I wonder what I could do. I am here because I need to understand urgently my mother’s issue. We are a good family, I am my parents only child and 3 years ago we have moved countries, from Brazil to the United States. For the past 5 years, me and my dad have questioned if she has any type of mental disorder. She is very stubborn, violent when mad, and very easily irritated. Her mood changes incredibly easy, for example today- which was the last drop for me- After my last few days of school, I came home early to study for an important exam tomorrow, however as I know she feels lonely I decided to stay with her for a few hours. We had great three hours together, laughing and talking. Finally, I need to leave and she asks me to drive her somewhere close, “Just wait for me to get ready”. I should mention she had to be with friends in few minutes and, she constantly complains she is lonely so I did my best to insist she’d go. Once I walk into her room 20 minutes after, she is laying in her bed, practically naked on her phone ( that is another issue, my mother is completely addicted to her phone and she blames me and my father for excluding her for so long she has to stay on her phone). To finish, I told her to hurry up because I didn’t have that much time, given I had spent the past 3 hours with her, and she stormed calling me names and saying I give her 1% of my time sometimes, and when I do I am not even paying attention.
Another example of her behavior is her way of blaming the world for her problems, and accusing people of doing things they have not done. She blames my father for ruining her life. With me it is a different situation, she in a ten minute gap will claim I am the best daughter she could have asked for or I ruin her life with my lack of affection. I have extensively read about different sicknesses but i cannot identify hers. I certainly need someone to help, but she would never agree of the necessity of a therapist. I leave for university in less than four months and I am deadly scared of leaving her alone. Please help me to understand.
I am glad you took the time to write us. This isn’t something you can take on by yourself. Whether or not your mom has mental health issues, the bottom line is that your relationship with her is strained because of her behavior. If your dad is still in the picture I would talk to him. You need help and support in coping with your mom, as you get ready to go to college.
When you get to your university I would immediately go to your school’s counseling center. The counselors are typically very well trained in helping young adult separate from the family. I know you love your mom, but you’ll need support and help to cope with her — and begin having a life of your own.
Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.
APA Reference Tomasulo, D. (2018). Questioning My Mother’s Mental Health. Psych Central.
Retrieved on November 21, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2015/06/06/questioning-my-mothers-mental-health/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 6 Jun 2015) Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.