Ask a Psychiatrist and Get Answers to Mental Health Questions ASAP
Hi! You know, to give you the best answer, I think I should ask you a few questions first that will help define the problem and the situation.
Let's see what the context of this excessive concern is. Is the person suffering from any dementia or other ailments?
How long has this excessive concern been present?
What types of behavior does this excessive concern cause?
Is she receiving any treatment? If so, what kind?
Is she having any psychotherapy?
Any extra information that will help, feel free to share.
Let's go forward from the answers to these questions. Please go ahead and post your response. I may be away from the computer for the night before you respond. If so, would tomorrow be okay for me to respond?
1. two years
2. Excessive washing and rinsing clothing , insisting tap water is contamiated, bathing and drinking only special spring water , cooking with another special water refusing to accept the fact that the reverse osmosis water provided is purer than any of the others. Over concern that the air conditioning is a source of dust and contamination dispite filtration installed on system is far above what is normal. Only eating organic food low in salt and potassiem. Over concern for miner injuries , miner sratches etc.
3. currently seeing a nurologist.
5. short term memory seem to be slipping
Hi, I'm sorry I couldn't get to the computer earlier today in my office. Thank you for the added information. It helps a lot. I believe I can now be of help with this issue.
First, let me say that knowing a little more, I can imagine how difficult and worrisome this situation is for you.
I have a feeling that what my answer is going to say forthrightly what you are hinting to yourself and what you are dreading is happening: she may be transitioning to a disorder that may be parallel to and/or caused by an onset of elderly dementia. Unfortunately, about a fourth of elderly people who have onset of one form or another of dementia will also have paranoid symptoms accompanying that onset. Here is Merck's Manual entry for dementia. They bring up paranoia, I believe:
Let me also give you the Mayo Clinic's entry for dementia. It's quite a few pages:
There are two possibilities that you are right to be concerned about. The first is the onset of dementia. Paranoia and unrealistic, rigid thought are early symptoms associated with dementia and Alzheimer's. The second possibility is late onset OCD. Between these two possibilities, most likely is that you mother is beginning to show signs of onset of dementia with paranoid features.
So either possibility requires the same thing, that you now have to begin watching her behavior more closely and taking her for medical evaluation more frequently. You mention a neurologist. I don't know if her symptoms are severe enough yet to warrant an evaluation by a geriatric specialist. But you can begin to ask about it.
There will also need to be more a sense of activism with the doctors who care for her. You will need to make sure they feel you are on their side and treat them as if they are on your side. But you must also make sure they know the family is intending to be involved and to participate in making decisions. So if you feel you want evaluations done, for example, you may need to be more forceful and take more charge. Again, it is so much better when all of you are united and in good communication continually.
She can be helped with medication (possibly) and with good geriatric psychotherapy (very helpful!) to have more years of productive and fulfilling life. There is no need to panic at this point because you don't know yet which of the two possible situations might be coming on and you don't know yet the speed of the onset. That is why therapy will be very useful. I wish you and her the very best !
Please remember to click the green accept button. Feel free to continue the discussion; my goal is to get you the best answers possible. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue, just put "for Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX