Is paranoia always a form of dementia?

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Hello, I just discovered this site and have spent the last few hours reading previous discussions. Already I feel a sense of support. In the last 8 months my father, who turned 90 a few weeks ago, has exhibited real signs of paranoia, sudden outbursts of rage and hatred towards others, even old friends and certainly me, and even anti-Semitic rants -- which is shocking and absurd b/c I am part Jewish on my mother's side. Of course, I think these behaviors are signs of dementia, but the problem is that my father is still cognitively sharp. Every doctor who has tested his cognition says he has a mind like a steel trap in terms of memory, vocabulary, reasoning tests, etc. Has anyone else had an elderly parent like this? Frankly, I would feel a little better and a little more understanding if he were diagnosed with Alzheimer's or some other type of dementia.

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Your dad may have been having mini-strokes or something of that nature, or else dementia of some type is moving in. The key is that this is all out of character for him. He should see a doctor - if you can get him to a geriatrician, who is a doctor trained to handle the health of people his age, so much better. At any rate, change is the key here. A doctor should reassess him.
Please keep coming back for support. You'll find out that paranoia in our elders is something many of us have had to cope with, as well as the other things you've mentioned. You aren't alone.
Carol
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