Anyone Else Have a Mentally Unstable Mother? or Family Member?

posted 3 months ago in Family
Post # 2
1245 posts
Bumble bee

I don’t have a schizophrenic parent but I have a very alcoholic father (& a basically alcoholic mom).  

I want to say find a way to not invite your mom because it’s not worth a ruined evening but I know that I’m not uninviting my parents so it’s easier said than done.

How large is your wedding?  How many people are aware of your mother’s condition?  If it’s small enough I’d recommend maybe passing along to your close ones that she is ill. At least so they know what to expect.  

Why is your mother undiagnosed?  There is a lot of medication out there to control such symptoms.  It takes time to mitigate side effects, so the sooner she starts the better.


Post # 3
697 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

FI gets his bipolar I from his mother who herself isn’t well at all. He has more dillusions when he goes manic but her in herself is a handful in the state she’s in at the moment. I literally don’t know how to handle her most days.

i just wanted to drop by this thread and say that if you want to not invite her I think it’s perfect okay to not have that stress but you may or may not regret it and others out there do have the same stress. You’re not alone. 

Post # 4
50 posts
Worker bee

Paleta28 :  first I am sorry you are dealing with this! I know how hard it is from experience. My mom has been in a mental hospital twice and she’s got all kinds of issues. I did not have a normal childhood growing up. For example, I remember when I was 8 she accused me of taking her pills and made me spend hours looking around the house for them. Once I got older I realized she had problems. I’m 27 now and I stopped trying with her about a year ago. I cut off all communication. I love her dearly but she can be very mean and toxic and I just couldn’t deal with it anymore. She doesn’t even know I’m getting married and she will not be at my wedding. I feel guilty too but I know in my heart that I tried my best for years and it was affecting me mentally and I just can’t do that to myself. I’m not going to drive myself crazy over it. I know she’s doing well because I talk to other family members about how she’s doing. I’ve thought about inviting her but she is very unpredictable and I wouldn’t put it past her to ruin my wedding day and not feel bad about it. She can be very heartless. My advice to you is ask yourself this question. What if she has an episode at my wedding? How will I handle it? I guess try to put yourself in the worst case scenario and have a plan. I know it’s hard and I feel for you!! 

Post # 5
78 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

Paleta28 :  I completely empathize. My mother is a paranoid schizophrenic with similar delusions. Fortunately she’s diagnosized and her meds are “somewhat” balanced right now but she has been known to flip out at big celebrations in the past. We’re starting to plan our wedding and my fiance comes from a big beautiful and poised family. Not only that, my dad and stepmom sometimes fight like cat and dogs in public when they’ve had a few drinks. As an adult now I feel pretty comfortable calling them all out when they’re misbehavoring. Of course, I would like to conduct myself in a graceful and nonconfrontational manner as a bride and would like to avoid any embarrasment altogether. I too would feel pretty guilty not inviting my crazy family. I’m just hoping and praying my bridesmaids (sisters) keep everyone in check, bless them. I wanted a small intimate wedding for these reasons, but my fiance has a closeknit and large extended family so it will be a pretty sizeable wedding.

What I can offer as far as advice is, if you were to take back the invite now, she would know the date, time, and location and his she’s anything like my mother, I’d be more fearful throughout the ceremony that she would barge in univited and make a scene. I like Andeelj’s advice to run through the scenarios of how you would handle them to at least prepare yourself. But also, don’t let the worry consume you. I’ve read that imaginging or replaying a negative event in your mind actually raises your stress levels to equal, if not higher, than they would be during the actual event. Who knows, the wedding could go off without a hitch and you would have endured all the worry for nothing. At least that’s what I try to remind myself when I get in the same thought pattern. 

Hang in there. Despite everything with your mother, it’s clear you’re well adjusted and strong. You chose to invite her so you obviously value family. If anything should arise on your wedding day, those good qualities in you will be very evident to guests. And maybe confide in a few close inviduals so they can intervene if their is an escalation. 

Post # 7
2329 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

I’m so sorry that you’re going through this.

My mum is also a paranoid schizophrenic, but she is medicated. Her delusions are also heavily religiously based. Even though she is medicated (and has been since I was 13 – 14 years now), she has had numerous episodes over the years (pretty much all of them ending in a hospitalisation). We are on the tail end of an episode at the moment – she spent about 6 weeks in a psych ward and then about another 6 weeks in a treatment facility that prepared her to go home. This was the first episode in almost 6 years, a result of her medication being lowered (against my and my sister’s wishes). Fortunately my mother was properly medicated when I got married last year, so she was in her own mind and there were no issues surrounding us inviting her.

As PPs have said, taking back the invite now doesn’t mean that she won’t turn up – she has all the details of the wedding and, as she loves you, she will likely want to see you get married. I think the best thing you can do is have a plan in place in case something does happen. Is there anyone who can intervene if she starts to act up? Can you speak with her about not making a scene? I know this will be difficult as she doesn’t believe there is anything wrong with her, but you could let her know that you will not stand for her acting out – she will be asked to leave if she causes a scene – so that she’s aware she needs to be on her best behaviour. I also highly recommend counselling for yourself to help you deal with some of those feelings of guilt. I have seen a psychologist in the past and likely will again in the next few months to help me deal with my mother’s mental illness – I have found talking to someone who has a clinical understanding of mental illness to be extremely helpful in coming to terms with my own feelings and thoughts.

Post # 12
2329 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

Paleta28 :  Unfortunately, one the hallmarks of schizophrenia is that sufferers rarely recognise that they have a problem. My mum has pretty much always denied that she is unwell. Even now, she talks about herself being “sick” but she has never come out and said that she has schizophrenia.

She became medicated during an episode about 14 years ago – it ended in my dad having to call the police and an ambulance, so she was admitted to a psychiatric hospital as an involuntary patient. She spent about 12 years on an involuntary treatment order, which means that she had to take her medication otherwise she would be readmitted to a psych ward. After a few years without issue, the treatment order was lifted and she became a voluntary patient, which means it was her choice whether she took her medication or not – she continued (we’re pretty sure this is only because my dad has full custody of my underage sister and it is a requirement of the visitation schedule he has established that my mum be medicated). With this last episode, however, she has been put back on an involuntary treatment order which will be reassessed in a couple of months.

Where do you live? If your mother is clearly mentally unwell, there has to be someone you can call to report this. If they decide that she is a danger to herself or the community, they can have her involuntarily admitted to a psych ward. They can also look at medication options. Hopefully you can figure something out bee!

Post # 13
833 posts
Busy bee

Was in a similar situation with a very close aunt except she is in treatment (though still undiagnosed as it set on very recently).  We are incredibly close so I had actually considered cancelling the wedding if she couldn’t be there.  I ultimately decided that cancelling the wedding would not make her better and to put faith in the treatment.  My family and I made some contingency plans and it helped that she had been on meds for a few months and had gotten more stable.  I also let my bridesmaids, my in-laws, my photographer, the officiant, and some other VIPs aknow so that they wouldn’t be taken aback if something were to occur and so that they could help manage the crowd if there were to be an outburst.  My aunt was absolutely fine and danced the night away – it could have definitey gone sour so I’m not trying to sell you a fairytale.  Mental illness is very real.

Long term though is there something you can do to get her in treatment?  I realize she’s been symptomatic for years so you’ve likely already tried, but having been in your shoes with my aunt’s situation I can share my experience if it might help you.

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