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My Mum Is Causing Me a Lot of Problems

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Hi, I’m looking for some help really and possibly some advice. So January last year I was removed from my home by the police as my mum was dealing with some undiagnosed mental problems and was verbally and physically abusive towards me, which resulted in me having severe anxiety with agoraphobia. I’m 22 years old by the way, so over a year has passed and just recently we have been trying to rebuild the relationship. I was doing well, had a job, have a nice apartment, in a new location. She had found my address and came searching for me, which I found quite strange, whenever I see her I feel anxious all over again which resulted in my diagnosis of PTSD. All I can describe is that her mental health condition is on the lines of psychosis, she is severely paranoid and had odd delusions, which is why I let her in my home during isolation because I was concerned about her

She has been staying with me for several weeks now, during that time I have had to call the police because she had become abusive and the delusions had started up again, I can’t seem to get her any help from her doctor either. She keeps me awake at night telling me her delusions and how people are plotting against her, which has caused me a lot of stress and depression to the point now I am off work because my anxiety has gone through the roof. I want to help her, but I don’t think I can anymore. Sometimes I wish she never found me… she also has a big problem that now I talk to my father, she has shouted at me on several occasions about this. It gets to the point now whenever she calls my name I get jumpy because I never know what the response will be, abusive or nice… Seeing as she changed so quickly. Any advice would be appreciated, I just feel like I’m sinking back into my isolated and depressed state like I was over a year ago, I really don’t want to go back to those times. Nobody knows my mum is with me and that I’m going through this due to isolation, in dealing with this alone so it has really affected me. Thank you. (From England)

My Mum Is Causing Me a Lot of Problems

Answered by on -


I can deeply appreciate how much you want to help your mum, but there is a greater reality that must be faced. Your mum suffers from a severe mental illness that has hijacked her sensibilities. As much as you love her, this is not the job a 22-year-old individual — or any one individual — could manage. You mum needs help you can’t give her.

Your mum has not changed because she isn’t working toward change. There isn’t a treatment program to help her and one doctor, no matter how good he or she is, isn’t going to do much to help a delusional, aggressive adult.

The work for you now is to use the legal and psychological services available to get your mother help. Your anxiety and fear for your own well-being aren’t likely to change until she is living elsewhere. I would get a legal opinion about getting protection from her and acquaint yourself with what psychological services are available for her. Her moving in with you isn’t working and is very likely to keep getting worse. The kind of skills it takes to help your mom typically include many people. You may want to help, but having her live with you isn’t the way.

While it may be a difficult decision to make, your own mental and physical health is at stake. If you haven’t found a therapist I’d highly recommend you find someone for emotional support as you go through the process of living on your own. With your mother there you’ll prevent your own growth, which doesn’t help anyone.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

My Mum Is Causing Me a Lot of Problems

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

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: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2020). My Mum Is Causing Me a Lot of Problems. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 5 Jun 2020 (Originally: 5 Jun 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 5 Jun 2020
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