Caring for parent with mental health problems

Hi there.
I have been caring for my Mother since she suffered a mental breakdown in 2016.
She was diagnosed with GAD and depression and despite CBT, psychological therapy, and being under a mental health team has not engaged in any of it and none has been successful.
Her anxiety is so severe that she worries from the moment she wakes up until bedtime and requires constant reassurance. But even then will not listen to me.
I am lucky enough to be able to work from home full time but daily life is hard.
I cannot go out even to the local shop, a walk, or spend some time in the garden without my Mother trying to stop me.
She now barely eats and weighs just 5 stone and I have had the GP visit as things have become so bad. She keeps saying that she does not like food any more and every day ia a battle so I have now been using Ensure plus drinks as a food supplement. She has been on all the anxiety medication there is and nothing has worked as she really does not want to get better.
She also suffers from obsessive behaviour as there is not one part of a day that is normal. She has no empathy for me at all to the point where if I get upset she just looks blankly at me and doesn’t react at all.
She has dropped out of society in every aspect and after 4 years I no longer have any hope.
I have lost my Mum, who was my best friend and I am so exhausted daily and feel like a prisoner, way before lockdown started. I am terrified that she is going to become seriously ill through her lack of eating.
Sleeping at night is my only respite.
I feel guilty complaining as others are having it hard but I don’t know who to turn to.
Thank you for reading my post.

Hello and welcome

I had to look up GAD as I not familiar with it. How difficult things are for you and your Mother.

Can I ask your ages.

Does your Mother have an emergency pendant.

As you work from home. Perhaps a home befriending service would be an idea for Mother.

Thank you. I am 51 and my mother is 74.
I live here with her and also my partner.
She will not be left alone at all as she won’t take her meds unless supervised or care for her personal hygiene.
I have a brother but he has chosen to walk away from the situation
She does nothing all day apart from laying on the bed. I have tried jigsaws, crosswords, colouring therapy, calming apps but nothing works.

Has there be a needs assessment for your Mother and a carers assessment for you.

It’s difficult enough for some caring when people don’t live together full time. But living together full time - me time becomes less.

You need to get time just for you. Do you live in your own property.

I was in touch with Social care just prior to the lockdown occurred and they were going to try to introduce a carer to help but Mum refused to allow it. This was after a visit by them to assess her needs and my own.
I have no other home unfortunately. Thank you for the links.

Lisa, does mum own or rent her house?

Hi She owns the house

Hello Lisa

Welcome to the forum

This sounds like a difficult situation for you, it might be helpful to download our ‘Looking after someone’ guide from our support page and check what kind of practical help you’re entitled to.

We also run weekly care for a cuppa sessions, where members can take time out and chat to other members who will understand what you are going through and be able to give you tips and advice, its also a great way to meet other members - here’s the joining link for you

Best wishes


Update on the situation.
My Mother continues to disrupt normal life.
She has no regard at all for myself and my partner’s privacy, resting time, dinner time etc.
She has also been racist in the past towards my partner on many occasions over the last 8years. She lies daily saying “I’ve had a stroke”, I have tried calling her psychiatrist again and am waiting for a response.
Her diagnosis of generalised anxiety disorder I feel is incorrect, there is definitely OCD, and a personality disorder.
The last time I spoke with him he just said that an increase in the dose of her medication, may help which hasn’t made any difference.

She has had all tests in relation to her lack of eating and all have come back clear apart from gallstones that cause pain in the area.
I have resigned myself to the fact that things will never change and my mental health is suffering.

Mum is hugely underweight,
5 stone is surely anorexic. How tall is she? Has she always been skinny?
Has she had a scan to establish whether there is anything going on apart from gall stones?
I can’t understand why the GP is not doing anything.

Do you have a lock on your door? Can you explain about “she never leaves us alone”. Just for 24 hours, keep a diary of what she does on an hour by hour basis.
The following day, don’t keep going to her when she calls, but record any outbursts on your phone.
Others have found this works really well in getting the medical profession to take things more seriously.

What was your mum’s original weight?

It sounds like you think, if there is no physical cause, that her lack of appetite is caused by her mental health condition but that it’s not primarily an eating disorder? A number of mental health conditions can exist together.

Do you have any inclination or opportunity to move to your own property in the local area? It seems that her behaviour is very bad for your spirits and potentially for your relationship with your partner who she abuses. I’m not sure how you manage to work successfully from home with all those interruptions but good on you for trying.

Do you feel able to live independently and come into her house a few times a day to help with social and personal care, such as encouraging her to take her medication and eat? What would be your reservations about moving out?

I know that you’ve tried many things to help with her health and well-being but, unfortunately, there’s little you can do if an individual does not want to, or is unable, to take responsibility for it.

Do you feel that seeking counselling for yourself may help you, in terms of being able to off-load the pressure you are under and draw up some strategies to manage the stress and promote your self-care?

I know that there isn’t a definitive diagnosis of a personality disorder but go with your hunch. I hope you find the following links helpful which focus on self-care, how to communicate with someone with this problem, how to set boundaries, etc.