Paranoia Problem


Registered User
Aug 20, 2006
My Dad was diagnosed with AD late last year - the usual symptoms of memory loss and some confusion. He started a course of Aricept which improved things a lot - particularly the late-night confusion (he would fall asleep in the evening and wake up insisting it was the next day and time to take his tablets, or think that things he'd heard from the TV while asleep meant someone was there).

However, a new problem has surfaced.

About eight months ago he started worrying about our neighbour's guttering and the way it no longer connected to ours properly (their fault) lead to their front garden flooding in heavy rain. He started worrying that they would "blame us"

This worry has been getting worse and worse, to the point that he thinks the neighbour is plotting against him and is sneaking out late at night and damaging our guttering/paintwork/garden wall as some sort of revenge (!). Every day he insists that someone has "had a go" at our guttering/wall etc and keeps on making me go outside to see the "damage". Yesterday he would not speak to me about it in our hall as he thought the neighbour has a "listener" on the wall.

I even went so far as to take photos of the house while the neighbour was on holiday so that when "new damage" appeared I could show that nothing had changed...but of course this had no effect.

He also knows that the neighbour is a Mormon and suddenly Mormons are responsible for all the evils in the world. Sadly when talking to the neighbour (which he does quite happily!) he made a passing comment about living until he was 100 and the neighbour made a joke about "have to do something about that". So he came in and said "if I die suddenly you will have to have it investigated"!

It's making me and Mum's life a misery. He's seeing his GP next week and Mum is going in first (on a pretence) to bring up the problem. I think Dad needs to see the pyschiatrist as I'm worried that his paranoia is going to get worse and worse, he'll end up phoning the police or accusing our neighbour directly.

I read about a case similar where a woman started by thinking the new neighbour was whispering about her and ended up claiming the neighbour was breaking into her house, and she ended up in hospital!

I'm at my wit's end with this, can anyone offer any advice??


Registered User
May 24, 2006
I am afraid paranoia is part and parcel of dementia

My Mothers latest one is the hairdresser is sneaking up the drive and putting rubbish in her bin

but we have had tales of the neighbours opposite plotting against her if they are seen talking to each other

People standing on her frontage talking about her and my husband in the car refusing to come inside ( he refuses to even go and see her so thats rubbish to start with )


Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
Hiya Nebiroth,
Hopefully the doctor may be able to change the medication to help reduce the paranoia. Is the neighbour aware how ill dad is, and the problem that the guttering is causing. Maybe you could suggest that you will give them a hand to mend it.
Let us know how the doctor's appointment goes.
Love Helen


Registered User
Apr 29, 2005
Hi Nebiroth
Yes we've had the paranoia - though mostly directed at me! Thanks to a medication review, though, it's almost gone, so hopefully the GP or Psychiatrist will be able to help sort your dad out.

I agree with Amy that it may help to explain the situation to your neighbour, if they are not already aware. Our neighbours just used to think we were wierd - now they know the situation they are very helpful and supportive!
Take care

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006

It seems we must expect to experience paranoia as part and parcel of AD/VD. With my husband, it was mostly directed at me or our son.

Although I felt disloyal, as well as telling my neighbours, I notified local shops of my husbands condition and gave them my phone number, just in case he got into difficulties. This proved to be a good move as the Bank phoned once, to say my husband wanted to withdraw a lot of money as I was stealing it from him. [This money was for all our monthly bills and we`d have had a problem if he`d withdrawn it].

For now, the problem seems to have gone. I don`t know whether it`s the result of improved medication or another stage of the condition being reached, but I`m making the most of it.

Don`t ever be afraid to query the medication.

