Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 1013892

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sick to death

Posted by g_g_g_unit on March 24, 2012, at 23:27:59

Yesterday I was feeling tired because I haven't been sleeping well on Parnate, so decided to spend the day in bed. My behavior wasn't particularly out of the ordinary: I sat on my laptop, surfing the internet and listening to music.

My mother had seen me that morning. At 3pm, she burst into room, informing that she'd called the crisis team because "she couldn't deal with my depression anymore". Due to privacy strictures, they refused to speak to her - and I to them - so that was the end of that. I handed her a book on OCD and suggested that maybe she do some reading up instead of calling emergency; she threw it to the ground, muttering "what's that going to help?"

This is the third time she's called the crisis team without necessary provocation. She's tried to call my psychiatrist before and threw a tantrum when he refused to speak to her.

I'm stranded in a semi-strange country. I just found out that the disability package I'm entitled to - as a 2-year resident - would barely cover housing, food, in addition to my psychiatric costs.

Just last week, I went to her and explained that I was feeling extremely uncomfortable living at home and didn't want to be put in a position where I felt the need to OD again. She assured me that my concerns were unfounded, literally assuring me that "if I wanted to spend all my time in my room, I could" and that "I didn't need to put on airs for anyone around [the house]".

I am so assaulted by OCD that all I ask is for some space in which to [try to] recover. But that's so clearly beyond her. I asked if she'd be willing to speak to my OCD therapist and she said no. She's a pathological narcissist who has to try and foster hysteria wherever possible. She's also impervious to criticism; after we met with my psychiatrist and I brought up the fact that I felt there was a lack of understanding on her part, she later berated me "for trying to make her look bad in front of him".

I'm not sure what to do anymore. I enjoy the comforts that accompany living at home. I think that abandoning myself to the state system would be dangerously alienating. My only friends here are a couple who have said that I can come and stay with them for a few days. It isn't an ideal situation - he's a temperamental alcoholic - but I feel some need to punish my mother for what she's done (i.e. completely undermining my trust) and I know that simply leaving and cutting off contact for even a few days would completely devastate her. My other option is to try and speak to my uncle, who is a doctor, and see if he might be willing to counsel her somehow, though she'd be furious that I spoke to someone behind her back (she often paranoically presupposes that I'm "running down the family" in therapy).

It's just sad that it's come to this. I think about how I was once gifted, bright, had a promising future, and now, in addition to the crushing vicissitudes of mental illness, I have to contend with a monstrous carnival of a family life. The problem is I just don't care enough about being alive to either stay and make things work or leave home. I feel utterly trapped.

 

Re: sick to death

Posted by Dinah on March 25, 2012, at 14:18:02

In reply to sick to death, posted by g_g_g_unit on March 24, 2012, at 23:27:59

Sometimes a relationship just gets to an unbearable place of mutual hostility. I can see only two ways to change it.

One is to behave as if the relationship was better. This has worked surprisingly well for me with everyone from my husband to an occasional dog. Behave lovingly and respectfully to your mom and you might see a big difference in her own behavior. You can't change her thoughts or behaviors, only your own, but in my experience this technique can help in situations where a relationship is stuck in a bad place.

You can also view it as the price for the living space and comforts. If you choose the comforts, it's best to pay the price with as much good grace as you can muster. When she is being troublesome, think about the comforts of living at home, and detach from the situation seeing it as the same as paying a cash payment for a living situation and comforts. You are paying in aggravation rather than cash. But earning cash often involves aggravation...

The other is to leave. You get the advantages of comfort living at home, there is a price to pay. If you can't pay the price, you need to give up the comforts. It's a choice you make.

I feel badly for both of you in this situation.

Perhaps there are other options I haven't seen. Is family therapy an option?

