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Parents' Mental State - June 6th 2010, 11:07 PM

Hey everyone,

I am in need of help. Now I'm aware people say time and time again that every teen has struggles with their parents. I think my parents have bigger problems though. Please don't disregard what I'm about to say as completely irrational. I think my parents are losing sanity as they grow older. My mother will turn 51 in 2.5 months and my father turned 49 three months ago. My best reasoning for my conclusion is the way they act towards everyone. While they are nice sometimes and are generally polite, they seem solemn and constantly worked up about something. When talking to one another, near everything is a rude remark and/or exasperated complaint. The issue is that they don't seem to realize it. My father seems to think he is being infinitely kind while controlling everything my mother does. My mother can't take more than five minutes of my father speaking before leaving the room. I do not think their relationship is in jeopardy, yet I do think they are going very irrational as they grow older. Many teens say this, but only in relation to themselves. I find this happening to everyone that seems to come in contact with them. Part of this may be related to alcohol use. My mother used to drink quite a bit, but as of late only has 1-3 drinks a week. My father has at least five drinks a day, if not more. He usually never has more than 4 drinks in one sitting. Neither of them drink hard alcohol on a regular basis. My mom never drinks hard alcohol while my father will have a shot of Jameson at home or vodka while out. The tension in my family is driving me INSANE. 9/10 times, dinner with the whole family ends in a huge, emotionally draining fight. During the day, sometimes as much a dozen small fights occur. My father recently began renting a large office space in the city where his business partner lives. This worries me as when he first started this job, he worked full time from home. This progressed into 1-2 days a week in the city. It then ramped up to three days a week. It then went back down to 1-2. Now it is as much as 4-5. This has been bothering me, as it costs a significant amount of money to rent this place, and my father has provided no real reason as to why he does it. Back to the subject of emotional condition, my mother has seemingly gone off the deep end as well. She has small outbursts of peculiar song and dance randomly, whether she be alone or around other people. She doesn't seem to remember anything, especially requests or ways of doing things. This parallels with my father, who never seems to remember much either. Please provide any suggestions possible. Many thanks.

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Re: Parents' Mental State - June 7th 2010, 12:27 AM

I'm really sorry about it.
It really does sound like their having a relaship issues thouhg.
Have you ever tried bring theses issues up your mom or dad alone without the other present?
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Re: Parents' Mental State - June 7th 2010, 05:31 AM

Hello, Max. Welcome to TeenHelp! =) I'm so glad that you felt comfortable enough to share your story with us. I hope we can help you gain clarity regarding your situation.

First of all, I don't believe your parents are going insane. Yes, they seem to be acting irrationally... but that's quite common when two people are upset at one another. They'll say and do a lot of things to get back at one another, to seek attention, to avoid further confrontation, etc. It doesn't mean they've suddenly developed mental disorders.

It sounds like there's something going on between your parents that you're not yet aware of. If everything used to be perfectly fine until recently, then one or both of your parents probably said or did something "bad". Your father seems to be coping with the situation by drinking excessively (to take his mind off of whatever the problem is) and avoiding your mother (so he doesn't have to talk about the problem). Your mother also seems to be coping by avoiding your father and singing/dancing to improve her mood. Whenever the two of them DO try to talk about things, it leads to fighting, which only makes the problem worse. Basically, they're not communicating, or they've decided that the problem (whatever it may be) can't be resolved at this point in time.

Unfortunately, I don't think there's much you can do. Chances are, this is a private matter, and your parents aren't going to tell you what's going on (which may explain why they claim they don't remember a lot of things). One thing you could try to do is talk to your parents, either one-on-one or as a group. Rather than trying to figure out what's going on, tell them how their arguing is affecting your emotional health, and that you'd like to see a family therapist. They may not be open to the idea right away (again, they probably don't want to admit that anything is wrong in front of their minor child)... but at least you'll be demonstrating that, when the two of them fight, they aren't the only ones affected. If they're not open to family therapy (which is different from marriage therapy, since all three of you would attend sessions), then you could try talking to a school counselor, teacher, an older family member, a neighbor, or another trusted adult about what's going on and how you're feeling.

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