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Advice please, not sure whether relative needs help or how to give it

(4 Posts)
fryingpanorfire Sun 31-May-09 13:56:33

OK, this is sensitive and about a family member so I've change my name for this post (sorry)!

I've got female relative who is about half a generation older than me. I'm her only close family in this country (the UK). Work (hers) and me being a mum mean we only get to see each other about once every couple of months.

Now much as I love her, I'm afraid I find her extremely hard work. She is manipulative and very demanding, and very good at disregarding other people's wishes. She treats everyone this way but tries it on with me more and it's tiresome to say the least. As I'm now a mum, my first priority is my DC and I'm afraid I don't have the emotional energy to deal with her high-mantenance needs so we have established some boundaries that I can live with.

Unfortunately, I have started to suspect that it's more that just that she's a drama queen and that there may be something genuinely wrong with her. I suspect she may suffer from depression or be dependent on anti-depressants, or possibly be suffering some form of early-onset dementia.

On one hand, I have no particularly good reason to think any of these things are tru (other than that aspects of her behaviour are consistent with these) and I don't want to cause her hurt by suggesting she get assessed (if not true) - besides, she is extremely good at evading any kind of frank discussion and if there's no real problem and she turns it into an 'everything will be fine for me if only you would stop being so mean and let me have my way with everything but la la la I'm not listening to your needs' then we're back to the situation where I'm stressed to the back teeth with her behaviour, to no gain.

On the other hand, if there is some kind of problem like this then I am the most obvious person to spot this and reach out and help her - and I haven't a clue where to start there. It's practically impossible to intiate a frank conversation with her and I can't force her to be assessed. What would you do?

TwoScrambled Mon 01-Jun-09 12:46:00

You could try contacting some of the charities that specialise in this kind of problem, ask for what to look for etc.

Good luck!

fryingpanorfire Mon 01-Jun-09 22:02:30

Thanks, TS! For some reason, that never occurred to me. I think I had the idea that charities were only there for people once they had already been identified as having these problems, but of course, you're right - they're there for all stages. I will get onto it (and thanks for the good luck wishes! )

TwoScrambled Tue 02-Jun-09 08:18:01

We had problems getting my grandmother diagnosed because as soon as the GP came near she put on a superb act.

Terry Pratchett is very involved with the Alchzimers Society (I think).

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