My dad is unaware he has psychosis. He knows he has anxiety and depression, but not psychosis. It’s been going on for about 6 months now. He may have had a similar psychotic episode 30 years ago when I was really young, but as far as I know wasn’t diagnosed with schizophrenia. He is 60 and physically very healthy, recently retired, extremely smart and well educated, but had always had anxiety and hypochondria.
Covid was/is scary for my dad, he and my mom sheltered at their cottage and have rarely left since March. 6 months ago he went to the city to check his mail at his condo and he found a letter from the municipal court at his city address but for a random person’s name, and my mom just returned to sender. He is convinced that the letter was for him (despite being addressed to a stranger) and he must have committed a crime under a fake name (the “crime” he thinks he committed isn’t even a crime) . He believes he is under investigation and the police are coming for him any day now (and watching him, and monitoring/listening to his calls, looking for him, etc). He is obsessed and convinced he is going to prison. He quit all activities and cut ties with a lot of people to not “bring them down with him”, and made some irresponsible financial decisions in case they freeze his assets. Everyone can tell he isn’t himself and something is off. He’s also having a second delusion where he is certain that he was an absent father and terrible husband, which couldn’t be further from the truth. He was my primary parent, he did everything (my sister agrees!) but he thinks he was always traveling and working. He thinks I’m the one who is misremembering. Both delusions seem to be guilt based.
Another letter was received from the municipal court a few weeks ago, also his address but a random person’s name, but he doesn’t know about it (I hid it from him). I opened it - as expected it has nothing to do with my dad it’s just a wrong address, and it’s a small fine for public urination for a 20 year old outside a night club (the guy’s birthday and location of the infraction are in the letter) - I’ve already confirmed with the municipal court that they have the wrong address, they said they would stop sending letters. I decided not to tell my dad because I didn’t think he would believe me (so far no logic or evidence has helped to lessen the delusion it only makes it worse).
Now my dad wants me to help him find a lawyer and he’s willing to pay “whatever it takes” . I don’t want him to waste all his money on this. But I don’t know how to stop him either. My dad was so worked up he and my mom went to the city today to check the mail again. My mom found another letter from the municipal court and hid it (I’m pretty pissed the city are still sending the letters after I sent them proof they had the wrong address). I’m now wondering if I should show my dad the letter. He’ll see it really is just a wrong address and has nothing to do with him.
My dad talked to a therapist a couple of times but stopped because, according to my dad, the therapist didn’t want to talk about ‘legal issues’. I don’t know how true that is. My dad also won’t see a psychiatrist, he says he knows he should but he’s not ready… He’s been saying that since September.
I don’t know what to do, I’m the only person my dad trusts and I’m the only one that can help him, but I don’t know how. Do I show him the letter or not? Will it make things better or worse? Do I tell him he is having psychosis?
Edit: we’re in Canada, in case it matters.