Regaeds Grannie G


Registered User
Jul 1, 2005
I am at my wits end with my husbands obsession that I am up to no good with 'this man' that has invaded our house. I can put up with him seeing people in the garden, carol singers at the door, the dog barking when she's asleep but when this is directed at me and me only I go beserk.
Medication did calm it down but its now back with avengence. My husband is the jealous sort which is where a lot of this stems from I think.
Yesterday I sat down in the afternoon to watch the TV. I can feel him staring at me, within seconds he marches over to the chair and demands to know why I sitting on his blokes lap!!! I get up and go in the kitchen and he storms outside to sit in rain, god knows what the neighbours think.
I have tried sitting in different places, different rooms but if I move, so does this man that my husband see's.
Later last night I was sat reading, dog on up lap, cat perched on the arm and he acussed me having sex with the man. The logic of how it would have been impossible does not enter his head.
Anyone else can come in the house, sit in the same places and there is no problem, it is only me it is directed at .
I've ignored it, played along with it but now it is destroying my life. I've even considered leaving but I can't support myself as all our income is tied up in his pension/benefits and I will leave a home that has taken 30 years to build up but I just can't take much more of it.


Registered User
Nov 28, 2005
Suem: how dreadful for you. I can only suggest you get off for a medication review as quickly as possible. You are important - for yourself - and for the husband you are caring for. Surely a Doc or Psychiatrist can help you. Take care Beckyjan


Registered User
Aug 20, 2006
Thanks for the supportive messages - it means a lot to just know that I am not alone.

There is really nothing wrong with the neighbour's guttering, it's just that the outflow pipe doesn't go to the pavement which it should. I think we've gone beyond that stage anyway - Dad is quite convinced that the neighbour is an evil person who has it in for us (this includes, as I said, sneaking out in the middle of the night to "alter" our guttering (it's a bit bent from where it was put up about 15 years ago), "scrape paint off our wall" (normal weathering, which I have now painted over) and "used a hammer on our garden wall" (it is just a bit weathered)). I think looks at it, comes back in, forgets, goes back out and thinks it looks "different".

It is really a mcguffin, he would twist things around to fit what he believes. Like SueM's husband, logic does not work. Paranoics make the world fit what they think - in fact they take everything as "evidence" that they are right.

Yes, we have explained to our neighbours what the problem is and luckily they have been very understanding - thank goodness they are not anything like Dad imagines they are!

Anyway Mum will be discussing with the GP on Wednesday, I am going to suggest that we need a visit from the case psychiatrist as I can only see the obsession getting worse.

Unfortunately Dad has minor physical problems that he uses as an excuse not to do anything or go anywhere so he spends all day brooding about this. He has refused to go to the day centre or anything like that so there are no distractions.

I am so sorry to hear about your problem SueM (they make mine seem like nothing). It really sounds like you need to have the medications reviewed, it could be that with changes they are making things worse not better? Have you seen social services to discuss something like respite care?


Registered User
Jul 2, 2005
Heard something of Radio 4 the other day in their memory series, which was a man who had suffered brain damage rather that having AD, but this chap was producing stories about things that had happened that were just not true but he was absolutely certain they were and was asking 'why would I make that sort of thing up?'. My husband with vascular dementia does the same, and they appear to get more real with the telling (this in technospeak is 'confabulating'). In the case of the man on the radio, because his brain damage had wiped out real recall, but his brain was now recovering, every time he repeated his fantasy story it reinforced his belief in it. I suspect the same happens with dementia patients to some extent. We have been through a period where my husband has told tales of some dreadful man who is going to build houses in our garden. The next episode involved 'the county not allowing any more building' but every so often the bogey man reappears, and on one occasion he has said someone called the police.
The guttering/Mormon drama is quite likely to go on for ever, but it might be worth cooking up some response like 'The Mormon priest has been to see them and told them to stop' and repeating it over and over again, as that might then cancel it out.


Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
Hiya SueM,
Talk to your doctor and see if they can offer a medication that might help. I know mum used to try and throw dad out the house every night, and she used to see me as 'the other woman' - it hurt so much. I don't know about you, but I tended to think "How can she think such a thing of me?" The GP should be able to help.
Take care.
Love Helen


Registered User
Aug 20, 2006
Rosalind said:
The guttering/Mormon drama is quite likely to go on for ever, but it might be worth cooking up some response like 'The Mormon priest has been to see them and told them to stop' and repeating it over and over again, as that might then cancel it out.
Yep might be worth it. The trouble is it seems to be getting worse - I think that Dad's delusion is self-reinforcing (as you say this is "confabulation"). The longer it goes on, the more he convinces himself it is true, and the beliefs get wilder (thinking that the neighours hold a grudge is one thing, thinking they creep out in the early hours to climb ladders up to our roof is something else).

