extremely different about her. That summer, she continued asking even more absurd questions about my dad, but continued to put up a show towards him, looking as if she’d began to socialise again.

The main thing is that this year she has had these strange thoughts and accusations towards the whole family about a prostitute, and many other ludicrous stories to go with it. To me, it looks like she’s making up a huge story, which she keeps adding detail to. I can prove many of her accusations wrong, but that isn’t the point. I ask her; where does she get these thoughts from and she explains to me that it was God, expecting me to believe what she had said to me. I am not a religious person, and with the information I know, most of the thoughts going inside her head are not real. However, she is extremely persistent and I can tell that she genuinely thinks she is telling the truth. She lacks sleep and she prays at least 4 hours a day to herself. Sometimes she has random angry moments where she lashes out at my dad and next day she is calm and normal with him. This whole experience has been a traumatizing time for me and has upset many of my family, and other relatives who she has involved. She has even included a few of my friends, asking whether my father has done anything with them. From what I can tell, the things she makes up are mainly to hurt my father, and thinks everyone is against her and not willing to listen to others even if they can be proven right.

The council has tried it’s best, so has the mental health department, but no one seems to diagnose her with a proper mental health problem. This seems to be getting no where, and now I can personally speak out loud, as I have not spoken about this to any professionals as it can get too upsetting and long. I have a fear that I myself can end up with mental health problems, since this has happened, I can tell that it has affected me as I am angrier and have no patience for anything. I am sorry for the length of the post but this has happened for such a long duration of time it’s hard to fit 8 years in one go. I hope someone can suggest help and if you need any other symptoms I am happy to discuss more with you.
 Dr. K. Eisele - Sun Oct 28, 2007 7:59 pm

User avatar Dear Chewy 0901:

I amd wondering how old your mother is. Since you are 16, I'm going to assume for the moment that your mother is between the ages of 35 and 45.

The reason this is important is because for men and women, mental illness most commonly shows up in the early 20s. However, for women, the age range of 40 - 45, give or take a few years, is another time when a mental illness can just show up, out of the blue.

You mentioned that you believed that your mother is telling stories that she believes are true, although they are not, and that she is getting her information from God, according to her. This is very typical of a schizophrenic illness or possibly bipolar disorder.

It sounds to me that she needs to be seen by a psychiatrist and that the psychiatrist will absolutely need your input in order to diagnose her correctly. You may need to get her to a brand new psychiatrist to overcome any past notions about her diagnosis.

Best wishes.

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