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What IS the matter with my mother?

(7 Posts)
MrsSeanBean Sat 11-Jul-09 12:56:54

None of these are really new problems, but seem to have intensified over the past couple of years. She is 73 but very young looking / acting. It actually shocked me to write her age, as she doesn't look/ seem at all like a 73 year old. Anyway, she has several problems, and I am wondering what could be at the bottom of it all:

She is very needy and indecisive. She called me today to ask what to do about a jacket she had ordered. I had never seen said jacket and the best I could get out of her about it was that it was red, despite repeatedly asking 'what is it like?' She said it felt small, I advised you don;t have to wear it done up, if you like it keep it etc etc, it was a argain etc.

She hoards plastic bags, or rather gathers up hoarded items (newspapers and letters mostly) and stores them in plastic bags around the house. I was shocked when I went into her bedroom the other day. It is beyond awful, she has bags of stuff everywhere, piled up, and the bed has been pulled into the middle of the room (to make easier navigation through the rubbish I think). I feel so sorry for poor dad.

The items she stores in her wardrobe are not actually used, they just sit there. All her 'current' stuff are on a pile behind the bed.

She stores little glass pots (from desserts etc) which is odd but ok I suppose if it makes her happy, but she doesn't wash them and they smell.

She gets angry and agressive when I broach the subject. I am not sure if/ how I can help.

HelensMelons Sat 11-Jul-09 17:47:02

Could it be OCD, perhaps(?)

MrsSeanBean Sat 11-Jul-09 17:49:51

That might explain the hoarding, but the total lack of ability to know make up her mind is wearisome. It puts all the responsibility onto me (and blame, if it turns out wrong).

MrsSeanBean Sat 11-Jul-09 17:50:44

I just wish I could make her see the environment as others see it. I know she would be shocked. The house was lovely when we were cildren.

weegiemum Sat 11-Jul-09 18:02:04

It could be worth talking to her GP, and getting an opinion from a psychiatrist. My dh's Grandma hoarded things like that, and it was the beginning of dementia. Hoarding has some kind of 'syndrome name' - just looked it up its Diogenes Syndrome - and the Wiki article is quite good but I can't get it to load to get the URL right now! From what I know it sounds like it is pretty mild at the moment if that is what it is, so worth getting help now if you ca.

The agression is something dh's granny had as well - partly because she knew there was something wrong but couldn't bring herself to admit it.

I hope there is a simpler explanation - but best to know if things are deteriorating before it gets any worse. Hope you and your parents can get the help you need.

ReneRusso Sat 11-Jul-09 18:04:51

Hoarding is an anxiety disorder somewhat related to OCD. Indeciveness is part and parcel of it. Has she always been an anxious person?

MrsSeanBean Sat 11-Jul-09 18:10:12

Yes I suppose she has Rene. If only her clothes looked like the pic you linked to! That looks tidy compared to the state of mum's room now.

I wonder if I should print off the article and give to her. I don't know if she would take it seriously though. But she does feel shame I think. But is powerless to improve the situation and won't let me tidy up in case I get rid of something important.

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