My Mum Is Having Psychological Problems

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

From Cyprus: I am a 17 year old boy currently studying for my University exams. My lessons are being affected by my mum (51) who is having Psychological disorders. She used to be a very calm person and used to spoil me as a kid but now she is acting very strangely. She can insult people very harshly, especially plummers and sellers swearing to them when something is wrong and she can go mad at anyone for the smallest thing. My grandma asked her to stay and help her and when she came home she threw the chairs wildly into the air, she said to me I am a complete useless boy when I only asked her if I could go out. She even forgot about that later on and acted as if nothing happened (this is continuously occurring).

When someone asks her what’s wrong she screams and cries. Its like living in hell every day. Although we are a well off family with our own firm. She also used to believe in natural beauty but now she is starting to have new demands and says she will wear make up from now on, it seems weird why she says that now..

I believe these could be the reasons for why my mum has gone insane:
-We moved into a new house that is situated in a remote area and we had been living in the city for 15 years.
This has made her obsessed with keeping the house clean. You wouldn’t believe how mad she’ll go if someone drops a small drop of tea on the floor.
-My sister is not eating anything and was 44kg last February (her height being 1.67) This event made my mum really sad.

Please tell me what to do, I have a dream of becoming a film director but I can hear her every time she shouts and I lose my concentration. Sometimes I only wish I could go to university and never see her again.

A: Your mother is lucky indeed to have such a caring son. Instead of just rejecting her, you wrote to us to try to find some answers. At some point, she’ll recover and appreciate your loving efforts.

I can’t make a diagnosis on the basis of a short letter. But I can make a few suggestions:

First, and most worrisome, is your sister. She is dangerously underweight and may be suffering from anorexia. You mother may feel so helpless and scared that it is driving her crazy. I hope your family is seeking treatment for your sister. She needs it. Your family needs help to understand how best to help her.

Secondly, your mom moved from a place where she probably had supportive friends and an active life. She may be unable to cope with the change. You didn’t tell me why you all moved or if she took part in the decision. If she didn’t want to move and now feels isolated and angry, she may be depressed. Some people show depression by being irritable and angry as well as sad. Then again, over-cleaning, using make-up and over-reacting may be signs of the hypomanic stage of bipolar disorder.

And, she may be peri-menopausal which can be very challenging for some women.

Those are only guesses. You need to get her to some qualified doctors to see which, if any, is correct. I hope your father is willing to help you persuade her that she isn’t herself these days. Emphasize your love and caring and ask her to do you all the favor of taking care of herself by getting evaluated and accepting some help.

Do get her to see her physician. She needs a complete medical work up to make sure that her hormones are in balance and that there isn’t anything else, like a vitamin deficiency, that could be amiss. At the same time, I would encourage her to see a counselor for two reasons: First to learn some ways to help her daughter and, secondly, to talk about how to start a new life in a new home. Finally, I would get her evaluated by a qualified mental health provider to make sure that she isn’t developing a mental illness.

I wish you all well,
Dr. Marie

Photo

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 1 May 2014

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2014). My Mum Is Having Psychological Problems. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 31, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/05/01/my-mum-is-having-psychological-problems/