Mum not improving

Just looking for some advice. Me and my dad are currently caring for my mum, and have been for the last 16 months together. I have been looking after my mum solo before that since November 2016.

Since the start of the pandemic, her mental health got a ton worse and she was diagnosed with Psychosis, General Anxiety and has since developed Agoraphobia and severe Separation anxiety.

The separation anxiety is to the point where if she is sitting downstairs watching TV with my dad, and he moves to go the toilet or make a sandwich, she starts to hyperventilate and shake and have a panic attack basically. Same if he is upstairs talking to me, or if I (I basically live in my bedroom, only coming out for food, toilet breaks and to do my mums daily medicines) leave my room and speak to them downstairs, same thing happens.

We are unable to take her out for a walk as she has a panic attack within minutes of leaving the house, and we are unable to go out for walks or drives on our own, as she has a panic attack as soon as one of us leaves the house. The only time she is calm is if she is able to have the exact same daily routines, day in and day out.

She also has OCD and is laser focused on having her breakfast at 9am, her lunch at 1145 and her dinner at 1645, with her medicines at 1300 and 2230. Any variance from this causes another bout of panic.

As you can imagine, this has become unbearable and we are both starting to feel dragged down to her level. We are under a local mental health team, who haven’t been the biggest help so far. Mum is currently on Fluoxetine and Olanzapine. We have seen improvements since she switched to Fluoxetine (was previously on Mirtazapine, which didn’t work at all) in terms of her mood lifting slightly, some personality returning etc, but the Separation Anxiety, OCD and Agoraphobia are as bad as ever, and they are what is ruling three lives.

Any ideas?

Hi Anthony,

Living this way sounds unbearable and unsustainable.

Is your Mum receiving therapy alongside her meds?

This information maybe be helpful to you


Hi, she is currently on the waiting list for a therapist, but we have been told it may be a while. She has a support worker coming once a week as of this week so I’m hoping that might help a bit just through having someone different for her to talk to.


Hi Anthony,

How did your Mum get on with the support worker?


She’s getting on fine with her to be honest, which is good. She seems to have taken to her quite well and the woman that we’ve been assigned seems to actually want to help!

The main concern we have is that, while she is making small improvements in some areas, she’s getting worse in others and her mood is becoming more unpredictable. We never know when she’s going to go into a blind panic over something, and every day is the EXACT same day, down to the minute, which is just causing an awful atmosphere in the house.

When was she last seen by a consultant?


You could push the GP to try and speed up her referral.

Also, since she is building a good relationship with the support worker, you and your Dad need to gradually start to leave them to it and take a much needed break.

Who is funding the support worker? Can the hours be increased?