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Paranoid father needs help

If you're concerned about, or care for, someone with mental illness
schmee
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:57 am

Paranoid father needs help

Postby schmee » Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:28 am

Hello,

Apologies in advance for the long post. I've never really talked to anyone about my father's mental health before. His mental health is really starting to decline and i'm worried he's putting himself at risk of financial harm but I don't know what to do about it, because myself and my brothers suffer from mental health issues of our own. I'm looking for some advice about what we can do to help him - i'll start by giving you some context.

My father suffers from auditory and persecutory hallucinations and has done for a very long time. However, this was only diagnosed formally around three years ago. He has been very high functioning for most of his life, running his own business and being actively involved in the community, which is why it's never really been picked up by medical professionals or friends and family as being a serious issue. I lived with him from the age of 12 and having experienced childhood trauma myself, I wasn't really in a position to recognise my father's behaviour as anything other than odd. He spent a lot of time talking to himself and would often say things like, 'I'm not going to Coventry, you can't make me go there', (referring to being forced to move his business practice), and also accusing me of being part of a political group actively trying to shut his business down. His reality is all focused around himself and how everything affects him.

I think we always just accepted that dad was a bit odd. It was only a few years ago when we started to get really worried about his behaviour and tried to get professional help. He would accuse the tenants living above him of making noises throughout the night. He believes one of his neighbours is a master criminal "at a similar level to the Joker (from Batman)" ploting a terrible criminal offence. He believes an elderly neighbour is sexually harrassing him by watching him when he gets changed in his bedroom. He believes my eldest brother has a secret family with two children and also that he is dying from AIDS. He refuses to believe that the same brother spent six months in a psychiatric hospital due to severe depression and that in fact my brother was on a secret political mission somewhere. He believes there is going to be a court case concerning people who are trying to steal the rights to a book and film about his life and has actually approached solicitors to discuss this (he is not writing a book or film about his life). He also said he had been communicating with police officers about this by leaving messages in a garage he rented away from his house, to prevent the notes being intercepted. He cannot give us the name of the police officer or provide any evidence.

We became so concerned three years ago that we approached his GP who suggested we take him to see a psychiatrist at the local mental health hospital. The psychiatrist said he suffers from auditory and persecutory hallucinations and prescribed anti psychotics. However, because my father is considered to be low risk to himself and others, and given how massively under resourced mental health services are, no follow up was done. He stopped taking the medication after a couple of days and believes it was all part of a plot to gather medical evidence against him as part of the "criminal court case" that he assures me will happen. He has since been for health checks at Nuffield Hospitals because he belives the medication has given him brain damage. Note that none of the health professionals picked up on this or raised it as a concern.

Since this point, we have done our best to monitor him and try to keep an eye on his behaviour. However, things are starting to escalate again. He accuses workmen rennovating his flats of stealing things from him - understandably they leave and work doesn't get finished. My main concern is that he is putting himself at risk of financial harm. Since he retired, his only source of income is from renting flats. However, he keeps accusing them of making noise/doing activities they definitely aren't and they keep leaving. His paranoia around his neighbours is getting worse and I worry that he might confront them or even hurt them if he believes he is at risk himself. He has an interest only mortgage on his property and i'm worried he's going to make himself bankrupt if he keeps alienating his tenants.

My brothers are becoming increasingly concerned about him. They are both very unwell themselves, suffering from anxiety, depression and other issues as a result of childhood trauma. Is there anything we can do to try and help him engage with mental health services? The issues is that he doesn't believe there is anything wrong with himself - he's been living in his reality for possibly 40 years and he has absolutely no insight into his condition. I'm worried that if we try to get him to engage with mental health services it will alienate us from him and compound his paranoid theories that everyone is out to get him.

Sorry for the long post - i'm just feeling a bit lost! Any thoughts would be very much appreciated.

robin71
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2018 6:02 pm

Re: Paranoid father needs help

Postby robin71 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:40 pm

Maybe reading some stories from sufferers may help you, there are some here along with advice for family.

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-sup ... JAA9x6nyf0


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