101 thoughts on “10 Things You Should Do With Someone Who Suffers Delusions

  • November 6, 2016 at 8:39 pm

    How can you decide what is a delusion, with a person who has been diagnosed with f22 delusion disorder,

    Reply
  • February 18, 2017 at 8:54 am

    Should have read about delusional disorders years ago. My adopted daughter and I are enstranged, but I am raising her son. For years she would not admit she signed the custody agreement, missed court dates, etc. She actually told people I would not allow her to see her son. I have been called a kidnapper, crazy lady and more.
    My reaction was anger, unfortunately, because she refused therapy and denied anything was wrong. For the last 6 years she has moved 4 times and had another child, who does not live with her full-time because of neglect issues in the past.
    She’s 26 y.o. so at this point I try to pray for her, but truthfully I am mostly just angry. I do have a therapist that gets me and my mixed emotions.
    Great article

    Reply
    • February 19, 2017 at 9:58 am

      Hi sherryericha,
      thank you for your comment. I will be writing another article for this coming Wednesday on delusions, so stay tuned.
      I’m sorry you are struggling with this. It has to be painful and frustrating. Someone who is struggling with delusions (if that is in fact what she has) is very difficult to co-exist with. It is like their lives are “created” in their heads and somehow they find “proof” (although not proof to more healthy functioning people) to confirm their delusion. As you will see this coming Wednesday, delusional thought patterns are extremely complicated.

      Take care

      Reply
      • February 20, 2017 at 3:49 pm

        Hi, can you offer any strategies on how to get the paranoid delusional person to agree that a problem exists or on how to get them to agree to get help?

        Reply
      • February 20, 2017 at 9:21 pm

        Hi Concerned,
        You ask a rather challenging question that many mental health professionals struggle to answer. Because of how the mental health system is set up to protect the rights of adults who may have mental health challenges, the adult always has to agree to treatment. There is no other way to get someone into treatment unless they are court ordered (that is, ordered by a Judge to get treatment). There are various circumstances that could lead to a court order, but in most cases, this does not happen.

        Sadly, the person has to agree or be willing to get help. Therapy is not going to work if they don’t think there is a problem or refuse it all together. I will be discussing this very topic on Wednesday.
        Take care

        Reply
      • May 24, 2017 at 6:15 am

        Do you have a link to this post as that would help me tremendously.

        Reply
      • May 26, 2017 at 9:52 am

        I’m not sure what you are looking for exactly but you can obtain the link by going to the article itself and copying the link. If I misunderstood you, please let me know!

        Reply
      • May 31, 2017 at 9:44 am

        Hi

        Sorry I wasn’t very clear on my comment. In my comment Im replying to your comment where you say “Sadly, the person has to agree or be willing to get help. Therapy is not going to work if they don’t think there is a problem or refuse it all together. I will be discussing this very topic on Wednesday.
        Take care”. Did you discuss that topic in another post somewhere which is what I meant. I need to approach someone who we feel may have a somatic type of delusional disorder who believes they don’t need help so need someone to potentially help me intervene.

        Reply
      • June 2, 2017 at 7:36 pm

        Hi “Looking for answers,”
        Thanks for clarifying. I did not! I decided to move that topic to this coming Wednesday. I did discuss it in other articles, however. You may find some of that information via these links. Be sure to check in this coming Wednesday for sure!

        Thanks, take care!

        https://blogs.psychcentral.com/caregivers/2016/08/what-therapy-is-is-not-10-considerations/

        https://blogs.psychcentral.com/caregivers/2017/01/15-ways-you-are-resisting-therapy-or-recovery/

        https://blogs.psychcentral.com/caregivers/2016/01/8-things-that-run-clients-away-from-therapy/

        Reply
      • June 24, 2017 at 9:30 am

        Hi
        I am dealing with a similar issue. They think he has somatic delusions. But that means he believes he has physical not mental health issues. So logically why would he get any mental help? He is completely obsessed and getting worse. But the system has said he has the right to be extremely mentally ill .As a consequence, what started out minor has become overwhelming and no doubt really hard to fix Now. I don’t a free with the theory that delusional people have the right to be in a delusion that destroys their life. It us the illness.

        Reply
      • June 24, 2017 at 10:32 am

        Hi Sharona,
        Thanks for your comment.

        It sounds to me as if this person may have delusions as well as tendencies of a hypochondriac. In other words, there is definitely (from the sounds of it) a somatic component, but that isn’t all there is to the situation. I would suggest getting the input of a psychiatrist or someone who is highly experienced with psychotic disorders. You don’t want to rely on the “expertise” of medical providers who may not have psychiatric experience or who do not have the “tools” to evaluate other potential causes for the somatic delusions (and possibly psychotic behaviors). If he is getting worse, as you put it, he needs to pursue a psychiatrist who can give him both a psychiatric and medical evaluation and diagnosis.

        Take care

        Reply
  • March 3, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    What triggers the delusions? My husband has gotten worse with his accusations of my constant cheating and plots to deceive him or planning to have him killed. He is convinced her heard me talking to other men on the phone and that my employees and mother is involved. He has decided to move out based on most recent evidence that he won’t share specifics. I love my husband but I am also very angry and hurt at the situation and accusations. I’ve taken a lie detector test and that didn’t help he thinks I somehow manipulated it or somehow convinced the person administering the lie detector test to falsify the results. He has his family members I’ve done all of these horrible things. He works in the mental health field. How can I get him to seek help? I don’t want to lose my family and want the man I loved back.

    Reply
    • March 4, 2017 at 11:50 pm

      Hi Broken,
      Thank you for your question.
      It is very difficult for mental health professionals to identify what the triggers are for some people. The trigger could be anything occurring in the environment such as a tone of voice, a flash of light, a thought, an internal feeling or emotion, anxiety, stress, depression, physical illness, etc. Narrowing down what the trigger for delusional thoughts are, for some people, can take years. There are people who were once triggered by one thing and is no longer triggered by it. Or…there are some people who are triggered by the seasons, the weather, or a holiday one year, and may never be triggered by it again. It’s very scary how delusions can shift, change, or disappear.
      I don’t blame you for being angry. You have the right to. Yet, he cannot help that he is ill. It’s a balancing act and I’m sorry to say it will be a long road. You will want to protect yourself legally, psychologically, emotionally, and even physically if necessary.
      Take good care

      Reply
    • April 16, 2017 at 11:11 am

      Broken,

      I am in the same situation. My husband is convinced i cheated on him. He brings me these weird cell phone videos where there’s nothing but black screen and someone says something unrecognisable that he amplifies the volume and tells me it’s be hiding in our room with another man though the video shows nothing. Not to mention it’s a video on his Verizon cloud so it’s a video taken from his cell phone. He’s packed all his things and left me and the kids 4x making a huge scene. Calling my family members, all our friends. Telling them made up stories about all the terrible things i do. It’s humiliating. And devastating. I feel like I’ve lost the love of my life. I waited 32 years for him and I’ve lost him to paranoid delusions. I’m so so angry. I no longer feel any empathy for him. I can’t even entertain his delusions. I just refuse to discuss it. I don’t know what else to do. I just want to run away but i cant. We have 3 kids…. My beautiful future, all our dreams are disappearing in front of my eyes. I’m scared, hurt, humiliated, losing hope….. I’d give up anything. ANYTHING. To have my husband back. Anything

      Reply
    • November 30, 2018 at 1:16 pm

      hello Broken
      I wanted to touch base with you and find out how things are going. my wife has recently been going through the same delusional thoughts. thankfully she wanted to get help only because she felt her life was in danger. she spent a week in the a behavioral hospital where she got the meds to help with the disorder. we are not looking into phycologist to help with living a healthier life.
      the key for you would be to help support him with friends and family to get help

      Reply
      • January 2, 2019 at 1:58 pm

        We have a friend who used to live with us,she started accusing my husband of putting cameras in the airvents and smoke alarms.
        when she told us this I got irritated ,defensive that she would accuse him of this.
        She thinks that because my husband used to work for the city in the Information Technology Dept. that he’s doing this plus she thinks he’s doing things to her cell phone, he has told bbn her that he doesn’t know anything about cell phones.
        can she get my husband into trouble with the law about this(my husband is retired) ,.What can we do?
        Should I tell her that she needs to see a mental health professional.
        She also sees things,hears things, taste things we don’t .
        She says people are following her ,spying on her,talking about her recording conversations.
        what should we do,my husband says to stay out of it and leave it to her mother to deal with.I thought about telling her what I’ve been reading about these mental disorders, but said not to.
        I need some advice about what to do, my pcp told me to get away from her ,HOW?
        please help us ESPECIALLY about her accusations. Thanks

        Reply
    • May 15, 2019 at 5:11 pm

      I’m actually dealing with the same thing! My husband has moved out for almost 6 months now. In need of help

      Reply
  • March 15, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    My boyfriend, who I have known for 25yrs and dated for the last eight, began having periodic episodes that mimicked schizophrenia, or delusional disorder. He would become paranoid, accuse me of plotting against him, have disillusion of him working for the county doing such top secret work under cover agents had to constantly surveillance him for our protection. These episodes seemed to come and go. He could be totally normal, sometimes for months and then crash into bizarre thinking and behavior lasting anywhere from a couple days to two weeks. For the most part while immersed in the delusion there was no convincing him of reality. His actions and behavior did not seem odd to him. That’s when I realized that crazy people, don’t know they’re crazy. Everything they are doing makes perfect sense to them. They are in a different realm of reality.

    There were some points, however, at which he seemed to briefly be aware and confused about what he was doing. Almost as though he knew something wasn’t right, but couldn’t put his finger on it. In hopes of finding a trigger to his episodes I began a journal. From the log I was able to track obvious triggers, such as stress. I noted a pattern of behavior that would lead up to an episode, such as he would change his sleeping pattern. Rather than a full 8-10hr sleep, he would sleep 2-3hrs, if at all. He would spend money frivolously and either become very needy and insecure, or overly confident and condescending to others. Strangely I also noted his voice would change. He would start speaking through his nose as if he had a cold.

    Based on the reasoning that there was such a fluctuation in personality. He was completely normal for weeks, or months, than lost in delusion for days. It occurred to me that he must be experiencing some sort of chemical imbalance. I started researching online and came across an article about a Doctor that had found miraculous improvement in patients with schizophrenia by administering vitamin B3 (niacin) and vitamin C supplements to their diet. After years of clinical studies and research he even concluded that vitamin B3 could be a possible cure for patients with schizophrenia.

    Read one of many of the published findings here: http://www.orthomolecularvitamincentre.com/a_hoffer_schizophrenia.php

    I began my boyfriend on a daily vitamin regime which included a multi vit in the morning and then B3(niacin) 500 mg after meals, vitamin C 1000 mg after meals, folic acid 15 mg daily, vitamin B-12 l mg subliminally daily, l-lysine 1000 mg after each meal, vitamin E 400 iu daily and zinc citrate 50 mg daily.

    I could see noted improvement in a week. After a month he seemed more clear minded with no episodes. Month 2 he forgot to take the vitamins for just two days and started into having an episode. Once he took the supplements his paranoia diminished within 24hrs. He has now been regularly taking the vitamin supplements for four months. If he forgets a dose he will start showing signs of having an episode in 24-72hrs. As soon as he replenishes his body he returns to a healthy state of mind.

