How long does the paranoid stage last?

Discussion in 'Middle - later stages of dementia' started by Misstep, Nov 6, 2015.

  1. Misstep

    Misstep Registered User

    Oct 7, 2015
    57
    South Wales
    Hi, I'd be interested if anyone who's been through the paranoid stage could tell me how long it lasted for their relative. I know it's different for everyone, but it would be really helpful to hear other people's experiences. My strategy would depend a bit on whether this is likely to be a relatively short phase, or whether it could last for years.
     
  2. LadyA

    LadyA Registered User

    Oct 19, 2009
    13,532
    Ireland
    As you say, it's different for everyone. I'm afraid my late husband remained paranoid and would have been having delusions & hallucinations had he not been on anti psychotics, until shortly before he died. It was only when he was dying, and had stopped eating /drinking that his regular meds were stopped. And to be honest, he didn't live long enough after that for the hallucinations to start recurring. I think it is unusual though for the paranoia &hallucinations to continue right through the illness.
     
  3. Casbow

    Casbow Registered User

    Sep 3, 2013
    997
    Colchester
    LadyA

    Hi there. My husband has people in his head telling him what he has to do, calling him names and being very nasty. He paces in and out saying he has to work for the government and do as he is told. He is so distressed and gets very angry with me if I try to get him to come in the house and sit down to rest. I could go on but my problem is that today we have a mental health person coming to see us at home to access the situation and I am worried they will offer anti psychotic drugs. I am really worried that if this were to happen and we tried these drugs it will make him like a zombie. I know that we don't have to accept these drugs but would really apprreciate someone elses opinion.
     
  4. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    6,962
    Brixham Devon
    Misstep-my late Husband's paranoia started very early; initially it lasted for about 1 year. Then maybe 3 years without it. Unfortunately, paranoia returned for 41/2 years-but that time not directed at me. He started having delusions and hallucinations and saw 'nasty people' in the home who were out to get him.

    Casbow-my Husband was also on anti psychotic drugs -they did help a bit with his torment and fear. He was also on a mood stabiliser as he also had bi polar. All these drugs need to be monitored carefully and on a regular basis. If the dosage is correct (by introducing them carefully) then a 'zombie' state can be avoided. I also had to think carefully before agreeing to these drugs for Pete but, on balance, he was in danger of seriously hurting himself due to his fears and torment. Get as much information as you can from the medics and ask what support you will receive if you decide to go ahead.

    Good luck and take care

    Lyn T XX
     
  5. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,720
    Female
    South coast
    At the other end of the spectrum Mums paranoia lasted about a year. It basically reduced considerably once she went into a care home. I think it was the anxiety of trying to live "independently" that was fueling it all and once she no longer had to worry about running a home or cooking etc and there was always someone around to reassure her she improved. We still get the odd moments of paranoia, but usually only when she is tired or ill. She is not on any anti-psychotic drugs.
     
  6. Misstep

    Misstep Registered User

    Oct 7, 2015
    57
    South Wales
    Thanks for your comments

    Thank you for your kind replies. Mum has gone into a care home and so far, it hasn't helped in relation to me. I was caring for her on a daily basis in her own house until this started about two months ago. She then started refusing my help, got herself into terrible difficulties & ended up in hospital (all of which she adamantly denies). She seems reasonably OK with other people and I can't help feeling that I'm making her worse when I see her. I've been going every 2-3 days, but I'm in two minds whether I might be better just going once a week for now, to see if it'll help her to settle. She has no insight into her condition & is convinced that she's been put there (by me) to get her out of the way, even though she agreed with the doctors at the hospital she should go there. She says "they've" locked her up (untrue - it's an open home) and are treating her as a patient and that she's going to go insane if she's locked up with all these demented old people instead of being with normal ones like her! Anything I say to try to explain why she's there sets her off - and she won't be distracted either
     
  7. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,720
    Female
    South coast
    It sounds like she hasnt long been in the CH, misstep. It always takes several weeks - even for my mum who settled down well. What is she like when you are not there? Sometimes the sight of someone will trigger off the same thoughts.
    When mum first went into her CH I was advised to not visit at all for several days. Perhaps back off a bit and not visit for about a week and see if that will break the cycle
     
  8. CEADavies

    CEADavies Registered User

    Nov 7, 2015
    3
    Norfolk
    Interesting comments

    Interesting to hear these comments. My elderly father has just hit a stage which I think is paranoia. He's got a bee in his bonnet about the man over the road - a neighbour who's lived there 40 years - and can't seem to remember his name but calls him 'that evil man' (!) Not sure what he thinks he's done but it seems to real to him.
    My mum is his main carer as I live some way away & have a young family. But I worry desperately about them both. Dad is Alzheimer's diagnosed, on the drugs, I think he's middle stage dementia. I've seen on the Alzheimer's website that paranoia/delusions are common. Any tips on how to deal with them?!
     
  9. LadyA

    LadyA Registered User

    Oct 19, 2009
    13,532
    Ireland
    Casbow, William was on antipsychotics for over four years, as well as trazadone (molipaxin) and other meds too. He remained alert until the progression of the dementia took it's toll. He didn't even take a nap during the day. (come to that, he didn't sleep a lot at night either!!). His consultant monitored him carefully, but thankfully, the meds had no side affects on him that we could notice. There are dangers with them, but some people tolerate them very well.
     
  10. Misstep

    Misstep Registered User

    Oct 7, 2015
    57
    South Wales
    Settling into CH


    You're right - she's only been there a week and another relative took her out for most of the first 3 days. I haven't been for 3 days and I'm going to try to take her to the hairdresser's tomorrow. I think I might take your advice & take a longer break if she's still as bad.
     

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