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Lost parents. Feel they are following. Watches movies all night. No sleep. What to do? Is it schizophrenia?

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Practicing since : 2000
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hi how are you?
this question is in regards to my mom. she came back few weeks ago from our home country of Iran and it's been a few days that she says that she thinks that everybody is following her wherever she goes. she went to Iran to see her father but he was sick and passed away before she got there and she ended up going for his funeral. anyways it's been a few days that she says that she thinks that everybody follows here wherever she goes and she blames this on the passing away of her mother who passed away 17 years ago and her father who passed away about 2 months ago. but please excuse my language I think this is bullshit a lot of people lose their parents and this doesn't happen to them. she also blames it on some of our relatives in iran but again I think all these are excuses and not legitimate reasons. my concern is that what if she has schizophrenia? I asked her if she hears voices and she said no but I know that not everyone with schizophrenia hear voices and that schizophrenia has 3 levels (something like that), however, I think that my mom is lying and that she does hear voices. she stays up till late at night watching movies and says she does this to relax her mind but I think that by staying up till late at night watching movies she's trying to block the voices that aren't real but she thinks they're. she was like this before she went to iran but it has gotten worse since she got back from there. what should I do? thanks. again this matter is regarding my mom not myself. however i'm going to have to fill out my own medical history in this page.
Posted Sun, 23 Jun 2013 in Mental Health
Answered by Dr. Payman Hajiazim 1 hour later
Hi there, thanks for asking your query. You are right and the symptoms you describe are quite worrisome. In reality, the chance of schizophrenia to begin at late life is rare. I mean that most cases show themselves before the age of 50. However, it could be a brief psychotic reaction to the severe stress of father death and also not being able to be there before his death which complicates more the process of grief. Brief psychotic reactions usually subsides (vanishes) in less than one month. The factors which could cause it to last more are any medical conditions that can affect the brain function. It is god to check with doctor about her thyroid function, also heart and kidney functions. I wish her and the family the best.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Lost parents. Feel they are following. Watches movies all night. No sleep. What to do? Is it schizophrenia? 41 minutes later
hi thanks for your response. are you persian? I am. My name is Pegah. well my mom is 57 years old. her family physician recently put her on clonazepam for her symptoms. she started taking it few days ago. so you think this might be a short psychotic period due to the loss of her father and her not being able to go there before his death to see him? does she need to take the clonazepam. I know she has hypothyroidism and she takes levothyroxine but I don't know if she as recently had her thyroid , heart and kidney functions checked. i'll double check with her.

is it common for Iranians to get diagnosed with mental disorders like schizophrenia later in life like after the age of 50? we live in Canada but a lot of Iranians hesitate to get help for their mental problems. specially Iranians in iran.

I just read your profile. I see you live in Toronto. Me too along with my family.
Answered by Dr. Payman Hajiazim 5 hours later
Hello again, glad to hear from you. Yes I am a Persian doctor. Clonazepam can help her to decrease the anxiety level. There is no risk of dependence to this medication for her is she takes it for several weeks. If she needs to take it more than 6 weeks, a specialist should evaluate her situation. You should also check the updated status of the kidney, heart and thyroid.
Fortunately, It is not common for Iranian to be diagnosed with schizophrenia in the late life.
As you mentioned, I live in Toronto. Best wishes.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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