How Do You Deal With A Mother Who Has Gone Off The Deep End?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-21-2003
How Do You Deal With A Mother Who Has Gone Off The Deep End?
Tue, 06-28-2011 - 1:18pm

I'm 32 years old, married and live about 1,000 miles from my parents. I generally see them twice a year, when they travel through the area on their way north for the summer or south for the winter. This year my husband and I are flying up to spend a few days in their town. My problem is that my relationship with my mother and at times my father, has always been stressful. I love my parents and I know they love me but the relationship has been very toxic for a good deal of my life.

Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004


How old are your parents? Has your mother recently developed any new medical conditions you are aware of such as hypertension, diabetes, heart problems? Or has an existing condition gotten worse? One cause of your mother's displays may be rooted in a medical condition or the treatment she is receiving for it. Some drugs "loosen the tounge" and she isn't even aware of it.

My Mother was always even tempered and kept her feelings to herself. Then, at 76 she had knee replacement surgery and they gave her Vicodin for the pain. Oh boy, the narcotics unleashed decades of pent up pain, anger, sadness, and grief, and it all came rushing out in a wave. It hasn't stopped in 7 years.

Has your mother displayed any odd behavior to you or others? Has she gotten forgetful? Repeat herself? Stopped doing something she enjoyed? Complained about things she never paid attention to before? Sometimes dementia shows itself in these ways.

My father-in-law suddenly could not remember what road he was driving on - in the neighborhood he had lived for 40 years. Then, my MIL started finding his dirty underwear stuffed under the mattress instead of being put in the hamper. These were classic signs of Alzheimer's.

Talk to neighbors and friends or other family members during your visit. Discreetly inquire about her behavior. She may indeed be just freer to express herself or have something wrong.

Good luck.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-18-2011

I'm sorry to hear about your mother. Something that has worked for me with my own mom is telling her that since that's a topic we clearly don't agree on, it is better not to discuss it. At first she would keep going back to the same subject

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-12-2011