No matter what I do, my mom will almost always find something wrong with it

My mother has Alzheimer's and she has become so nasty and mean to everyone and she always asks for unrealistic, silly or meaningless items. I get so frustrated and angry, but then I feel guilty because I know it probably isn’t her fault. How can I cope with feeling like this?

Cynthia Finefrock
Cynthia Finefrock
LPC Associate, supervised by Martin K. Shaw, LPC-S, LMFT and Christy Graham, LPC-S, RPT-S

Hi, this sounds like a very confusing and painful experience. It may help to conceptualize your experience as grief and trauma. Your mother is failing to perceive reality accurately because of her condition, and it sounds like she is responding in an uncharacteristic way. This causes you to question reality yourself because she is really treating you this way, with real consequences, without realistic perception. It is common enough for people to question themselves when they are being mistreated or gaslighted, but the problem is compounded when the mistreatment is unintentional. In some ways, you believe the real her wouldn't treat you that way, but in others, the real her is how she is being right now. You may have feelings of guilt, shame, regret, anger, despair, denial, or even defensiveness. All of these feelings are valid, understandable, and justifiable. It is hard to accept two contradictory realities, but the truth is, your trauma is just as true as your grief, and your mistreatment just as true as your loss. What I would recommend is, find a support group for individuals in your situation, whether virtually or in-person; and find a mental health professional to unload your emotions on, because I bet you're holding a lot inside in order to try to be patient and understanding. Of course, I do encourage patience and understanding, but not bottling up your feelings or trying to go it alone. Your mother could benefit from music therapy, which can improve mood and memory.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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