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 Dealing with Hallucinations and Delusions 
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Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2006 5:34 pm
Posts: 40
Location: Ontario Canada
Post Dealing with Hallucinations and Delusions
How does one deal with a loved one's Hallucinations and Delusions?
Yesterday Dad told me the Nurses tore up his bed, pulled down his drapes, removed the second-storey windows in his room and jumped out the window and pooped on the grass. He was furious!
Now obviously this never happened, but he was adament - he had "seen it with his own two eyes".
I don't know what to do - if I sympathize with him to calm him down, it just reinforces what he believes to be true. He is so paranoid about the Nurses that I'm afraid he's going to clock one of them and be in real trouble. On the other hand, if I refute his belief he thinks I'm one of Them.
How do you deal with this?
Yesterday he might be completely Off the Wall and Tomorrow he will be almost his Old Self..
I've found there is no sense in trying on a "good day" to talk sense into him - he doesn't even remember the event that made him so upset.
How do you deal with a situation like this??

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Fri Nov 10, 2006 10:17 am
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Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 3:54 pm
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hello

Those are tough ones/days. Mom has had just a few of those, a small percentage of the hallucinations in the past 9months. "Those people outside have guns and are going to get us.... " Somehow we just got through the day and since she forgot abt the incident and no one was "at risk", it was water under the bridge. A few of those times I decided she was in a "hallucination mood" and so shifted the "target" to more benign ones like her favorite- the elephants in the garden. I even got her to draw a picture of what she was seeing and have a cute elephant drawing. That worked pretty well.

I guess what I am saying is that it seems that Mom's hallucination times are just that and cannot be shaken. She is and is going to continue to hallucinate, there is no other reality for her. Thus I will not be successful in trying to pull her back into reality. I am successful however, in steering the hallucinations to places that are more comfortable for everone.

In times when she has been more lucid, I have asked her if she knows she has hallucinations and she says yes. I ask if they bother her and she says no. I asked if I should get medicine to prevent them and she did not like that idea..... I said OK..... Perhaps she likes that reality.


Fri Nov 10, 2006 2:04 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2006 11:14 am
Posts: 3
Location: Florida
Post hallucinations
The best way I have found (for me) is to agree with my mother and to try and change the subject. She is always hearing someone in the woods, usually a little girl or boy crying. Or they are knocking at the door, but she's afraid to answer the door. I tell her not to go to the door and she always assures me she won't. What they see is what they believe and it is just as real to them as reality is to us. It's so sad to see your loved one going through it, but I keep praying I won't loose it and that works for me. All we can do is take one day at a time and help them the best we can.


Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:25 pm
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Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2006 5:34 pm
Posts: 40
Location: Ontario Canada
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Dad's delusions were getting so bad that the doctor finally prescribed Respirdal. I know everyone says its really bad for persons with LBD and I relayed my concerns to the doctor. She placed Dad on .25 mg - not 2.5, but .25 - I guess that's the absolute lowest dosage you can give a person. He was like a zombie for about 3 days, but after that he was much better and almost completely stopped having delusions. I certainly am not recommending this for anyone else's LO. but for us it seems to have done the trick for the most part. At least he isn't quite so fearful of everything and everyone now.

Here's hoping everyone had a joyful Christmas.

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Fri Dec 22, 2006 4:36 pm
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Hi Fins,
Sorry to hear your Dad's Delusions have been so bad but glad to hear he is getting relief with the Risperdol, I have heard it works well for some, it didn't for us but we knew within very short time.Wishing you a happy Holiday too.


