My father is acting weird. What's regular old man crotchety behavior vs. pathological behavior?
October 6, 2012 8:38 AM Subscribe
My father is getting up in years, and on a recent trip I noticed he's been acting differently. I don't have many elderly contacts so I'm unsure how much of this is normal old man behavior and how much is possible pathology.
posted by anonymous to health & fitness (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Traits that are amplified but which he had before:
- morose disposition, now obsesses over past sad incidents
- social anxiety, doesn't want to leave the house or meet anyone in a new environment
- tells really long rambling stories to anyone who stands still (before, 3 min, now 15 mins)
- more interested in pets than people
- Paranoia (recording conversations)
- Being extremely thoughtless / self-centered
- Going off on nostalgic driving trips without telling anyone
- Threatening suicide obliquely in arguments with his wife
His recall of recent events seems to be fine, and his ability to fix things and think through problems seems fine. He does not seem depressed all the time (can get out of bed, enjoy movies, etc.). He drinks a glass or two of wine at night but is not a heavy drinker. No heart problems yet. He takes valium for a muscle disorder.
I'm trying to get him to a psychiatrist or therapist who can diagnose things properly, but he's very defensive about it. I'm guessing he might just be depressed, or this could be early dementia without the forgetfulness, but would appreciate any other guesses if you've experienced something similar.