    I am completely amazed at his improvement. It’s like a miracle and offers hope for the future. I am so grateful to Dr. Abram and his research. I wanted to share my hope with others suffering. Especially since its such an affordable, readily available treatment with no side effects or risks involved. It can even be taken with existing medication, but of course verify with your current treating physician.

    I’d be interested to hear if after starting the B3 treatment if anyone else finds it was as miraculously helpful as I did, so please post your results.

    Reply
    • February 16, 2018 at 9:09 pm

      Hi w8ing4u,

      I realize you’re post was from quite some time ago, but I thought I’d take a chance and see if I could reach you. I’m wondering how you got your boyfriend to take the vitamins?

      Reply
  • March 15, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    Hi Tamara,

    Thanks for offering guidance on helping folks with delusions. I thought this person (her latest email message is below) had moved-on to focus on other things — but in the last 24 hours, she has sent me two anxious emails requesting that I get in touch.

    Background: Over the past 5-7 years, both Susan (not her real name) and I participated in the same contra dance group (like square dancing). It’s friendly and easygoing — everybody partners everybody else from time to time (out of a population around 75 people each night).

    Susan is about 35. I’m 60. We have probably danced together a dozen times in the last 5 years. We have never had even a 30 second conversation. She is very awkward socially, and somehow came to the conclusion that my courtesy and kindness meant that I was attracted to her. She then dreamed-up an entire relationship based on her daydreams and delusions. She briefly stalked me on Facebook, and has sent various lengthy emails detailing imaginary interactions between us.

    It’s clear that Susan is in long-term therapy. She has not appeared much at the dance in the last year, and stopped emailing me. I thought maybe she had moved-on. Today’s messages showed that was a vain hope.

    Can you please offer some guidance on how to best reply to Susan ? I don’t want to hurt her by simply ignoring her. I don’t want to make her more upset. I don’t want to get involved with her in any way (definitely no “meeting to clear the air”).

    My Mom has had some delusional episodes, and I learned not to contradict the delusion. It’s trickier in this case — her delusion is that I should be relating to her, and I definitely want to avoid getting sucked into that vortex !

    Thanks for any light you can shed, or advice you can offer.

    Susan’s latest:

    Hi Steve, listen this is a hard email to write, but did you know that the contra dance used to be the light of my life? I had zero hope in my life about 11 years ago, because it seemed the world had given up on me. But then I found so much support at that dance and it rejuvenated me beyond my wildest imagination. I was so poor, I had nothing, but for $8 a week I could dance beyond my wildest dreams. Do you know how rich that made me feel? I felt like I had the world at my feet. Then I had this “sexual attraction” with you for so many years, and I felt like it was the most confusing thing in the world, and in some ways it made me feel like the most important person in the world, and in other ways, I felt like the worst. Because I have come to believe Steve, that you are very scared of me and want absolutely nothing to do with me. In some ways, I feel like I am (or could be) in love with you, but because of age differences and maybe some mental health reasons, it just seems that the attraction between you and myself is very wrong, and it really has caused me much introspection to an extent which I don’t think you can imagine.

    Like I said, that dance used to be the light of my life, but because I have come to believe you are scared to death of me, or maybe even hate me, I’m not really sure, I have come to believe it is a curse to me and my family. Please, I want you to know that I think you’re the nicest guy I ever met, and believe me, that is the biggest understatement I have ever made in light of everything. But please, for my benefit, and maybe yours too, if you really have feelings for me and really do want to see me outside of dance, know that I’m a lot stronger now than I was and a better person than I was. You see, life really was not kind for me for a long time, and these emails between you and me, really were the light of my life that kept my head together- I want you to believe that. I can’t have another shitty year, I just can’t have it anymore, so please reach out to me if you would like a relationship with me. Thank you very much for all your support, I really mean that. Love always, Susan

    Thanks for any ideas and/or guidance !

    Reply
  • March 29, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    Hi Tamara,

    How do you deal with a person who is suffering from a delusion of having another daughter?
    My mother was just diagnosed with advanced stage Parkinson’s and she is currently suffering from a delusion which is part of Parkinson’s Disease Psychosis. She was prescribed Seroquel but cannot take it yet until she has taken Levodopa for one week. I am the only daughter but she is looking for another daughter. This has been going on for 4 days now. When my mother first mentioned this imagined daughter, she got upset when I told her she doesn’t have another daughter, that I am the only one. When we ask her the name of this daughter, she doesn’t know. But sometimes she refers to this daughter using my name and sometimes she looks for me. But she sometimes also asks me about this imagined daughter. Just to stop my mother looking for this imagined daughter, my brother said she is doing volunteer work elsewhere. She was upset that this imagined daughter left without saying goodbye to her and has been waiting for this daughter to call or to come home (my mother lives with me and my husband). Now, when she talks about this daughter with me, I just ignore her or switch to another topic. She’s losing sleep worrying about this imagined daughter. We think she is looking for a younger version of me (I am 53 now) when I was still single and we were very close. My brother thinks, in order for some closure, that I play along by pretending to leave as myself, then return as the imagined daughter wearing different clothes. Then this imagined daughter (me pretending) will leave again but say goodbye to her and reassure her not to worry while I’m away. Then after a while, my real self will return. (Sorry if I confused you). Do you think it is ok to do this? It might not even work because whenever she sees me, she asks me about this imagined daughter, so how can I pretend to be this daughter? How should we deal with her delusion? And if I play along with the charade my brother suggested, I’m concerned that the memory of this imagined daughter becomes permanent in her mind.

    Thank you for any guidance you can provide.

    Reply
    • March 31, 2017 at 3:46 pm

      Hi Concerned Daughter,
      I’m sorry to hear this. This is a challenging situation and seems very closely related to the condition called: “false pregnancy” or Pseudocyesis. This is the delusion that one is pregnant. The delusion that one has a child may be related to this condition. I would research this term and learn a bit about it. You may find this website as a good starting ground: https://mindhacks.com/2009/03/11/delusions-of-pregnancy/. Avoiding the “hype” of the topic is essential as some websites just like benefiting from the interesting nature of the topic and may “over-report” or exaggerate information. But I think it’s worth considering and studying.

      I would encourage you to avoid playing into the delusion at all. You don’t want to try to “appease” the person or “play into” their skewed perceptions and beliefs. You don’t want to outright reject their belief either as this can cause anger and resentment. Although the situation may seem slightly simple (by you pretending to be the “imagined daughter”) it is not. You could reinforce the delusion in such a way that she becomes angry with you if she sees you are “mocking” her in some fashion. You don’t want to lose credibility with her. If she will agree to see a therapist, that would be even better. You could frame the situation like this: “I see that you are really stressed over this daughter and I want to help you cope. Because I care about you, I am stressed and worried too. Can we see a therapist together to discuss this and learn some ways to cope?” This might be the only way you can get her into therapy so that a therapist can truly deal with this disturbing behavior. Something is going on and a therapist would be able to better assess how to deal with it.

      Take care

      Reply
    • August 24, 2019 at 2:58 am

      Concerned Daughter left her message a long time ago, and I suspect her mother’s delusions may have been adequately treated by now (or at least explained to here by a competent professional treating her mother), but I’d like to add this for the benefit of anyone concerned about delusions in an individual who has Parkinson’s:

      In Parkinson’s, “Hallucinations and delusions are most often caused by high levels of dopamine in the brain. This is generally due to the medications used to manage motor symptoms of PD [Parkinson’s Disease]. It can be trial and error to find the right balance…

      “There is only one drug, pimavanserin, approved in 2016 by the FDA specifically for PD. It has a mechanism of action that doesn’t block dopamine. This has made it a safer drug for people with Parkinson’s. Two other medications, quetiapine and clozapine, that have been used for a longer time, are also considered safe for treating hallucinations and delusions in people with PD.” [https://parkinsonsdisease.net/clinical/hallucinations-delusions/]

      Reply
  • May 11, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    As Lost and Broken both shared I am also currently in the midst of being the recipient of my husband’s full blown delusion. I never knew this was even possible for a mind to go there when for the most part they are a vibrant, wonderful, loving person. My husband now hates me, doesn’t want to see, moved out almost immediately and is now speaking divorce – all because he firmly believes that I have been sleeping with my son-in-law – someone who was my husband’s best friend and who looked up my husband as a father! Hard to fathom, honestly. How is this my life right now? It is so difficult to function, go to work, take care of home and property, our pets and I never stop thinking this is all due to something untrue. I begin counseling next week. But as the other ladies stated, how awful that your life can change so quickly for no real reason. My husband will not waiver on his thoughts and he will not seek any help at all. I dream I could secretly give him some drugs to help him. How terrible that he may be able to be helped but would ignore it. I am sorry to say too that because of the nastiness he texts me I do not write back with hate or anger but I do argue it – it is so difficult not to. I just keep searching for more articles to try and help me through this. It is the saddest thing ever.

    Reply
    • May 14, 2017 at 4:39 pm

      Hi Bewildered,
      I am so sorry you are experiencing this. This is very overwhelming. You would be surprised to know that I have over 8 clients who are dealing with this same thing. In fact, in my 8 years of being in the field, I have worked with at least 10 women who have husbands who struggle with delusions. The delusions are often very similar which includes a strong conviction (despite evidence to the contrary) that their wife is cheating on them. This is a very common delusion. In fact, for many men struggling with erotomanic or jealous delusions, they also struggle with delusions of persecution (believing others are persecuting them in some way), which muddies the waters even more. In situations like these, it is important that you protect yourself, pursue your own therapy for ways to cope, and keep educating yourself (as you are doing searching for articles).

      I do want to caution you to be careful with what you read online and try to stick to articles, blogs, videos, etc. that come from reputable sources such as the National Institute of Mental Health, psychologytoday, goodtherapy.org, healthline, NAMI, psychguides.com, medicalnewstoday, etc.

