A: I of course can’t diagnose your mother without meeting with her in person, but from what you are describing it reminds me of the diagnosis Schizotypal Personality Disorder. This disorder is characterized by a pattern of social and interpersonal deficits, distortions in thinking and perception, peculiar beliefs and eccentric behavior. I’m including this link for more information: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/schizotypal-personality-disorder/basics/symptoms/CON-20027949.
One of the difficulties in treating personality disorders is that because the beliefs are truly a part of the person’s identity and world view, they often don’t see that there is a problem that needs to be dealt with and thus rarely seek treatment on their own, which fits with what you are saying about your mother. You might initially ask for guidance from her primary care physician or contact the closest NAMI chapter. Also, she might find it less threatening if you ask her to join family therapy rather than trying to convince her that she has a problem that she doesn’t see. Ultimately though, she is who she is and just like we as children want unconditional love, so do our parents. You and your family may just have to find a way to accept your mother for who she is and not expect more than she can give.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts