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elderly mother with narcissistic personality disorder

(134 Posts)
Ziggy62 Wed 19-Jun-19 12:23:24

any one here coping with an elderly parent with NPD. My mother is in her 80's and I would appreciate any advice

Maria57 Wed 19-Jun-19 12:34:09

Hi - I must have joined this site two minutes before you posted and what a coincidence! I am not sure if my mum has NPD but that is how I have "diagnosed" it. I try not to "rescue" her and try very hard to protect my time and my plans whilst at the same time making sure I show her some attention and give her time. Its hard and I feel guilty. ' really don't know and will be interested on your thoughts and anyone else.

Ziggy62 Wed 19-Jun-19 13:03:48

After more than 50 years of her behaviour and a few month after my dad died (plus my first husband had died 5 years before) I was referred to a psychiatrist by my GP. Coincidently, I had taken my mother to the same woman for counselling as a private client a few months before. Anyway to cut a very long story short, I was advised to go No Contact with my mother. I was advised if I didn't I would never get well.
It took many many months before I had the courage to follow this advice.
So, I went NC in September 2014 just after I met my new husband
Having done this she continues to find ways to contact me and sadly I no longer see my 2 children or my 3 grandchildren. The whole family has been destroyed by her behaviour. After the death of my father she just went completely out of control
I really just wanted to know if any others on here are dealing with the same situation

sodapop Wed 19-Jun-19 13:06:14

Perhaps we should have a dedicated thread for all those people who have relatives with narcissistic personality disorder.
How are you qualified to make this diagnosis Maria57

Ziggy62 Wed 19-Jun-19 13:26:34

Sodapop, thanks for your input but I'm specifically looking for advice from others who are coping with an elderly mother with NPD

silverlining48 Wed 19-Jun-19 13:27:14

There certainly seem to be plenty of people with this disorder around. Many seem to have been diagnosed as such by friends or family, rather than by properly qualified health professionals.
People used to be difficult, selfish and self centred now they are narcissists.
I am sorry ziggy62, both for your difficult relationship with your mother but also that you no longer see your children and grandchildren. I hope this can eventually be resolved.

stella1949 Wed 19-Jun-19 13:42:33

My mother was diagnosed with NPD. I still suffer mental scars from living with her, and she's been gone for many years now.

The only thing that made life bearable towards the end, was the fact that she got dementia. She was actually quite pleasant then.

Sorry I can't help - I'm not aware of anything which makes NPD less destructive. Good luck.

ninathenana Wed 19-Jun-19 13:47:23

To me Maria57 is simply saying she uses NPD as her way of expressing her mum's personality.

"that is how I have 'diagnosed' it" hence the inverted commas

blondenana Wed 19-Jun-19 18:12:54

I think it is pretty easy to know what a narcissist is, they care about no one but themselves,have no empathy and are risk takers, that is not all of course, and even if not diagnosed as having NPD they have all the traits,i have been married to one, and recently ditched another ,
I know people can be self centred and selfish, without having NPD but those traits are bad enough to live with,if not a full blown Narc,
There are not many who would be willing to be formally diagnosed anyway,they are worse than just being self centred

BlueBelle Wed 19-Jun-19 18:20:39

It seems it’s the latest in thing all the daughter in laws, mother in laws, mothers fathers, partners etc who used to be awkward difficult or down right cruel are now narcissistic
I blame Mr Trump

Gonegirl Wed 19-Jun-19 18:23:44

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Smileless2012 Wed 19-Jun-19 18:26:54

Whilst I agree that the narcissist label does appear to be over used and isn't always applicable, being confronted with the devastation to a family that a narcissist causes cannot and should never be underestimated or treated lightly.

GillT57 Wed 19-Jun-19 18:27:43

Trump has certainly stood up and made public the personality traits that most of us amateurs recognise as narcissism Bluebelle so I suppose that is one small thing we can be grateful to him for!

Gonegirl Wed 19-Jun-19 18:29:50

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blondenana Wed 19-Jun-19 19:08:45

Obviously people do not know how destructive narcissism can be, sometimes the only way to escape their manipulative ways is to go no contact,they can destroy your life and leave mental scars, read "Quora" you will find out how a narc can ruin someones life and mental health

Opal Wed 19-Jun-19 19:19:45

Ziggy62 - "Having done this she continues to find ways to contact me and sadly I no longer see my 2 children or my 3 grandchildren. The whole family has been destroyed by her behaviour." Are you sure the whole family hasn't been destroyed by your behaviour, i.e. cutting contact with your Mum? You are the one not seeing your children and grandchildren now, is it because they disagree with your behaviour? There are ways of dealing with controlling behaviour without cutting contact - that is so cruel. She's not a murderer, she's your mother, and despite all her faults, cutting contact with a loved one is not the answer. I can't imagine any professional psychiatrist encouraging a patient to cut contact, that's awful advice!

sodapop Wed 19-Jun-19 19:20:56

Yes I understand that ninathenana What I don't understand is the trend to diagnose and label every behaviour. There are people who are nasty, bitchy, selfish, forgetful. This does not automatically make them narcissistic or have dementia.
Of course I sympathise with all those people who have mental health problems or who are caring for relatives who do. I was a mental health nurse many years ago so I do have some insight into the issues. I feel very strongly that diagnosis /labels should be left to the professionals.

Missfoodlove Wed 19-Jun-19 19:37:59

My 91-year-old mother has NPD.
The first words I can remember her saying to me were I rue the day you were born.
She used to tell me frequently that she didn’t like me that my brother didn’t like me and that my father didn’t like me, she would do or say anything to incite my brother or father to hit me.
She would then tell friends,neighbours, basically anyone that would listen that I was a terrible terrible child and how awful it was for her to have to bring me up.
She took money from my bank account when I was 11 to give to my brother the golden child, anybody that came into my life that I liked she would eventually take them to one side and tell them lies about me.
On a regular basis she would literally empty every drawer and cupboard in my room and turn it upside down looking for some kind of evidence to give her an excuse to hit me.
When my first child was born she held her,looked at me and said that if I didn’t do what she said she would make sure she was adopted.
When ever I achieved anything she would manage to ruin it for me.
She has told family members so many lies that some of them refuse to speak to me because they believe her.
She told a solicitor that my husband and myself were coercing her for money. She told a relation that she had bought most of the furniture that is in my home and paid for holidays.
All of this was one great big lie, As a daughter I would’ve done anything to try and please her though she made my life hell yet I continued to support her, look after her.
Had I known about NPD 20 years ago things might have been very very different.
So please do not assume that NPD is just being banded around as a buzz word, as a survivor of a mother with this disorder I feel it is really very important that people know and understand that this is real.
I have been very happily married for 36 years I have a wonderful husband and three amazing adult children and a grandchild. I run a successful business and have some very good friendships, none of this is down to my mother or my father, or brother.
It has been friends immediate family and my wonderful husband that have helped me cope.
My mother is still alive and in a home I visit her regularly although she doesn’t know who I am, she is a pathetic character.

Poppyred Wed 19-Jun-19 19:53:40

Wow Missfoodlove you have been to hell and back and not only survived but have made a good life for yourself. Well done you.
Don’t think I could still stay in contact with such a cruel mother......

GracesGranMK3 Wed 19-Jun-19 20:02:59

Aren't the OP's posts about two people's issues. If a doctor tells you to cut all contact with someone they are doing this because of your illness not because they have come to any conclusion about anyone else. The only way I can compare it is to look at someone being signed off because of work related stress. The person is stressed because of their work and should be treated, after a break, in a way that allows them get back into work or helps them to leave. In those circumstances no doctor is able to offer an opinion as to whether the work place is generally toxic or even why it may cause their patient problems. It's that patients problem that is being treated.

It seems to me that we cannot form an opinion about the elderly mother. It also seems a little odd that the children have reacted the way they have too. Children are very often aware of the family dynamics.

Maria57 Wed 19-Jun-19 20:21:32

I have done some reading around the subject and that is why I used quotation marks. I am in no way qualified to make a diagnosis and apologise if I have caused offence with my first post.

MovingOn2018 Wed 19-Jun-19 20:34:26

I see a lot of narcissistic traits from some of these posts alone. hmm

OP you are allowed to cut off anything an anyone out of your life, and the fact that one's your mother doesn't exempt them from a quick cut off. Even the Bible tells us to cut off that which makes us sin. There is no exception clause to this either.

So it's cruel too who? The NPD mother? What about the OP and how her mother is being cruel to her? Or are we still in the ancient times of taking any form of abuse and staying silent just because someone is your mother/father/family? hmm

Keep your pair of scissors sharpened and keep cutting her out. But when a mother/father cuts out their own child for being gay/trans/marrying to a family they don't approve of/or any other reason - no one comes out to say that these parents are mean/cruel. But once the reverse happens to where an adult child does the cut off, they are branded as mean/cruel. Parents are not mini gods. They like everyone else are prone to making egregious crimes.

Her mother isn't perfect or deserving of some special form of respect/treatment just causes she's elderly and irrespective of how she acts. Cut cut cut cut and cut her off as needed.

BlueBelle Wed 19-Jun-19 20:42:45


Ziggy62 Wed 19-Jun-19 20:48:17

wow, wasn't expecting that

quizqueen Wed 19-Jun-19 20:53:52

If a child is having a tantrum, my advice would be to 'remove the audience'. The same would apply to adults who have tantrums or behave badly. However, you can just walk away from them as they don't need supervision. On another day, if everyone is having a reasonable time, then mention that you are happy to see them. Praise the good ( if any) and ignore the bad - for your own sanity!