I wonder if I could see the neighbours, explain his false beliefs, then cook up a tale that the council inspector has been around to tell them to stop, or something like that.

One of my problems is that Mum has Parkinsons, so of course, stress is very bad for her.

I know that there are medications, but have heard that it's best to avoid them if you can because of possible side-effects. Dad's problem is manageable, but stressful. But seeing your wife having affairs with someone that's not there, is something else, personally I would be asking for professional help!

Michael E

Registered User
Apr 14, 2005
Ronda Spain
Suem it sounds dreadful... Mind you sometimes, some of it, is so 'off the wall' that you have to smile although when I was going through that 'stage' a short while ago with my wife it did not always seem funny...

I got pretty concerned and stressed out and in the end spoke with the Doctor who doubled her dose of Tripadal (it has another name in the UK) The result within 24 hours was dramatic. Monique turned from being impossible to being much more docile. There is a price of course... She makes me feel so sad because now instead of illusions, invisible people and angry paranoia there is just paranoia.. And the sad thing is that the joke about 'just because your paranoid does not mean they are not out to get you' rings a bit hollow.
Monique is very aware she is sick as hell. She if frightened of what will become of her. She is scared to be left in a room alone for more than a moment or two. Sometimes she is so lost in the house that she dare not come to look for me in case she gets more lost...........

None of us are experts - its all a bit DIY, but in my experience every 'stage' seems to give way to another different stage and that one to another....



Registered User
Jun 3, 2005
Nebiroth said:
1) I wonder if I could see the neighbours, explain his false beliefs, then cook up a tale that the council inspector has been around to tell them to stop, or something like that.

2) I know that there are medications, but have heard that it's best to avoid them if you can because of possible side-effects. Dad's problem is manageable, but stressful.

3) ... But seeing your wife having affairs with someone that's not there, is something else, personally I would be asking for professional help!
Hi Nebiroth (I've been trying anagrams of that, but haven't fathomed it out yet!!)

My genuine sympathies for the distressing situation your Dad's paranoia causes for your Mum and yourself.
My Mum gets obsessional about things too, but so far not that bad, thank goodness. :cool: Watch this space!!
I hope you don't mind if I comment on the above quotes from you, as follows:

1) Don't you think your cooked-up story would further convince your Dad that his false beliefs about the neighbours are true?
Also it's expecting a bit much of your poor innocent neighbour to collude in a 'story' which effectively attacks his reputation (whether by a mythical Councillor, or a Mormon Priest :eek: - which latter he might find deeply insulting).
However, explaining the situation carefully to your neighbour would probably be a good idea, in my opinion.

2) No, Dad's problem is not 'manageable'. You are putting up with it, rather than force the issue of addressing it with anti-psychotic medication (via the Dr. of course). You are not managing it, you are dancing around it like a cat on hot bricks.
If your Mum's condition is seriously compromised by the stress of it all, you will have 2 seriously ill parents to cope with instead of 1.
I would suggest that you inform yourself properly about the benefits AND the possible side-effects, instead of acting (or inaction) on what you "have heard".

3) So Professional Help is appropriate for SueM's husband's awful paranoia, but not for your father's awful paranoia. :confused: Why please?

I'm sorry if my response seems to be harsh & confrontational, but I'm afraid I think you need to open BOTH eyes and realise that your parents' home situation is very rapidly spiralling out of control, and cooking up fairy tales to justify Dad's obsessions (which won't help in any way I can see) is NOT addressing the results of your Dad's illness, and not reducing the stress on your poor Mum.

