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Concerned for mum's mental health

(13 Posts)
unicornbreath Thu 19-Nov-15 20:31:23

My mother talks and acts like a child. I'm really concerned about this. When I go to visit and we're relaxing watching tv/I'm browsing my phone she'll say nonsensical things and make noises get attention. She does it most of the time too, and in public which is awfully embarrassing. She says 'broche', (really not sure what that means???) 'oh dearrrrr', 'yoohoo', coos at the television and repeats words characters are saying all in the voice you'd use when talking to a baby or a small animal. She sits and stares at me or her partner and wags her finger at us bouncing up and down in her chair to get us to look at her. She slaps her lips together when being presented with food and shouts 'yummy!'. She also does childish things like prod at her partners phone whilst he's using it and fake cry if she hurts herself and begs her partner to kiss the 'boo boo'. Generally just behaviour I would expect to see in a toddler at nursery. It's highly annoying and very worrying as she is in her mid 40s. She is never around any children either so doesn't have to act like this in her daily life. I feel she needs to see a health professional. Any advice?

unicornbreath Thu 19-Nov-15 20:33:19

+ it is rare she speaks in her normal voice, only when she is angry.

harveybristol Thu 19-Nov-15 20:39:04

Has she ever been like this before or is it all very recent? Sounds very odd behaviour! Could she be having a midlife crisis?! My mum has gone a bit loopy in her late 40's and opted for revealing outfits and childlike behaviour, she has also moved 100 miles away to be with her new boyfriend and lost her job as a result!
Apparently, the menopause can do strange things to people. I'd recommend explaining to her the way she's been acting- she may not even be aware of it.
so.rubbish when you have to parent the parent! Feel for you.

AIN Thu 19-Nov-15 20:41:03

What does her partner think? Surely he's with her every day so gets to see if this is a show for you or more worrying. What did she used to be like before this behaviour? Is it sudden or gradual?

ALaughAMinute Thu 19-Nov-15 20:43:22

How long has she been like this? Have you noticed any other unusual behaviour? Is she generally happy in herself or is she stressed?

My first thought was that she was just trying to be cute or attention seeking but of course it could be something more serious. Have you tried talking to her about it?

Busybusybust Thu 19-Nov-15 20:47:23

Oh, dear. I think she has early onset altzheimer's. Please go to your GP and insist on a referral to a geriatrician. She really needs it and do do you.

pocketsaviour Thu 19-Nov-15 20:54:27

Have you discussed this with her partner? As in, "I'm really worried about mum, is she acting like this all the time or just when we're here?"

If she appears to be unaware of the behaviour and it is consistent (and relatively new) then I would suggest a GP visit should be a priority.

unicornbreath Thu 19-Nov-15 20:58:56

She's been like this for the past 2 years and it's gradually got worse. I've brought it up to her in the past and she just giggles and says 'sorry'. I will have to talk to her partner about it and see what he thinks we should do. He himself is a very stern serious person and I think he just lets it go over his head. I have started ignoring her when she does the things I've listed

weebarra Thu 19-Nov-15 21:00:04

Slightly aghast at the "menopause can do strange things to people" statement. I mean, I'm going through menopause, I'm 38, it's horrible but I'm still managing to bring up three kids under 8 and hold down a senior job.
OP - how recent is the onset of this behaviour? What does your mum's DP think? It does sound worrying.

redredblue Thu 19-Nov-15 21:03:47

She needs to see her gp, personality changes are concerning. Could be mental health problem, brain tumour, Alzheimer's, etc. It really needs checking out.

MumOfGorgeousness Thu 19-Nov-15 21:20:21

I'd find this terribly hard if it were my mum, and she is 20 years older than yours. Please encourage her to see a doctor, it may be hard if she isn't feeling unwell generally but do try. Otherwise, if she doesn't go, then you are certainly able to visit and speak to a doctor about her, for advice.

pocketsaviour Sat 21-Nov-15 11:51:50

She also does childish things like prod at her partners phone whilst he's using it and fake cry if she hurts herself and begs her partner to kiss the 'boo boo'.

He himself is a very stern serious person

Are these two things connected? Is it possible she's desperately seeking his attention and affection (albeit in an incredibly strange way) with this behaviour?

Do you ever see her without her partner being there? is she any different then?

Corygal Sat 21-Nov-15 20:53:58

It's bizarre. Must be rather repellent and unnerving if you know her. Has she ever had serious mental illness? Thing is, she isn't delusional so it's not going to be a psychotic break or anything, sounds more personality related.

Talk to her partner. Then tell her you're taking her to a psychiatrist. Let them sort it out. She's clearly aware of what she's doing, so the less reward-type attention you pay her the better.

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