My father is 75 and in fairly good health according to his doctor. He is convinced that there is something very medically wrong with him even though all of the tests have come back negative. My mom passed away about 20 years ago (he never remarried) and I'm 31 who lives about two hours away. Over the years, he's been depressed and extremely paranoid. I don't really know how to help him and I don't know what to do for him. It seems in the past few months, his depression has gotten worse. He doesn't have any hobbies or hang out with people which I'm sure makes his depression even worse. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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Hello everyone, thanks for all the replies. I know his doctor has prescribed him anti-anxiety medicine but I don't think he is going to take it. I think that the meds would really help him calm down but I think he very paranoid about doctors and the pharmaceutical companies. I plan on doing my best to encourage him to take them but that's really the extent of what I can do. I know that he will flat out lie and tell his doctor that he is taking his prescriptions but isn't really taking them. He tells me that he doesn't need to follow the orders, etc.
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The suicide rate among elderly men is quite high. Please see if you can talk him into getting help. Maybe you could set up an appointment and take him to a DR yourself. Don’t rely on him promising you that he’ll take himself. Don’t assume that if he hasn’t made threats he isn’t thinking about it, or that “he’d never do that”.
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Depression is a serious illness. Fortunately it is almost always treatable. I don't know how much influence you have over your father, but getting him to see a geriatric psychiatrist would be a huge help to him!

There is no shame in having this illness. There is no shame in seeking treatment. If he had symptoms of diabetes he should certainly discuss them with a doctor, and then follow treatment advice. This is no different.
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can you tell us what ways/how he is being paranoid?
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Hi Kfran,
I know how lousy it feels to standby helplessly and watch a loved one just exist.

My Mom went through a horrible depression after losing a LO. I too lived over 2 hrs away at the time. But I'll tell ya, my day would be ruined from a brief phone call with her. I absolutely felt miserable with her.

She finally talked to her Dr. She was put on an anti-depressants. She was also prescribed an anti-anxiety med. The change is like night and day!

Is Dad open to talking to his Dr about it? That's probably his best bet. Therapy is wonderful, if he'd go.

I had to wait for Mom's meds to kick in before she would agree to therapy. I don't think that generation is comfortable with counseling. Definitely not like we are today with it.

I hope he gives his Dr a shot. It can only help.
Good luck, hang in there!
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