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undiagnosed mother

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undiagnosed mother

Postby sue » Mon Feb 21, 2005 9:32 pm

My family has been dysfunctional for years and years - in fact, as long as I can remember. Last year I started to read about Delusional Disorder and it was like a lightbulb going on. My mother has been being'persecuted' by prowlers all my life. She makes constant phone-calls to Police and has caused a lot of trouble by accusing neighbours of prowling in almost every house she has ever lived in. Otherwise, she is quite competent and handles many things in her life okay, but seems to need to eb in constant conflict with someone or something.
I now think she has DD this may have been a contributory factor to all the family dysfunction all these years, to the nasty divorce between my parents and to a lot of unhappiness and dysfunction among my siblings.

At the moment Mother lives on her own and has been particularly bad - she thinks 4 or 5 groups of people are trying to force her out of her small seaside town.
Recently I confronted her (as kindly as I could) over this. I said I thought she may have DD and gave her some material to read. You can imagine how she reacted. It may have been a mistake but it is too late now.
She has got a lot, lot worse and wants nothing to do with me and my family, including her grandchildren, until we say we believe her.
She writes me long letters trying to convince me about her delusions.
In a way it would be a lot easier to go along and not see her but I do feel it is not her fault, now that I understand she is ill. What should I do and how can I get her along to a doctor?
And, what do I tell my children (aged 12 and 8) who only see her when she is being a lovely Nana - she never seems to need to talk to them about the prowlers etc.


Postby Alex47 » Tue Feb 22, 2005 5:20 pm

Dear Sue,

Welcome to the forum here.

From what you have written in your post it does seem like your mom might have DD.

Remember that the delusions are very compartmentalized. The sufferer of DD can seem completely normal and function OK until it comes to the "conspiracy" or delusions themselves.

No amount of reason or explaining will convince them that they are not delsuional. They believe what they are experiencing as true. There is little you can do to help at this point and yes, unfortunately, confronting your mom was a mistake. Likely she is now more insistent that her delusions need to be verified by you.

As far as getting worse... this seems to be quite common with DD sufferers. That said, there will also be times when she seems completely normal again.

Getting her to see a doctor is nearly an impossible task as many of the people that post here will describe. Feel free to read any of the topics here.

As for holding you and your family hostage to her beliefs, this is something you need to work out yourself-- and it will not be easy. Enabling your mom's delsuions is a less confrontational route and it is likely this dynamic has prevailed all throughout your own upbringing. That said, it is not the way to get your mom the help she needs.

And what to tell your children is equally difficult. She is not likely to harm them and she is not likely to include them in her delusional thinking. And yet, somehow gentely telling them the truth might be the best course of action

Good luck

Take care

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Postby Guest » Wed Feb 23, 2005 5:11 am

Hi Sue,

I came from a family with an undiagnosed mental illness of one of the parents . I know the dynamic in a dysfunctional family, and how the children do suffer.

It is ingrained in the mental illness the inability to recognize that this is a disorder.
The part of the brain who has to recognize is not functionig....
It is so hard to accept painful part of our life, but human beings are remarkable ; they can cope, even when they think they can't.

All the best to you.

undiagnosed mother

Postby sue » Thu Feb 24, 2005 4:06 am

Thank you both for your kind replies.
Alex, what do you mean by 'enabling' her delusions? Does this mean pretending I believe her? I know this may be best but it feels like a backward step after the courage it took for me to confront her?

Postby Alex47 » Fri Feb 25, 2005 6:07 pm

Hi Sue,

I mean enabling her bad behaviour!

There's not much you can do about her delusions but you can put your foot down and say, "hey this is unacceptable behaviour."

Hope that clearsit up.

Best luck,

Consumer 4
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Local time: Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:31 am
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Oh boy...

Postby Concerned_Daughter » Tue May 24, 2005 3:26 pm

My mother is similar - she insists she's a rich, famous moviestar and is simply waiting for somebody to tell her this!

I've been as patient as I could be but it's really starting to upset me. I can't handle her phoning me every 30 minutes to tell me the same bloody thing every time! I told her "sorry, it just doesn't work that way - you actually need to be an actress in order to be a moviestar, and you actually have to have jobs to become rich!" Her reply to that is that things have moved to digital and she's probably on candid camera for all she knows. (!!)

She has had a psychiatrist for many years but recently she told him to close her file because she wasn't coming back - but I seriously think she needs to see him about this stuff. She's worried that he'll call her crazy and throw her in the hospital.

What can I do????

parenting and DD

Postby A Mom » Fri May 27, 2005 6:07 pm

I am glad to have found this site! I am a divorced Mom of two kids and my ex has started to exhibit signs of DD. He's filed suit against state officials and accuses them, among other things, of sending military helicopters to fly over his house to intimidate him. He's lost two jobs in the past year and is currently unemployed. He seems more interested in his lawsuit than anything else. He won't consider the possibility there's some biological or biochemical problem, but I've read Dr. Amador's book and I've learned to listen without agreeing or disagreeing.
My problem is trying to gauge the impact of this on my kids. They see a lot less of him now since he's often preoccupied. But they still see him. He says he doesn't talk about his "issues" when they are there but we got a report from the school that my older daughter seems unusually stressed. We're seeing a family therapist now -- just started. But I thought folks who've been there might have some advice for me about how to deal with this.
A Mom

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