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My 81 yr old mother seems to think that demons are attacking her. She is on medications for sleep and anxiety. I tried working with her doctor and psychiatrist and cannot seem to get a resolution. She had a brain scan, and passed the dementia test. Last night she showed me bruises that she has on her legs. Keep in mind that she tapes her legs and the socks on her feet. She piles her bed with everything so that the “demon” cannot get to her. She slept in the spare bedroom upstairs last night and just told me it was in that room. I am not equipped to handle this as it has been going on for months. Any suggestions?

Wow, what a dreadful situation! According to Google, Hallucinations can be seen, heard, felt, or even smelled. And while we usually associate hallucinations with recreational drugs like LSD, one well-known prescription drug that may also cause hallucinations is the sleep aid Lunesta. Side effects of Ambien also include possible hallucinations, not to mention that individuals who co-administer Ambien at high doses with drugs such as anti-depressants, alcohol, benzodiazepines, other sedatives or sleeping pills/tranquilizers, or anti-anxiety medications used are more likely to develop adverse side effects like hallucinations. Hallucinations may include auditory, visual, or tactile hallucinations.

So, maybe your mother is thinking that demons are attacking her due to combining sleeping pills with anti-anxiety medication. I would think her psychiatrist should have an idea about that and want to take her off of all meds to see if she has an improvement. It shocks me that doctors wouldn't try such a thing as their FIRST course of treatment in such an extreme situation!

If the medications aren't at the root of this matter, then it sounds like she needs psychiatric evaluation at the hospital. The situation is not tolerable for you OR for her, especially since it's been going on for months. I'm so sorry you're all going through such a terrible ordeal.

I hope you can find answers SOON! Best of luck
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Serenity2018 Sep 18, 2020
I truly believe that you hit the nail in regards to the medication. The doctor reduced Ativan and wants me to monitor her meds. Well she won’t let me because in her mind, the meds are fine. I am going to have to take drastic measures. I am stressed and pissed. I thank you dearly for your insight.
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Your mother passed the dementia testing? Were they done by a qualified neuropsychiatrist?
It is time to return with your diary of what is happening. Is it happening only at night? It is sounding like some Lewy's bodies symptoms. Does she have trouble with an unsteady gait or ever have trouble swallowing? Does she live with you?
My brother's Lewy's hallucinations always hit at night, with exception of some few brought on by the day with marble walls, busy carpets, or other highly patterned things. He said the day ones transformed people into "deamonic looking". At night he could see whole visions of immigrant woman and baby, of a pool party outside the window, etc. He was diagnosed by symptoms according to diaries and descriptions of these "visions". They were worse with any anxiety.
Assisted living made them almost a thing of the past.
I think you are either dealing with mental illness (is there a history) or of undiagnosed dementia. In either case it may be time to consider placement. I am so sorry you are going through all this, and wish you and Mom good luck.
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Serenity2018 Sep 18, 2020
Thank you for your insight. I woke up angry this morning because she will not go in her room and it is disrupting the house. Due to COVID, she was tested via e-visit. I need an in person visit as I can no longer accept this behavior. I appreciate you.
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My 99 yr. old mom was taking Escitaloprám for sleep and anxiety. After a few weeks she started having hallucinations at night and also had one episode during the day. After researching the med on Google and getting the information about the med I stopped immediately and contacted the doctor that confirmed the info and agreed with stopping this med.
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My 72yo husband had a psychotic episode when given Ativan and had to be restrained and sedated. He literally was like Linda Blair in The Exorcist. Stop the Ativan and seek another professional opinion for your mother’s meds.
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Hi..
I saw this. Had to respond. What is she using for sleep-aid??
Ambien causes hallucinations, bad dreams, causes ppl to walk in their sleep & an entire host of
Very scary things.
Happened to me...pls look at medications closely
Thx
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This must be a Very distressing situation- for your mother and for you! You have a lot of good advice here, like ruling out a UTI and looking into medication side effects, evaluating dementia. Of course those should be addressed. You don’t say whether your mom is religious , but have you considered having a minister/clergy person come and pray with her? Maybe that would afford her some measure of peace. Wishing you a quick resolve.
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This is interesting my grandmother said the same thing who never had dementia, she was in her 80s and lived on a farm in Kentucky. Once she took a shot at the demon they put her in a home but who’s to say there wasn’t one.

