I am concerned about father's obsession with writing his "manifesto."

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My 75 year old father has narcissistic personality disorder and coming up on a year ago decided to write his "manifesto". At first it was a hobby and seemed therapeudic but over time he has become obsessed with it to the point where he rarely leaves the house and has dropped other activities he used to do. The content of his writing consists mostly of his political and religious opinions that are (for me) embarassing, ill-informed, shocking, and paranoid. He recently withdrew all his and my mother's cash from the bank because he believes the government is about to collapse. He also believes when he finishes the book that he will be invited on various talk shows and even run for president. I have offered to help him self publish the book as an ebook as an attempt to get him to finish the book. He may be close to being done. Either way I'm concerned. He will be disappointed when the book flops or if he continues writing. It has decreased his own quality of life and my mother who he has dragged into his delusions of grandeur by having her typing his hand-written notes for hours every day because he refuses to learn how to use a computer. I have tried to get him to find a hobby or other things to enjoy but his narcissism convinces him that he doesn't have time for "ordinary" things because he's going to save the world with his book. Mother and I have accepted that his narcissism will not go away and is only getting worse as he gets older. It is sad because he is bored and sad and looking for validation. Before the book he paid some poor graduate student he met at the golf course to have lunch with him twice a week so they could "research" some invention he thought was going to make it big. Instead the student would nod and listen to my father's grandiouse ideas about how they ought to invent something and a month later the guy stopped showing up and stopped answering his phone. I can't blame him. What do you do with an aging narcissist?


Sounds like he also has delusional disorder; and there is medication for this; and perhaps some other form of mental illness. If he will go; might be good idea to take him to his doctor for recommendations or directly to a psychiatrist.

This is difficult on your mother as well - hope you can get some help.
Thanks for responding, obviously he is delusional. He would never, ever see a psychiatrist, counselor or even discuss mental health with anyone. My sister, a nurse, convinced him he may suffer from an anxiety disorder and suggested medication and even though he will sometimes admit he "might" have an anxiety disorder he refuses to disclose that info with his doctor. He refuses to take any medicine - period. He won't even take vitamins. He feels that psychology is all quack, they are the enemy, nurse Ratchet, etc.

What are my other options?
That is so frustrating when they are in denial or stubborn. My mother is in a nursing home and finally taking the meds she needs. When she lived at home, she would not take the depression medication prescribed by psychiatrist. She also would not go to a psychiatrist, but was forced to see one when she was in rehab for falling down. She was in rehab more times than i can count, but saw the same psychiatrist a few times and refused to take the medication he prescribed.

Since we can't force our parents to go to the doctor or take the meds; seems there is nothing we can do. Try calling Elder Services in your town and talk to someone there and they might have suggestions that we would never think of.

At this point, only professionals such as those at Elder Services are familiar with similar situations and trained on so many levels. Blessings and hope you can find some help. Take care.
I just wanted to provide a follow up of what has happened since I originally posted.

My father called asking for advice on how to start a website for his political campaign. I very carefully explained to him the amount of work involved in creating and managing a website. I thought the conversation went well but when I spoke with my mother a few days later she said he was furious with me for speaking to him in a "disrespectful" manner??? I called him to apologize and unfortunately he had been drinking too much so he refused my apology and went off on me for 45 minutes telling me how he wished he had put me in foster care when I was 10, what an awful person and daughter I am, and how much I owe him. I didn't say a word and waited until he had run out of wind to quietly say I was sorry he felt that way and we hung up. A few days later I got a hate letter with more of the same, this time with an exact accounting to the penny of every cent he feels he spent on me (including the hospital bill for my birth, and monthly "rent" I owe him for living with him from birth to 18). Then another hate letter. I saw a therapist who suggested I affirm some boundaries so together the therapist and I wrote a very short, simple letter asking him to not talk to me that way. His response was another hate letter - this time he disowned me.

So - I haven't talked to him since May of 2012. My mother, enabling co-dependant, has called me a few times begging me to "apologize". For what I have no idea, it was me calling to apologize in the first place that set him off???

For now I'm done. I'm done dealing with his abuse and his craziness and I feel so much better to be free.
Thank you so much for your update. I am very sorry that your father's mental illness lead to this outcome, but I am so extremely glad that you are Free at Last! If it is at all possible, realize that this is his problem, not yours, and none of it is your fault. I am happy to hear you have had some therapy to help you deal with this bizarre and unfortunate situation.

