Seeing ghosts

My mom mentioned to me in an offhand way that lately my father has been seeing ghosts.

I thought she meant in nightmares (he has bad ones).

But no. He is awake when he sees what he calls the silent people. They don't talk and apparently they look like dark upright shadows.

I said he needs to mention this to his doctor, or at a minimum talk to the pharmacist to see if it is a side effect of any of his medications. She said, oh no, they don't bother him because they're silent. But sometimes they get in his way and try to prevent him from leaving a room.



I think he should contact his doctor and then see a neurologist. I've read my Oliver Sacks. But my dad is very anti-neurologist since he was concerned about memory loss and took a neuropsych exam and lost his temper and got into a big fight with the person administering the exam because he thought the questions were either insulting or didn't make sense. They live in a small town, so there's not a huge selection of medical providers.

My mom thinks he's already overly worked up about his health, which is true (I am so not like him at all btw). Also she thinks this might be related to WWII trauma.

On a sidenote, my brother says he really HAS seen and felt a ghost.
formerly Castella
(my dogs aren't snarly, my hair is)
I've never seen ghosts, but I've felt them.


I went on a "ghost tour" around Halloween. They had a script to tell us about the different unnatural deaths which had happened in different areas of downtown, and I kept responding to things in the script - before they were said. I think the tour guide was scared of me...



On the other hand, as it's a new thing for your father - it could very easily be a sign of other problems. Can they possibly go out of town to seek medical advice?
The pews never miss a sermon but that doesn't get them one step closer to Heaven.
-Speckla

But at least the pews never attend yoga!
At the risk of sounding nutty, I saw ghosts when I was little and have strange communications with some since. Even my very scientific husband cannot explain some of the stuff that has happened (even in his presence). There was a post back in October about all the weird things so I won't go into them again.

I truly believe that there is a supernatural world that cannot be explained by science as science can only explain the "natural."
KurlyKarenLee

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Uh,how about traveling to a larger town nearby to see a new doctor? Sounds kinda complicated.
Although I believe in the possibility of ghosts, it's far more likely that this is a side effect of medication.

A common one, in fact. Also keep in mind that older people often have very different reactions to medications than younger folk do. Certainly something to check out with the doctor or pharmacist.
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You can go to the pharmacy and get product information on the meds he is taking. That will tell you about side effects. Is he acting normal in every other way? Or are there other things going on that make you think something is a little off? He really should see his PCP in any case. The anger you describe is sometimes a way people hide thier comfusion when they are having problems. They are scared and don't really know what is happening to them, so anger is a way to keep others at a distance while they are trying to work it out in thier own mind. I hope everything works out OK.
Willow
Sorry, but I also ment to say that I do believe in ghosts. I have seen them since I was a kid. So don't get me wrong. I don't think there is something wrong with you father just because he is seeing these things. It is just better to be safe and get a good physical work up to make sure it is not something else.
Willow
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I would definitely check out his meds. He isn't taking meds for Parkinson's, is he? Those can definitely cause hallucinations and delusions if they are out of balance. My dad has seen non-existent cats, non-existent airplanes in the parking lot outside his home, and non-existent ants running around. Amantadine was the main culprit that time.
I don't know. He takes medication for cholesterol, blood pressure and his heart. The latest is something to keep him from going into atrial fibrillation (probably spelled wrong).

My mom told him that I said he should talk to a doctor about it, especially asking about side effects, and now he refuses to discuss it at all.

Someone I know had hallucinations when they were taking lamictal...they saw cats and flies everywhere. They said they knew what they were seeing wasn't real, because it didn't make sense, but they could still see it.

Freaky!
formerly Castella
(my dogs aren't snarly, my hair is)
Your post reminds of an Art Bell show I heard a few years ago. It was all about "shadow people", very similar to what your Dad says he sees. I was driving home from somewhere late that night and I remember how eerie the whole thing was. It was a discussion about people's experiences with these shadowy gray figures that were kind of just lurking in their peripheral vision or something along those lines.
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Does he seem to have any other hallucinations or visual issues?

My mom had hallucinations on some Parkinson's meds too, but if you're into doing some paranormal research, he could be seeing shadow people.

I guess if he's not bothered by them that's good. just google "shadow people" and you'll get many links.
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If your father is taking lots of medications and seeing things, I would definitely advise him to speak with a doctor about it.

However, I believe in ghosts and demons and I've had many strange/unexplained experiences. If it's not your father's medication maybe you should suggest he pray or meditate.
I just want to do what I want to do when I want to do it.
i've seen/felt ghosts off and on all my life. so i'm definitely a believer. my husband sees stuff too.

but my gut is that your dad needs to get checked out. and yes, meds can cause all sorts of reactions.

good luck.... it's hard watching parents get older, isn't it?
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I do believe in ghosts, but this sounds slightly different.

