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My Mum keeps trying to kill herself!

(17 Posts)
Ripeberry Tue 02-Sep-08 10:20:21

My Mum has had a LONG history of manic depression all her life and during my childhood tried to kill herself as least twice a year.
Since 2003 she has developed dementia and we think it's because of several small strokes but she won't allow herself to be MRI scanned to check.
For the last 4 years she has been in and out of mental institutes and has now been at home for almost 2 yrs.
But although she can walk OK, she has continence problems and although she looks like she is not aware she is bothered by it but does not do anything to help herself.
My Dad is run ragged by her and she spends all day sitting in front of the TV basically smoking herself to death (smokes over 80 a day) every day!
But i kid you not she is quite healthy in body and has not had a cold for 5 yrs or more, my Dad on the other hand is a wreck and catches everything.
It's all come to a head at the weekend, when my dad found my mum standing at the top of the stairs in a bowl of water with a metal bar ready to poke it into the light bulb holder in the ceiling.
My dad has RCD fitted to the house fuse box so of course it just tripped the switch.
She then (after he thought she had gone to bed), got the loft open and tied a rope to it to hang herself from the loft ladder.
But she is quite big and of course the whole thing came crashing down.
What should we do? Hope that her mood improves or go straight to the doctor and get her sectioned? She is really a danger to herself and my Dad can't be up all night watching her.
I'm unable to help as i've got small children and live over 50 miles away.
My brother lives in the same street but my Dad says he is useless and won't have him "babysitting Mum".

laughalot Tue 02-Sep-08 10:22:38

So sorry to hear this hope someone will be along soon has can give some good advice x

zippitippitoes Tue 02-Sep-08 10:24:20

omg ripeberry sad and hugs to you

very distressing for everyone

what sort of support if any do they have

does she have any opportunity for day care and your dad for respite

how able is she and how old is she

she is presumably on medication of some description...

Goober Tue 02-Sep-08 10:27:07

I've no experience in your problem, but if it were my Mum I wouldn't let it go on, incase she succeeded as you would have to live with the regret that you could have done more.
Don't delay. Get her some help, today. Before its too late.
I hope you soon have your Mum back.
Lots of love.

zippitippitoes Tue 02-Sep-08 10:28:50

yes if she has a crisis number then call them or the gp

Ripeberry Tue 02-Sep-08 10:32:40

He does not have that much support as the only thing they can offer him is 1hr! of help a day and he can't afford the respite care (he is in Wales).
My mum is 64 and my Dad is 61yrs old so they are quite "young" really.
Also my Dad is a very private person and thinks he can do everything by himself and hates having strangers in the house.
Sometimes i wish she would half-succeed and then go into a home, that way she would be safe and he will have less stress!sad

zippitippitoes Tue 02-Sep-08 12:21:21

well i think she should have a gp appointment to see what can be done to help her and your dad

you dont say whether she is taking medication

i dont know anything aqbout dementia but there are things that can help with that too

in fact havent they just authorised a drug through nice to be available

hecate Tue 02-Sep-08 12:26:51

If she is repeatedly trying to kill herself then surely she is "a danger to herself" and therefore could be sectioned?

I also think that, sadly, (well disgustingly really) ss will just leave you to cope if they possibly can, and only those who turn up on the ss doorstep and say "HERE! Take him/her/them because I am going to go insane if I have to manage one more day" and then drive off, actually get any help.

If they can leave you to it, they will, so he has to insist that they help him or take her into a residential home or something. They have a duty of care to her, but they also have a duty of care to HIM and not to just sit back and let him kill himself trying to be superman.

Ripeberry Tue 02-Sep-08 15:14:22

Thank you Hecate, that is what i think is happening. The GP is totally useless and it does not help that she does not even see the same GP as they are always leaving!
Social security in the UK is a total joke and they just don't like having to HELP people!
I saw a lot of this when i did p/t home care last year and it is really sadening sad

lulumama Tue 02-Sep-08 15:17:13

i think if you contact social services there can be some sort of meeting or help set up with an emergecny mental health team? sorry to hear this

your dad needs to start making a fuss,banging on doors for the GP and social services and getting something sorted

unfortunately, he will have to become very demanding and bolshy or nothing will happen

MrsSnorty Tue 02-Sep-08 15:24:46

Does she have a Community Psychiatric Nurse? Or a Psychiatrist? With her history she surely must be on someone's case load and they need to be aware that this is happening. Try her GP again (yourself) or - agree with lulumama - contact social services.

Ripeberry Tue 02-Sep-08 16:30:53

Finally managed to contact my Dad as he had not been answering his phone and he's just told me that he's told his GP about Mum trying to harm herself and they basically said that they W'ONT DO ANYTHING until she actually either hurts herself badly and needs hospital treatment or DIES!
I've just asked him for their telephone number as i just want to scream at them for being hard hearted penny pinching bast*rds!
Is there anyone else a charity maybe that i can get in touch with to get some legal advise on this?
Thank you for all your replies so far!

mummyhill Tue 02-Sep-08 16:49:07

Hugs, I know how frustrating the system is. We begged for help for FIL but they did nothing till the day he took an overdose, at which point they pumped his stomach and referred him to local psych unit. He went in "voluntarily" we told him if he didn't we would section him, for assessment. Stayed about 8 weeks, came home and has visits from the home treatment team.

We found social services next to useless. Really feel for you. Keep talking and don't bottle it up as you will make yourself ill.

mummyhill Tue 02-Sep-08 16:51:11

CAB, Mind or Samaritans may be able to give advice. There is also a website called which is a support network for sufferers of depression and their carers you are welcome to pop in there and ask if anyone could offer any advice.

Ripeberry Tue 02-Sep-08 16:52:53

I've just e-mailed Carers Wales for advise.
Could not talk on phone as i would just start to cry!

MrsSnorty Tue 02-Sep-08 21:48:41

You poor thing. I think you should scream at the GP quite frankly. Or at least ask which psychiatrist she's been seen by before and try to get in touch with him or her direct.
Or you could take your Mum to casualty (if she'll go) and demand a psych assessment there.

redinthehead Tue 02-Sep-08 22:25:37

Does your mum have anyone from mental health services involved - community psychiatric nurse or social worker based in community mental health team? If so ring them first.
If not, and GP is useless then the next best way of getting her seen is by getting her to local A&E dept where should have MH worker (usually MH nurse or junior doc) who can assess her. If she refuses to go then your father, as your mums nearest relative has a legal right to request a mental health act assessment (ie. assessment for a section) from social services, should be able to ring local SS and ask for duty Approved Social worker. Unfortunately if your mum has dementia as well as depression then home treatment teams may not get involved so hospital may be only option. But even if she does not need hospital (voluntarily or under a section) then at least she is being assessed by MH workers and they should be able to refer on to appropriate agencies for support.

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