I haven't been on here for ages, but I wrote about how I thought my dad had Alzheimers. It turns out that he doesn't, he's had all the tests, but he does have chronic short term memory loss, though is able to cope day to day, can still drive and leads a fairly active life. He's 81. Just recently my mum, who is 79, has been suffering memory loss. She has become really depressed by it, and I encouraged her to visit her doctor. Apparently he did some blood tests, which all came back negative and that's as much as I know right now. I live about 130 miles from my parents, and talk to my mum once a week. It's always been as regular as clockwork - Thursday evenings, 7:00 till 7:30 (so she can get off in time to watch EastEnders!!) About 2 weeks ago she was out on the Thursday so called on the Friday evening instead. Then last week she didn't phone on the Thursday, so I called her. She was surprised to hear from me and said that she had it written in her diary to phone me on Friday. I didn't say anything to her, because I didn't want to upset her. Well, this week she hasn't phoned at all. This is where the problem comes in, and I am so embarrassed to admit it, and I really, really hope that no-one will tell me to stop being so stupid and just get on with it. I don't know if any of you here have phobias. Myself, I'm agoraphobic, social phobic and various others which I won't bore you with. But the one that's troubling me so much now is that ever since I was a child, I've had a fear of "old" people and illness (I can't even cope with my own kids being ill, thank goodness I have an understanding husband - mind you, I do give them all the cuddles they need after they've finished being sick) For those of you who know anything about phobias, you will know that they are usually irrational....I'm smart enough to know that, but not smart enough to overcome my phobias I sat by the phone all evening Thursday and Friday, waiting to see if my mum would call.....I told my husband that if she didn't phone Friday, that I'd call her. But I didn't...I guess I'm too scared of what I'm going to discover when I do phone her. The last few times I've spoken to her she has been distraught about her memory loss, and I think she's really struggling as well because she's never been very sympathetic to my dad with his poor memory. It's almost as if she became old overnight....she doesn't want to do anything (the depression), has no energy, doesn't want to go out, doesn't want us to visit her (we were supposed to go down next week, but I offered to postpone it till she's feeling better - she would never normally put us off because she loves seeing the grandchildren so much). She tries to make a joke of her memory loss, but she can't hide the frustration and depression. It's got to the point where my dad is the one taking notes for mum, instead of the other way around, and his memory is really bad, so I honestly don't know how they're going to cope. I feel like a total failure as a daughter - to make matters worse, my husband and I have recently taken our children out of school (they're 11 and 12) because the 12 year old was so depressed at senior school (almost to the point of suicide). My entire family are shocked and dismayed, appalled even, as my sister-in-law so eloquently put it!!, and she (my sister-in-law) has been adding emotional pressure by claiming that what we have done with the children has contributed greatly to my mum's depression. I don't know what I want from this post, other than to get these things off my chest, and share, hopefully, with other people who might have a little idea of where I'm coming from. How do I overcome my phobia so that I can be there for my parents? I've thought that I'd get my husband to phone my folks tomorrow, and pretend that I've a migraine or something as a reason for me not being on the phone, but that way he can find out how they are. I don't want to point out to my mum that she forgot to phone because I'm so concerned about her depression. I really don't know what to do, I know I'm being irrational in my fears here, but this is a phobia I've had since being a young child....I just never, ever thought that phobia would extend to my own parents.