When I worked for a Swami on an ashram he was also in his 80s and in hospice he also saw demons and they told him he wasn’t seeing them which put him in distress. When we are closer to the other side maybe we can see things others can’t, in both cases both were highly spiritual and on no medication.

In truth we don’t know what they can see, I wanted to tell the Swami my grandmother saw them too in case that gave him peace but I didn’t want to go against the ashram.

Maybe there is comfort in validation, put a bible out or say the Lord’s Prayer. Give them something to work with like we do when our kids see monsters in the night.
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sunshinelife Sep 20, 2020
such a sincere post :) The truth usually stings...then its benefits stay for life. You are correct...when people are close to passing over they see things and people that those of us with a ways to go here cannot see. This is common in terminally ill in my experience. Patients have told me "my Mother came to visit me today"..later the grandchild will tell me the patients Mother died 35 years prior. There is a book called "On death & dying" by Kubler Ross that explains very well the experience of those just before passing over to the spiritual side of life.
So many comments on this thread explaining how their loved one started having hallucinations when starting on various medications.
The pharmaceutical companies have a lot to answer for
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I facilitate two dementia caregiver support groups and have heard many similar experiences. Her hallucinations and delusions are very real to her and telling her that they are not will only add fuel to her fire and agitate her further. One of members of my support group's mother was convinced that a family had moved into the back room of her house. She saw them coming and going and could not get rid of them by locking the doors and telling them to leave. This went on for weeks. He finally said, "I'll take care of this, Mom," and noisily stomped into the back room slamming doors as he went. He then proceeded to slam more doors and yell that they must leave immediately or else he would call the police. He returned to his Mom's room and said, "I took care of it Mom, they are gone for good." She never saw them again.
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Serenity, I am so sorry you and your mom are going through this. My dad was having similar hallucinations. They were completely frightening to him. He started sleeping in a dining room chair with a blanket over his head due to these unsettling hallucinations. He was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia. Also, he was not hydrating himself enough. Medication and moving to assisted living helped tremendously. Keeping dated notes and sending to the neurologist will be a huge help. Again, I understand what you are experiencing and it is mentally and physically taxing.
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Serenity,
my husband, also 81, is in the advanced stages of Parkinson’s disease and about a year ago started having hallucinations - thankfully not as frightening, but disturbing. We’ve been on the carousel of meds for a while, but a sleep med and anti anxiety med have been a constant. I have found that when his neurologist adds a new medication or adjusts dosage on other meds (especially MAO inhibitors) there is a period of adjustment and his hallucinations and freezing episodes increase. I’ve learned not to pick up a 90day supply of any new medication (I love doctors that want to “try” a $400 med). I get 2 or 3 weeks. If there’s improvements great, but sometimes there is significant decline and we take him off, or cut dosage.
when the hallucinations come, I sit with him and we talk through it, maybe determine why he is seeing what he sees.
we have the new challenge of Sundowning. I don’t know what it’s like to get a good nights sleep anymore.
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sunshinelife Sep 20, 2020
i know Parkinson's is unrelenting. Bless you for standing by him.You might consider giving him Sunflower Lecithin Powder 1 or 2 teaspoons in a 1/4 cup of warm distilled water before meals on an empty stomach Lecithin is the fat in raw egg yolks & some seeds. Its also the main ingredient in the fat that covers and insulates the central nervous system and composes the brain... I have seen this helpful in people with Parkinson's. Particularly when combined with 3 cups of fresh sage tea daily.
You can google "medical studies on the efficacy of lecithin in ameliorating symptoms of Parkinson's " (sorry for the big words) Also fresh sage tea. 3 times as much fresh herb as dry. So 3 teaspoons to 1 cup or 2 ozs herb to 1 pint of water...These simple foods the Creator gave us will ease your husbands suffering. I hope this is of some help to you
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