      I wish you all the best, hang in there

      Articles you may find interesting:
      1. http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/psychpedia/erotomania
      2. https://www.mentalhelp.net/articles/of-othello-and-delusional-jealousy/

      Reply
    • January 19, 2018 at 3:35 pm

      Lost, Broken and Bewildered,
      I am in the same boat as you all are for the past 2 decades and more! I understand perfectly how angry and frustrated, hurt,humiliated and hopeless you feel. It is like living in a nightmare and walking on hot coals all the time. I am exhausted from it and can’t take it anymore. My husband, like yours thinks he is fine, I am the problem! No way will he ever take meds…how can he keep his eyes on me and continue to question every move I make if he is “drugged to the eyeballs”?
      A couple of the psychiatrists we went to told me that these are the men who kill their wives, or the suspected lover or themselves! I have spent my entire life protecting the children, myself and him from his delusional thoughts and I am so worn out from it.
      In all other walks of life he appears successful and fully functional and he really was my perfect partner. It is really tough trying to remain compassionate towards him when all I get on a daily basis is hostility and hatred and abuse.
      I hope you can find the strength to cope or to walk away knowing that you tried everything possible to help make things right. Sometimes you have to put your own safety and health top of the list for a change. You won’t be “happy” but the peace is wonderful! If only I could get over the guilt of walking away and forgive myself for giving up on him I would be fine!
      I wish you all the best of luck and blessings

      Reply
  • May 14, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    Hi..I’m jus tryng to find sm answers..for years I’ve been told tht I suffer from bipolar disorder. Recently, I’ve been going thru a lot n have been under a lot of stress. A few months bk, my bf startd mentioning I was delusional. I started becoming extremely paranoid; everyone was out to get me, and I cldnt trust anyone. Wen its rlly bad,I can’t go anywhr or rlly function. My bf unfortunately, is my main target n lately starting frm a few weeks ago, his social media sites n phone trigger me big time. It sets me off to the point whr I can barely control my anger cuz I Kno or believe tht he’s cheating on me. It’s an obsessive thought I spend hours on..jus yday I became convinced tht he’s now gay n cheating on me w his best fren n omg I can’t write the rest of what I think..I truly believe this world I live in..othr times it’s like m walking between two realities..no one in my life is spared frm my “delusional/paranoid” beliefs..this proof tht I gather smhow always supports wht I believe is going on..I also experience hallucinations. Am I going crazy? I feel like I need help..m so lost n m scared my bf will leave me to be lost by myslf.

    Reply
    • May 14, 2017 at 4:57 pm

      Hi “Konfuzed Kat,”
      I strongly encourage you to seek out a therapist who can help you work through this. The therapist can not only help you work through your thoughts and beliefs (that may not be rooted in truth), but help you maintain a healthy relationship with your boyfriend. For many individuals struggling with delusional-like thoughts, the relationship is often headed for doom because the individual becomes a burden, especially if they refuse to seek out treatment. I find it interesting that you are well aware of the fact that some of your thought patterns may be “delusional.” It is very difficult to determine if your thoughts are delusional or obsessive, because they could be both or they could be one or the other. In other words, you may not be suffering from delusions. You may be suffering from an OCD-like pattern of thinking which includes obsessions and compulsions. If you find yourself feeling strongly encouraged to look at his phone when you start having obsessive thoughts of him cheating on you, you might have some symptoms of OCD. A therapist would be able to assess you and support you.

      I encourage you to seek out a therapist near you by going to: http://www.psychologytoday.com and typing in your zipcode. You can contact the therapist that best suites you and ask for an assessment.
      All the best

      Reply
  • May 22, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    Hi, my Mom has a strong delusion that a young boy is trying to get in the places she lives. She thinks he lived on the roof or in the walls. I have helped her move 8 times in the last 5 years. Everywhere she goes he is there. She has called the police many times. She is now 2 days in assisted living community and thinks he is getting in her room All doors have alarms, we have shown her these safety features. Otherwise, she is very logic, takes care of herself. I am the only one who sees her, the rest of her family can’t handle her obsession. Any ideas, i think i am going insane.

    Reply
    • May 26, 2017 at 9:51 am

      Hi Bin,
      I’m so sorry you are dealing with this. This is very challenging, especially when it is your mom because you love and care about her. The other thing that is really difficult is the fact that you can’t easily pinpoint an answer or way to help her. That’s the case for most people with delusions. They take many forms and can sometimes last a long time. Other people may have a temporary delusion and move past it, while others remain that way for long periods of time despite therapy, medication, or a combination of the two. Do you think that perhaps she could also be experiencing Alzheimer’s Disease or early stages of dementia? If she is living in an assisted living facility I suppose she is up in age. You may want to talk to the facility about this or the doctor she sees so that she can get an evaluation. In the meantime, “pamper” yourself by engaging in what is called “self-care.” Do things that make you feel less stressed and that are healthy so that you can cope with your mother’s challenges better.

      My mom used to say “you can’t feed the crowd if you don’t feed yourself first.” She was so right.
      Educate yourself about Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia and delusions. You may want to look up information for seniors to see if you can figure out how best to cope with her.

      I wish you all the best and take good care

      Reply
  • May 28, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    Hmmm mm… Hi, Recently I had hooked. Up with a women, we have known each other since we were very young, her mother passed when she was 18, she had been in and out of Abusive relationships, and relationships,most her life, that I no, she has 3 Daughters 2 Younger girls age 8 and 12 years to her most recent relationship and a 18yr old, to her past relationship, now I want you to keep this in mind, at this time, this woman is appeserlutly beautiful she’s 38 at this time, and has the body of her younger 18 year old self, but all so at this time, she has parted half’s with the house with her X, and still hasn’t found a place for her self, had a restraining order placed on her for verbal abuse against her X, who now also has custody of ther 2 Younger daughters now, the oldest will not talk to her, and she hasn’t been able to talk or see her girls now for a few months, with I believe has made a deeper impact on her illness, she’s lost all her friends, and the wolves are seeing a venerable low self esteem, wealthy and UN able to make her own decisions in life, confused, sexy beautiful lost women, We had been on and of over a 3 to 4yr. Period in the past Before the house was sold or the lose of her girls, she was kind of on the decline then but nothing to the extent of how she is now, the Comment on this topic of articles By Támara Hill, MS, LPG are to a Tee” and tried to help, and was starting to question my own sanity, She now believes, that random people she knose or once was friends with are being murdered,and that there all after her (Friends),, she has 3 Mobile phones, which I also think play a large part of her delusional thoughts, I’ve also noticed, that they are the trigger of the beginning of the down ward spiral pattern, she believes that her phones are taped and that people are deleting her numbers, and switching stuff around in her phone, eat, every part that makes up a delusional person, she has, and more, it’s really sad for me to watch her now go down this path, I believe if this goes on for not much longer, she would of fallen so deep in that not even professional help will be available I’m worried scared help me please.. Jayson

    Reply
  • June 27, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    Wow, I wish I found this article years ago. I have lived with a spouse who may have a delusional disorder. It is my opinion that it started when she was young. Even though she developed mild cerebral palsy due to complications at brith and ended up with a developmental disability that effected her intellectual development, her parents, teachers and even I encouraged her to believe she can accomplish anything if she believe in herself and work hard. I still think that is true and she shattered all the odds; however, she ended up interpreting this and her career success as a validation that she is normal and do not have physical or mental challenges that negatively impacts her ability to reason and think logically, which subsequently created conflict in our relationship. As a result, she created an entire alternate reality of our experience together from college, to the point I had to escape her 11 years of psychological and emotional abuse to another timezone due to the increasing intensity of her delusions. What makes matters worst, I believe her father may also have a more sever delusional disorder. And he is the leader of her family clan. She would open up and close down for years. She would open up just enough to give me enough information to adjust my approach, then she would close down and become hostile just enough for me to undo all my positive gains. She would described the challenges of the tug of war between my side and her family side and the effect it had on her emotionally. So I asked her family for help and her mom said no. To make matters even more worst, she developed close to stage 4 cancer and she was in the middle of treatment when I said enough was enough. Having cancer empowered her to lose focus on all the work we did and the ground we gained over the past year. This typically happens whenever she is in constant contact with her family and having something serious as cancer put the whole clan back in the picture. As a result, she now denies everything she every said to me over 14 years, she denies everything I did for her over 14 years; basically, she flipped the entire script to turn me into the compulsive liar and the one with a delusional disorder. To be honest, I even asked to take a polygraph test and thats why I am going public for help. The thing is, she can do that because she holds a Top Secret Security Clearance with the FBI in Washington DC. I would believe her over me if I was on the outside looking in and only getting one side of the story. If her employer knew what I knew, that would not be good for our family. But her delusions are now so sever, and with no support since she controlled the health care insurance, all I can do is write about it and pray. I wish I found this article years ago because I have been struggling to get help for us and my only mistake in this was not being intelligent enough myself to deal with such a complicated situation in a healthy and more supportive manner over the years. At this time, I am in the process of going to Dr. Phil to help me with intervention not to save our marriage, because thats done, but to help me save our daughters from a sinking ship. And to find out who is the one actually delusional in this twisted mess. Stay tuned.

    Reply
    • July 2, 2017 at 9:06 pm

      Hi there,
      Thank you for your comment.
      You are experiencing a very stressful and emotionally draining situation. There are often no real tools for dealing with someone who is delusional. I often provide tips and tools that I have learned (over time) are helpful in keeping the peace with someone who is psychotic, experiencing delusions, and even hallucinations. But I must admit, sometimes (especially if the person refuses to get help) moving out of the house or away from them is the remedy.

      It sounds as if her delusions and paranoid beliefs are not “bizarre” (abnormal), but are non-bizarre. The problem with non-bizarre delusions is that most people would believe them because they are not far-fetched or abnormal and the person often comes across as believable and sane. Delusions and paranoia can make loved ones or spouses feel completely trapped. I have had family members of someone who had delusions attempt suicide because life with this person was extremely difficult.

      I am glad to hear that you are reaching out for support.
      Take good care

      Reply
      • August 15, 2017 at 11:08 pm

        I made the mistake and left without taking the kids with me. Now she has filed for custody and the girls are now trapped in her delusional world. It’s like committing suicide feels like my only option at this point to escape her abuse.

        Reply
  • July 5, 2017 at 2:09 am

    Your profession is “against” demonizing people with mental illnesses and the picture chosen is someone with red eyes.

    Makes sense.

    Reply
  • July 5, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    Hello,

    I have looked everywhere on the internet for support for what I have gone through and cannot find anything about my particular situation. I will try and be brief. My boyfriend has bipolar disorder and stopped taking his medication last summer. He became delusional and began having auditory and visual hallucinations. The Kicker? all of his delusions are that he thinks i want to kill him. Since June of last year I have been accused of plotting his murder, giving his dad cancer, killing his aunt, killing his dog, cutting the brakes on his car, poisining him, fighting for the devils regime, having a devil inside of me.

    We broke up in November and he went AWOL. Disappeared from my life, came back in feb, again in april, and now hates me and thinks i am an evil person.

    I don’t want to hear any feedback about how much danger I am in and all of that. That is not why I am posting this. I am very aware of all of those details… Mainly I need support for the trauma this has caused me. I am completely devastated, and I cannot get over this on my own. Trust me i have tried. I have no idea how to process everything I have been through,and there is no information anywhere about it. 99% of our relatioship is always about him and his well being. No one ever asks me how I am doing, or if I”m okay, or how I’m coping. Everyone just thinks i need to get over him and move on. Well i understand that, but I experienced some trauma and I can’t move on until i process it.

    Reply
  • July 11, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    Yep.
    My husband suffers from severe depression with psychotic features. He believes that he has killed someone by giving them aids, that people are hacking his electronics and controlling what songs play on the radio, that he is being watched, that his family has been drugged or kidnapped, and that i have a child by someone else. I have no children. All attempts to wrecken with logic end up in him becoming suicidal, so I am at a complete loss of what to do. The kicker here is that he is taking meds and seeing a counselor, although I feel he really does not truly open up about these delusions to the professionals. This has been going on for many years now and I am afraid that if I leave him he will hurt himself because no one else in the family want to help. He has lost friends and believes that the delusions must be real because no one talks to him anymore. I feel like I am all he has and I am not sure how to handle the situation.

    Reply
  • July 28, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    I have a 27 year old son who is a Navy vet who lives on his own in Florida. He has these “attacks” where he’s in a full fledged panic and convinced his phone is tapped, the city of Orlando, his apartment complex (neighbors), business owners in the area, his apartment is being watched, the police………..are all out to get him…………..everything he sees in everyday life is “proof”. His mind is a prison and his life is hell. Sometimes he’s lucid and rational, but when he’s having one of these attacks, he’s cursing, crying, laughing – desperate. EVERYTHING is proof they’re out to get him – his phone is tapped, his apartment is watched and everything he sees – whether it’s a female standing outside ‘by a sign on her cell phone’ or a ‘red’ car driving fast and one driving slow behind it, and all the cars that are the same color as his ex-boss’s car are ‘following him’, or a Uhaul in the parking lot with music playing loud or a lizard that crawled into his apartment or a cigarette bud that rolled into his apartment or a trash bag left in the complex or trash-a dirty sock-left in the complex, or someone smiling at him and “nodding”, or noises on his cell phone – I mean EVERYTHING is proof these people, who are all connected, are out to get him. He calls me from Orlando to NY in a full fledged panic – cursing, screaming, crying, laughing, saying “oh my God, oh my God..” He has quit two very lucrative jobs and is in the process of leaving his home because he is convinced they are all “out to get him”. We are FINALLY flying him in from Orlando to try and get him some help but this has been hell………..so this article hits home.

    Reply
  • August 15, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    I, too, am living a life of hell with my spouse whom I believe has a delusional disorder. His delusion involve my hiding and doing drugs. When the delusions are not present, it is alright. But when he does…. it scares me because of the change in him and the more I deny his delusions, the more upset he gets. If there is any “proof”, which he says he has and it has nothing to do with drug use, you can see the satisifaction in his face, but when I deny it, boom……
    I have taken drug test, etc, but of course I have rigged it or know someone who has changed the results. He thinks I am lying and playing games with him….. I am so tired of it. But…. have no where to go and no way to get there. That is what is scary. He denies having any problem… it is me of course….. Now I know how these people who get thrown in prison for a crime they did not commit feel…… Absolute hell…. It doesn’t matter that he is the only one that sees the things he sees, according to him, no one else knows what they are looking for. Pray for me and my children please….

    Reply
    • August 15, 2017 at 9:15 pm

      Hi “lostalife”
      I’m so sorry. Thank you for sharing your story. I will certainly say a prayer for you.
      This is a very complicated situation because your husband is seriously ill and his delusions are complicating your relationship. Eventually, his delusions may begin to increase in intensity and detail and maybe even negatively affect your children. It is important that you always be a step ahead and to have what I tell my patients is a “trump card.” That “trump card” is the card you play when things don’t go as planned. When your spouse isn’t taking “no” for an answer and believes he has all the proof in the world to call you a liar, you’ll want to have a “plan b” which could include leaving the house until he calms down (take your children with you), having someone else come over to visit for a while to change the atmosphere and deter his behavior (even if temporary), explaining what you are or are not willing to tolerate, and taking a neutral position (not denying and not confirming).

      Delusions like your spouse’s are dangerous because they are not bizarre (i.e., “there is a cow over there looking at me”) and has a possibility of being true. Because of this, it will be difficult for you to disprove what he believes (as you can see) which will then require you to have to either suggest he get treatment or else…, leave the home until he can see the effects of his actions on his family, seek your own therapy for support, etc. It’s really difficult. But your best bet is to set boundaries and expectations.

      I wish you all the best

      Reply
  • September 22, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    Are there any success stories of people who suffer from delusional disorder?What type of therapist is best suited to treat dd?

    Reply
    • September 24, 2017 at 5:29 pm

      Hi Matthew,
      Thanks for your comment. I wish I could say there was, but not really. Because a delusion is a false conviction or belief held to be true despite strong evidence to the contrary, medication and therapy may or may not be helpful. Medication typically aims to control irritability, depression, anxiety, or impulsivity. Therapy aims to help the person change their view of things and consider alternative meanings to things in an attempt to highlight truth vs fiction. But there is little to no research on recovery for individuals who exhibit delusional thought patterns. Sometimes the delusional beliefs go away, with age and experience, on their own. Some beliefs stay for a very long time but the person learns to keep it hidden in order to appear “normal.”

      It’s a tricky and scary topic because we, as mental health providers, have no real clue how to treat it. A CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapist) may be helpful because they are trained to challenge inaccurate thoughts/beliefs, etc.

      Reply
  • October 25, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    I’ve been dealing with a loved one who I believe is suffering from delusions for the past six months. They believe that they are being givin messages through social media and hired actors, as well as being sureveillanced using stattelites, and space age technologies. It has caused a major strain on our relationship and has caused me much grief in wondering if I will ever get them out of this delusional state. I sometimes feel that I should cut off communication with them, but I’m worried that they may be a harm to themselves. I just don’t know what to do anymore.

    Reply
    • October 27, 2017 at 5:23 pm

      Hi Livingit,
      I am sorry you are going through this. This is a tough experience. I encourage you to consider either encouraging your loved one to get therapy and for you to pursue your own therapy. You may need a therapist who can walk you through different ways to cope with your loved one and avoid becoming too taxed by all of it. I encourage you to start your search by putting your zipcode into “find a therapist” search box at http://www.psychologytoday.com.
      Take good care

      Reply
  • November 6, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    Although I am extremely grateful for this article, I’m still left with so many unanswered questions and concerns. I have been with my husband for 6 years and during that time I have noticed little red flags here and there, but seeing as how I am studying psychology I thought I could handle taking this all on..on my own, thinking it may serve as off the job training…until recently. There has always been a delusion present of me being with other men, which I treated as normal for quite some time, since I assumed it was from a previously damaging relationship. Eventually it progressed to the point of Domestic Violence issues, for which I am seeking help. I was mentally, physically and psychologically abused for years. I also noticed many other signs of delusional thinking & paranoia, but again I assumed it came from the effects of being in the military. Lately it has gotten significantly worse, to the point that I had to call an ambulance for him. They originally took him to the ER where they did a psych eval in him & got him placement at a residential program for people suffering from mental health issues. This place is a temporary 7-10 day program that houses less than 20 patients, most of them in double occupancy rooms. The unit is nice, they are fed well, they hold 5 groups a day, they are brought out fro scheduled smoke breaks and are brought to the store and on walks daily. The staff is extremely friendly so here I thought my wait to exhale was over and for a moment, I had a sigh of relief. Until this afternoon. He was admitted around 6pm last night and by 3pm today they were already ready to discharge him to get him into a more intensive level of care. I am writing this while on the train out to the hospital and I have so many mixed emotions at this point that’s its almost as if I feel nothing at all…like I’m numb, just going through the motions. Is that normal? I know not to argue logical points in return to him trying to prove his delusions are reality, so I try to stay calm and understanding. But just like with the Domestic violence issues, when he has break through moments of clarity I have a sense of false hope that things will be back to normal again. I feel like I’m not only losing my husband, my life partner, but I’m also losing myself in the process since I am left to handle mostly all his affairs on my own. I reach out to his adult children(not ours), but he has cried wolf for so many years that they are tired of it all and don’t believe me when I say that this hospital stay is serious and that it’s imperative that we speak. Although I am his proxy, I keep them in the loop of all that is going on so as to allow for them to be part of any decision making processes that may come. I am physically, mentally & emotionally bankrupt & since everyone else is tired of me staying with him for better or worse even through all the abuse and hospital stays, I don’t have anyone I can talk to that isn’t biased or judgmental..including my therapist. Any thoughts, tips or suggestions are more than welcome. I’m so tired…😞

    Reply
    • November 14, 2017 at 4:25 pm

      Hi For Better or Worse,
      Thanks for sharing your story and for your kind comment.
      I am sorry to hear this. This is a tough situation indeed. Have you thought of pursuing family or marital therapy on your own to have someone else give you feedback, suggestions, or insight? You need someone who isn’t biased. Living in a situation like this is draining emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. You lose all hope. You lose all perspective. You struggle with not only with your thoughts but the potential thoughts of everyone else. Just knowing that other people may see the delusional behavior can take a toll on your own mind.

      If not therapy, I would suggest a support group for families struggling with severe mental illness. I would contact your local NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) by Googling them and ask for a listing of support groups. This will give you the opportunity to talk with others and possibly learn ways to cope.

      Let me know if you are interested and I can send some resources.
      Take good care

      Reply
  • November 8, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    As folks try to get treatment in the US, it seems that we bump into a roadblock that an individual is not an ‘imminent risk to themselves or others.’

    Has anyone contemplated (or tried) going to another locality, e.g. outside the US, to see if civil liberties are different and might accommodate an involuntary admission? I wonder how many people would be helped if, indeed they had a sustained regimen of treatment including medication and therapy?

    Reply
  • November 25, 2017 at 8:01 am

    Ms. Hill,

    In your practice with those who suffer from delusions, do you feed the delusion? For example, if an adult male believes he is a female and wants you to call him by a female name and use female pronouns when referring to him, would you do that? Thank you.

    Reply
    • November 28, 2017 at 9:52 pm

      Hi Helper,
      Thanks for your comment. This is a tough one but my approach is to typically avoid “feeding the delusion.” The moment you do that you lose the person forever. You can either make the person feel you are lying to them (placating) or calling them “crazy” by just going along. The best approach is to avoid directly disagreeing, while also being careful not to agree with the delusion. Always stay in the middle, as much as you can.

      Take care

      Reply
  • December 11, 2017 at 11:17 am

    My sister in law has recently been experiencing delusions in the last month. Earlier last month, we had to admit her into the psych ward, where she proclaimed “She was involuntarily placed there”, and refused to get a CT scan, take her medication, and be receptive to the psychiatrists therapy sessions during her stay.

    When she got out after 2 weeks, she started taking her meds. So we where told.

    Now she is off them again and back to square 1, because she thinks ‘we are trying to kill her’. Her delusions stem mainly around people following her, and how her own family is plotting to kill her. She is very suspicious of us, and her behaviours are extremely disruptive to our lives. She is very combative, and has caused problems for my husband and I. Making up lies, creating drama, being manipulative, and saying “Nobody wants to help me” or “…but I’m sick, you need to help me”. She won’t help herself. We can’t be responsible for her 24/7 because we are caregivers for our very elderly mother in law.

    She hides or throws out packages that come in the mail thinking they are bombs that the government is sending her to try and eliminate her and her family. She has called the cops telling them we are trying to kill her, and all they can do is give us the number to a crisis line (that we already have). She has hidden KNIVES in bags around the house that we have found, she PURPOSELY broke our toilet, by putting an inanimate object in the back of the toilet where the water fills up to CLOG it, and then BARRED THE DOOR SHUT with a chair, and was stressing that we DO NOT go in there because “SOMEONE IS TRYING TO KILL ME and they are breaking the toilet to try to kill me” – but she did it herself.

    We have a lot of resentment towards her because when we needed her help, she told us “TOO BAD”, and had nothing to do with her mother for 10 years. WE HAVE TRIED EVERYTHING TO HELP HER, but she doesn’t feel anything is wrong with her.

