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New kid on the block - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

New kid on the block

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Hello and welcome to the forum Image

Hi, I've had a day from hell with my mother today, hence why I'm wide awake at 4am!
I'm convinced mum has onset dementia. Although she's been diagnosed with anxiety/depression - some things just don't stack up.

She has become really difficult over the past few months telling me she wants to run away, refusing to get out of the car sometimes, telling me to put her in the dustbin! It's almost childlike and anti-social. She tuts alot of the time and although she can remember everything, her behaviour and sense of reality has gone. Yesterday, she told me she was going to jail because she wasn't putting waste paper in a recycling bin.

Today, I'd arranged for an assessor to come round for loft insulation, central heating and she refused to sign the declaration saying 'I'm not signing anything!' After I came home she rang me in tears saying she's sorry and she doesn't know what she's doing. I can't handle this, I have 2 small children and no support and this is making me ill. I don't sleep very well and I just don't know what to do anymore.

I want to do things for her, and i think she wants the help but when you give it to her, she doesn't accept what you are doing for her is right and then argues with you. But then again, she can't do it for herself if you leave her to get on and do it.

I get no enjoyment from life at the moment and i'm struggling myself to get through each day.

I'm glad I have this place
Hi Isabella

I hope you do not mind me copying your latest post to here, it makes it easier to see the whole picture. Your mother sounds very distressed to me, people can behave very irrationally when they are distressed, completely out of character, and whilst they know that their behaviour is irrational they find it hard to control it.

I wonder if your mother has ever grieved properly for your father, you say that she seemed fine for some time and then changed, she may have been trying to cope, trying to appear to be coping, whilst feeling very lost and alone without your father and she will also, no doubt. be trying to cope with doing the things which your father did and maybe, not being used to having to do them, eventually felt overwhelmed. And grief does not follow a predefined path, it can start immediately or be delayed and the most distressed phase can ostensibly last for a short or a very long time, there is a tendency in our society to treat grief which has lasted some time with anti-depressants but this simply interferes with what is a natural process and one which is very individual.

It does not sound as if the medication or the group therapy are doing a great deal of good, in fact the group therapy seems to be adding to your mother's feelings of distress and making her feel worse about herself. The drugs which your mother is taking are psychotropic, mind-altering, and it may be that either the drugs do not suit her or that the dosage is wrong and that they are actually making it harder for her to function rather than easier. The Citalopram dosage is high, the maximum dose for an older person, drugs are neither tested on women, who metabolise them differently to men, nor on older people, it may be that the dose is too high, particularly in conjunction withe the Zopiclone, for your mother and that a lower dose would actually be more beneficial and would reduce any side-effects which may be adding to your mother's problems.

In your situation I would be looking at two things: firstly, I would want my mother to have a brain scan to rule out any underlying physiological cause of such a radical change, this would show early signs of dementia if that is the cause and also rule out any other possible causes; secondly, if the brain scan did not show the cause of the problem, I would be wanting to have my mother properly assessed or reassessed, possibly by a clinical psychologist who looks beyond the purely medical to psycho-social factors which may be causing her distress and the changes in her behaviour, at the very least I would be suggesting to her medics that the current treatment regime is not working and that aspects of it, the group therapy, appear to be actually causing her more harm than good, group therapy is not for everyone, it can actually feel quite abusive to some people especially if not carried out properly, your mother might benefit from one-to-one therapy rather than group therapy.

I hope that this is some use, it is very difficult to deal emotionally with someone you love becoming a stranger, sometimes you have to live with it and accept it but sometimes there are ways of helping that person return to their former self, I hope that the latter is true for you or that, at the very least, you can find a reason for the change in your mother, having a reason makes it easier to cope with.
Thank you. Mum's review with the consultant is next thursday, so i'm going to get all my thoughts down on paper and talk through them with him and see where we go from here.