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Sudden Onset Anxiety
In May 2008 my dad went from being a normal, competant, happy, busy, successful person to an anxious, delusional, depressed, unmotivated, unable to make a decision, insomniac, trembling mess.  The first signs of my dad not being "right" were over a course of 3-4 weeks - when the delusional anxiety and severe insomnia started.  Then came the myriad of psych meds that offered him more side effects than relief (hardly any relief at all).  In fact, he was pulled off of his psych meds because he developed significant parkinson's symptoms.  So, he continues to be a mess, on no meds except Sinemet, and he remains delusional, anxious, and unable to sleep or do anything, and he hardly eats.  The docs suggestion:  put him in the psych hospital.  We did that last December, he was in for two weeks and came out just as anxious but snowed on his meds.  His psychiatrist says there's really nothing more she can offer; his PCP says his bloodwork/tests are all normal; his neurologist says that his cognitive difficulties are to be attributed to his anxiety and depression and to seek help from his PCP and psychiatrist, and that his parkinson's symptoms are medication-induced.  He's been off of his psych meds almost 2 months and was put on Sinemet; this controls his tremor WHEN HE TAKES IT - if he takes it - it gets offered to him by my mom but he sometimes refuses his medications.  We are concerned that if he goes back into the psych hospital that we are going to start this whole mess over again, and be left once again without an accurate diagnosis and little - if any - relief.  HELP!!!   What can cause sudden onset anxiety - and end up becoming so incredibly debilitating?
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well i would question the thought that your dad has never experienced mental illness before. generally these types of issues occure all throughout a persons life...starting at very early ages. mine for example started as early as 6 or 7....it became especially bad around 10 to 14 or so. at this point it became debilitating for me. then with meds and help and time, it went away for a good 10 years. it did return though...and when it did, it was very very sudden and severe. i mention this because to my wife, it would have seemed as though this just 'appeared' out of nowhere. this is because even though i told her i had problems when i was young, she never has had problems herself and couldn't truly imagine how bad my problems were. to her it was new and unexpected. and to be honest...i didn't expect it. it was a decade before i experienced problems again. it was the last thing i was expecting.

anyway, enough talk about me. i think this COULD be possible in your dads situation. i say "could" because i only know what info you've provided here. it could be he did have problems in the past that were never mentioned....so to answer the question you asked...if he does have a history of it...however distant it may have been in the past...this is how it could have such a sudden and unexpected onset.

now if he doesn't have a history of this...if he's always been mentally healthy...then perhaps the disposition was already there, but he had never met his 'breaking point'. many people who end up with anxiety disorders usually do show signs before they ever know there's a problem. usually it's a part of their very personality...they are just anxious people. it's just a matter of one day it turns nasty and it seems to come from no where.

what delusions are you talking about? this sounds like more than just anxiety. and what meds has he tried? and does he take any now? how long has this been going on? i think it's good  you are trying to help your dad...but hopefully he's also doing the same thing. hopefully he's also going to internet forums and looking for alternative therapies if nothing is working for him. attitude is very important in getting to a better place...and if he's not active in his own recovery, it will be very very difficult to accomplish.
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