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Dad needs help - what should I do?



Hi - I'd appreciate some help with my Dad.... He's clearly having some kind of breakdown.

My dad is in his mid-60s and has been fine all of his life. He's always been a "worrier" but it hasn't ever got this bad... I should just say at this point that his family has a history of mental illness (his father committed suicide, and his brother has suffered from paranoid schizophrenia).

Since my dad retired a couple of years ago, he's worried more and more about all sorts of things - he's obviously struggled to cope with the change to his life and now has probably too much time on his hands.

I won't go into all details, but lately he has become convinced that he is being "investigated for fraud" and that the government are investigating him - he seems to think that he hasn't paid enough stamp duty, etc.. and he owes the taxman money.
To reassure him, we contacted the Inland Revenue, and they looked into his records and said that he has paid up everything and there are no problems with his financial records, etc... Even though they told my Dad this, he is still convinced "they are lying, and are still investigating him"....

He is now waking at all hours to check his bank balance - he is convinced "they" will take money from his account. He regularly "hides" his car and other possessions at my sister's house in case they "repossess" them, and he regularly gets very upset & in a state - claiming the police are coming at any minute to "take him to prison".....
We've tried to reason with him, and explain that the police don't just call on pensioner's doors and cart them off to prison....and he seems to agree (normally laughs it off) but then moments later he is back to ranting about being watched, etc...

He has seen a doctor, who has asked him to fill in an anxiety questionairre but I'm not sure his doctor is aware of the full picture - and just how irrational his behaviour has become. Generally speaking, my Dad appears normal 75% of the time, and he's lovely and caring, etc... when he's "ok" but he clearly needs help NOW as his behaviour and paranoia is getting out of control.

We've convinced him to go back to see a doctor, but I'm not sure what else I can do?? He isn't a "danger to himself or others" - but I need to know if I can/should do anymore other than encourage him to go back to the doctor. I don't mind admitting that I have no idea how to handle this! It's very upsetting, as my Dad is a wonderful man who has always been there for me - but he is clearly suffering and needs help.

What can I do??? Any advice would be appreciated.


Well-known member
Jul 15, 2009
Is there any way you can have a word with his doctor, to let him know about some of the more extreme behaviour? It may be that the doctor can give him some medication that will help.

I hope you can find some help for him.
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