Hi, I'm new

Hello. I’m just looking for a sounding board and some support.
My mother was sectioned to the phyciatric ward at my local hospital in September, she was discharged a few weeks ago but went back in the next day as she is unable to care for herself, repeatedly says she would rather be dead.
I am not caring for her but am the only person who is taking the brunt of the worry and visiting her. It is taking its toll on my mental health and would just like to speak to someone who is in the same boat and realise I am not alone. Would also like to know how to deal with this so I can not be ill myself. I have accepted now she is not likely to get better but it came from nowhere as she was ‘normal’ a year ago.
Thanks in advance

Hannah, hi and welcome.

dealing with mh is nearly always ‘worse’ for family and carers than dealing with a physical illness. With the latter the patient can be ‘on your side’ and ‘cooperative’ with treatment. Sadly not often so with MH.

It’s odd that your mum was ‘fine’ a year ago but now is so bad she needed sectioning.

several immediate thoughts -

(a) she has some kind of underlying neurological infection or sudden onset condition that has had a dramatic impact on her brain (ie, physically) that has had a dramatic impact on her mind. (There are rare but documented cases of ‘psychiatric illness’ being caused by something as ‘simple’ as a bacterial infection of the brain!) (cured, ironically, by a dose of antibiotics!)

(b) she was never actually ‘fine’ up until her collapse and sectioning - she was merely masking deep psychiatric problems very effectively for many years, and for ‘some reason’ (what?) this ability to mask has catastrophically slipped, and out is coming all the long-suppressed trauma etc etc.

(c) unbeknownst to anyone she has, actually,recently suffered a severe ‘secret trauma’ which you don’t know about - for example, she has lost to death someone you didn’t know she loved, that has made her suicidal etc, she has been diagnosed with an incurable disease, etc etc.

Statistically, it’s more likely to be (b) (of course, could be lots of other reasons!), as this is the ‘most common’ reason for abrupt collapse.

Whatever is the cause, to my mind, the key is to find out what it is - no treatment can be effective otherwise (though you might think a course of antibiotics probably wouldn’t do any harm and might prove to do the trick!).

Are you able to talk to her psychiatrists/doctors? As in, will they talk to you? They probably won’t unless you have some kind of legal power of representation for your mum. What is she saying to you (other than she would rather be dead…) - is she giving any explanation for why she is in such despair?

I’m glad she was resectoined as obviously this is the ‘best place’ for her (safest, for a start). Will they keep her in longer this time? As you know, mental health is horribly underfunded, and they try to keep as few patietns as possible in hospital, as it’s cheaper to kick them out.

Hi Hannah … your posting screams one work to me … MIND.


In the field of specialist organisations out there , in this field , they are one of the best.

Welcome to the forum.

Have you investigated whether or not she could be transferred to an EMI home - Elderly Mentally Infirm - near your home?
I believe that the NHS might pay all the fees with NHS Continuing Healthcare.
What has happened to mum’s own home?

I’ve done months of visiting my physically frail mum in hospital Really incredibly draining, trying to be positive and smile while your heart is breaking at the frail body/mind mum has.

CHC / NHS Continuing Healthcare ?

Main thread :


Thanks guys, very helpful.
It took me a while to find these replies, pls help with an easy way to see replies on login.
I am her next of kin so able to speak to doctors, she is on a different ward than the first time as first doctor sent her home too soon as he said he couldn’t do anything else for her, she is now on an adult ward rather than older persons (she is 69) as the other doctor refused her reentry.
I have asked all the questions about getting a diagnosis, more tests etc.
She wasn’t 100% fine, always on antidepressants and always a worrier, she did go through a relationship break up but told me she was fine with this. I think she hid her feelings from me for a long time until they were too bad to hide.
The new doctor said he is convinced he can get her home by changing drugs around so she has only been under him 2 weeks, so we will see.
But worrying about her, speaking to doctors etc seems like a full time job on top of my full time job, need to find a way to deal I guess (I am also a worrier type person!)

Your welcome.

Hello Hannah
While you may not be a carer in one sense for your Mum, you are mostly definitely an informal carer at least.
I cared for a friend with MH problems and there is a massive hole in the system that family and friend carers get little or no support and even less information.
While she is safe in hospital, get informed
There’s a wealth of info for carers on the MIND website, especially under each diagnosis, so it would help if they could put a name to her troubles. Also if they mention dementia in any form then the Alzheimer website and forum is very good

Also while she is in hospital make plans to look after yourself and your own mental health as it can be a long, dispiriting haul. Build a support network of friends and family (and forum) to support you, and give you time to talk and to have fun. Look into meditation, yoga, counselling, anything that helps you. Eat healthy and exercise.
You will need to be strong and resilient as you will probably need to fight for her to get the right support, housing, benefits, medication etc etc

Browse, too, the Mental Health threads on here. You will see you are not alone, there are many going through similar

To pick up replies easily, go to “quick links” top left and select “your posts” from the drop down. You can also set to receive notifications when someone replies but I can’t remember how to do this, I think it’s under your name top right somewhere


Thanks again, very helpful