Help with my dad's mental illness

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
Hello all.
I'm new to the forum. I have a long story but would love some advise and also to just feel like I'm not alone.
My amazing, lovely dad was diagnosed with a mental illness 14 years ago. He suffers with paranoia and psychosis. 14 years ago he got in such a deep depression that led to him thinking people were after him, listening in to his phone conversation, that he was being followed and even his own family were trying to poison him. He ended up being sectioned. He got through that and has been on meds since which have given him a good life up until recently. 3 weeks ago he started being sick and saying he was ill whenever he went in the car. He was throwing up blood so I got scared. Kept asking him to go the doctors and checking everyday he was ok. 3 weeks later it ends up he's been off his meds and is again thinking the house is bugged, when he goes in the car he thinks people can read his mind and that everyone is looking at him and talking about him. He rang me the other day to tell us he is having a mini breakdown so that's good he's telling us but he also asked me if I had a wire on me when I saw him the other day. He's just started taking his psychotic drugs and amitriptyline. How long will it take to kick in? I've distanced myself from him as I've noticed lately he always makes an excuse to leave the room when I'm there and won't let me make him a cup of tea. He is short on the phone and now I'm thinking that's because he thought I was a spy! Do you think it's right to stay back a bit? My thinking was mye being around wouldn't help him if he thinks I'm out to get him plus it's making me ill worrying about him. I've made myself ill the last few weeks with first worry his health was bad and now his mental health with me being the enemy.
I suffer myself with anxiety so it's sky high at the minute.
I'm not surprised you are suffering from anxiety with all this going on for so long, it would be more surprising if you were not!

Would you like to tell us a bit more about yourself? Age? Occupation? Marital status? Depending on your own situation, we can then make a few suggestions which might help you look after yourself, and not get dragged down by dad's behaviour. (I don't know anything about mental health issues I'm afraid, but know how caring affects carers, I've been one for nearly 40 years).
When did you last have a holiday?
Hi Sarah
This is a link to the MIND website with suggestions on how to react when someone has paranoia. It's a very useful website with many pages for friends and families. I think they also have a help line. ... fJl-ejTXMI

Because supporting someone with any mental illness is a long haul it is important that you keep yourself healthy, well and safe. Sometimes this may mean putting yourself first or stepping aside for a while.

Did they ever get to the cause of Dads physical problems?

Do you have any idea why your dad stopped taking his meds? I wonder what changed?

I'm glad he's taking them again (same ones, or different?)

I agree that leaving him alone for a while (ie, you not going near him) might be sensible, both in the sense that he is now 'suspecting' you ,and that being with him is stressing you so much.

I don't know how long the meds will take to kick in and make a difference, but an Internet search should throw some light, surely, plus if you ask your/his GP (and Mind, definitely!). However long it takes, hopefully when they DO kick in he will calm down, and you can see him again without him thinking you are part of the 'plot against him'.

(Sadly, I know all about 'plots' as my mother had paranoid schizophrenia, and truly believed she was being followed, spied on, bugged, etc etc. Nothing could 'persaude' her otherwise - rational argument is useless.)

I do think the best you can do now is to 'leave well alone' and that will give YOU a break from it all, too. It's very wearing to have someone with such a condition. Wearing and distressing....

Wishing you the best possible, KR, Jenny