    It’s ruining my marriage because it has angered my husband so much the way she is behaving that it trickles down into our personal lives. We have HONESTLY TRIED EVERYTHING to help her, but her behaviour is so erratic, and extremely disruptive!!!

    Someone suggested a treatment order. How do we go about doing that?

    Reply
  • December 17, 2017 at 12:35 am

    Hello, like some other that have commented here, my husband had had delusions that I cheat on him for a few years. things have improved somewhat over time, he is on meds,and does somewhat accept that he isn’t thinking correctly, the meds do help. Now the delusion just comes every once in a while, and reassuring him has helped a lot.
    His main delusion has now changed and he’s mostly concerned about another delusion is that one of our family members is putting thoughts or voices into his head to mke him crazy and make us break up, and or wants to kill him or make him kill himself. It’s genuinely very distressing for him and I believe he is hearing voices, but I disagree that those voices are being out there by the person he blames (or anyone). It’s hard for me to be neutral about that issue, because he’s accusing a loving and kind and supportive family member of doing these awful things, and I know he wants me to cut that person out of our lives, which I can think and won’t do for the sake of his imagination.
    In the i was the focus of his delusions and blame for his problems and now it’s shifted to someone else.
    I’m exhausted from dealing with this.

    Reply
    • December 23, 2017 at 12:35 pm

      Hi Devoted,
      Thanks for sharing your experience.
      I wanted to point out what you said and offer some added insight. You stated that “the delusion just comes every once in a while….” This is an important statement you made because individuals who suffer from delusional thought patterns often have “fleeting” delusions based on many factors. Sometimes the delusion “loses its allure,” sometimes the delusion comes and goes based on what is going on in that person’s life, and sometimes it returns based on level of stress. I have noticed delusions seem to serve an emotional purpose for some people. I once worked with an older woman who seemed to like her delusion of being “chosen” by a celebrity she had never met to “have a spiritual connection with.” While I completely believe in the spiritual connections and aspects of who humans are, there was no way the celebrity was directly communicating with her. Very intelligent woman. Loving and kind. But in some fashion I think she needed this delusion to give her an experience she could not have otherwise.

      Take care

      Reply
  • January 5, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    Hello,

    My wife went through bullying at workplace for couple years, despite she was the top performer, go getter, crisis resolver at work. SHe had a tough pregnancy as well due to issues at work. She finally had to quit, it was painful as she was a high performing individual and never took break from work. HIghly motivated, soft spoken, kind and genuine individual she was.

    As matters kept worsening at work(approx a year ago) she showed some delusional behavior, people at work sent to talk to her by her boss, her boss chatting with her in alias of her collegue, boss wanted to sabotage her career etc.

    Now, after a year, it had come to a stage where the boss had supposedly placed listening devices in our home, listening to whatever we speak, he has ties with restaurants we went to where we were mistreated, he has ties with delivery guy and thatswhy he behaved oddly during a delivery, ex boss has ties with maintenance guy, gas repair person, the list goes on.

    There were episodes of rage many times, that had come down recently. BUt the anger against the boss is never settling down.

    I am afraid our quality of life will diminish if things progress this way with our family, going forward. I am afraid to openly talk to her and suggest that she may have a disorder that could be dangerous.

    How do I tell my loved one that she has such a problem, my earlier attempts to talk to her about psychotherapy(by citing depression, anxiety, not paranoia/delusion) went in vain, she doesnt want to talk to anyone at all.

    With all this going on, my health had gone bad in worrying alone. I dont eat, sleep properly, it has started affecting my work as well to a large extent due to thoughts about the issue and our future.

    How do I slowly convince her about paranioa/delusions?

    Reply
    • January 25, 2018 at 8:43 pm

      I am in the same boat except my wife has Parkinson’s dementia along with various amounts of health issues. She wants to get a divorce, find an apartment, live on her own, depend on me, file for disability, gets very confused and nothing I can do.

      Reply
  • January 25, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    What about a spouse who has Parkinson’s dementia and is currently in a delusional world after a psychosis event, There is no cure for it and she believes she is fine. What do I do?

    Reply
    • January 27, 2018 at 6:00 pm

      Hi there,
      Thanks for your comment.

      This is complicated and would require an assessment by a neurologist and psychiatrist. Both do different things and focus on treating different things. Sadly, despite the cause of the delusion, treatment is often ineffective. As you point out, “she believes she is fine.” This is one of the major barriers to treatment. I would suggest getting therapy for yourself to help you cope and deal with her better. You can go to http://www.psychologytoday.com and put your zipcode into the “find a therapist” search box.
      Take care

      Reply
  • February 12, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    My daughter has major delusions. She’s been diagnosed with various psychotic disorders (schizophrenia, Psychosis NOS, etc). She thinks that some people are actually lizards and frogs deep down and that they’re plotting against her in some major scheme to take away her sanity. She gets really defensive and paranoid and loses all grasp with reality. She’s 18 now. Lives in a motel and works there. She also uses meth to try and manage her mind. Lately, she says sleep makes her have too much mental energy so if she’s exhausted, her mind is more blank – which I guess she prefers.

    It’s a tough place to be for both of us. She refuses any kind of psychiatric treatment or medication. She thinks they’re also plotting against her (doctors, therapists).

    I love her. There’s not a lot I can do. I do like the advice above about paying attention to their feelings. So, when she’s getting super upset about lizard people invading her life and trying to control her… I hear she’s scared and feels stuck.. and so we talk about what she’s going to do next… and I try to help her empower herself through planning and looking at all of the possibilities.

    I don’t know what’s going to happen to her. I do love her a lot…. but boy does she have a tough road ahead.

    Reply
  • February 18, 2018 at 10:50 am

    I’am so completely lost on what to do about my wife! About 6months ago she started accusing me of talking to people on the internet. Then she said I was hacking her phone’s so she couldn’t find online where I was in groups talking to women. She has went through 17 phones. All I do is work an come home. She has wrecked 3 cars one totaled in the last 6 months. Then at times she’s almost normal but I know she doesn’t believe me. I’ve never talked to anyone else since we’ve been married. This all started when she had been working a new job for a few months an I believe had got on meth for a few days. We both are recovering addicts an have been clean since 2012. We are on Buprenorphine. I am wondering if the Buprenorphine could be affecting her mentally lime this. Our 4th anniversary was Feb 14 an I’m at a place that all I know to do is get away from her but on doing this I know she’s not going to be able to make it an is more than likely going to go back to shooting up an destroy herself. An I’m sure in the process try to hurt me in anyway that she can. What am I to do?

    Reply
    • February 21, 2018 at 12:32 am

      Hi Lost,
      I’m sorry to hear about this. Delusions are difficult to cope with, address, and treat. I don’t know if she is taking other medications or not but I would suggest she see whoever prescribed Buprenorphine and tell them that you suspect her medication may be the culprit or trigger. I don’t know of any delusions or even hallucinations and other psychotic behaviors that can result from taking this drug. However, a psychiatrist or medical practitioner would be able to better assess this for you.

      Let’s just say this isn’t the medication and she is struggling with reality vs fiction. I would suggest a therapist for you to help you process what is going on and how to cope. I would also come at her with facts at all times and nothing she can argue. I encourage you to learn more about this on this blog by searching or my youtube channel:
      1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DysfmZCK-wU
      2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaQM4ZBx8Ts

      Take care

      Reply
  • March 6, 2018 at 9:25 am

    My daughter, who’s almost 50, an alcoholic and mother of three suffers with delusional thinking. About two years ago she began claiming that I allowed and encouraged my husband’s to have sex with her. She believes I am sitting on a pile of gold that I am saving for the ‘Golden Boy’ … her brother. We live 500 miles apart and I have had to block her on social media, and now my phone, because of the threatening messages she posts/sends/writes.
    I am incredibly sad that she is so broken, but recognized quickly that there is nothing I can do. I am in contact with her children, but am very careful about even that. Just when I thought I’d blocked every avenue, she created a false Facebook account and sent a private message. Ugh!
    This is so challenging because I cannot do anything at all.

    Reply
    • March 6, 2018 at 9:27 am

      I should have added that she was severely ADHD long before they had letters for it. I’ll put her into treatment for drugs/alcohol twice in high school, and had her to a handful of therapists. As a senior she was diagnosed bipolar, and probably since then, but hasn’t taken her meds for longer than a week.

      Reply
    • March 10, 2018 at 4:11 pm

      Hi The Brunt,
      I’m sorry to hear this and I’m sorry she has children. If what you are sharing is the case, I encourage you to consider filing a police report that documents what she has done to get around you trying to block her. At this point, her behaviors can be seen as stalking and harassment. I would ask the police for suggestions. I would also ask the police to contact her and ask her to stop. Sometimes doing this can show the other person that you are not playing around and would like them to respect your space.

      For the sake of the children, you can contact Children’s Youth & Families or Services. They can legally check in on the family and ensure the children are not being abused.
      All the best

      Reply
      • March 10, 2018 at 4:57 pm

        Thanks for your reply. I have started a police file. Since I don’t feel physically threatened, since she’s so far away, we’re handling it as building a harassment case. Her children are grown, but the effects are obvious. She wasn’t quite as delusional when they were growing up … alcoholic, but not such paranoid, sexual delusions.
        Again, thanks for this article. It really gave me insight and has allowed me to understand far more than before.

        Reply
  • April 15, 2018 at 9:19 pm

    Hello,
    I have a 26y.o. daughter who just started having delusions for 2 weeks now out of the blue. She believes her in laws are out to get her, that she was involved in a hit and run where is ran over a child a couple of years ago. She is paranoid to the point she doesn’t trust anyone. She also believes that when she was younger I told everyone her name was melissa. This has been going on for 2 to 3 weeks now. She has me really worried. I am thinking of doing an intervention type deal, but to a mental facility. I do know prior to all of this was talking about how she was angry all the time which is how my own depression started. Her grandmother is bipolar as well. I need to know if I am doing the right thing.

    Reply
    • April 17, 2018 at 12:31 am

      Hi “Worried mom”
      I’m sorry to hear this. Thanks for sharing.
      Have you thought of a few reasons for why this behavior is occurring? Could she be taking medication that might be impairing her sense of reality? What about substance or alcohol abuse or use? Is she under an extraordinary about of stress lately? Is she sleeping?
      There are a lot of reasons for why this symptom may be occurring so I encourage you to suggest seeing a doctor. She could see her PCP or general doctor about it who will then refer her (hopefully) to a psychiatrist or therapist who could further help her.
      Take care

      Reply
  • May 3, 2018 at 4:27 am

    Stumbled upon this article researching how to deal with a mentally ill friend currently dealing with delusions. I met her via a mutual friend in 2010 when I started having the symptoms of a mental illness.
    My initial diagnosis was medication induced Bipolar type Schizoaffective disorder. I came into it after being misdiagnosed with Hypothyroidism and being on Synthroid for 7 months. I began having delusions, paranoia, signs of Schizophrenia, etc. So, I understand how they work but I’m so far removed from that experience. I’ve haven’t had any more episodes thank God, however, this friend gyrl has at least 3x since. She’s currently in one now and it’s my first time experiencing her to this extent. It hurts and I’m being very patient with her. I’m in debt to her.

