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Author Topic: Anyone dealing with an elderly parent with Paranoid Personality Disorder?  (Read 4665 times)

Never ending story

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I just found your site.  Considering the improbability that my parent will ever be treated for their long standing Paranoid Personality Disorder, I question when it is time for intervention and how to do it?  Because of age, her, being in her mid 80-s, she is in need of better living conditions but because of her isolation, distrust, and delusional thinking, it is nigh unto impossible to help or reason with her.  How does one intervene in such a case?  She is needing to relocate but is hoping to die before that happens...what to do?

Moon Shadow

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Hi-
My mother has some sort of personality disorder.   With mild paranoia mixed in.  But when, at age 85, she became quite ill and had to be in the hospital and nursing home for 6 weeks, she grew into a complete paranoid monster.   She was convinced that the nurses were taking turns slapping and hitting her.  She would call me up and beg me to call the FBI.  She saw puppies in the operating room and bicyclists up and down the hallways.  She showed me her bruises (which were from needles for procedures) and told me that a man held her down and twisted her arm and slapped her in the face and screamed at her.   She actually hit the nurses!

Then, she turned on me.  I made the mistake of telling her that I was seeing a therapist for my own issues, (frankly, mostly about her because she was driving me nuts)  and she told my brother that I was crazy and trying to put her in an asylum. She accused me of trying to keep her longer in the hospital.  When she got to the nursing home, she had the entire staff notified that they were never, ever to speak with me. 

I am the sole source of her care!   It was a huge mess.   I could nobody to talk to me.  It was humiliating to go to the nursing home and be ostracized by the staff. I wanted to strangle her, to be honest.  I have never felt so used and abused and ANGRY.

I finally called my estate attorney and got his advice.   And I made some hard decisions.

If she EVER and I mean EVER pulls that on me, again, I am declining being her POA.  My attorney says that if she doesn't trust me, to let the state take over. I will NEVER let her live with me, and one small aspect of that is that I will not put myself in a position where she could conjure up any type of abuse in her paranoid mind,  and notify authorities and put me in harm's way. 

My advice, if I have any, is to protect yourself as much as you can.  Some people with paranoid parents actually have a "witness" with them at all times when visiting them or dealing with them.  Make sure you put in writing anything that they want you to do such as sell their jewelry or pay their bills.  If you aren't comfortable handling her money, don't do it. Step down from POA if you aren't comfortable.   I have read too many instances where paranoid parents have thrown their children under the bus and some of them call the police, attorneys, doctors on their kids with all sorts of wild accusations.

I would think twice about taking care of her yourself in your own home.  Arm yourself by speaking to your OWN doctors, therapists and lawyers and telling them about her personality disorder and making it known to them that you are concerned. This way your concerns are documented and acknowledged.  And if her delusional thinking has lapsed into dementia, perhaps HER  doctors can help you put her somewhere safe and comfortable.

Good luck with this.  I know firsthand how confusing, painful and frightening it is. 

MLB


Holly

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Hi There,

I am truly sorry you have to go through this.  MLB is correct. "Have a "witness" with them at all times"  I think that will really help you to keep things in perspective along with Detachment (see tool box).  

I feel like one of the fortunate ones that does not to have this in my life now, but my mom was like this early on, it scared me and still scares me that I might become that way!  She was probably born this way, I don't know.  When I got into having a SO (man) in my life, I would wake up and look at him thinking he would change like my mom.  When I was married, my husband would punch me while I was asleep at times, without knowing it, so he said.  If I think back on it, I was very terrified of people in general after dealing with a paranoid person.  The daily scenes of abuse... were horrible.

My heart goes out to you because there is no easy way out of this one.  She will not change, so don't expect that.  Logic does not work, it took me my entire childhood till I was 20 to realize no matter what logic I used it was ineffective.  I think MLB is looking at it from the correct perspective.  I really feel for the both of you.

When I was young, I thought about how it would be as my mom aged and taking care of her.  I was terrified.  I could well imagine her throwing things at me...  Well, she died at 48, thank God, but I still had to work on my insides early on.  

I think documenting everything and keeping a journal, getting help from a social worker or psychologist is the only means to sanity for all of you!  I am holding you in my thoughts and sending good healing waves of LOVE. Check out Still Lost in this forum, I posted something on page 7.   :-*
« Last Edit: April 15, 2011, 10:25:32 AM by Cricket »
Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.

- Henry David Thoreau

Find the Light on your path.

Never ending story

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Thanks for the support.  I do know the importance of having a witness and such but, all my siblings and I are separated from mom by cities and states.  But even if any of us lived next door to her nothing would change.  We have already tried overlooking her activity on a daily basis.  Her world is her way or no way.  She is on her own, literally.  So, now most of our communication is through phone.  That is bad enough and lots of damage is perpetuated through this media.  Mom can create tidal waves just as easily on the phone than having us physically with her.  She lives in perpetual crisis and victimization (at her own hands in moments of delusion), complains of her living situation but refuses any assistance, turning any relational encounter into a suspicious, devious, and greedy attack against her to get her hoarded things, money, or to inflict emotional and physical harm to her.  Yet, if someone would happen to knock on her door, or a grocery clerk at the store were to talk to her, she snaps into the most normal and pleasant woman.  She is an amazing chameleon.  It is just sad.  She is a product of her own ill choices and it does hurt to know that her misery is self-induced at the expense of losing all her family members except us kids, who feel obligated to stand on the perimeter trying to help her.....to no avail.  Sadly, she may just die while hiding and being locked in by her multiple of multiple door locks so that no one can enter her house when she is there. 

It is a sad and frustrating situation.....and as her children, there is that struggle of emotional baggage that gets in the way of logical and balanced decision making.  I am finally able to separate the childhood 'cling-ons' and make decisions to intervene for mom but, I have other siblings who are not quite willing to act for fear of causing the wrath of mom to fall upon them....and we must all be like-minded in this matter, or an intervention will not work...because one will want to make sure that mom's emotional stress will be catered to, thus pertpertuating the cycle of control mom has.




Holly

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Yet, if someone would happen to knock on her door, or a grocery clerk at the store were to talk to her, she snaps into the most normal and pleasant woman.  She is an amazing chameleon.  It is just sad.  She is a product of her own ill choices and it does hurt to know that her misery is self-induced at the expense of losing all her family members except us kids, who feel obligated to stand on the perimeter trying to help her.....to no avail. 

This used to drive me nuts as a kid!!!  I was being choked, then the phone rang, my mom would pick it up and be all sweetie pie.  It was like she was in a trance choking me and then charming as can be!!!  I thought the ring made her come back to her real senses.  I never trusted her from the time I was conscious which was four.  So, you are taking the high road on this which I comment you for doing!!!  :applause: 
Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.

- Henry David Thoreau

Find the Light on your path.