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Question
Posted by: Fluffy | 2010/10/07

My Mother is Loopy

Hi there,

My Mother is 60 and tells such crazy stories with such conviction. Ten years ago she was diagnosed with Paranoia and had a break down of sorts. She was put on medication (Amatryptallin, spelling?) but stopped it as it made her left arm numb. She went for counseling twice and then also stopped it saying she is not paranoid.

Her latest stories are about drunkards, including me, I was drunk at a family gathering. She has been asked to leave two jobs previously and is about to lose her third.

What can I do with my stubborn Mum? She won''t take medication or go to counseling. I find it impossible to sit and listen to these fabricated stories. Is this hereditary? Can a person die from a mental illness?

Thank you.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Sounds all rather odd. The medication would have been Amitriptyline, which is an antidepressant, not usually used to treat paranoia. And I have never heard of it causing numbness in one arm, as a side-effect. It might be worth checking with the doctor / clinic where she was seen before, what actual diagnosis was made, and whether they might see her again if she could be persuaded to go there.
I dan't really guess what sort of illness or disorder she might have - there are numerous possibilities. If she can be persuaded to see a shrink, she could be properly assessed and you could discuss then a proper diagnosis and treatment proposals. If she will not be persuaded ; if she feels fine and sees nothing wrong with herself, then she can't be forced to see a shrink or to accept treatment, unless there is good reason to believe her not merely to be ill, but a real danger to herself or others.
Various forms of illness, physical and mental can be hereditary. Only with a proper assessment and diagnosis could this question be more firmly answered in her particular case.
Can a person die from a mental illness ? Not directly. Some p[eople who become very depressed, and a few who become psychotic and out of proper contact with reality, can harm themselves or even die from their own actions ; and dementia can eventually prove fatal, though one usually does of other causes related to old age and age damage to other body systems

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Liza | 2010/10/07

Sounds almost like my mom. My mom always takes a small piece of truth, removes the context and then spins so many fantasies around that little bit of out-of-context truth that it gets a life of its'' own. My mother also refuses to believe that she has a problem. She''ll hang onto her story even when provided with physical proof that her story isn''t true.

The only way I''ve found to handle her, is to ignore every story she presents me with. I reply ''Yeah sure'' and then within moments forget the story.

You can''t help someone who refuses to believe that they have a problem. It''s like a person getting drunk every day and then believing that they''re not an alcoholic. You''re going to have to let you mother lose her job - and then apply tough love. Don''t help her out in any way. It''s her own fault that she lost her job. Allow her to face the consequences.

Seems to me like the source of many peoples'' problems with their nearest family are because they always help out - even if it is purely the fault of the offending family member. People who are forced to face the consequences of their actions become a LOT more mature and able to handle life than their counterparts who are always bailed out in some way.

Good Luck
Liza

Reply to Liza
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/10/07

Sounds all rather odd. The medication would have been Amitriptyline, which is an antidepressant, not usually used to treat paranoia. And I have never heard of it causing numbness in one arm, as a side-effect. It might be worth checking with the doctor / clinic where she was seen before, what actual diagnosis was made, and whether they might see her again if she could be persuaded to go there.
I dan't really guess what sort of illness or disorder she might have - there are numerous possibilities. If she can be persuaded to see a shrink, she could be properly assessed and you could discuss then a proper diagnosis and treatment proposals. If she will not be persuaded ; if she feels fine and sees nothing wrong with herself, then she can't be forced to see a shrink or to accept treatment, unless there is good reason to believe her not merely to be ill, but a real danger to herself or others.
Various forms of illness, physical and mental can be hereditary. Only with a proper assessment and diagnosis could this question be more firmly answered in her particular case.
Can a person die from a mental illness ? Not directly. Some p[eople who become very depressed, and a few who become psychotic and out of proper contact with reality, can harm themselves or even die from their own actions ; and dementia can eventually prove fatal, though one usually does of other causes related to old age and age damage to other body systems

Reply to cybershrink

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