    It’s beyond ironic but a blessing to have met her and even more sharing the same initial diagnosis. I had no one who understood and I was totally isolated and didn’t know what to expect in my initial stages of recovery. In my mind, this would be “fixed” like the cold or at worst, the flu and I’d be on medicine and back to life and reality. She called me every single day at least for the first month, maybe first 3 months, to check on me and encourage. She served as a success story/champion for mental illness recovery. She’s a very intelligent attorney, became married 3 years ago with a family.

    I believe she must have stopped her medicine again which she knows she cannot do. Right now she refuses to acknowledge being ill. She keeps calling me about how we met. She wants to believe I’m a LPC and that there was a conspiracy theory behind it.

    I don’t know how to be there besides listening and responding when asked, with patience. It’s hard for me not to gently speak to her in 2nd and 3rd person as though I’m speaking directly to the mental illness within her right now. I want to remind her that we have the same diagnosis and how I would like her to trust me as I did her and be there for her but she doesn’t even remember “my story” she says. I don’t want to upset or push her away but I need to make sure she is getting treatment and even more, that she’s taking her medicine. She’s not open to hearing about what she said to me years ago about her health. I’m not sure she even acknowledges having a mental illness. She refers to it now as her health and everyone else being concerned. She interrogates as though we’re in court. I believe she was in the hospital 3 days maybe but it’s clear she doesn’t need to be out and not sure how she got out so soon.

    I don’t know how to be there for her. What I remember is ppl listened to me and I kept taking my medicine and one day I stopped having the delusions. It’s a challenge for me to resist telling her she needs help.

    Reply
  • May 12, 2018 at 6:13 am

    Hi, i enjoyed your article.
    My partner is currently incarcerated and believes he’s had conversations with me and the “person” I’m seeing behind his back. This is a delusion he has come up with.
    I don’t know what to do.
    I love him and want to support him however it makes it harder when he’s not getting any help in prison its making him worse..
    He’s suicidal sometimes over the same scenario its completely inaccurate what can i do?

    Reply
    • May 20, 2018 at 3:14 pm

      Hi Alexandra,
      Thank you for your kind comment. Glad you found it helpful.
      This is very difficult because we live in a failed criminal justice system. There are little to no psychologists or mental health professionals to address delusional inmates. I would suggest to him that he ask someone in the jail who is responsible for making these kind of decisions if there is a therapist or pastor he could start seeing or talking to. You may be able to contact a therapist outside of the jail (a regular therapist who provides services) to ask if therapy is possible for someone incarcerated.

      I’m sorry but I’m not experienced in this area.
      I wish you the best

      Reply
  • June 8, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    I spent that last 6 months being accused by my husband of using crystal meth. Drug use has never been in my character and willingly took numerous drug tests to prove my innocence to him. We have been together for nearly 20 years and his fixation on this diminished his quality of life. His paranoia about it became worse and worse. He started to believe that I hid this meth in my children’s toys, he stayed up all night going through things, cutting open the couch, making holes in the mattresses, etc. His unstable mind cost him his job of 12 years. I tried desperately to get him to seek professional help and even had family and friends urge him as well, but he refuses. This took a huge emotional toll on myself and our children. Now I am left to pick up the pieces of a broken home based on a delusion. So heartbreaking.

    Reply
  • June 10, 2018 at 9:15 pm

    I, too, found this article while looking for help for my brother. He’s 49 y/o, is on disability and lives with my parents. He was in a relationship for 7 years and about a year ago his fiancee broke it off and he moved back in with my parents. The end of that relationship seemed to trigger a mental break. He’s never been easy to get along with, but he had no history of delusions or irrational paranoia before that.
    Initially his behavior was focused on his ex. At first he was angry at her and accused her of all kinds of things. Then he was convinced that she was being forced into making porn and he was worried sick about her and her grandkids. He was arrested for harrassing her, but in his mind he was trying to save her.
    Gradually he started to have delusions of people outside and he would stay up all night watching out the windows. He’s become convinced that our parents are not his real parents and that my parents and I are hiding things from him. He has threatened to kill himself and he has said he might hurt my parents if my dad would give him his gun back (which my dad found and hid during my brothers last hospitalization).
    Which brings me to the REAL frustration. We have had him hospitalized twice against his will and all they do is start him on meds and send him back home after a few days. Once he’s home he won’t take the medication. He needs long term treatment and that seems to be practically impossible unless he’s willing to go, which isn’t gonna happen because he doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with him. I’m really afraid something bad is gonna happen before he can get the help he needs. My heart breaks for him because he feels so alone and my heart breaks for my parents because they feel so helpless.

    Reply
  • July 1, 2018 at 10:52 pm

    My fiance’s daughter is having delusions – for example: accusing her family of drugging her and seeing celebrities show up at her house and in her car (she drives for a ride share company). We have tried to talk to her and on the couple of occasions when she will actually talk to us, she insists that we are all in this and she refuses to go for help because she says doesn’t trust a single person other than herself. We are especially concerned because she is a single mom of a teenager and we worry about what is going on in their home. We have not been able to contact her son in months. His phone number has changed and no one seems to be able to reach out to him. How do we go about getting her help and how do we get to her son to make sure he’s doing ok? My fiance has gone to their apartment but no one was home. And we’re afraid to antagonize her further so we’re in a terrible limbo worrying about both of them. Do you have any suggestions?

    Reply
    • July 7, 2018 at 7:26 pm

      Hi Lulu,
      This is challenging. It is challenging for many reasons some of which include the age of this young lady, her family dynamic or history, and anything in her environment that may “cement” her delusions. For example, has she ever been drugged by anyone or heard of anyone being drugged that is close to her? Sometimes these kinds of situations can result in the person with delusions believing it is happening to them.
      The only way to work with delusions is to educate those closest to her, don’t confirm or disregard the delusions (always stay neutral), and seek counseling if possible. The problem is that most people with delusions don’t feel they “need help.” It’s a scary cycle.
      I encourage you to read some of my other articles on this topic on this blog and then branch out to other readings.
      Take care

      Reply
  • July 7, 2018 at 8:36 pm

    Támara,

    For those that have the means,, is there any evidence that taking a person to a country with laws that have different civil rights might yield some benefits?

    One of the difficulties is involuntarily committing a delusional individual when they are not a “imminent risk to themselves or others“. Presumably, some other countries don’t afford the same rights to people that exist in the United States?

    Reply
  • August 18, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    Hi there, What do you do when you had enough? You have therapy, the husband who is delusional has therapy. You love your husband, but you just cant anymore? What about the children (11,13) who will not have a clue why you want to break up? I am so tired. I am tired of all new and old themes, the roller coaster rides, the constant worry, the rudeness, you marry and know your husband is sick. I feel so guilty. Am I not the wife who wants to walk out because he is sick? Why are so there so little aupport for how to go about when you cant go on anymore? My husband is much better than before but I have especially suffered a tough week again last week. Its not a normal relationship anymore. I feel scared.

    Reply
    • August 21, 2018 at 10:55 am

      Hi Janine,
      Thanks for your comment.
      This is tough as many marriages and relationships end up completely “burned out” because of delusional behaviors. It begins to wear on the “victim” of the delusions or the other spouse. I often suggest (because you cannot change the person with the delusional beliefs) to pursue your own counseling for two reasons. 1. To obtain your own support (emotional and psychological) and 2. to learn more about the condition from another therapist. A good therapist can help you understand patterns of behavior and ways to respond to delusional beliefs.
      Take care

      Reply
  • October 1, 2018 at 6:36 pm

    Good article helped me understand my husband a little. He has schitzophrenia I read the comments also. You day respond bwoth something neutral but what is the neutral reply to “there are people spying on us. Aren’t there? AREN’T THERE!?” or “I know you are cheating on me. Aren’t you?” If I disagree with the cheating he has “proof” ( I am not) or if I disagree with people spying on us ( our closest neighbor is over a mile away and we live in the woods with four dogs) he says I am just not being observant enough. He has seen numerous therapist and tried every drug they make he knows he has a problem most of the time but there is sometimes he just goes off the deep end and is convinced of his delusions. If I remain silent and just don’t answer he gets even more mad and says I am ignoring him. So what is the neutral answer?

    Reply
    • October 4, 2018 at 11:16 am

      Hi N,
      Thank you for your comment. Glad you found the article helpful.
      The neutral reply would be something like “I see this is upsetting to you. I don’t see it that way but we all see things differently.” Or you could say something like “what’s the evidence for that? I can’t wrap my mind around that.”

      You really do have to use your own discretion to avoid sounding condescending, arrogant, or demeaning. You are simply trying to stay away from confirming or disapproving the delusion to avoid conflict.

      Medication isn’t likely to help him because you can’t medicate a belief system. I also wonder if his therapists are trained to work with delusions because if they are not, treatment will be unsuccessful. It’s difficult.

      Take care

      Reply
  • October 26, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    I have been married to my husband for 20 years, but the last 5 years have been a nightmare. Not only did he get addicted to meth, but he is suffering from major delusions. I thought that the meth caused the delusions, but now looking back prior to his addiction there were red flags that I just dismissed. At his jobs, he could get along with anyone but there would be people that he would think was against him, spying on him or trying to get him fired. So I think the meth abuse just made his delusions 100 times worse. All of his delusions are directed towards me. Everyday there is a new accusation. I have been accused of hacking into his phone/computer etc, cheating with various people including our own teenage son (sick), accused of trying to have him murdered, of trying to poison him when I cook dinner even though I’m eating the same food, accused of working with the FBI, taking bribes, stealing things from him, telling family and friends lies about him. Things got so crazy that our son moved out at the age of 17 because he just couldn’t take it anymore. The delusions go on and on…honestly I feel like I could write a book on what I have been through. He thinks people drive around our house, people get into our back yard, he thinks I was working with the Arian Brotherhood, the latest is he is dead set that 3 of our neighbors have some sort of device in their homes that shoots some sort of waves through our home and that it is cooking his body from the inside out and that they have something that emits a high power frequency that has now busted his eardrum. Over the last few years he has gotten more and more abusive and violent. He has tore up most of my personal belongings, put holes in our walls, destroyed furniture. And I have moved out and then moved back after he promises to get help only to be basically tricked into coming home and he just continues to do the same things. I have been in therapy myself now for a year and a half. Everyone tells me, why don’t you just leave…you need to just divorce him and move on with your life. What people don’t understand is that I married one man and I am now married to someone who I have no idea who the hell he is anymore. It’s like going thru a death because I was with this man and now he’s gone, even though his body is still present. I have had to call the police on him a few times. but really they won’t do anything. SO I have recently moved out again…back to my mom’s house. Makes me feel like a failure, but I don’t know what else to do. I have an appointment next week to try to get help in filing for divorce. I hate that it came to that, but if he refuses to get any sort of help and he thinks that he’s perfectly fine and that I’m the one that is crazy…then there is nothing I can do. I am debating on filing for a restraining order because I know if I don’t he will be showing up to my job or something. I have had a couple of people tell me that they could really see him doing a murder suicide …killing me and then killing himself and that is scary. I just feel lost because I’m having to live somewhere else away from my home…but it’s toxic there. Reading everyone’s stories on here was like man, I’m not alone…there are so many other people going thru the exact same thing. I feel like all I can do now is try to focus on myself for a change.

