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Does your mother live with you? You with her? Why are the one who has to take care of her?

My mother was affecting my emotional health. I wasn't interested in therapy/meds because of the stress SHE was causing. She could have used the same for herself. But her doctor refused to even prescribe something for her anxiety. And I wasn't interested in being her chauffeur to add'l doctor appointments. She would have refused any of those meds, anyway, as there was nothing wrong with HER.

Step back, step away. Are you her POA/HCPOA?

One thing that helped my mental health was being paid for my time with my mother. I'd asked her one time before, and she got mad at me {"You don't pay famlly!"). But once she was no longer competent, I got one of the POA brothers to pay me $20/hour. That made it a lot better for me, because I could consider it just a job. And all of my brothers agreed. One brother's wife made sure to say that SHE wouldn't ask for money for taking care of HER mother, but my brother (her H) snapped at her that her mother wasn't like OUR mother. LOL
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Reply to CTTN55
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Is pain being properly managed? And if you ask her is she being honest with her answer?
Is the depression being addressed by her doctor? Or is the doctor even aware of the depression and how severe it is?
Is she active?
Is she involved with activities at the Senior Center? Or Adult Day Program? being bored can make pain and depression seem worse.
Are you actively recruiting her to do things?
Feeling "useless" and "under valued" can also increase depression.
Are you and other family members trying to engage her in conversation?
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Reply to Grandma1954
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My 84 year old mother is also very negative and after several hours of helping her today I asked her a simple question and she flew off the handle at 100 miles an hour. Her dramatics and her tantrums no longer bother me because the several hours of help was getting her finances arranged so she can have constant care and leave me out of it.
She has the means and resources now, it’s up to her to get caregivers to do what she wants.

Someone in here said something that resonated with me and still does to this day. I’m falling into the trap of thinking her brain works like it did when she was in her 50s and not as a post stroke victim with vascular dementia. I’m not excusing her abuse and believe me I call her out on it but I can’t get as frustrated as I used to because I’ve accepted it. Phone calls are 5 minutes and visits are “stopping by” sometimes she thinks it’s because I’m the rude one, then sometimes she realizes, “I think it was because I mouthed off again.”

My mother has always been verbally abusive and when she sets called out on it it’s a real trip. She often just responds “I don’t know.”

So I told her today that she better figure it out. How she’ll do that with dementia I don’t know but it does stop her in the moment.

Boundaries are extremely important and like the saying goes if someone gets mad for your setting boundaries it’s because they never respected them in the first place. It’s hard at first, then it isn’t…
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Reply to MDaughter50
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You all helped a great deal! My Mother is on cymbalta for pain but a very low dose. I said she is depressed and to call the dr.! She's on one she said .. Well it's obviously not working I tell her. I have a sister 1.5 hours away who used to visit often. She feels same of Moms snippy, depressing, negative comments. Another sister out west who calls once a week after I asked her to!
I asked mom, what would you want, to do everything with me?? Yes she says! I believe I have covid as I tested positive, negative and then inclusiveness on 3 different tests but I am feeling so awful!! The stress of her does not help.i have a good husband who is getting tired of hearing it all... Counseling is not cheap I just found out!! My mother continually says she's going to kill herself with pills. And that my sister and I don't believe it. No matter how we respond, we don't care she says.Am wondering if telling her dr. she goes on of suicide, what if anything will happen. Should she lose her license of me telling, she said she def will commit suicide. She's not negative or depressed she said. She's lonely. I go out for dinner with her as she doesn't like lunch out, I eat too fast she says. And after wine, she is 10 times as mouthy. 😪😪☹️😢
I dearly am thankful being able to vent to people who don't judge and are understanding 🙏
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Reply to Lyndielu
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Delphi373 Aug 16, 2022
If someone threatens suicide I always say to them "well, that's your choice." Trust me, the ones who threaten it all the time never do it as my mother was the same - (but this was when she was alive and young... she used it to manipulate the family). And guess what? She never committed suicide or even attempted it - (but she sure as heck made us want to kill ourselves with her abuse)....but I digress...

Anyway - don't fall for the manipulation tactics. Look - you are not responsible for your mother's happiness or lack thereof...all you can do is try and set her up for success. That means, get her into a care home, or find some care for her so you don't have to do it all (or any) - really, whatever you can tolerate.

A doctor can prescribe her something for any depression but if she doesn't want to take them she won't. And so, if she doesn't want to try and do things, meet people, make friends, get therapy, or take medication - what more can you do? You just need to take care of yourself - and like I said - just equip her with what she needs to be safe and cared for (in whatever form that takes based on her needs).

You cannot make her happy nor are you responsible for any person's happiness - remember that!
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Its probably anxiety. Stress can do a lot to our bodies.

Treat her how you would a kid. If you wouldn't put up with it from a kid, you don't put up with it from a mother. If talking to her stresses you out, then don't call her especially if its the same old, same old thing. When she asks why you are not calling that much tell her because the conversation is always the same. The honeymoon after Dads death is over. When she wants you to do something and she is capable of doing it for herself, tell her "Mom you perfectly able to do that for yourself." "Sorry Mom, its not an emergency so I do that for you when I can"

Its hard to set boundries and can be stressful if your not used to doing it with her. But you will disable her if you do things for her that she is capable of doing.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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I understand completely. My mother was simply mean. Always had been and stayed that way until shortly before she died. Her siblings' referred to her as Big Red and they didn't mean it as a compliment. I tuned her out most of time and tried to keep my distance from her in the house.
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Reply to Becky04469
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Welcome to the forum Lyndielu!

You don't give any details here, so it's hard to give you advice. Is your mother on anti depressants to help her? My mother was incapacitated with depression and immobilized in her apartment, refusing to eat or go out until I called her doctor for Wellbutrin. That helped a lot and got her up and out again.

I'm an advocate of tough love myself, to a degree, depending on the situation and the person it's being doled out to. No matter what I did to help my mother, nothing stopped her 24/7 negativity.......she thrived on it. :( Boundaries are important for your sanity, that's for sure, especially with a negative Nelly for a mother, like mine was. I always kept my visits short and my phone calls shorter b/c all there ever was were complaints a mile long.

Perhaps if you provide more information, you can get better comments/advice.
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Reply to lealonnie1
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We just have to keep the boundaries. Get off the phone sooner than later, esp when the negativity kicks in. Keep the in person visits shorter.. I hear you loud & clear. I got off the phone with my 79 yr old Mom after 11 mins yesterday and won't phone her until this evening. I have a Doc appt today. Want to make sure my heart can handle this stress. I walk out & workout daily, so not sure if what I am feeling is from that OR from stress of my Mom. She is stressing me out beyond!!!! She is a pain in the A--. Consistently negative & critical. Borderline & NPD on top of early onset dementia. I am sick of the phone calls. I am all she has. No one else will visit her (understandably). She lives alone since my Dad passed in Jan. She won't water plants or let me help her organize & purge her piles..not my Dad's. Complains of no friends but won't walk outside or be neighborly. Not my fault! I read all these posts and online articles. Beyond ridiculous. Money is no issue for her. Bent & determined to be a pain in the A-- as long as she is here...
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Reply to eat-pray-love
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