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My mother is angry and violent


Question: I've struggled with my mother’s issues almost all of my life. My mother is easily angered and will hold on to anger for weeks—or years. She constantly fights with our dear neighbors, bless their souls. For example she cussed out our neighbors today because their dog ran up to her and tried to cuddle on her lap. My mother has an enormous fear of dogs. She was spitting on our neighbors behind the door, because she was too scared to go up to them and do it. She fought our cousins because of how jealous she was of their money. She even was recorded by our neighbors—she was cussing at them because they sprayed water on our sidewalk and they yelled at us because the wheels of our cars constantly squished their grass and killed it. What I'm trying to say is my mother’s issues are nonstop and very violent. She will end up being arrested if she caused another disruption. I love my mother to much to see her in jail.

Dr. Amy:

It sounds like your mother needs help to address her mental health. In the words of the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority, a mental illness:

  • is a medical condition that disrupts a person's thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning.
  • just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.

Mental illness affects a lot of people. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, one in four adults−approximately 61.5 million Americans−experiences mental illness in a given year. One in 17−about 13.6 million−lives with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder.

Mental illness can touch anyone—regardless of their age, background, or income. Having a mental illness does not mean you are weak or that you were poorly brought up. It does mean that, like any other medical condition, you should seek help. With proper treatment, your mother can make a recovery and feel better. And so can you. I am sure this is taking a toll on your own peace of mind!

I suggest you call Community Mental Health in your area to have your mother assessed. I she won't go, see if you can arrange an assessment at her home. From there, a treatment program will be developed to help your mother. Since you are in Detroit, you can reach the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority at (313) 833-3232 or at 1 800 241-4949.

I send you strength. Good luck!

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