Dad (59) going crazy. Any input?


Hi everyone. I'm worried about my dad losing his mind. I wouldn't call him old, he only just turned 59. He's always been sort of mean and very controlling, but lately these traits have become extreme. He'll be somewhat calm for a few weeks or months, and then all of a sudden he'll wake up one morning with such a mean and hateful attitude like the world is out to get him, and he'll stay that way for just as long as his calmer phase. I've suspected for a while that he's manic-depressive, or has bipolar disorder. Lately he's become OBSESSED with the world ending, and has spent thousands of dollars on non-perishable food and water and weapons, and has become very withdrawn. He has started believing that God speaks to him and gives him specific details about the world ending. He raised the family in a Lutheran Church, but now believes that any form of Christianity other than what he hears on extreme right wing "Christian" talk radio is evil. We have a large family, and out of five kids only two of my siblings still live at home, and he constantly accuses them of being gone when they've been home all night, and he'll purposefully trap them there by parking behind them in the driveway and then taking a nap and demanding not to be disturbed. He was a functioning alcoholic for years and quit drinking about a year ago. He treats my mom like absolute dirt. He hates her, but I think he keeps her around because it's a game of control. She's 53 and a habitual criminal and a pill addict, and always will be, and I honestly think he secretly likes that power struggle of his control on her always being just out of his reach. Like I said, he's always been crabby and mean, but lately I think he's been having delusions. It's difficult to communicate with him because he's become so pessimistic. He has high blood pressure, but is otherwise generally healthy. He's maybe 20 or 30 pounds overweight from his beer belly. He still works for the same company that he's been at for over 30 years. There are 4 grandkids, and he's affectionate towards them and never mistreats them. It's just the rest of the family that is experiencing changes with him. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

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He's a "dry drunk" (Google that) for one thing, and with today's media allowing anyone to hear only what they like best to hear, it's easy to go from slightly biased to extreme in one's views in no time. He might or might not actually be psychotic, but the blocking people in and refusing to let them out is a little creepy to say the least. Help with whatever you can, stay in touch as much as you can, but keep your safety in mind. MAYBE, Mom could use Alanon if she is distressed at all by the situation.

Maybe you can find him a right-winger kind of doc he'd be willing to meet with just to exchange views at first? There seem to be loads of them on Sermo and not all of them let their views make them bad docs.
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Hearing voices suggests to me that there's some sort of psychiatric issue and the mood swings support that possibility. I think he should get a full medical exam and psychiatric referral if necessary, but it sounds as if he wouldn't be amenable to that.

Is he involved in any of the right-wing organizations he listens to? If so, maybe the pastor/minister could speak with him, but some of these organizations are so far out there that they may think his behavior is normal.

The only other thing I can think of is to speak with APS or local law enforcement about his behavior toward his family, but sometimes right-wingers have such hostility toward any form of government that law enforcement involvement might just aggravate the situation.

I think it's unfortunate that tv shows in their obsession with so-called reality programming feature programs reflecting lifestyles of stock-pilers and doomsday devotees. Vulnerable people can be influenced too easily.

In the meantime, if you can find the ammo for the weapons, and/or if you know how to remove the firing pin, do that, secretly, so your father doesn't know who did it.

Wish I could offer better solutions but I don't think anything will change unless he gets medical help as a starter.
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The stock piling of weapons alarms me. What if the "voices:" tell him to turn them on friends and family to save them from "the apocalypse" which is not uncommon. Personally I'd get everyone out of that house and away from him before there is a disaster.
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He may be suffering from vitamin B1 depletion as a result of long-term alcohol use. I don't suppose you could talk him into a complete physical with the family doctor? Personally, I would not still live there, I would gather up my siblings and find another place. Pronto!
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