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Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: My dad is using ghosts to explain his strange behaviour


 xebex23 - Sat Apr 11, 2009 5:47 am

Hi,

Over the past year, my Mum (55) has been telling me of a strange thing that happens in the spare room, she'll go in in the morning and open the curtains, then sometimes (i'm not sure how often this happens) she'll go back in and the curtains will have been closed. To begin with i asked if she was sure she had actually opened the curtains and she was certain that she had. I've had a few brief conversations with both my parents and they both don't seem to know what is causing this strange occurence and seem to be siding with the idea that it's a ghost.

Last week i stayed in their spare room, and in the morning my dad (68) woke me up with a cup of tea and opened the curtains. I then went to the toilet, and as i was sitting on the loo i heard him very quietly go back into the spare room. I wondered what he was up to but didn't really think much of it, i went back in and thought it was strange that the curtains were closed, as i was certain i'd seen him open them just a few minutes earlier, i shrugged it off just assuming that i'd been mistaken and i hadnt seen him open them at all.

Then this week i went to see them again and they were talking about the curtains and how strange it was and how it's got to be a ghost cos there wasn't any other explanation, and it all started to fit together; It seems to me as if my dad is doing this and has convinced himself and my mum that it's a ghost.

So now i'm worried as to why he's doing this, is it early onset of dementia? or does he have some psychiatric problems? I know he's not doing it as a joke as the way he talks about it is quite serious and ive heard him talk very convincingly of other ghosts that he's experienced when he was younger. I don't know how to approach my parents, or even if its worth it. But that he might be doing this becasue of some kinda of psychiatric problem, and it could get worse for instance if he doesn't gett he attention he's after or whatever the reason is he's doing it for.

Please offer some advice.
 Faye Lang, RN, MSW - Mon Apr 20, 2009 3:33 pm

Hi xebex23,

What an interesting occurrence! I doubt that your father's interest in having ghosts is a sign of dementia or significant mental illness. In the current world, there is much attention being paid to ghost experiences, and your father is joining in and undoubtedly getting attention. If your mother is frightened by the curtain pulling, confess to both of them that you heard your father go into the room and close the curtains. He will likely have an explanation. If she's not frightened by it, then their enjoyment of having ghosts is basically harmless, and you can monitor the situation.
There are many unexplained things that happen, and some have been proven to be caused by a person, much like your father.

Good luck to you and your parents.
Faye, RN, MSW

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