    Reply
  • October 30, 2018 at 12:02 am

    I am currently dealing with a dillusional situation. My mother was previously diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia which ultimately led to her conviction after an incident when she thought a neighbor was out to get her and she struck the first blow by shooting into thier home. She spent several years in prison for the offense and was realeased and has for the most part has not had another incident of this magnitude. She has been functioning on medication but has developed a pattern of severing long term relationships with friends and family over what to many would be minor offenses in the name of “ not allowing anyone to disrespect”. I truly love my mother and want only for her to find peace in her life and not have to worry about having someone to care for her when she can no longer care for herself. I opened my home to her so she could be close and I can keep an eye on her which went well for exactly 6 months. She has now announced that she is moving out because of something she believes my husband of 32 years said to her. The feelings I have over this recent development are all over the place. In one aspect I understand she has an illness. On another aspect I am very much hurt by her heavy handed approach to what she believes was said, she indicates he made a comment about her weight which caused her to feel unsafe and unable to trust him. She has the means and ability to get her own place which is well underway at this time. I have tried to reason with her to no avail but can not help but feel the need to remove myself from her support structure due to what was an extremely abbusive childhood that left me wanting to prove myself worthy of her love and support in spite of a lifetime of pain caused by her feelings towards me. She does not think her delusions are a problem and makes no apologies for the impact this is having on me,my husband, or my family. I truly think this is where I should shift into preservation mode and accept the reality that I am in way over my head and capacity.

    Reply
    • November 8, 2018 at 10:17 am

      Hi C. Robins,
      Thanks for sharing your experience and story. This is tough and it’s obvious, to me, that you are in way over your head. Have you considered counseling or coaching for yourself? You may benefit from someone who can assist you in learning how to respond to your mother and set healthy boundaries with her. It sounds as if her illness is really overpowering her ability to be reasonable and to act with clarity. In situations like this, it is often a good idea to obtain family counseling or individual counseling that can assist the family members in dealing with the loved one with paranoid schizophrenia.
      You may find some good resources on the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation website at http://www.bbrfoundation.org.
      Take care

      Reply
  • November 10, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    My wife has Parkinson disease and for the last 4 months delusional jealousy. She claims I have been texting/messaging her best friend who lives in Florida. My sons have seen her proofs and called her out on them but she only shut them out. We went to her Psychologist together last week and after the meeting she said the doctor was on my side and she would never go to that doctor again. She claims I have taken over her work computer and her home computer in an attempt to make her crazy. She has told all our friends and family that I am cheating on her with this women. It is seems to be getting worse. The proofs are getting crazier and crazier. The other day she claimed me and her friend were using her two email accounts to email each other. Never has she produced one word of conversation between us. Her doctors have been lowering her medication (leva dopa and neuropro patch) but she seems to be getting worse. In all other respects she seems normal.
    I don’t know what to do.

    Reply
    • November 20, 2018 at 11:19 pm

      Hi James,
      Thanks for sharing your story. I’m sorry to hear this.
      This is very difficult for doctors to treat because you can’t sedate delusions. You also can’t deter them. The only thing doctors can successfully do is treat mood symptoms such as depression, anxiety, anger, etc. with medication to reduce the intensity.
      I often suggest spouses and family seek their own counseling to learn how to deal with the delusions more effectively and to obtain support for themselves.
      I wish you the best

      Reply
    • January 9, 2019 at 5:34 pm

      and what about a wife who knows for sure her husband is cheating and has the proof? yet sadly shes has parkinsons and her husband is in fact
      gaslighting her? how convenient she has this disease, makes it easier for him to make everyone believe she is delusional. what a creep.

      Reply
  • December 22, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    Very sad stories I am reading here. I am really sorry so many people have these delusions and so many people close to them are damaged. My wife does not have many delusions and not crazy severe (I think), but when she does it really destroys our relationship. And it destroys the relationships of her and her children.

    I tried (dumb idea) to prove the delusions are not true. With facts. How dumb.

    Her current delusion is her adult daughter hates her. And because I dont see that, that there is a conspiracy between daughter and me. Some secret relationship that I am not telling her about. Wife secretly went through my phone messages to prove that I have messages with the daughter that I do not share with my wife. I, of course, have messages with the adult son and many others about any old topic. And I dont share all. (I actually share 95% just in daily conversation with the wife).

    What I got the most out of these comments here from others is to try to be kind to your spouse. It hurts me a lot to be accused of things that are not true. And it hurts our children a lot as well. It is just really, really sad.

    I have been to four different health care psychiatrists/psychologists over the years because wife says I have the problem. The first one was funny (funny sad, not funny ha ha). After I had a few visits, I invited my wife as ‘couples therapy’. Because psychologist had empathy with me, my wife accuse me and (female) psychologist of having an affair.

    I could tell a thousand stories of crazy reactions by my wife to nothing situations. Even my wife agrees she gets ‘thoughts’ in her mind and paints them as true and it causes a big mess. We can talk about this ‘in general’, years later. But each individual event is like some horror show. So my current horror show is the daughter hates my wife (that is, her own mother), and I am in on it, and there is something ‘going on’ between me and daughter (plot or sex or something). My Mrs is always very vague. She will not offer proof. Just that ‘she knows’. My Mrs can go for weeks imploring me to ‘come clean’ and confess what is going on.

    My poor wife. She is such a darling and great person. But she just gets ideas in her head that are not true and acts and feels as if they are 100% true. I hope I can learn to be kind to her. I argue a bit too much to convince her the terrible thoughts are not true. But I am worn out. Best for me to just be quiet until it passes. Then await the next horror.

    To all people who wrote their words: thank you. Your kind words in your situation give me some support.

    Reply
  • December 25, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    Over the course of the past 6 months my wife has developed a delusional state in which she believes she is being evaluated by Topgolf for a position that will bring both great fame, and money. This “position” has vacillated between some combination of reality show and spokesperson role for the company. “I’m going to teach America to play golf”, has been a common refrain of hers. Within this evaluation, she is convinced her phone, car, and our house have been fully bugged and monitored for sound and video. She was a novice golfer, but played almost daily this fall in order to prepare for this job as one component has been the theme of novice to pro golfer. She suspects her daily life, and her golf rounds are all being videotaped for the show. She believes people are following her, and this is being done in order to prepare her for fame and paparazzi. She has indicated people recently waited outside the grocery store to see her and be in scenes for the show. She is convinced our children, age 6 and 2, have implantable microchips in their ears and are being communicated to by “them,” both to direct their behavior for the sake of the show, as well as to prepare them for fame. She buys groceries and various brands, as “they” direct her, via clues in the store (“actors” buying certain brands as she shops) under the belief she is and will be advertising these brands. Most recently, she underwent breast augmentation surgery as she received “clues” while at her cosmetic dermatologist’s office that this, and a nose job, were requirements for the job. The “clues” received were the dermatologist on the phone with another client providing referrals, which was perceived to be recommendations for her.

    Myself, her sister, who is a clinical psychologist, and her parents have all expressed concern about her well being, and attempted to have her seek help, to no avail. She is now convinced that the 4 of us are operating under the direction of Topgolf to emotionallly isolate her. She believes she can’t trust any of us, the 4 people closest to her, and those that love her more than anything. She believes she can’t trust anyone, and is all alone. She has spent a significant amount of money over the past month on expenditures she felt necessary to secure this job, creating great financial hardship for us. However, when presented with the reality of our financial situation, she claims I am abusing her at the direction of the show.

    In late October, she requested a separation and is adamant on proceeding with a divorce. I do not believe our marriage was perfect, but we had largely had what seemed to be a happy and content relationship. However, there were dramatic changes in late August. She initially indicated to me that I was cheating on her and engaging in bisexual relationships. I am neither bisexual, nor had I cheated on her. In conversation since with her sister, she was convinced of this despite having no evidence. She has indicated she fell in love with another man, her first golf coach, though he was married, he was unaware of the love, nothing was reciprocated, and there was no affair. However, she is seeking a divorce to now pursue this love interest further. She has made it clear to me that this love interest is a focus of the perceived TV show. She has indicated that it is not only a love story, but also involves social causes including religious, racial and socioeconomic tolerance, gun rights, and global warming. She believes she has to do certain activities associated with these causes, and prove herself to be worthy of the man’s love, and this has been and will be part of the show. These are not causes that she has been so strongly supportive of in the past. She is convinced he is incredibly wealthy, with political connections, and contributes to her coming fame, fortune, and influence. She struggles though, as she believes there are actually 2 “Jakes” and she fell in love with the real Jake, yet occasionally the “fake Jake” shows up to her meetings. She is now convinced that she will marry this man. They have had no real contact, as he is not allowed to due to the requirements of the “show” Jake is also my daughter’s golf coach, and any “dates” they have had, by her own account, have been lessons for my daughter. She has told my 6 year old daughter there are 2 Jakes, and that she is in love with the “real Jake”. There is no evidence that there are really 2 people sent for the sake of the show.

    With all of this said, I am not certain that this request for divorce is related to her primary delusion, though I am also not certain they are mutually exclusive. She remains adamant that there is nothing wrong, and in fact has indicated she has never been better, and feels “so alive”. She just recently finally agreed to be seen by her psychiatrist, went to the appointment, and the doctor wanted to put her on an anti psychotic. However, she refused treatment. With all of this said, I am confused as to wether there is any hope that with treatment, she will change her feelings about divorce? Aside from meds, how much can therapy help? I am willing to support her through this, but can’t if she does not want to be married. Any thoughts or recommendations are appreciated.

    Reply
    • December 29, 2018 at 10:47 pm

      Hi Stirling – Well, I can share my story and where I am at now as it could help.

      My wife started more than a year ago to spend 12+ hours a day on a music app called Smule Sing! It is a social karaoke app. She believes she is a good singer and that she has to do it every day (and has – more than 3800 published songs in 12 months!) She is really off key!

      We have two children 11-13 and I have become essentially their sole caregiver for this past year.

      She believes there are “scouts” in the app watching her … and sometimes has taken offence to random songs posted by others, because the lyrics are directed at her. She pays particular attention to two guys in the app.

      One is a love interest … someone she started telling about eight months ago that she is getting a divorce – and then me as well! The guy almost never responds to her daily texts in app; if he does, it’s just polite.

      Another guy she believes is a Voice TV lead in Europe that is watching and mentoring ?! her … he does not speak English, I believe. She sings with his karaoke posts almost daily as part of her mix to make sure he keeps her top of mind (he has 1000s of followers).

      She also put her karaoke videos on her Instagram -138 posts – which brought extended family and friends quickly asking what happened to her.

      The behaviour is defended above all else. No family member has been able to get through to her. She gets angry if anyone questions what she is doing with all her time … or her neglect of the kids. I’ve lined up her family doctor, neurologist and sometests have been done … but took a lot of convincing. And an urgent admission to a neuroscience hospital in Toronto went to waste – she released herself after five hours.

      She also believes her nose changed shape on her face. For six months now, I’ve had to curb tries to get plastic surgery. A lot more to this story too!

