Mental Health

Have Mental Health Questions? Ask a Psychiatrist Online

Ask an Expert,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Mental Health
This answer was rated:

After my parent's divorced over a decade ago, I have only

seen my mother intermittently, sometimes...
After my parent's divorced over a decade ago, I have only seen my mother intermittently, sometimes not for years at a time. Now I am 21 and a full time college student and my mother has returned to visit me after about six years. This time, however, she is clearly displaying signs of being overly paranoid of others, she has delusions of grandeur and talks about a time that is to come when she will be the most powerful person on earth. She also claims to have ultra-sensory communication methods with powerful people who are giving her this information. She is unwilling to find a job because she is waiting for her 'era' to come.
She is capable of taking care of herself, she can cook, clean and is capable of working but not of making good social relationships. I believe that she has not made any friends while on her own. Unless she starts talking about her theories, she acts friendly and normal- albeit always looking like she's bothered by something. I don't believe that she is currently a threat to herself or to anybody else. But it is clear that she truly believes in her delusions and I think that things will only get worse from here if I don't get her help.
She is also extremely stubborn and in no way suited to listening for advice or criticism. I know she will not go get help willingly no matter what I say. She will consider me one of her 'enemies'. I read about the mental health commitment laws in Illinois, a person that may have bipolar or schizophrenia can be committed for up to five days if their condition is most likely going to just deteriorate. But after the five days there must be a court hearing. She is extremely suspicious of government and has already had a bad run in with the court. So I want to know how this process would work and what would happen after the five days. Also, whether there is anyway to get someone involuntary professional help without involving the law and institutionalization.
Thank you for your time.
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Mental Health Question
Answered in 1 hour by:
12/10/2010
TherapistMarryAnn
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5,856
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Verified

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

It sounds like from what you said your mother possibly suffers from schizophrenia. This is a very difficult condition to cope with, particularly for family members. I sympathize with your situation.

First of all, you are not responsible for your mother. That is not to say you cannot have a strong desire to help her. But taking on this burden can be extremely stressful, especially if you take it on alone. Support is a very important component to helping you cope. One way is to contact NAMI- The National Alliance for Mental Illness. They are at http://www.nami.org/

I agree with you about the Illinois commitment law. They may allow your mother to be committed, but only if she is deteriorating. From what you said, it sounds like your mother is stable at this point. If you should see her becoming worse, such as her hygiene declines, she is not eating or otherwise not caring for herself, I would attempt to bring her to the ER for an evaluation. You may also call a local mental health center and see if they agree that she meets the criteria for admission to a MH facility. They can offer you options for dealing with the situation.

Surviving Schizophrenia: A Manual for Families, Patients, and Providers by E. Fuller Torrey is a good book to get to help guide you through this. You can find it on Amazon.com or your local bookseller may be able to order it for you.

Most of all, remember to care for yourself. Take time to have fun, get away from the situation for a while and build a support system for yourself to fall back on if needed.

I hope this helped,

Kate

Ask Your Own Mental Health Question
Customer reply replied 6 years ago
Thanks for your reply,
It sounds like what you are saying is that the best I can do is to keep in contact with her and keep an eye on her general in case her condition deteriorates.
I am concerned because she can be quite the drifter, and before she came to visit me recently she was living out of her car.
She is starting to see me as someone who is evil as well, in fact, the more time we spend together the more reasons she finds to get mad at me. Ironically, sometimes I feel guilty for not spending that much time with her and she accuses me of the same things. My dad has been helping me out and before we realized that she has a serious mental problem, he suggested that I tell her that I am busy often in order to avoid confrontations, because she basically speaks about outlandish theories. But today after finals I had no excuses to be busy and she came over for a long talk and ended up trying to disown me because she perceived that i was trying to trick her. It was a long ordeal all night as I tried to persuade her to at least keep in contact with me but she would yell at me and have a frightening haunted look in her eyes. I really wanted to just call an ambulance so she could get medical help right then and there, but didn't have a basis since she could still stand on her own two feet on the outside world.
What I am scared of, is that if she does leave and does not get back into contact, I will never know if she is deteriorating and won't see the warning signs. It's difficult because technically she is an independent free adult that has never lived with me or anyone else that I know for the past 15 years. However, I think me and my dad and stepfamily are the only people who really know about her problems and care enough to do something- so if I really have driven her away I'm very worried.
In a way, i am relieved that she will be on her own because previously, she believed that as long as she was reunited with me for a month or so, she would not have to seek out work and some new era of greatness will come to her that will basically make her a god. Now that she has decided not to stay with me she I believe that she will try to find a job selling products at flea markets and so forth.
I guess I want to know if I should have tried harder to get her treatment before finally letting her leave my apartment.
If it was wrong of me to try and stop her from leaving in the first place.
And how to deal with her from now on without getting on her bad side. She really thinks that me and my dad are in cohorts as evil demons of some type.
Sorry for having to unload so much, I feel worried and uncertain right now. I wonder If I should just suck it up and move out of this apartment that I share with roommates, so that my mom and I can get our own place and she can perceive that I care about her and I can keep an eye on her better. On the other hand, she's so difficult to deal with and one of my goals right now is to get into medical school so that I can provide stability for her as well as my other parents in the future. Its very stressful to study with her always wanting to talk late into the night about her delusions.

