the frustration of mentalhealth


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Today wasn’t a good day. It was even worse for my mum as she is after all the one who is going through this nightmare illness but I am there along side her trying to also deal with the side effects of it all. We visited the doctors, we needed to go in, get some antibiotics & leave but it isn’t that straight forward when you are faced with such a complex illness such as my mums.

The Doctor was a really lovely lady, a French lady with the classic classy French look & that beautiful accent that screams elegance. We, or rather I told her why we were there & really that should have been that. With the type of illness my mum has (which hasn’t really been ever diagnosed as one particular illness, more like a few mixed in together) it is extremely difficult for her to let any of the past go, like ever! Anything that may have happened years ago is still very present today as if it was only yesterday. Memories are jumbled up, not saying some aren’t true but also lots are very mixed up & any little occurrence which may have happened many years ago is now a huge occurrence & multiplied tenfold.

My mum cant just say why she is there, she will go in to great detail about previous Doctors, illnesses, operations & such like. She will tell the doctor about the awful experience’s she has had (she actually has had some pretty awful times) & she will go in to a total rant & get herself so wound up that the doctor is sitting there with no clue what is going on because lets face it they rarely have time to read up on the notes & you rarely get the same doctor time & time again. What ends up happening every single time is that I end up speaking for my mum which in itself is degrading & patronising for her, so this upsets her too. More often that not the doctor will end up looking at me & totally avoiding the glare from my mum. To her, every doctor is the same, she doesn’t trust any of them in fact she doesn’t trust anyone at all. Ultimately what ends up happening is I have an argument with my mum in the doctors office, in front of the doctor & no holes barred. Its a horrible & intense situation & you honestly would have to be there to see how very frustrating & upsetting it is for us both. I am very aware the doctor had a time slot & we need to get the issue sorted out & all my mum wants to do is get some kind of recognition for the pain she has suffered already which is totally understandable but also not appropriate for that time.

Before we left, after what probably ended up being a double appointment, my mum turned to the doctor & asked her, actually she told her, that she was married to a French man my mum knew. The doctor told her that she was mistaken & although she did have the same surname of the man my mum had mentioned, she was not his wife. My mum then repeated herself & almost spelt the name out to this doctor who was extremely professional & could obviously see the strain in my face & told her that she knew she was his wife & gave her look as if to say ‘I know you are lying’, now at this point if I had been the doctor I would have told my mum it has absolutely nothing to do with her who I am married to & I will only talk about the reason why she had visited the doctors office in the first place.

This is all part of the illness. The accusations, the interrogations, the poorly re-laid memories, the mixed up thought process. When we finally got out the doctors my mum turned to me & said in a really deep ‘I know I am right voice’ & said “she might think I don’t know but I know who she is!”.  By this time almost to exhausted to argue the case but I just said that she is getting confused & I was sure the doctor knew who her own husband was. If it wasn’t so sad it would be hilarious.

I admit I cried today, I admit I lost my cool with my mum. I am tired too, I am worn out from this illness, I am done talking. Some days I get home & I shut off but other days it could easily drive me to drink. Luckily for me, I hardy drink, I actually only drink now & then & when I do its a kind of binge drink & I get rat faced very quickly, but its more than likely very much needed for me. The conversation ended with my mum saying “I’m not scared of dying, I’m scared of how I’m going to die” indicating again that she has this horrific idea that she is going to die a cruel, violent & gruesome death. How can I reason with someone who truly believes this to be true. I cant, I have tried for almost 11 years & I am yet to find the answer.


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