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  • Help for my mother who is clearly mentally ill but takes no help!

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    Old 12-28-2004, 09:34 AM   #1
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    Help for my mother who is clearly mentally ill but takes no help!

    Please, I would like some advice on the health of my mother

    Age: 60, lives in southern Uk with my father (64)
    Health: clinically obese, smoker, diabetes, not mobile and cannot stand or walk for long at all. Dependent on alcohol, and drinks large quantities of gin / beer generally in the evening

    Tendency to be unstable, had a nervous breakdown after giving birth to me (35 years ago), had ECT treatment but never sure if this helped or solved her problems.

    Has just "come out" that she was sexually abused but a family / close friend member at the age of 8, over a period of time. The person is still alive and part of our network, but of course my mother has not seen the person for some considerable time.

    We have noticed my mother has got worse over the past 6 years or so, first by gaining a large amount of weight and cutting herself off more from the world. Since she retired from work 3 years ago things have got even worse and she is drinking heavily in the evening (never admitted to me and my sister) but my dad sees it all. She also has diabetes but she doesn’t seem to worry about what the drink could do on top of the diabetes.

    She is not washing, dressing or looking after herself pretty much every day.

    Problem is that she puts on a very brave face to all around her (apart from my Dad) so she is pretending to the world about how she really feels. She also gets quite aggressive to anyone who tries to talk to her about her problems or how she feels, so generally everyone avoids the subject for the sake of a peaceful life. In the meantime, Mum gets more unwell, day by day.

    So how do we get around that ??

    My Dad is at the end of his tether and he is going through mental torment from my mother, who is mentally abusing him after she has had a drink or two. He has spent many a night sleeping in the car to avoid more grief. We know it is due to her problems but she will not seek help or let anyone seek help for her. Doctors have told us that it must come from her.

    The last 3/4 days have not been good and she has been in bed for all of them, complaining of some back and side pain that she cannot get rid of. Doc says she should seek further medical advice but mother won’t accept this and just lies in bed.

    We don’t know what to do.... do we let her just carry on which is certain to lead to an early grave! - Doctors say they cannot do anything unless my mother asks for it.... Its all-quite ridiculous...but we don’t have the answers.

    Dad is a nervous wreck and I also fear for his health. He would genuinely leave her tomorrow if he could but he has no-where to go. He is lost, confused and unhappy.... that goes for my mum too.

    Can anyone help in knowing what are our possibilities? Could we force her to seek medical treatment, or does anyone know a support group in the UK that might be useful for my Dad.

    All help would be greatly appreciated

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    Old 12-28-2004, 09:51 AM   #2
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    Re: Help for my mother who is clearly mentally ill but takes no help!

    If your mother won't accept help (at the expense of your father) then please try to get help for your father. Is there someone else he can live with? Why can he not come and live with you? Or another family member. Sorry I am unable to offer you any advice on how to help your mother. Best of luck to you and your family.

    Old 12-28-2004, 01:37 PM   #3
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    Re: Help for my mother who is clearly mentally ill but takes no help!

    I don't know about the UK but here in the states you can have someone involuntarily committed if you believe they have the means/desire to hurt themselves or someone else. However, let me say that this process sucks! I tried it and didn't get any help. They released my mom saying she was fine. She wasn't fine. She committed suicide shortly after. Please please please don't give up though! Some states can force people to take medication, and maybe once she's been on them awhile, her thoughts will clear. Sorry I'm not much help, but I've been where you are, and you NEED to keep trying.

    Old 12-28-2004, 01:52 PM   #4
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    Re: Help for my mother who is clearly mentally ill but takes no help!

    What's been said is true. Unless there's an immediate threat to self or others- commitment doesn't happen.
    You AND YOUR FATHER could find help via Alanon or a similar group. There are plenty of folks in the same situation and you will find support and undesradnign with them.
    This sounds harsh but your father could,if he pays the bills, tell your mother to get help or leave. If its his money paying for the home; then he has a right to set rules for those who live there. He might be able to leverage a physical exam and possibly turn up something causing the downward spiral in behavior before you go into the psychiatric aspects.
    Also, if she was molested by a family member. odds are she wasn't the only one.Predators don't stop at one victim. Can you discretely check with members of the family who are withing say the same age and a few years above or below to see if they ever heard of soandso doing something to children? If she found other members who suffered the same, and that is very often the case, she might have courage to get counseling along with those family members. And confronting the abuser after that could bring a lot of relief.
    She raised a decent son who has a good, loving heart; she has something of which to be proud.

    Last edited by Lloyd; 12-28-2004 at 01:53 PM.

    Old 12-29-2004, 06:32 PM   #5
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    Re: Help for my mother who is clearly mentally ill but takes no help!

    I am so sorry to hear of your mother. I live in the states and did successfully have my mother committed for mental illness. Unfortunately it had to be done a few times. My mother was considered to be a threat to herself as she wasn't eating and lost a considerable amount of weight. She was also very paranoid and thought everyone was out to get her. My mother is also an alcoholic. I had my mom picked up and put in the hospital on a 72 hour hold and during that time I went before a judge with her present and told the judge everything that had been happening. My mother also got to tell her side. The more persons you have that are willing to step up and testify the better. The judge made the ruling to have her committed. I started this whole process by contacting our local crisis center and asking for help. They referred me to a county social worker who began the process. This is very difficult to do emotionally. You must keep in mind that you are doing this for your mother to get better. Do not continue to let this go on. Our family let it go on too long and if we would have intervened sooner, she may not be as bad off as she is. Also, do not let your father move out. Your entire family needs to be strong and bond together. It will be very important for your mothers recovery. Good luck to you. It's a long road.

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