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Always Suspicious of Others, Including My Own Kids

I’m asking question about my Dad who is 89. He doesn’t seem to trust others even me or my brother. He seems suspicious of others all the time. For example, he misplaced his id and insurance cards, he suspected the nurse took them; he couldn’t find his blood pressure measuring device, he suspected that the visiting nurse took it. He suspected that hospital, rehab and I conspired to keep him in hospital in order to make money when doctors didn’t want to discharge him. He also suspects that my brother and I want him to die as well because when my dad was hospitalized with stroke, I took my 86-yrs old mom to move in with me in order to take care of her as she has late stage Parkinson’s disease and Dementia, blind in one eye, my dad accuses of me taking (robbing is the word he used) my mom away from him . Wonder if he has any mental problem or just a personality issue? Thank you.

If I had the opportunity to interview you, I would want to know if this is a new behavior or if he has always been a suspicious-minded person. If it is the latter, then it may be his personality. If this is a new behavior, then it may indicate a potential medical or mental health problem. Individuals with dementia-related disorders can develop paranoia as part of their illness. His behavior may be consistent with the development of a dementia-related condition.

Encourage your father to have an evaluation. If he is already under the care of medical professionals, report your concerns. Perhaps they can evaluate his condition. After an evaluation, the treating professionals can recommend a course of action. If a problem is present, medications can assist in reducing paranoia symptoms. Ensuring that he is evaluated and working with his treatment team will be your best course of action. Good luck and please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

from Ask the Therapist

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