The top item on my mother's agenda seems to be to consciously create things to struggle against/have conflict. For example, she often asks for something, and I go out of my way to make it happen. Shortly after that, she'll start demanding, in a very quickly escalating combative/hysterical way to cancel/undo/remove whatever it was that she was vehemently demanding (including meltdowns, screaming, etc) shortly before. This happens very frequently. Seems like she thrives on drama. Is this common? Anyone else experienced this?

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Yes, I've seen this happen which in my dad I see as combination of dementia, unhappiness with life as its become/ anger, and having a lot of time on his hands, and forgetfullness.

He will ask me to set something up, I have spent time and work getting it implemented, only for him to get mad about it and ask for its removal! Sometimes forgets when I point out that he is the one who asked for it!
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Reply to strugglinson

I forget, Grace. Does your Mom suffer from dementia?
If so, this is rather normal in those circumstances.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
GraceJones Apr 10, 2024
I'm quite sure she does. She refuses to be evaluated but if I google dementia symptoms, her behavior checks over 90% of boxes.
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First thing I would do is stop "going out of your way to make something happen".
You can tell her. I will get it next time I go shopping. Or Check your phone and tell her it is on back order or out of stock.

You say she is in Independent Living. Is that in a facility or is she living at home? If in a facility does she do the same thing with staff and other residents?

And how long has this been going on?
If this is a change in her personality it may be another stroke, it could be a UTI.
A UTI can be checked pretty easily there are OTC dip stick test strips that would give you and idea before you call her doctor.
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Reply to Grandma1954

I sure, my mom gets lonely , she doesn't have a lot to think about, or a lot in there life but there 4 walls,
Mom will sit all day thinking about wanting new curtains, then she will want to take her to Walmarts get them, iron them, hang them. All the work that I really would rather not do.

As much as I complained , whined and -itched about it, now that she is declining mental and physically, now I miss all the nagging. That's just human nature, I guess.

Anyways I think loneliness and boardom, and cognitive decline all mixed together does make them want some drama. And I can't say that I really blame them.

I wish my mom had more independence more friends, figured this out a bit better to begin with instead of being dependent on her kids, but she didn't.

I know when it's the dead of winter, snow storm after storm and in-between -10 I get so couped up. A little drama is welcome. And that's my mom's life everyday.
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Reply to Anxietynacy

Your mother likely has dementia brought on by her stroke(s) which causes erratic and hysterical behavior such as you've described. Get her in for a full physical and cognitive exam as soon as possible. In the meantime, practice saying Sorry mother, I can't possibly do that for you, when she asks for something, then leave her presence. Don't entertain the drama at all.
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Reply to lealonnie1

Perhaps Mom had another stroke . It can manifest as personality changes .
Also , it could be a UTI , lots of other things as well .
Have you told the doctor about this change in behavior ?
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Reply to waytomisery

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