Fri Dec 22, 2006 6:50 pm

Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Houston, TX
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I think we have entered a new stage. Mom has had delusions for two to three years now, but very few hallucinations. A few here and there that I know of.
Lately though, she has some major stories about working for a company that is in trouble for insurance fraud, and she is just waiting for the FBI to come and take her to jail even though she insists she knows nothing about what the company did wrong. (Oh, and if they do take her to jail she is going to make sure she takes her dinner with her!) These stories are very detailed. I went along with her at first, until it was obvious she was getting very upset. Then I just suggested that maybe it wasn't real. She actually considered the possibility and said maybe not, but went right back to her story.
She has also started taking credit for doing things I know she didn't do. Like providing the original drawing that the kids at AL were coloring. She's very proud of herself for doing a good job.
Is it possible that when she wakes from her dreams, they turn into hallucinations?
Jennifer


Fri Jul 13, 2007 2:51 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
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There is some thought that dreams and hallucinations are related to the extent that when one doesn't get sufficient sleep they may hallucinate. (I don't recall reading anything about the CONTENT of dreams and hallucinations being related.) But I've not heard anyone say that dreams and delusions are related.


Sat Jul 14, 2007 12:32 am
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Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 3:43 am
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Location: Seattle, WA
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The theory I've heard bandied about is that in trying to separate dream state from reality, caused by lapsing into sleep due to hypocretin deficiency, people confabulate to "make sense" of the weird dream behavior.

This is one mechanism through which Provigil is associated with a reduction in delusions/hallucinations.

Eric

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Cal is not the real name of a real 84 year old with DLB. I don't speak for LBDA, nor do I have clever initials behind my name, so information is provided without warranty. Caveat everybody. I blog at http://PragmaticCaregiver.blogspot.com


Sat Jul 14, 2007 4:47 am
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 7:53 am
Posts: 16
Location: Michigan
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Dear Canada:
Hang in there. My husband will claim there are people just outside the room listening in on our conversations or that there are people walking all around the yard. I just try my best to distract him and try to go to another topic, i.e. turn on the radio and discuss a current event or something that he likes. I know it is very hard and I also feel as if I'm drowning in the big lake. I went to a dementia caregivers meeting the other day and when I told them about the hallucinations and delusions they thought I was the crazy one. By chance, one day when I was reading the newspaper to my husband I came across an obituary of a person who died from LBD. I sent a letter to the funeral home and they forwarded it on. The spouse contacted me and calls me on a regular basis to offer help. She did the obituary that way to bring to attention the widespread % of LBD. I'm meeting her next week for lunch. You might want to try that route to link up with someone in your area. Or try your doctor to get a referral to another LBD caregiver. Two heads are better than one. Hang in there. Marji in Michigan


Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:57 am
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 10:14 pm
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Post Hi Fins
I sympathize. My father is also on a low dose of Repiradal(SP?) for his hallucinations. It took a good month of meds, but it has helped. Hopefully you see improvement as well.

I had no idea it was also a mood stabilizer until my mom forgot to give my dad a dose last week. My dad became very belligerant and refused to get in the car with my mom. I had to talk him into getting in my car because he was just wandering around a parking lot in a fog. It was bizarre what just missing one dose did.


Sun Jul 22, 2007 5:44 pm
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Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:15 pm
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My Mom has been having hallucinations during the night and when she wakes up in the morning or after a nap. It appears to me that she isn't fully awake and seems to be "living" her dream. She has had very vivid dreams for years with lots of screaming out and talking in her sleep.

I just try to talk to her about what is currently happening or bringing in one of my daughters to try to orient her to where she is and what is happening. Right now that is all it takes to get her out of it. I realize it may get worse, but ususally trying to have a conversation about something else will help her come back to what is going on.

K


Mon Jul 23, 2007 2:01 pm
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Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:13 pm
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Location: Fayetteville, AR
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When I have hallucinations combined with delusions, my wife doesn't try to talk me out of them because it is impossible. So she just sort of goes with the flow of things. Why try to convince me that my reality isn't real, anyway? I mean, what's really at stake? Nothing that matters. I think I am picking up on the suggestion that to 'validate' someone's hallucinations or delusions will only increase them -- that to give them any credence at all only encourages them. But that isn't the case. I am not a suggestible child who needs to be convinced that there is not really a monster under my bed. I'm an adult with some really screwed up neurotransmitters or whatever. So what if the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz comes to visit me (that happened a few days ago). When I told my wife the Scarecrow was here for a visit, she said that was nice, she always liked the Scarecrow, and that was pretty much it. She didn't try to talk to the Scarecrow and she didn't set out another plate for him at dinner, but she also didn't get all worked up trying to convince me that he wasn't really here. After a while I forgot all about him.

