Mother Talking To Herself: Does She Need Help?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Just last night I woke up and walked by my mothers bedroom door and heard her talking to her self, so I sat there and listened for a good minute or two, and decided to open the door, I asked her, are you alright? she responded with “that’s what I was going to tell you”, I then said “do you know you were sitting in your room talking to yourself in the dark?” she proceeded to tell me “that’s what I wanted to tell you”, it seemed as if she was trying to ignore what I just said, so I asked her if she noticed it and she said “no”. She is always talking to herself in the shower and anytime that I have my door closed.

She is diagnosed bipolar, with schizophrenia (from what I recall being told) she was hospitalized a while back and released, I also noticed when she gets angry with me she gets so angry that she wants to break things and scream over the very littlest things. And then she goes to smoke and talks to our neighbors as if nothing happened at all… I am in need of an opinion of whether or not I should seek getting help for her.

A. Yes, your mother needs to be evaluated by a physician and a mental health professional. A physician can rule out medical problems. A mental health professional could help to determine if she is experiencing a relapse. It is not normal to hear voices. It may be a sign of psychosis, which in your mother’s case may be indicative of a relapse. Psychosis is associated with multiple mental health disorders but mainly bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

In the case of psychosis, “time is of the essence.” Generally, symptoms of psychosis become more severe and more pronounced over time. It is unlikely that her symptoms will simply go away. Intervention is often required to decrease or stop the worsening of a psychotic episode.

Hopefully, your mother is willing to seek treatment. If she is unwilling, then you may have to try to force her into treatment. That is an unfortunate circumstance that too many families face.

Escort her to the appointment or the hospital if possible. It is important to report the symptoms that you have witnessed, even if she will not allow you to be in the room while she is undergoing an evaluation. She may not be willing or able to report her symptoms accurately. The more information that the doctors have about her condition, the better they will be able to treat her condition. I hope that your mother is able to get the proper help. I wish you the best. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle
@DrKRandle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 2 Nov 2011

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2011). Mother Talking To Herself: Does She Need Help?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/11/02/mother-talking-to-herself-does-she-need-help/