Mental Health

Hi all,

I am new on here but feel the need to reach out.

It’s difficult to say how long I have been caring for my mother to be honest. I think at the least it has been 10 years but perhaps we are looking at it being more like 20.

She has had mental health issues I suspect for all of my life but they can be pin pointed as stopping her being able to live an every day life in about 2004. There was a 6 year gap after then where I didn’t have a clue what was going on with her and there was a lot of turmoil.

I lived in England at this time and her in Scotland. In 2010 she called me telling me she wasn’t crazy but that they were going to come and lock her away. I drove straight up there and brought her back down to stay with me. It turns out that on this occasion the police had become involved with her behaviour and indeed and made moves to section her. I brought her to live with me in England at this stage so I could monitor her and try to work out what was going on.

I lived with her for 6 months during which period she was pretty much fine. At this point (being 29) I thought it was time for me to try and live my life a bit again. I moved out of my house and let her live there. I moved 10 ten minutes away and rented a place so I could be nearby. It took 4 months for the mental health issues to come back and so at this point I was able to start defining the issues that she was having from all the monitoring etc I had been doing. It took about 6 months of doctors visits etc before anyone would start investigation the issue and eventually I had to drive to A&E one day and tell them I was refusing to leave until my mum saw a psychologist. This did actually work and led us in the right direction.

Fast forward to 2019 and we go regularly to see a psychiatrist together. Mum takes a blend of anti anxiety meds alongside anti psychotics which have been effective up until the last couple of months. I started to see her take a mental dip again and after discussion with my partner we both agreed that it would be best if she was to just live with us as the mental dips don’t take place when she lives with me basically.

We’re just at the stage of making the space for her to move in currently. I’ve always felt like I can get my head round everything that is happening but just recently I have been really struggling with it. Part of this is because my mum sees herself as a totally independent person that doesn’t rely on me in any way.

This is a struggle on many levels for me as she also has severe COPD and cannot walk without oxygen now so relies on me a lot to live her daily life. I think the thing that is causing me the biggest issue really is the denial from her that I have done what I have been doing for the past 15 years. At times she can be quite nasty and selfish and I have had to take up mindfulness and focus on staying in the ‘now’ to be able to deal with her behaviour.

I have a sister who doesn’t talk to either me or my mother and at times that can annoy me if I’m honest. I feel a bit like she has conveniently washed her hands of the situation although she clearly knows what Is going on and what she is leaving me to deal with.

As I was saying earlier, normally I am able to rationalise everything and carry on but just recently it’s all been a bit of a struggle. A few weeks ago I contacted my LA about getting a carers assessment. That was a total mistake and caused a lot of stress. I asked them not to contact my mother and of course they did. She went into melt down and it took several days before she came out the other side of it. I ended up cancelling the request as the local authority made it clear that all they would be prepared to do was take mum away for a bit to give me a break. Really, that is not what I needed - I just needed advice and guidance on how to continue with her.

At any rate, it feels good just to get this all out! I’ve not really ever spoken anyone about all of this. I know my family in Scotland are in denial about my mothers health and so feel they judge me for having brought her down here. Honestly, if it wasn’t for mindfulness right now I don’t know where I would be!

If you’re still reading, then thank you so much for keeping with me on this!

Have a lovely weekend all :slight_smile:

Hi Paul,

Welcome to the forum.

You ask for advice on how best to support your Mum. Have you looked at the Mind website? It gives advice on supporting those with mental health issues

I know you are saying that your Mum’s mental health always dips when she isn’t living with you - but are you sure, its not linked to when she lives in alone, she gets depressed and lonely? What I’m asking in a rather clumsy way, is: do you think she would keep mentally healthy if she was in a retirement village or assisted living or similar? Is this worth trying before the drastic step of moving her in with you?


Hi Paul,
My initial reaction on reading that you are planning to have Mum live with you and your partner is BAD MOVE!
Mum feeling fine while you are with her and looking after her on a daily basis, even if you don’t ‘live in’ at the moment is a totally different dynamic from her ‘sharing you’ with your partner in the same home.
The reverse could also work out badly. Personally I could never have shared my home with my mother in law. Nightmare.
Doesn’t mean it couldn’t work for you if your partner and your Mum get on brilliantly and Mum is not going to make any demands on you or your lifestyle which encroach on your partner’s perceived entitlement.
Do you both work? Leave Mum alone in your home all day? Would you be able to go out for the evening, have friends round, even have a full night’s sleep if Mum needs you a few times in the night? Watch the TV programmes you want to see instead of Mum’s choice?
I think it was wrong that SS contacted your Mum if you asked for a Carer’s assessment which should have been for you alone and surely a breach of confidentiality if they informed Mum. If you had asked for a Needs assessment for Mum, that would be different. Was there some confusion as to which was required?
It seems that you have been a very concerned and caring son but perhaps you are optimistic as to the real extent of Mum’s MH issues or perhaps uncertain of future deterioration and the problems that would cause?
Just as an aside, why would you move her in with you rather than move back into your house with her? (That’s just an idle query which is none of my business).
You know Mum, your partner and yourself best. My shivers up my spine at the thought of what you are planning may have no foundation. However, just in case, please envisage the worst scenario, not the best, and see if there’s another solution. So many people have moved a parent into their home out of love, concern and a sense of duty and lost so very much because of that decision.