hi, recently i was told my grandma has been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenia. she has been having mental disturbances for the past several years and is in her late 70's. i live on the opposite side of the country and am unable to go check out the situation myself. my mother has been keeping me updated is not the most trustworthy person (she has come back from several terminal illnessess over the years and has been wanted for fraud) and i am not sure i can believe all the stories she sends me. supposedly my grandma thinks people are trying to kill or rape her. she spends entire nights screaming. she believes family members come over to steal from her when they havent seen her for years. she thinks i have a second child that lives in a tree in the yard. she ties her hair in knots and then has no idea who did it to her. she refuses medication and the doctors say the only solution is a mental hospital. i am working on having the state go over and evaluate the situation. from my reading it is very rare for a person of her age to develop schizophrenia and would like to hear from peoples personal experiences. thanks you!
Not all psychosis is from schizophrenia. There can be a variety of causes of psychosis and for a person who is elderly given that there are many disorders that can cause psychosis at this age (late onset schizophrenia is extremely rare) and there are concerns (which are on the medication labels and website) about the use of antipsychotics in people that are elderly and also sometimes dementia can cause extreme disturbances in the thought process so it would be worthwhile to have her evaluated by a gerontologist and a neurologist so they can rule out any other causes of what might be happening. If she has any pre-existing diagnoses that are physical you should call that to their attention as well as any earlier signs of any potential psychiatric disability so they can make a conclusive diagnosis.
I would suggest that your grandmother see her medical doctor for a complete physical as he could help possibly in determining what your grandmother is suffering from.
Perhaps there is someone who you and your grandmother trust that can take her to the appointment.
Her medical doctor should be able to refer your grandmother to other doctors also.
Alzheimers disease is just one possiblity and speculation also, but much of what you describe can fall into alzheimers disease which can be treated to a degree.
Good luck and good health to your grandmother.
thanks for the replies! i checked with court records in her state and she had been committed a few years ago briefly and that was when she was diagnosed. she refuses any medications. a few years before the mental issues she had a stroke and those were the only meds she had taken ever in her life. i guess i will have to arrange to have the state worker check on her and take it for there. its very sad. she was the kindest person i have ever met. now she is a stranger. she doesnt trust anyone anymore. i feel so helpless but i am not in a position to help.
If you are unable to help best to work with the people that are and make sure there are people who are specifically assigned to insuring her welfare and safety that you trust. You have this right under the law.
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