 

Re: sick to death

Posted by raisinb on March 25, 2012, at 19:09:20

In reply to sick to death, posted by g_g_g_unit on March 24, 2012, at 23:27:59

If you can't leave, and you can't have a productive conversation or interaction with her, you will need to completely disengage. Whatever she says, say okay and agree. Do not listen, get upset, or respond. Accept that she will not understand and that you will not get anywhere with her.

It's passive-aggressive, but it's the best solution in your situation, I think. It's what I did with my old therapist after years of toxic interactions, in the months while I gained strength to leave.

She might act out more outrageously when you detach in order to get your attention; my guess is that she may thrive on pushing some of your buttons, and she'll go through an "extinction burst" when you refuse to have them pushed.

 

Re: sick to death raisinb

Posted by g_g_g_unit on March 25, 2012, at 20:47:46

In reply to Re: sick to death, posted by raisinb on March 25, 2012, at 19:09:20

Well, I had been refusing to eat because Parnate was suppressing my appetite. Of course, in a Jewish household this constitutes a major violation (I mean that semi-jokingly), so last night she came into my room and once again declared that she'd had enough of me and was going to have me committed.

I said she couldn't do that and that I was going to stay at some friends, so got up and started to pack. She called my father into the room who pinned me to the bed. I threw my laptop against the wall and told her, in all sincerity, that I hated her. She burst into tears and they both left. 30 mins later, while talking to someone on chat, I get a knock on my door and am greeted by four policemen and an ambulance driver. I am forced to consent to an interview and assessment by the driver. They discover a superficial cut on my arm (my mother had noticed a missing razor blade .. however, the only reason I'd been provoked to cut was because she'd tried to call emergency yesterday!) and I was cajoled into being taken to the local emergency room for a psych assessment.

I'm home now. I'm packing up and going to stay with friends for 3-4 days, but am utterly at pains about what my future holds. Your advice is sound raisinb, but that still doesn't 'cover' me on days like this weekend when I'm bed-ridden and need to be allowed to be so without having an emergency team called. My mom *needs* some kind of psych education on OCD and depression. She will always loudly declare that "my psychiatrist must be able to do something" and threaten that she's going to accompany me to see him or have me hospitalized or call her brother-in-law (a doctor). Instead of letting me just exist in a state of semi-functional depression (with occasional lapses into hopelessness and fatigue) and OCD, she seems to be operating under this sense of entitlement whereby I, her son, *must* be cured immediately.

Again, in front of the psych nurse, I brought up the fact that I feel she needs to develop a deeper understanding of OCD and again she openly dismissed me. Unfortunately, my condition is nowhere near the point where I can just grin-and-bear-it. It's severe, recalcitrant and since I have such a difficult time tolerating medication, I'm doing my best to engage in therapy, but that's impossible when living in fear.

 

Re: sick to death g_g_g_unit

Posted by Phillipa on March 25, 2012, at 21:40:44

In reply to sick to death, posted by g_g_g_unit on March 24, 2012, at 23:27:59

Speak to your uncle asap. Is it possible he could also help you out? Phillipa

 

Re: sick to death Phillipa

Posted by g_g_g_unit on March 25, 2012, at 21:58:16

In reply to Re: sick to death g_g_g_unit, posted by Phillipa on March 25, 2012, at 21:40:44

> Speak to your uncle asap. Is it possible he could also help you out? Phillipa

I tried. He refused to get involved. So much for family, huh? Anyway, the police have arranged for family counselling and my mom has agreed to speak to my OCD therapist, so it's a start, I suppose . .

She's also going into therapy herself.

 

Re: sick to death

Posted by stewie on March 26, 2012, at 16:16:19

In reply to Re: sick to death Phillipa, posted by g_g_g_unit on March 25, 2012, at 21:58:16

ggg, I think it is a huge start.
There is a lot that is about your whole situation, but you seem to be pretty smart and perceptive about it.

You're getting a lot of suggestions (duh)... Take what is good and toss the rest.

I hope that you find a way around the side effects of Parnate. My guess is that will be a great help to you.

Diane


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