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Del Morrill, M.S. C.C.H

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A Center for Counseling & Hypnosis
Tacoma, Washington, USA
(253) 752-1506

Grieving

Question

               I am writing, from India, on behalf of my mother who is a widow now. She has history of mental illness after she gave birth for her second child. Now the problem is that she hesitates to take food on time. She is starving and taking food only one time every 2 days. The most saddening fact is that she did not even take water. I went to a therapist at a nearby hospital for his advice and he did not even show the patience to hear what I have to say. Can you please suggest a way to treat this illness.

Answer

               I'm sorry for the difficulty your mother is having; it sounds very much like she is grieving.  I understand the pain you must be going through in watching your mother make these choices. Has a medical or homeopathic doctor checked her? This is very important before anything else, to make sure there is no physical condition causing this. Unless there is something physically wrong with her, then it sounds as if she has decided she doesn't want to live.  In such a case, I would ask her if this is her wish.  If her husband's death has been fairly recent (within the last couple of years), then she may well still be in deep grief. Becoming depressed at the death of someone close is not uncommon in any culture.

     Whether or not you feel that this is a temporary grieving, or a more chronic problem, you may have to commit her to a hospital to be intravenously fed.  She probably can survive on one meal a day, but taking in no water is the real problem.  She will become dehydrated, and that's dangerous--thus the hospital would have to be the solution.  If you tell her that this is what you will have to do if her refusal to take in liquid continues, perhaps it will persuade her to change what she's doing.

               In terms of her mental condition, unless she is willing to have someone help her, I don't know what you can actually do except to keep her as comfortable as possible. I would to find a medical doctor (especially psychiatrist) and have him/her (she may well prefer a female doctor) come to the house, if she isn't willing to go out.

               The only other thing I can think of is to try to get a counselor (especially one who does hypnosis) to come to the house and meet with her to talk with her about her grief, or whatever else is the problem.

               I wish I could be more helpful to you, but at such a distance, Iím afraid this is all I can advise.   I'd be pleased to hear from you as to how you handle everything and how she does.

 
 

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