Stay strong.
StillHere, I'm so sorry to hear the outcome re:your dad. As a daughter who was disowned by a narcissist mom, I can sympathize. My mom died without ever talking to me again and my kids and I were not invited to her funeral. Evidently, mom meant business! I felt free when my mom threw me to the curb. She was hateful to the core. She didn't have dementia but obviously she had mental issues. My dad was a sweetheart but all my life, after mom and I argued, he'd on occasion "suggest" I apologize. It was always my fault according to mom. It started when I was 4 and ended in my 50s when she realized I was no longer going to put up with it anymore and told me to get out of her life. Someone so "nicely" told me the other day I needed to look at myself. If it wasn't bad enough to have this person as my mom, I got see that. I do not like my mom but I don't dwell on her. I have a great life and have learned that she may not have seen the good in me but I have plenty of people who do. We all meet awful people along life's journey. It's especially sad when it is your parent. You know you did your best and I know I did my best. That's all that needs to be recognized.
StillHere, this sounds more like mania that goes with bipolar disorder to me. Men tend to have more of the manic phase and often feel they can attain great success or save the world. What happened with your father when you did not buy into his grandeur is a very normal response for someone in the manic phase. Often when they are challenged, they can react as if someone is out to destroy them. Sometimes it can make them crash into depression and they can do very bad things out of anger. The only way I know to treat real bipolar disorder is with medication. The only problem there is men tend to enjoy the mania. It is intoxicating and invigorating. Why would they want to take medication that dampens it? Many are only willing to take medications if they become depressed.
BTW, from what I've read, some people only have a single phase of bipolar -- mania or depression. I don't know how they judge it is bipolar when this is the case.
Dear StillHere. I know it has been a while but wanted to see what is going on with your dad. I sort of have a similar situation and I am at a loss for what to do. My dad has this invention and he thinks he is going to be a millionaire before he passes. He thinks he is going to put thousands of people to work producing his invention. He has always been a money hungry person and is so depressed for what he calls "All the mistakes he has made" What he calls mistakes is ALL about money. (His invention is not going to make him a millionaire) I try to talk some since into him but he gets angry with me, tells me I am the most stupid person he knows and that he would need a DNA test to prove I am his daughter. I am afraid he is going to pay someone thousands of dollars (on his credit card) to further his idea. He has contacted attorneys about his invention and because they did not help him he then called Aging Services and said that they stole his idea. I care for him and my mother as well who has Alzheimer's. I do not live with them but provide all the necessary care. He is so normal and smart with everything else. He even helps to care for my mom when I am not there. My dad (85yrs) will not seek help with his depression or anger towards me. Any advise?

StillHere, it's been a long time since you posted. If it's still relative, have you ever heard the word manifesto used in connection with any good outcome? If he can still drive and has weapons I'd stay far away. Could he have/had alcohol based dementia along with his mental illness? DJ, Your dad doesn't sound normal now. Don't bother to try and talk sense into him. My dad once got on a kick where he thought he could get more money from the VA. He was a retired person (not military) and had a 10% VA disability. He misunderstood something he read that now retired, disabled vets were going to get both benefits now. I explained that he was not retired military but he kept applying, getting turned down, appealing, etc. Eventually the process just petered out. It never did us any good to try and reason it through. Try to let it pass on its own. He's not likely to find any way to pursue this. My dad seemed pretty normal but still did weird things in time of crisis. Years ago on Labor Day my mom fell and couldn't get up (yeah, it sounds like a commercial). Instead of calling 911 he called me. When I got there he was using a massager on her hip to help her. I took one look and called 911. She had fractured her pelvis in two places, never came home, and died in hospice on Thanksgiving. The day before Thanksgiving he called me again, (not 911) with his own medical crisis. I got there and he staggered out the door. At the emergency room the triage nurse took one look at us coming in, me supporting my staggering dad, and took us in immediately. It was a TIA, he recovered completely, but mom died before he got out of the hospital. When I picked him up on the day after Thanksgiving I had to break it to him. My point here is, you maybe shouldn't count so much on dad to take care of mom. He may not really be as sharp as you think, as evidenced by the invention phase he's going through. I don't know what you can do for him but I suggest contacting his doctor. Ask her doctor if he thinks your mom is being cared for well enough by your dad. Surely your dad goes in with her when she goes to the doctor. Maybe the doctor should just be alerted to be on the lookout for any changes.

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