Psychiatry & Psychology--General/Mental Illness


I have recently been thinking about my mother who slowly degenerated over time into mental illness.  I have been thinking about it because I just remembered a key clue, that if my good friend had told me at the time, would have been the first piece in diagnosing the problem earlier.  

Apparently my mother said something really bad to her and her family.  But my friend would never tell me what it was she had said.  Some time later, my mother did this again to another family who were my friends.  She travel quite some distance and told them something that at the time, was uncharacteristically inappropriate.

Over time others became the enemy, then those near her became the enemy, and in the end, I became the enemy.  One of the problems I had was that I could not get her to go to a doctor because she felt that she was fine and if I pursued that line of discussion I (her only friend in the world) moved closer to becoming an enemy.  The last several months I spent with her were so insane, at times I felt that I was going insane myself.

I would like to know what I should have done to help her?  How do you get a person who is mentally ill, who thinks that they are always right, and that there is no problem the help that they need?

I would like to know what I should have done to help her?

The only thing that could have been done is to get her to a doctor.  She might then have refused the doctor's advice, at which point there is nothing you can do, unless she became violent to herself or others, in which case a guardianship could have been sought and treatment forced upon her.  

Psychiatry & Psychology--General

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Daniel S. Harrop, M.D.


Dr. Daniel S. Harrop received his B.A. and his M.D., both from Brown, and his M.B.A. from the Edinburgh Business School, Scotland. Board-certified in adult and geriatric psychiatry, he is a past president of the R.I. Psychiatric Society and a member of the Committee on Medical Quality of the American Psychiatric Association and the Committee on Continuing Medical Education of the R.I Medical Society. He serves as a consultant to four of the top five major medical management companies, including OptumHealth/United Healthcare, Magellan Behavioral Health Services, ValueOptions and APS Healthcare, and maintains a private practice in Providence, R.I. He also serves as chief psychiatric consultant on the Medical Advisory Board at the R.I. Workers Compensation Court. He was formerly on the faculty at the medical schools at both Brown University and Harvard University.

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]