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My Mother Is Very Rude and Then Forgetful

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From the U.S.: My mother has always been critical, but now her behavior is becoming more bold. When she’s called out, she claims to forget or accuses others of misinterpreting her or being too sensitive. She calls people fat in public when they might hear her, but she says doesn’t remember. She commands me to tell her I love her even when I just said it and then tells everyone I refuse to but everyone just heard me. When I get upset she says it’s all a joke, but it’s not really funny, just awkward. Her behavior is bizarre and she’s started to tell me the same stories every time we’re on the phone, just rambling.

No one in my family thinks it’s serious, but since she lives alone, is there anything a doctor can do to help her and if so, how can I get her to go? Or is this not my business? Her treatment towards me is so awful that it makes me ill and I can’t think of anything else except how to make sense of our interactions.

My Mother Is Very Rude and Then Forgetful

Answered by on -


Yes, this is serious. You can tell your family I think so.

By all means — get her to her doctor. It’s possible that her behavior is the result of a vitamin deficiency. Really, I’ve seen it before. But it’s also possible that she is in the early stages of Alzheimers or some other dementia. Only a physician will be able to tease out what is wrong — and give you suggestions for treatment. See if the doctor can give you some advice about how to get her in for an exam. He might, for example, be willing to have his staff call her with a reminder that she is due for a physical.

Your mother is fortunate to have such a caring daughter in spite of her negative, even abusive, behavior. Just because she can’t acknowledge it doesn’t mean it isn’t so. You are being very good to her.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

My Mother Is Very Rude and Then Forgetful

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

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). My Mother Is Very Rude and Then Forgetful. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 3, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 5 Sep 2018 (Originally: 7 Sep 2018)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 5 Sep 2018
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