My husband is about 8 years into his PD diagnosis and is dealing with increasing paranoia and making unfounded accusations. Has anyone else dealt with this? And if so, have you found a way to effectively respond to the evidence of these symptoms?
Hi tstuart – thanks so much for posting! I’m so sorry to hear about your husband’s paranoia. I’m sure this is really hard on both of you. You’re definitely not alone in dealing with this. I thought that I’d share this article with you while we wait for others to chime in: https://parkinsonsdisease.net/living/mental-health-breaking-stigma/. I hope this helps. Please keep us updated! – Chris, ParkinsonsDisease.net Team Member
Long before my wife was diagnosed with PD they had diagnosed her a bi-polar then as having schizophrenia. They started treating the schizophrenia but the atypical-antipsychotics used actually reduce dopamine so needless to say made things worse. She would take the antipsychotics, the hallucinations and paranoia would increase, they would increase the dose in a never ending downward spiral.
At this point they can’t tell me if she has schizophrenia or it is all PD. They at first thought the PD was medicine induced tremor until the DaTScan confirmed the underlying PD. So now having changed the antipsychotics to ones that are less harmful to PD patients and starting Sinemet and Neupro there is finally some improvement. But recently, after less than a year on Sinemet I am seeing signs the symptoms are increasing.
You should be seeing a good medical psychiatrist familiar with patients with PD or at a minimum patients with cognitive disorders in addition to the neurologist. Make sure the two of them coordinate the care, they need to talk, and then there are medications that can help with the paranoia without interfering as much with the PD medicines. But the two Dr’s need to coordinate care. In addition increasing the regular PD medicine might be an option as the paranoia is probably PD induced. We saw both Dr’s last week and both adjusted the medicines to help deal with the issues but we made sure both knew what the other was doing.
One thing that helps us is that all the Dr’s we see are tied into the same larger medical complex and share the same electronic notes, etc. but I realize that isn’t an option for everyone. Don’t assume Dr’s will coordinate care sometimes you need to do it for them.