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Is my mother ill?


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I grew up in an emotionally abusive home along with my slightly younger sister (she's 22). Our dad was somewhat scary (intimidation, put downs and so on, some occasions of physical abuse but mostly aimed at our mother) and our mother has always seemed irrational.

I moved out of my parents home a month ago and I'm starting to feel much better. I was in at my lowest ebb about 2 weeks ago considering suicide and so on, but I'm feeling more stable although I still seem to loose it every now and then.

On Saturday my mother came to visit me, I have seen her this past month but it's been limited, and we weren’t speaking for a week of the time either (she went 'crazy' on me and I decided to try and make her apologise.. that didn’t work, so we moved past that). She came around to my apartment for about 30m. In that time she accused me of stealing saucepans that are worth (apparently) several hundred pounds and making debts against her house. She also suggested that sometimes she thinks she should leave my dad. I had wanted her to do that before, it's not so nice being bullied and watching your mother being hurt, but she'd convinced me it was hopeless to keep asking so I'd stopped.

So after this wonderful exchange, she went home, not before arguing with me on how to fit the ladder in the car. The she was gone and strangely enough I felt a little down and depressed.

On Sunday I saw my dad (I work with him part time every so often). we got to talking about my mother's visit and her behaviour in general. He told me that he thought she'd changed after she had my younger sister. He told me that she'd had post natal depression and that had lasted at least a year and a 1/2 but that since then she's been as she is now. Irrational mood swings. Touching ang hugging when it feels put on. Inappropriate behaviour in front of friends family and colleagues. She seems to see the world completely differently from everyone else at times.

For example. My grandmother is going on holiday with her in June and my Aunt told her after seeing her mother, my grandmother that my grandmother was going on holiday with her sister in May. My mother immediately asks my aunt 'So, Hazel's not going on holiday with me any more?' My aunt responds saying that she doesn’t know, all she knows is that in May her mother is going on holiday with her sister.

My mum sulks, and my dad changes the subject, a few minutes later and my mother is behaving as if the exchange didnt happen.

A few days later, my grandmother, Hazel comes to my parents house for dinner. My mother says to Hazel 'Deanna (that’s my aunt) said that your not going on holiday with me, but with Judy'. My dad sees the position that my mother has put Deanna in and says 'No that's not what she said' and he explains and every one brushes away her behaviour.

My dad told me he cant take her on business trips because he's scared what she will say, she has been out right rude to my sister's bf and when I was away at university she told my younger sister again and again how helpful and good I was around the house when I was home. Then when I moved back home and my sister went to uni my mother told me how helpful my sister was when she was at home and how utterly useless I was. It's like she picks and chooses who to like. She'll be in a bad mood and you cant do anything right, she'll scream and yell and so on.

She's on some fairly strong meds for diabetes and arthritis and about 6 months ago her behaviour got a lot worse. More screaming fits and yelling blaming people and interpreting things in a negative way when they arnt negative at all. She admitted that she felt moody at this point and saw her doc. He changed her meds but it didnt improve for about 3 more months although she thought it did. She's not as bad as she was but her behaviour gets more and more odd. She's taken to playing with my dad's mobile phone and leaving him messages like changing the number titled 'home' to 'Loving Wife'.

she accuses my dad of having affairs all the time and behave like she's jealous of the attention my dad gives me and my sister. She takes instant dislike to people, usually women and seems to actively look for a fight. She’ll tell you how horrible the person has been, when you were with her the entire time and the person did nothing to cause offence in any way.

So, I just wondered, if maybe she is perhaps ill? and if she is.. maybe it could improve? My friends tell em I should just avoid my parents, but it's difficult to do that, I work with my dad and my sister is still living with them. Any suggestions or thoughts?

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It definitely sounds like something is going on with your mother. She could be suffering from a borderline personality disorder (black and white thinking, mood swings, difficulties in interpersonal relationships, bipolar disorder (intense mood swings), or some other problem. It sounds like she should be assessed by a mental health professional (rather than a general practitioner M.D.. Would your mother be willing to see a mental health clinician?

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