reaching breaking point
Not sure where to start.
My mom's behavior is getting worse all the time. She's 55, single, lives alone, placed on permanent disability 2 yrs ago after a minor work injury. The work injury isn't why she qualified for disability - she qualified because of a hearing problem.
She's always had very low self-esteem. I'm pretty sure this can be attributed to her being hard of hearing as a child. It wasn't diagnosed before she started school and the teachers treated her as though she was too stupid to learn.
Back to the current...after the work injury she rec'd a lot of attention, people showing concern, inquiring how she was doing. In the beginning I think she loved the attention and didn't want it to stop so she kept going with it. And now it's not just the injury - it's something different every time you talk to her - flu, cold, stomach, sore throat, and every bug, sickness, or disease she hears about.
When all you talk about is how bad you feel, how much this or that is hurting - people start avoiding you. Over the last 2 yrs all of her friends have removed themselves from her life. She became more and more isolated and now rarely leaves her house.
Being alone so much - she sits in her house and thinks and thinks, twisting and turning past conversations and events into something totally different from what was said or happened. She turns us (her family) into the enemy, convinces herself we treat her badly, don't care about her, conspire against her.
an example - she's scheduled for minor surgery on Monday. She refuses to spend the first few days out of the hospital at our house because she thinks we won't let her go back home. She seriously believes we're planning to keep her against her will.
She also has random outbursts of aggression. One minute she's fine, the next she's forcing a confrontation and flies into a rage. Can't even try to reason with her or respond because she screams and yells, then runs out. Two hours later she calls like nothing ever happened.
She's always had radical behavior patterns, but never been "mean-spirited" until the last couple years. The most perplexing of all is that she's - not sure how to describe it - if you wanted to manipulate someone, she's the perfect target - she would never see it coming or know it happened. It's like her mind doesn't or can't perceive deceptive behaviors. (hope that made sense)
I know only a doctor can make a diagnosis. But until I have some idea what I'm dealing with - I don't know how to approach her in a way to get her to a doctor.
Does it sound like I'm on the right track thinking bi-polar disorder? Or is her behavior more indicative of something else?