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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5763
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Hi, For the past two years my mother has been exhibiting symptoms

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Hi, For the past two years my mother has been exhibiting symptoms I can only describe as utter hyper-active. She speaks to herself in unaudible tones, somewhat under her breath, for nearly the entire day. It's coupled with a tick in her hand -- she rotates her wrist around in a circular fashion and also ticks her index finger at a very rapid pace. In addition, she'll seem restless around the house. She'll sit for 10 seconds on the couch, then do a lap around the house, then come back and forth a bit in the kitchen, before doing something similar again.

She's in her late 50s and lives with her husband. I only see her a couple times a year when I come back to town but talk on the phone with her once a week or so. I only have the courage to ask her if she knows what she's doing in person, and every time she says, "Oh I'm fine," and attributes the talking to herself to an argument she had with a woman at church. That was more than four years ago.

She began exhibiting the actions I've described above soon after I moved out of the house after college. It's persisted and I would really like to help her.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.


The symptoms your mother is having could fit many different disorders. It is hard to say for sure what it could be without more information. But I can try to help by giving you a idea of what it could be based on what you told me.


Is your mother willing to see her doctor for a full exam? You did say she had an MRI, but it may be that she has something else that is not related to her brain function. If she is willing to go to see her doctor, that would be a good first step. Therapists often recommend a full exam first before offering a mental health diagnosis because so many physical problems mimic mental health disorders. Early onset dementia is one example. Thyroid problems and other hormonal imbalances could also be causes.


If your mother is cleared by her doctor, then she may have a mental health issue. A full evaluation by a therapist (Master's level or Ph.D) can determine if there is a diagnosis and if so, what treatment is needed.


Some of the possible diagnosises include Bipolar, ADHD (adult onset, which would mean she has had some symptoms from childhood) and anxiety. Without being able to talk with her, these disorders are only guesses on my part. But each of these disorders have some of the symptoms you described. That does not mean your mother has them. It is highly unlikely that she could develop them at her age, except for anxiety, which can be developed at any age.


The trigger here could be your move out of the home. Were you and your mother very close? Were there any recent traumas in her life? Anything you feel might have triggered a reaction is possible. She could have developed an anxiety disorder due to a traumatic change in her life.


The most important step is getting your mother to go to see her doctor, and if needed, a therapist. Both examinations will help solve the problem and get her the right treatment.


Let me know if I can help any further,


TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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