Best wishes (and I mean that sincerely)
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Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
Lynne what I love about you is the way you call a spade a b-----shovel!! And those of us who know you from your other posts know that you always mean well.
Love Helen


Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
With my mum who has AD her

Paranoia was really bad I did back then think of getting mum medication for it , but never got around to it because it was hard getting mum to take her medication in the first place she new she had to take 7 tablets in the morning 4 in the evening she would count then obsessively so if I was to add another tablet it would prove to her that she was right I wanted to kill her:rolleyes: . Then Since January 06 it has all stop


Registered User
Aug 20, 2006
Oh dear! Things have taken a turn for the worse. Dad is now convinced that the neighbour will attempt to kill him. This arises from a joking comment the neighbour made when Dad said "I was told by an astrologer that I would live to 93" and the neighbour joked "ooh we'll have to do something about that". My heart sank when I heard this being said....

Dad is also now carrying a "pretend tape recorder" so that "if the neighbour says anything nasty I can say it's all recorded and will be passed to our solicitor"

Dad is also now convinced that the neighbour has drilled holes in his roof so that rainwater will flood our atic - wanted me to go up and look.

His is also starting to get aggressive - when Mum tried to confront his delusions he turned quite nasty and shouted at her.

I have said that Mum must report this to the GP, and that if she will not, then I will.

I can only see it leading to something very bad otherwise.


Registered User
Aug 20, 2006
Thanks Nada.

And I thought that having Dad call me his grandson (I am his only child and have no children) was heartbreaking, this is even worse.

It is so sad, to see Dad convinced that these things are real. He talks quite logically and rationally, but the whole underlying idea is completely irrational.

I am becoming worried that he will get worse and confront or threaten the neighbour (who is aware that Dad has AD, and luckily, both he and his wife visit hospital wards with patients who had AD, as part of their charity work).

The sad thing is that the Aricept has dramatically improved the overall confusion, but in some way now that Dad is thinking more clearly he's thinking badly.

So far the only advice we've had is either to "walk away and he will forget all about it" (if only!) or "just totally ignore it" (how do you ignore someone who worried someone is out to get them and wants you to go out and see the "evidence"? - and who anyway turns nasty if he thinks you don't agree with him?)

It's a rock and a hard place; agree and reinforce the delusions, or disagree and have him turn agressive...and it's pointless anyway?

If he becomes aggressive or threatens people I can only see it leading to one place - involuntary placement in a care home.


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
I assume that your're father is still physically capable of gettting around? I think that's one of the most difficult things about AD - it often hits people who still ambulatory. My Mother (stroke induced dementia) has not had paranoia in this sense, but even if she did, she'd have to find someone to push her wheelchair to confront her oppressors! My point is, he does sound as if he's coming under the category of "danger to others". If he's capable of thinking someone is out to kill him, he's capable of taking a premptive strike, as it were.



Registered User
Aug 20, 2006
Yes he's quite mobile...he spends hours on the pavement outside the house hoping that someone will stop and talk to him. Which is annoying because he flatly refuses to go to a day centre. and then complains about being lonely and depressed as he has no-one to talk to.

I don't think he's at the point of being a danger, yet, but when I look back at how much worse the delusion of persecution has got over the last few weeks, I can see it might be. But most of the time he's quite reasonable, it's just this fixation he's got himself into! The stories just get worse and worse (which I think is called "confabulation")

The most bizarre thing is that if he spots the neighbour he will go over and quite happily chat to him in a pleasant way. Then he will come in and spend an hour telling us what an evil person the neighbour is and how he's plotting against us...

Both Mum and I get very stressed and we have both confessed to each other that we wish that Dad had never had the operation that saved his life about seven years ago...and then the good old guilt monster gets us.


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
As I see it, you have two possibilities. 1) You really don't think he'll act on these paranoid fantasies, in which case you'll have to practise non-committal answers (although if he reacts angrily to that response, you'll have to address that issue) or 2) you hope he won't do anything about them. In the latter case, hoping isn't enough - it's akin to avoiding the issue, and, as I think you're aware from your postings, possibly negligent. If I sound harsh, I'm sorry, but too often you hear the cry "I didn't think she'd actually do anything" and frankly, if one's not going to act on one's well founded suspicions, one might as well stick one's head back in the sand.


PS. Re the talking to the neighbour, but coming back and saying how evil they are - he probably thinks he's being really cunning, and lulling them into a false sense of security.

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