I completely understand what you are saying. And I can't say it enough- you have done nothing wrong.

You are attempting to make sense out of something that does not make sense. People who are afflicted with Schizophrenia deal in a world of delusions that make reasoning with them impossible. Oftentimes, it is the people they are closest with that bear the responsibility of the person and therefore become the easiest target for the person's delusions.

Keep in mind that Schizophrenia is a true disease. It occurs in 1 out of 100 people. Because it is a disease, you need to view it as such. Keep an eye on your mother but don't attempt to try to cure her. Until she is unable to care for herself, the law allows her to act on her own. That is why I suggested you contact NAMI to gain support and help you find answers to your mother's situation. They will be able to guide you and help you cope with your mom's behavior. Also you may want to consider some individual counseling or family counseling (for you and your father) to help you deal with your feelings about your mother's situation. The stress alone can be difficult to deal with and the more support you have, the better.

Please keep in mind that in the situation, you are doing everything you can. It is a helpless feeling to be unable to make your mother better, but in my experience, even the most qualified professional with years of experience could do no more than you are doing right now.

Take care and I wish you the best,

Kate

TherapistMarryAnn
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5,856
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Verified
TherapistMarryAnn and 87 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Customer reply replied 6 years ago

Thank you, ***** ***** to a friend and to my father about this and we agree that there is little we can do that will change anything, My mom did end up leaving yesterday because she was angry and I'm not sure if she will try to contact me again or not. I hope that eventually she will. My main worry is that we will lose contact, but under the laws there is little i can do to control her decisions at this point. It also sounds like there is little to nothing I can do to make her 'better' and further contact with me seems to only hurt her more since she takes everything I do rather personally. Thank you for talking with me, it has helped me put the situation into perspective.

I am so glad I could help. And I appreciate you letting me know. I know this is difficult, but you are doing wonderfully. Your mother is lucky to have such a caring daughter.

My best to you,

Kate

Ask Your Own Mental Health Question
Ask TherapistMarryAnn Your Own Question
TherapistMarryAnn
TherapistMarryAnn
TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5,856
5,856 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.

TherapistMarryAnn is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much

Corrie MollPretoria, South Africa

I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well!

ClaudiaAlbuquerque, NM

Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion.

KevinBeaverton, OR

Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
I feel better already! Thank you.

ElanorTracy, CA

Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem.

JulieLockesburg, AR

You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions.

John and StefanieTucson, AZ

I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!!

Janet VPhoenix, AZ

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Dr. Keane

Dr. Keane

Therapist

1,379 satisfied customers

Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.

TherapistMarryAnn

TherapistMarryAnn

Therapist

5,856 satisfied customers

Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.

Dr. Olsen

Dr. Olsen

Psychologist

2,336 satisfied customers

PsyD Psychologist

Norman M.

Norman M.

Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA

2,246 satisfied customers

ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.

Dr. Michael

Dr. Michael

Psychologist

2,177 satisfied customers

Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.

Steven Olsen

Steven Olsen

Therapist

1,728 satisfied customers

More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education

Anna

Anna

Mental Health Professional

1,656 satisfied customers

Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 29 years in addictions and mental health.

