confusion and memory loss, common hallmarks associated
with Alzheimerís disease, paranoia is systematic of the
illness as well. Not only does the condition rear its
ugly head in people living with Alzheimerís, but also
people with other mental illnesses. Caring for a
loved-one who is paranoid can be a trying task. Do you
know the signs of paranoia? Being aware of these
disturbing signs and reacting correctly can be a
caregiverís only defense from their loved-oneís agitated
state of mind. Here are some signs of paranoia:
Isolation - people who are paranoid often times
do not want to be around other people. It could be they
fear someone is out to get them.
Suspicion - they believe people are talking
about them or plotting against them. Perhaps even trying
to kill them. Even a kind act is considered to have a
Inability to relax - this can cause aggressive
behavior because they donít trust others easily. They
might think bad things will always happen to them and
they may have a poor self-image.
Delusional - a person with paranoia may have
feelings of grandeur and believe they have great worth
and knowledge. Also, they may believe to be associated
with a higher power.
Now that you
know some of the signs of paranoia, here is how to react
if your loved-one is exhibiting such thoughts and
DO NOT ever tell the person he or
she is acting paranoid. This will agitate your loved-one
If your loved-one fears someone is
plotting against them, try relaxing them. Show signs of
sympathy. Ask your loved-one to explain why they feel
If your loved-one believes
something has been stolen from them, help them look for
Try to change the subject if your
care-recipient believes you are trying to harm or hurt
them. If you defend yourself, they will most likely
think you are guiltier.
If you have visitors to your home,
speak to them about your loved-oneís condition. Warn the
visitor not to overreact to false claims against them.
Attempt to avoid
crowds because a person who is paranoid can become very
unsettled. The calmer the situation, the better.
If you truly
believe your care-recipient suffers from paranoia, speak
to their doctor. There are medications that may be able
to help control the erratic thoughts and behaviors of
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