Oddly enough, I remember that hallucination very well. He knocked on my bedroom door and came in, and I wasn't a bit surprised to see him. It didn't even occur to me that he was out of place or that he wasn't real. He was just a friendly person who came by to say hello (though he didn't talk --he just waved at me and smiled). And right now at this moment, I have the clarity to be a bit amused at myself for having that kind of hallucination. Maybe, like the Scarecrow, even in my delusions I have more of a brain than I thought I did.

Sometimes I don't remember my hallucinations/delusions at all. Tamara tells me I said or did something, and it's like she's talking about someone else, because for me it never happened. I have no memory of it whatsoever. That used to upset me greatly, but I've sort of accepted it as part of this process. At least thus far, however, whatever state I'm in, there seems to remain some kind of self consciousness, some continuity with my values and beliefs, some continuation of whatever is essential to my personhood. I don't become someone else. I just don't remember who I am.

Grace and peace,

Randy


Wed Jul 25, 2007 1:19 am
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Joined: Wed May 30, 2007 12:09 pm
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Randy wrote:

Quote:
though he didn't talk-- he just waved at me and smiled.


Randy I wonder, in your hallucinations, do the people ever speak? The reason I ask is that my LO always says that in her hallucinations, the people never speak, they just motion with their hands. She has said this for months. She has lots of hallucinations of people in church, everyday. she says they pray silently. The church is in her bedroom.
She sees lots of children everyday in her home. She speaks to them sometimes.

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Caregiver to 84yr. mother w/LBD & 83yr. dad w/PD


Wed Jul 25, 2007 9:18 pm
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Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:13 pm
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Location: Fayetteville, AR
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I've only had two hallucinations that spoke to me. One of them was this huge, medieval knight in chainmail riding a horse. He pointed at me, then off to the distance, and said something that sounded like a Celtic sort of language. What he said was, "Gwynedd O'Furrough" or something like that. My psychiatrist said that was a hypnogogic hallucination, but this was before LBD.

The other one I had . . I think I may have written about it here. I don't remember if I did or not. Anyway, that was fairly recently. It may have been another hypnogogic kind, because it happened while I was sleeping or in a sort of half-dream kind of state. My deceased grandmother "woke me up" and we had a conversation. She told me everything was going to be ok so I shouldn't worry so much. I don't know if that was a dream or a hallucination or a supernatural kind of encounter, and I suppose it doesn't really matter, because in any event God spoke to me through whatever it was. What was different about that hallucination (let's call it that) was that I also felt her hands when she shook my shoulder to wake me up. And I smelled her. And we had a conversation. So it was by far the most detailed experience of that kind.

As for my usual hallucinations, they don't talk to me. They just smile or wave or gesture. Usually I see butterflies or fireflies (depeding on if it's day or night) or horses or things like that. I saw the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz once a few days ago, and he just smiled at me and waved. Once I saw my deceased brother, but he didn't talk. And then, there are hallucinations Ive had that don't remember at all, but Tamara says I don't act as though they are talking to me.

Hope that helps.

Randy


Wed Jul 25, 2007 11:20 pm
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Joined: Wed May 30, 2007 12:09 pm
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Thanks Randy, yes it does help. I love the way you explain it in such detail.

I am curious about them because I am with mother so much and half the time she is hallucinating. I just do as Tamara and go along with it. I shoo them away if she doesn't want *them*on her bed, etc. She keeps her Kleenex box turned upside down because *they* take them and make birds and such out of them, so I in turn after getting her a Kleenex turn it right back upside down. I am used to her asking as I serve ice cream "should we offer *them* some?
It's only when she has the *BAD* ones, which I am not sure if it is truly a hallucination or a dream, that I try to make her realize it is not real.

She does get tired of them being in her house, "taking over". I imagine it is very tiring.

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#1daughter

Caregiver to 84yr. mother w/LBD & 83yr. dad w/PD


Wed Jul 25, 2007 11:38 pm
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