< Previous | Next >

Related Mental Health Questions
I have a new job. It's highly stressful and I work hours
I have a new job. It's highly stressful and I work long hours sometimes 15 a day. I'm starting to have what I think are panic stacks. What do I do? … read more
Dr. Kaushik
Dr. Kaushik
PSYCHIATRIST ( MD Psychiatry)
Doctoral Degree
203 satisfied customers
My girlfriend seems to suffer from schizophrenia. She can be
My girlfriend seems to suffer from schizophrenia. She can be the sweetest girl for weeks, but then she starts fussing at me for no obvious reason for two days, three days, four days or a week. When th… read more
Ralph LMHC
Ralph LMHC
Psychotherapist
Master\u0027s Degree
872 satisfied customers
I have bipolar disorder and take usual cocktail of meds. I
I have bipolar disorder and take usual cocktail of meds. I tend to depression … read more
Dr. Kaushik
Dr. Kaushik
PSYCHIATRIST ( MD Psychiatry)
Doctoral Degree
203 satisfied customers
What can I do to help my son who is bipolar? He has been
What can I do to help my son who is bipolar? He has been fine for 3 years and now his daughter is blaming him for not having enough money to pay for another school because she dropped out of school wh… read more
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
Counselor
Master\u0027s Degree
165 satisfied customers
I have OCD, depression, and my mom was bipolar. Is it true
I have OCD, depression, and my mom was bipolar. Is it true when you move back to the state you had most problem after moving away you cam have ptsd and feel worse also have more problem?… read more
Therapist Leslie
Therapist Leslie
Masters, Professional Psychology
5 satisfied customers
I'm going through a stressful period and would like some
I'm going through a stressful period and would like some relief from stress & pain, … read more
Dr. Thomas, MD
Dr. Thomas, MD
2,227 satisfied customers
Ineed help, no not yet i take pain killers advil, im bipolar
hi ineed help JA: Have you seen a doctor about this yet? What medications are you taking? Customer: no not yet i take pain killers advil JA: How long have you had the pain? What seems to make the pain… read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
717 satisfied customers
I'm writing because I'm in a very stressful upsetting
Hi,I'm writing because I'm in a very stressful upsetting relationship, and I need to make sense of it. I have been with my boyfriend for 3 years. He is an angry guy by nature. I think he's a bit narci… read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
717 satisfied customers
After 1 year schizophrenia phase, my ego got disintegrated
HI. After 1 year long schizophrenia phase, my ego got disintegrated and now pieces of my personality is being slowly organized. I can feel that diffenence (like the feelings of sense of self, and ego … read more
Dr. Phil, MD
Dr. Phil, MD
Internal Medicine Physician
Doctoral Degree
2,618 satisfied customers
My son has a Bipolar Disorder and he undergoing relapsed
My son has a Bipolar Disorder and he undergoing relapsed while in China. My wife just went to him and she gave him 600 Lithium Carbonate and now thinking it was Ambien gave him 2 mg (4 hours later) of… read more
Dr. Kaushik
Dr. Kaushik
PSYCHIATRIST ( MD Psychiatry)
Doctoral Degree
203 satisfied customers
My brother is bipolar with paranoid tendencies and substance
My brother is bipolar with paranoid tendencies and substance abuse. He has had a particularly bad episode over the past 5 days. He is talking to himself, breaking things, telling everyone we are steal… read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
717 satisfied customers
I have bipolar Iv only been to bad manic episodes ,,, the dr
Hi I have bipolar Iv only been to bad manic episodes ,,, the dr decided I needed antidepressants as well I currently take lithium and Risperdal which is really effective against my manic mood ... I am… read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
717 satisfied customers
Bipoar depression bipolar 1 disorder, ptsd, adhd, and axiety
Bipoar depression bipolar 1 disorder , ptsd, adhd, and axiety best treatments. I am on Wellbutrin adavan gabapentin and adderoll . These were working but I'm now so far back that I feel like I did whe… read more
Dr. Kaushik
Dr. Kaushik
PSYCHIATRIST ( MD Psychiatry)
Doctoral Degree
203 satisfied customers
OKMH524211 My father is diagnosed with Bipolar disease and
OKMH524211 Hello there. My father is diagnosed with Bipolar disease and have been suffering from the disease for over 20+ years. Im his eldest son, 24 years old, and have witnessed his first Manic epi… read more
Linda D.
Linda D.
Master\u0027s Degree
720 satisfied customers
I have bipolar disorder for 20 years,... I have bipolar
I have bipolar disorder for 20 years,... I have bipolar disorder for 20 years, I eat Zoloft 50mg,seroquel 200mg and Depakin 500mg(Compound Sodium Valproate and Valproic Acid Sustained Release Tablets)… read more
Dr. Kaushik
Dr. Kaushik
PSYCHIATRIST ( MD Psychiatry)
Doctoral Degree
203 satisfied customers
I've been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and the voice has
I've been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and the voice has gone away with medication. If I have a relapse again will it be less severe? The voice less loud? Etc..… read more
Dr. Vikas
Dr. Vikas
Associate Professor
M.D (Psychiatry)
33 satisfied customers
I have been diagnosed 2 years ago with Schizophrenia, I am
I have been diagnosed 2 years ago with Schizophrenia, I am 31 now. Does Schizophrenia worsen as I age?… read more
Dr. Z
Dr. Z
Psychologist
Doctoral Degree
9,633 satisfied customers
I'm type 1 bipolar but I fear im developing schizophrenia
I'm type 1 bipolar but I fear im developing schizophrenia with dazed out episodes in the public , and episodes when im in crowded places and I get insecure . I constantly wipe out my fb friends n fami… read more
Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark
Doctoral Degree
129 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x