Urgent: I think my mum is mentally unstable. What do I do?

Latest episode:

My mum had a manic episode on Christmas Eve. She had a complete meltdown and was screaming and shouting. She ran away on Christmas Day and returned on Boxing Day at 5:30am in the morning. She locked herself in her room for most of the time only to come out and shout and get a cup of tea. She had a mother manic episode on Friday where she physically attacked me and then called the police on my Dad and I to say we were physically and domestically abusing her. The Police arrived and realised my mum was clearly unstable and called a GP for her own safety. The out of hours GP turned up at 7am, about 3 hours later, and came to the conclusion that my mum had good mental capacity (!!). My Dad and I then locked ourselves in the living room to sleep and she tried to get at us again. Since then, she has pretty much locked herself in her room. She will only talk to her (only) friend Alison and then locks the door as soon as she leaves. My Dad and I are scared of her. As far as we aware, she has only eaten 8 pieces of toast since Christmas Eve.

My mother has done this many times in my life so I decided to film her behaviour as it hard to believe that she can be like because she is so nice most of the time!

My mum has been like this for as long as I can remember. She has also abused alcohol for years. She stopped drinking around 18 months because she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had treatment. She has recovered and was the best she has ever been. Recently, she has started drinking in secret and we believe this may have triggered another one of her manic episodes.

We have never sought medical assistance because most of the time she can be lovely. However, I think it has now gone too far. I am a music teacher and my father has a good job. She could have potentially lost us our careers due to her reckless behaviour. I am not blaming her as I know she is very ill.

Am I doing the right thing by seeking help from the GP in the morning? Is there any I can say to make them really listen to me?

I am studying for masters degree and I feel like I can't go back to uni as she may fabricate a serious story about my father!

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Best wishes.

9 Replies

  • I think that talking to your GP would be a good way to go, you could talk to your GP about how your feeling as they may be able to help you and help your mother. If you know that she is safe and ok then this may calm your mind about going back to do your degree but you ARE doing the right thing (maybe tell the doctor about the stories about your father).

    I hope that this helped

  • Sorry to hear of such turmoil over the festive period.

    I'm not sure how the process works but it's clear your Mum has issues, for yours and your Dads wellbeing and for her own protection I think she needs to be sectioned, this will sound desperate and cruel but I can only imagine what life is like for you both right now.

    From what you describe I have to question the GPs judgement too, I'd suggest calling your GP/surgery and asking what steps can be taken to help your Mum address her problems and recover.

    However harsh you think you're being and whatever reaction you get from your Mum you must ignore, in taking drastic action you are taking the first steps towards her recovery whilst ensuring yours/your Dads safety, plus there should be no repeat of wasting valuable police time.

    I wish you well

  • I don't know how I can go about getting her sectioned for her own safety. The GP needs to give the go ahead and they aren't helping. Even though she is recovering from cancer, episodes such as this are not uncommon. I grew up with them.

    I have read so much about bipolar and mania over the past few years and my Mum is clearly a textbook case.

    Quite honestly I am very worried.

    Best, x

  • You are right to be worried, but you should be worried on two levels, your Mums safety and that of your own/your Dads.

    Clearly she needs professional help, for cases this severe there must be some sort of immediate sectioning, apologies if I am way off mark here perhaps someone with greater knowledge can advise ?

    The way I see it no-one makes any progress until this happens and the risks for everyone in the family increase daily....

  • I know!! I'm genuinely feeling helpless. The reason I went to the GP was because I want to prevent anything serious happening. It could be intentional or, more than likely, unintentional.

    She's rapidly switching between manic and depressive states. All I can do is sit on the internet hoping to come across some piece of miracle advice.

    My Dad and I trying our hardest to keep out of her way to prevent another incident.

    This is surely no way to be.

    Best, x

  • Absolutely, avoiding the issue does not resolve anything.

    If I were you I would google 'how to immediately sectioned for mentally ill people' and see what pops up - failing that call your doctors surgery explaining the seriousness of it all and I guarantee you will get an immedaite response.

    Your GP is obliged to deal with this for your safety.

    I really do wish you well - please take action and come back and let us know how it worked out

  • the only loop hole seems to be if there is an incident in a public place, then the police will take the person to a place of safety. It seems that the law is still old fashioned, a hang up from the old days when a ''domestic'' was just not interfered with. except by a priest maybe...

    But doubt if you can exactly persuade her to go on a trip into town right now.

    I know it is a surreal situation, do keep on recording incidents, advise the g.p. of any new events or escalations (never under-estimate the nag factor, doctors have to do a balancing act too, when considering individuals legal rights, but they are also nervous of legal action being taken against them if they fail to act, so make sure he has a thick file of evidence piling up on his desk that can not be ignored) , and don't be embarrassed about calling the police if she becomes violent. But otherwise do whatever you mum currently needs to feel less unsafe and paranoid.

    Keeping her trust and also keeping everyone safe is going to be a difficult balancing act, hopefully you can get some compassionate leave from college if the crisis remains acute in the new year, are there other siblings who can help out to make your dad feel safer?

  • I'm going to go back to the Doctors and tell them what else she has done. She is barricading herself in her room from the inside now and only leaves to go to toilet and get a cup of tea.

    My brother is severely autistic and lives in a special home. Unfortunately, he cannot help us with this!

    Everybody is just really worried about her. Lots of people in our neighbourhood have noticed her behaviours over the years. I think my Dad now feels as though he is not alone.

    Best, x

  • Really hope things have improved and you have managed to get some help for your mum.

    Think if you have a video record of what is going on then it would be really good to share that with the GP.

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