Q. My mother has a lot of mood swings and makes rash decisions. Are my brothers safe with her?

Answered by
Dr. Awadhesh P. Singh Solanki
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Apr 19, 2017 and last reviewed on: Aug 28, 2021

Hello doctor,

First of all, let me thank you for this platform. It is just wonderful that you make professional opinion available for people who have nowhere else to turn. My mother has been showing weird behavior ever since I can remember. The issue is that anytime someone (from our family or otherwise) brings up the fact that she is acting unusual, she denies it. Everyone is wrong, and she is always right. I am wondering if maybe I describe her behavior here, I could get some opinion on whether or not she is indeed in need of help, and whether or not she can care of her children.

She has a lot of mood swings, she is incredibly happy some days, and she has a small idea which she believes can turn her life around. And she would not let anyone's opinion deter her. She makes rash decisions and shops a lot, spends all the money she has. Other days, you can just see how down she is. She has difficulty getting out of bed and is extremely irritable and generally in a bad mood. She will yell and get overly angry for seemingly small reasons. Also, she lies a lot, but it is strange because it is like she does not realize she is lying. It is like she changes the facts in her head, she believes that whatever she is saying really happened, even if multiple people who witnessed the same thing say otherwise. And she will get angry if contradicted. She is also very manipulative, especially concerning her children and money. She regularly uses her kids to get money from the family and brainwashes the kids (through repetition, yelling, and psychological abuse) against any member of the family that they seem to like more than her, or that refuses to cave to her manipulation.

She has no friends. Her mood swings alone are enough to drive anyone away. Also, she has a surprisingly cold attitude towards her kids. She is not warm or affectionate (I sincerely cannot remember the last time she gave any of us a hug), and she will easily put us aside if bigger interest is at stake, for example, she overlooked the fact that my step-father abused me because he gave her money. Recently, seven years after the fact, she wants to defend me, since he stopped paying up. She was prepared to do it without my consent too. She just casually mentioned it in conversation, in the same way, she would tell me about how it has been raining a lot recently. The fact that I was suffering visibly for years never seemed to bother her. Well, I think that may be enough of a description. There are a lot more details, but I believe these are the main factors that always strike me as odd. I am fine now and out of her life, but I am worried about my brothers, and whether or not they are safe with her. Please help, your opinion is greatly appreciated. I would like to have some sort of professional feedback before taking any action concerning the safety and well-being of my brothers. They mean the world to me, and if they are to be removed from the care of my mother, I need to be sure that this is indeed not normal. Because she will never admit it to herself.



Welcome to

Thanks for the query. I can understand your concern regarding your mother and your brothers.

You have given a beautifully elaborated history, clearly showing your mom is suffering from bipolar affective disorder (BPAD) and needs clinical assistance.

She cannot take care of her children with this illness. BPAD is a mental illness, but it is treatable with mood stabilizers and antipsychotic medications. Medicines like Lithium or Valproate with Risperidone will help in early recovery.

Without treatment, she cannot take decisions properly. She can even harm your siblings. Presently she is not having any insight of her illness and requires urgent treatment. I suggest you visit a nearby psychiatrist as soon as possible for her treatment.

Hope my answer helped you.

For more information consult a psychiatrist online -->

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