If you could, I would have him talk to someone about it. Is he sleeping? I know that if someone doesn't sleep, they start to see shadow people and the shadow people are menacing (won't let the person leave the room). It's the brains way of coping without sleep.
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Dark upright shadows could even be his vision. Are they there all the time or do they make appearances? Whatever it is, he should definitely get a thorough physical, including an eye exam by an ophthalmologist (not an optometrist - no offense to any curly optoms). Eliminate the possibility of disease and drug side effects and then if he still sees ghosts and he's not bothered by them, at least you know his health is okay.
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Dark upright shadows could even be his vision. Are they there all the time or do they make appearances? Whatever it is, he should definitely get a thorough physical, including an eye exam by an ophthalmologist (not an optometrist - no offense to any curly optoms). Eliminate the possibility of disease and drug side effects and then if he still sees ghosts and he's not bothered by them, at least you know his health is okay.
Originally Posted by hmkenny
I like this response. And I agree with all of you that said he should follow up this issue with his MD. As we get older, many things can suddenly crop up, as our bodies are not regenerating at the speed it did when we were young. I often wonder what I will have to deal with when my parents start to seriously decline. It makes me sad to know that one day they will no longer be here, physically, with me.

As to the shadows, could be visions, or maybe not. I don't disspell the possibility either as, like a few here on the board, I've had unusual experiences on and off most of my life. Usually in dreams, actually, which come to fruition, and quite a number of times with people I've not had direct personal (face-to-face) contact with. My mother told me that my great-grandmother was psychic, and saw and interacted with some of theses 'ghosts' she saw.
And as an 8 year old I saw a vision. Though the face was dark/obscure enough that I couldn't see the features, I still remember clearly what she wore, what she said, and her touch. I found out years later that what I had seen was what the Cuban Catholics call 'La Virgen de Mercedes' - the Virgin of Mercy. They claim she comes to children in distress. The Virgin of Mercy is one of the names given to the Virgin Mary, I was later told.
I don't mind talking about it much anymore, because most people think I'm a bit eccentric or loopy anyway. LOL
However, in my defense, I had a biofeedback session about a year ago, and the tech asked me if I get 'feelings' or what they would call 'intuition'. I told her mostly dreams, and she said the machine was registering a higher than average neurological wave which they'd found to be common amongst people with some intuitive abilities. I'd love to know where that intuition is when I make bad decisions! LOL
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Castella,

Do you have any updates? I don't think anyone mentioned that it could be migraines, too, possibly. (Which, it's lucky for him if it is and he's not in a lot of pain! Some people don't have the pain symptoms but get shadows and things.)

alim- that's awesome! Now I totally want to have a test...
The pews never miss a sermon but that doesn't get them one step closer to Heaven.
-Speckla

But at least the pews never attend yoga!
Thanks for all the good ideas. I don't really have any updates. I saw my folks in May. His vision has been checked pretty thoroughly since he recently had cataracts removed, and lenses inserted for each eye. He probably didn't mention it to the eye doctors though.

His big worry now is atrial fibrilation (prob. spelled wrong) and the medication he has to take to control it, along with all the other medications. He's very tired and weak, and the medication makes him bloat and swell. So he eats less, trying to reduce the feeling of being bloated, and that makes him weaker.

What's curious to me is that both he and my mother are so blase and matter of fact about the ghost thing and neither thinks it's an issue. They're not really matter-of-fact and accepting people especially when it comes to health issues. I don't really know what to think about it. His behavior seems normal and since they don't want to talk about it, I haven't pushed it.
formerly Castella
(my dogs aren't snarly, my hair is)
My mother's companion was diagnosed a few months ago with Parkinson's. The tremors Parkinson's typically causes were slight. His MD put him on 3 different medications. Ever since, he's been hallucinating SEVERELY. The poor man was so terrified because he kept seeing these men coming after him with guns trying to hurt him. It was so bad that my mother had to take him to the ER last weekend. The MD on call took him off 2 of the 3 medications and gave him something for the hallucinations and he is feeling better now. He will occasionally see something like children playing in the backyard and he will tell my mother that he sees them but he knows they're not really there. Even these mild hallucinations seem to be decreasing. I know your father seeing ghosts might be considered different than what I just described, but my point is that medicine can have some very strange side effects.
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Just think I used to worry 'bout things like that,
Used to worry 'bout rich and skinny, 'til I wound up poor and fat,
Nowadays I kind of worry where my mind's been at,
Just think I used to worry 'bout things like that. (Delbert McClinton - I Used to Worry from Never Been Rocked Enough)
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My mother's companion was diagnosed a few months ago with Parkinson's. The tremors Parkinson's typically causes were slight. His MD put him on 3 different medications. Ever since, he's been hallucinating SEVERELY. The poor man was so terrified because he kept seeing these men coming after him with guns trying to hurt him. It was so bad that my mother had to take him to the ER last weekend. The MD on call took him off 2 of the 3 medications and gave him something for the hallucinations and he is feeling better now. He will occasionally see something like children playing in the backyard and he will tell my mother that he sees them but he knows they're not really there. Even these mild hallucinations seem to be decreasing. I know your father seeing ghosts might be considered different than what I just described, but my point is that medicine can have some very strange side effects.
Originally Posted by VTmom
My dad, who also has Parkinson's, has lately been seeing non-existent snakes in the house. He actually got up in the middle of the night and cut off the wire for the controls for his hospital bed, thinking he was killing a snake. We had to hide all the sharp instruments. He's in the late stages of the disease, so cutting down his medication significantly increases his tremors, etc. I'm not too worried about his mind being fuzzy, which I don't think can be fixed at this stage, but the paranoia is a real problem.

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