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Dr. Rossi
Dr. Rossi, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4627
Experience:  PsyD, LPC, CHt
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I am concerned about my mothers mental health. She lies frequent

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I am concerned about my mother's mental health. She lies frequently. It begins with a grain of truth and then is exaggerated to the point where it is unbelievable. She also takes on the stories of others as her own. The problem seems to be getting progressively worse. She is also a very VERY cautious driver, yet constantly misses turns. She will go so slow and get so lost that she is often late. She does not get confused in familiar areas, but if she tries to get to somewhere new she struggles. I am concerned about the path she is going down, but I have no idea where to even start in looking for help.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 3 years ago.

Hi, If your mother is in her 50's, this could be caused by different things.


1) may be a low level of B vitamins in which case shots would be administered and correct the problem (especially if you see the lying to be as a result of poor recall rather than trying to be deceitful). 2) Depression can cause concentration/memory problems as well as be linked to anxiety. You've mentioned about her missing turns. This could be because of fear of driving, or at least an anxiety attack. As a result, she is so consumed by her emotions that her mind is not paying attention to what is going on.


Could this also be as a result of her fear of getting lost/forgetting how to get back if she's going to an unfamiliar place?

3) In some cases, it is not unusual to start experiencing an early onset of dementia. How you handle the situation would depend largely on A) what you sense the behavior may be triggered by and B) her willingness to accept help.


If you feel that this is age related/memory problems, her GP can complete a blood panel test to rule out vitamin deficiency and other problems. If it is more of a psychiatric/neurological nature, the first step may be to see a psychiatrist. You have surely spoken to her about what is going on.


Try to take in her understanding of what she thinks is happening and why she is doing it. If this is a case where you perceive her as being untruthful rather than "ill", this too can be caused by different things such as changes in self esteem, social status, marital status/relationships, etc. Behavior is generally purposeful; it serves a purpose to the doer no matter how strange or maladaptive it may appear to the outside observers.

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