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I Need Help for My Grandmother

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From Nepal: My grandmother is at the age of 70s. She is over dominating and enjoys when she creates disputes in the house everyday. She does not feel any shame publicizing family matters openly and badly abusing family members. She has superiority complex for no reason. We have tried talking to her a lot regarding this but when we try to discuss the problem she changes the topic or starts fighting aggressively. During fights she never gets physical but instigates us to harm her through her words so that she can prove to our relatives that we are the ones treating her badly. She tries to act innocent and make us appear bad in front of others and gain sympathy. She gets jealous when my dad buys something for me or my mum and has the habit of demanding the same thing immediately. As soon as someone arrives home from anyplace she pretends to cough and roams around the house to peak what he/she has brought.

She has abnormal habits like she roams around & watches what we are eating during meals with a peculiar facial expression, gestures and gait EVERYTIME, she pretends to be sick when anyone in the house is sick, etc. She complains about almost everything and thinks exactly opposite of what normal people think in every situation. Nobody likes her in the society and though she is aware of it she is unconcerned of social criticisms. She never realizes her mistakes and sometimes forgets about all the hurtful words she speaks after fights.

If we do not pay attention to her attention seeking techniques like coughing, banging doors,roaming around to avoid fights she goes to the extent of standing out of the house, yelling and crying out shamelessly to make the whole town hear and compels us to fight with her. She does not let us go out to any restaurants or have a good time outside the house too.

We cannot take her outside because she misbehaves with outsiders and if we do not take her outside, when we return back she will create a scene and break utensils and dramatize the issue. She tries to make us all her slaves and enjoys when we work for her like servants of the house. She is not completely a psycho because she knows what things benefit her.

My dad and grandfather had taken her to a psychiatrist but she started fighting that she was not mad and acted normal in front of the doctor. Then With doctors permission, we had to replace her blood pressure pills with recommended medications (she is uneducated) She was fine for few months but later she realized that the pills were doing something to her and maybe she overheard the conversation about the pills and discontinued them.

We have ignored this problem for many years but her condition is worsening rapidly. We cannot stay with her at all but are forced to because of my fathers affection to his mother and social reputation. We do not know how to deal this problem and treat her. Please help us as she is mentally killing us all and making our life hell. Please reply! Thank you.

I Need Help for My Grandmother

Answered by on -


This is so sad. Your grandmother is blessed with a loving family and yet she is making everyone miserable. You didn’t say if this is new behavior. If so, it’s important that your grandfather take her for a complete medical check. There may be an undiagnosed physical problem or she may be in the early stages of dementia. If that’s the case, the doctor will make some recommendations. You didn’t mention what medication she was taking that seemed to help. That’s also important information to take back to the doctor. It may provide a clue about what is wrong.

Finally, you really don’t have to fight with her. You don’t have to let her make your life “hell.” When she says awful things, you could just kindly say “I’m sorry you feel that way” and go about your own business. Treat her as you would a sick person — with compassion and sympathy — but don’t respond to her provocations. Alert the relatives and your neighbors that she is mentally ill and not to be taken seriously when she makes a scene. Let them know you are doing everything you can to be helpful and ask for suggestions and support.

I really hope you can get her back to a doctor. I’m very concerned that she is indeed a very ill lady.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

I Need Help for My Grandmother

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Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). I Need Help for My Grandmother. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 24 Nov 2014)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.