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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5763
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Hello, I have a question about my 82 year old father. He is

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Hello, I have a question about my 82 year old father. He is experiencing extreme mood swings and being very mean and nasty. He is using profanity more than normal, does not want to attend social functions, has a very short fuse that results in road rage, cussing people out for no reason, talking to himself, when he gets in these moods it is like he is a different person, there is rage in his eyes. It is frightening and our poor mother is beside herself. He has had mood swings throughout his life we grew up walking on egg shells not knowing what type of mood he was going to be in either extremely playful and happy or very nasty. He also has a history of child molestation. Now he seems to be nasty the majority of the time and my mother will not bring this behavior up to the family doctor to start getting him help. He himself has only admitted to having evil thoughts
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It sounds like your father might be experiencing the beginnings of Dementia. One of the most common symptoms of Dementia is the inability to control moods and an increase in aggression.

There are different kinds of dementia. One kind, called frontotemporal dementia, is marked by changes in personality and/or unusual behavior that is not the typical behavior of the person affected. They may also be rude to others and not show concern they are hurting the other person.

The first step to take is to have your father see his doctor. Dementia needs to be ruled out first before other possible mental health disorders are considered. The doctor can do a thorough check up and let you know if your father might have Dementia. If not, the doctor can refer your father for mental health services. There are very few mental health disorders that start late in life, however, so Dementia should be considered first.

You may also want to consider starting aging services in your father's home. There may be a Department of Aging in your area that you can contact either through the United Way or through your city or county's local government. They will often provide respite for your family, caregivers, meals on wheels and other services. Your father's doctor may also be able to order services for him, Check when your father goes for his appointment.

It can also help your family to get involved with aging support. Therapy and self help groups can help your family feel less stressed and find out about other resources that may help you cope with your fathers situation. Here are some resources to get you started:

How to Care for Aging Parents by XXXXX XXXXX and Robert M. Butler

I hope this has helped you,
TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
I hope my answer was helpful to you. If you have any more questions, please let me know.


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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Kate-----Please advise if you received my follow-up question regarding how someone that had a mental health disorder but was never diagnosed in the past can affect behaviors and mood that is exhibited in old age.

No I am so sorry. I did not receive it. There have been issues recently on JA with lost responses. Do you want to try to resend it, or can I respond to what you already posted?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Kate-----The follow up question I had was concerning my fathers mood. Mood swings are not new for him.....he experienced extreme mood swings from being very elevated happy, playful perhaps somewhat manic to very nasty, hateful, downright evil all through out his life. It did seem to decrease a little as he aged, but now in his 80's he is mainly nasty, rude and verbal attacks are more common which he is sorry for later but can be set off again for the slightest thing. He also has problems with short term memory and other problems. Should be look only into dementia or how do mental health problems evolve as people age.

Thank you for re posting your question. Sorry about the inconvenience.

As people age, whatever mental health issues they were diagnosed with earlier on in life, from depression to Schizophrenia, tend to improve. They experience less intense symptoms and may even find they can cope better. This could be due to long term treatment over their lifetime or it could be the ability to know what treatments work to help them feel better.

If your father was never diagnosed with any specific mental health disorder that makes it more difficult to know specifically how he might have progressed. But given the symptoms you describe, it sounds like your father has experienced an increase in symptoms rather than a decrease. Since this is unlikely with most mental health disorders, his symptoms are probably due to a new issue such as Dementia. And at your father's age, it is very unlikely he would develop a new mental health disorder or experience a sudden increase in symptoms. Most mental health diagnoses are discovered early on in adulthood and the chances of developing a new one at his age are very slim.