Preface: My grandmother is 75, healthy, lives independently, and has a comparatively active lifestyle and has never had significant health issues, although she is deaf but had a successful cochlear implant.
My grandmother is currently in the hospital and her doctors are stumped. We can not figure out what is going on. A few years ago a doctor prescribed her Xanax. She apparently had a paradox reaction and instead of becoming sedate or having anxiety relieved, she became aggressive and agitated and unable to be controlled.
That particular doctor said she could no longer have benzodiazepines. She returned to normal after a week, but close family members noted her personality never reoriented itself completely.
Now, years later, a new doctor in a new (very rural) area added a diuretic to her blood pressure medicine (lisinopril). Her sodium bottomed out soon after and she went into a dementia state. In order to sedate her, the doctor gave her atavan, perhaps he didn't know that she could not take benzodiazepines. My other family members didn't make the connection. She went absolutely bezerk again and the doctor continued to administer atavan up to 3mg per day. She stopped sleeping and she remained in a constant state of agitated psychosis. He ran a lot of tests on her but couldn't find anything physically wrong, while continuing to administer atavan, and he suggested we admit her to a psychiatric ward.
I'm going to refrain from making emotionally charged statements here, but personally, I have strong feelings about how this doctor handled my grandmother's case.
My aunts and uncles transferred her, against that doctor's will, to a big city hospital where they immediately abstained her from all drugs, except for blood pressure medicine (lisinopril without the diuretic.)
She has been here 7 days without atavan. She will not sleep on her own. After two days with no sleep the doctor gave her haldol and later zyprexia and melatonin. With these medicines she sometimes sleeps for no more than 4 hours. Last night she only slept two hours. When she wakes up she is highly agitated and babbles compulsively about random things. She usually has 3-4 topics that she anxiously cycles through. I can calm her down about 1 hour after waking up, and she remains somewhat calm for the rest of the day.
This is very stressful on myself and the rest of my family members. She's traumatized some of my uncles by telling them their adopted and that she doesn't want them around, etc etc.
The neurologist, doctors, and psychologists can not figure out why she isn't sleeping on her own and why she is consistently lingering in this state of borderline psychosis. I don't feel that it is a true psychosis, however.
They wanted to do an fMRI, but her cochlear implant restricts her from the scan.