Dad haunted by his past.

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My dads nearly 80 and I've been caring for him for nearly 16months following a serous stroke..The problem is he's lost his driving licence and in his past life hasn't been the nicest man in the world in fact he's been a terrible man..The problem is the past is coming back to haunt him now, he just wants to die and escape the memories of all the bad things he's done, I suppose he sees no future and only his selfish past and continues about how he feels so bad... he's choking feeling frightened and believes he's going to die every night...I know this is all inside his head and he's creating his own problems but he's literally driving me crazy with his continuous ravings..any advice would be truly very much appreciated before he sends me mad..and I'm shipped off with the men in white jackets. ...Michael

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I know one thing that will help, if the people he was rude to,help him to write and letters and ask them to forgive him, this will take a load of his mind, that way hrs not carry it anymore
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Hi have spoken to his doctor and they have just increased his antidepressants to 40mg mirtazapine but to be honest im not holding my breath on this one? Dont think its going to make any difference...im ok thankyou every days different but I cart really see it getting any easier in the near future.
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Michael, how are *you* doing?
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Thankyou all.. some good advice and very useful ideas I will definitely implement them...take care and thanks...
Michael
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If he did in fact do some terrible things in his past life, and he has guilt over them there is nothing wrong with him trying to right some of those wrongs, which may bring him more peace. He could take the AA approach, and write notes of apology, to those he's hurt over the years, admitting fault and saying he's sorry. It might relieve some of his stress, and also he could do some good deeds to counteract his guilty conscience. At this point, if he is dwelling on them, he could try to right them. Just a thought.
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Get him to a doctor, preferably to a geriatric psychiatrist, for meds for his agitation.
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Just thought of something else. Instead of asking him to help others, ask him to accompany you on a charitable errand. You could just say that you're going to work at a food distribution center (or whatever) and ask if he'll accompany you b/c you'd just like him to be with you. Then he doesn't have to deal with the "I'm a bad person" complex. He's just tagging along.
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Well, there is opportunity for him to rectify his past behavior, but he may feel overwhelmed and so guiltridden that it's hard to conceive of doing that.

Guilt unfortunately seems to hold a powerful grip on people. You have to replace it with memories of his positive actions, but I think it might be hard to break through that.

However, what you could do is spend some time thinking of the positive aspects of his life. Then when he mentions something he's done that wasn't very nice, turn the conversation to words to the effect " but remember when you....(something to make him feel better)".

You could also take a much stronger stand and tell him that you don't want to hear about these prior bad acts, that he did them, accept that and move and try to compensate by doing good works. Maybe you could find some way he can do that raise his self esteem.

Would you be willing to drive him to deliver meals on wheels to homebound people? To a food distribution center to pack food for people in need? He has to "get outside of himself" in order to find value in his remaining life.

Good luck; this isn't an easy task.
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What a sad situation. My recommendation would be to ask his primary care doctor for some medication for anxiety. This would help to quiet his mind and reduce the choking sensation and fear.

Angel
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