      Anyhow … where I am at now … we have initiated a divorce. I am trying to separate the kids from her. Living in the house has caused so much distress to them – hearing their mom sing off key all day, and get angry if interrupted – very difficult! I am using a collaborative process – a lawyer for each of us – and a psychotherapist who is playing a neutral role to advise on a solution that ensures my wife gets an end result that keeps her comfortable – with a support plan in place – and improves the living for the kids. She believes she needs to be living in the city, or a bigger town and is pushing for the family to move … so that’s another challenge.

      So not much more to share – solution discussions will begin in January. And the psychotherapist would like to get her to do a couple of more tests, as we do not have a diagnosis.

      Best of luck – I hope this story helps you know you aren’t alone, and gives you an idea of how to proceed if separation is your next step.

      Bill

      Reply
      • December 30, 2018 at 9:52 am

        Bill….thanks. There are a lot of similarities. My wife’s golf game is probably on par, no pun intended, with your wife’s singing. My wife has already done breast augmentation as she received clues it was necessary for her new “job”, and she fully intends to go through with a nose job as well. She has and is spending a significant amount of money, as she gets clues on fashion that she has to have, for the show. We are currently separated, but living in the same home. As your wife has, mine has largely abdicated any childcare outside of getting the kids ready for school in the am. I am fortunate to have a mother in law that has assisted with the kids. Best of luck to you.

        Reply
      • December 30, 2018 at 9:46 pm

        Absolutely Stirling. I am just amazed at the close parallels in our stories. Yes we are separated living in the same home too. And in my case it’s my brother in law and wife’s parents that have been working with me to try to get her to “see reality.” And yes, about the only involvement my wife has is with the kids heading out the door for school in the morning as well.

        Nose job is lined up for Jan 10, but she has to get medical clearance and I know her family doctor and neurologist won’t give it, as they are very aware of her challenges.

        And finances definitely are taking a hit here too … with my wife not working for more than a year, believing she will soon be “singing around the world” and will “prove us all wrong.”

        Hope you have a better year in 2019!

        Bill

        Reply
      • January 1, 2019 at 7:17 pm

        Hi Bill,
        Just thought I would thank you for being an encouraging force on this forum. That’s what this is all about and I think your show of support of others will be a good example to many others.
        Take care

        Reply
      • January 9, 2019 at 9:41 am

        Thanks Tamara. It is an ongoing struggle. It’s hard to find a forum for people dealing with these kinds of behaviors from their family or friends.

        Reply
  • January 3, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    My older is now 76 years old and she has struggled with mental illness most of her life. I do believe she has some form of schizophrenia with delusions. My mother and here were close and I was always deemed the “Black Sheep” of the family. Despite my mother’s and sister’s attempt to undermine my life successes, I feel blessed with all the happiness and love that my husband and I of 50+ years enjoy in our children and grandchildren. My sister never had a boyfriend, never dated and at 24 years old my mother basically forced her to marry a German soldier who was trying to come to America. They had two sons. After the first was born, my sister went into a state of depression and schizophrenic behavior. She was subsequently placed in a mental health ward and given electric shock treatments. She has her second son, but my mother was always involved in raising her boys. My mother was a very difficult woman who always put everybody down. Even though my sister thought she was wonderful, my mother would belittle her in public. As the years went on, my sister basically was having an affair with her boss who was a womanizer. She invited him everywhere and even supported him becoming best friends with her husband. When my father died (my dad had become a raging alcoholic in trying to deal with my mom and my mom’s father who lived with us), and upon my father’s death, my sister invited my mother to join her, her husband and her boss on all their social outings. My mother being only 69 at the time of my father’s death fell in love with my sister’s boss. The boss had NO interest in my mother, but was just interested in being around my sister and my sister was only interested in keeping my mother happy. (Writing this just sounds awful and sick.) During this time I lived an hour away and was running my own business and raising three daughters with my husband who is a Ph.D. in science. We had and have a stable and good life. However, I did have to seek counseling on dealing with my sister and my mother who I tried to make happy, but I never saw “eye-to-eye” with them at all. The counselor I was seeing told me that when my mom died, my sister would turn into her. I thought that perhaps when my mom died, I could help my sister see the truth about her and what she did to my father, myself and her. But, my counselor was correct. At the funeral home, my sister ordered me to remove my mom’s wedding bands and bring them to her. I asked the director to do so. The next morning at the burial, I noticed my sister took off her wedding rings and was wearing my mom’s bands. It freaked me out. She also came dressed in a purple velour workout pant and jacket with sneakers in the middle of Winter in NJ! She called me a week later and said she was going to get a dress form and display mom’s wedding gown on it in her bedroom. Again, I freaked out (verbally this time) and said that is totally wrong – and asked what her husband said. Anyway, I am unable (for over a decade to speak with her) as she’s getting more and more delusional with each passing day. She believes that every man she meets is in love with her; she sits in her home most every day and looks out the window to watch what her neighbors are doing; she believes she’s intimately involved in her neighbors daily routines, their vacation, their social gatherings, etc.; she is mostly estranged from her boys and they do not even try to help with her condition; she refers to her boys and her husband as “my men” – her boys are now 45 and 51; she tells me her youngest son looks “so sexy” (again, something that freaks me out) and doesn’t realize that he is gay; she tells me her youngest son is so popular with “divas” (her term) but has never met one girl in his life; she believes he dates strippers (????); she says that she doesn’t have grey hair at 76 that her hair is now coming in blonde….this goes on every day. And, she only talks about the past. The problem here is that when I see her number come up on my phone, I feel guilty not to answer, but I cannot deal with her anymore. I just don’t know how to handle this situation. Can you help me? P.S> I’ve told her nicely to seek help, but she doesn’t see anything wrong with herself.

    Reply
  • February 27, 2019 at 1:01 pm

    Me and my wife have been married 3 years and have a beautiful 6 month old daughter. My wife has a hard time when going anywhere because she believes that everyone is talking about her or laughing at her causing her to have anxiety leaving the house. When we are in our home she believes our neighbors are listening so i can barely speak to her without her getting mad at me for speaking too loud. Whenever my upstairs neighbors make noise, she always thinkins that the noise is intentional and directed towards her. This makes conversations with her and intimate relations with her unbearable because we cannot make any noise because our neighbors are listening. I believe that her behavior stems from a low self confidence and anxiety problems, but i do not know if it would be considered delusional or not. I try to talk to her about her thoughts, but she does not see it as a problem. To be honest I don’t even know if it actually a problem or not. My wife is the only person ive ever lived with extensively besides family, and this behavior may be normal for all i know. It does bother me that she has these thoughts and we get into arguements about the topic. I try to relate but its hard because i do not have the same thoughts or feelings. Now that we have a child in the picture i get concerned because i do want her to have anxiety or delusions like my wife. I’ve been reading other posts and it seems like my situation is not as bad as i thought it was, and my situation could be much worse. At the same time it scares that she may get worse. It helps just sharing my story. Good luck to you all, and thank you for letting me tell my story.

    Reply
  • March 10, 2019 at 9:46 am

    Hi.. I am a sri lankan and my husband is suffering from delusion disorder. It is very difficult to handle in at times. He becomes violent and we end up in police station. He suspect on each and everything. He suspect that some person comes to our house, that person has the keys of our house and his car, he thinks that I want to kill him or make him a mental patient etc.. which none of these are real.. I try to explain him there is nothing like that but he never trust.. things become worst and we go separate but after 3 or 4 days he come in search of me and ask forgiveness bla bla bla and take me back home.. he will stay normal for couple of days and the same thing repeats.. this is happening to me since more than a year.. I really get angry when he start to doubt me.. I understand he is a patient but I can’t bear this tourcher everyday..

    Bishra

    Reply
    • March 16, 2019 at 10:26 am

      Hi Bishra,
      Thank you for sharing your story. I’m sorry to hear that you were going through this tough time. Based on what you shared in your comment, I would suggest getting your own therapist for support. If you get your own therapist you can talk to them about these things that you are seeing, brainstorm ways to deal with it and cope, and create a plan so things don’t continue to spiral down.

      You can always go to http://www.psychologytoday.com and put your ZIP code in the find a therapist search box.

      I wish you all the best

      Reply
  • May 10, 2019 at 3:59 pm

    When do you know the emotional safety is in jeopardy? I have been living with a person who has delusional disorder. They were finally diagnosed 2 years ago, but refuse to believe the diagnosis or seek treatment. They have been hospitalized for suicidal jeopardy because of the delusions as well, but refuses treatment for the depression and anxiety as well.

    They can be so mean and hurtful. There are great highs and horrible lows. After 11 years I am feeling more and more hurt by each instance, but they tell me it’s imaginary and they have never hurt me. I’m not sure what’s real anymore, either what I feel or what they tell me. I am seeking treatment for depression and anxiety (and it works!) but I can’t help but feel bad when around this person I love.

    Can this get better? Will these episodes lessen with time? Can couples therapy help us even if we cannot discuss or acknowledge the disorder? I don’t want to give up or abandon someone who is ill and alone. I still want to be with them. But it hurts. Is there therapy to help not be hurt?

    Reply
  • June 10, 2019 at 9:03 am

    Please help me or at least someone whp has been thru rhis answer me…my fiance and partner for 13 yrs my whole adult life..we have 4 children. 8,5,2,newborn. I probably should have left 2 kids ago i guess. There was no reason to april 16 2016 this came out of nowhere 10 yrs of normalcy. I was 2 mos pregnant with our daughter. He accused me everything horrid and still does. He was 302ed twice and court ordered treatment. He did just what he had to and has used drugs that make it worse. He doesnt have anything wrong in his mind. I tryed to stay strong for him and put my feelings aside until he would get better. Now im broken and i still adore him and dont want him walking around feeling the way he does or thinking the things he does. Its scary. When he is like this Im scared. I fear the worst. His perception of normal things are not normal. He doesn’t want help. He on wellbutrin and thats it. He was on zyprexa and that helped but he gained too much weight so they switched him to abilify. What drug would really help him. He wont go see a phyciatrist but he will take meds from his fam dr who knows the situation n trys to help. Please someone give me some insight. He has become very manipulative and sneaky because of these thoughts. I have in fact been cheated on because of it. Please help.

    Reply
  • August 1, 2019 at 7:41 pm

    Hi!! I’ve just made a friend who suffers from grandeur delusions. And I want to know the best way to approach her delusions. She’s thinks she’s a famous person and I want to know what exactly to say. I don’t even know to frame the question honestly.

    Reply
  • August 21, 2019 at 6:23 am

    My son 23 years have developed a delusion, that the world is an illusion and cannot trust his eyes that what he sees is true, he keeps asking me how vision is formed inside the brain, how its processed with blood and flesh of the brain, and if i can prove this he will know the world is real. As when he watched videos on Near Death Experiences, people have given testimony that with their eyes closed they could see and hear what doctors were doing n talking, so now he wants to know if by closed eyes we can see then what are the real eyes doing, is it all an illusion

    Reply
  • September 4, 2019 at 7:57 pm

    I am dealing with this at the moment as my mum recently told me she thought I had sent “men in cars” to trail her to make sure she was safe. Whilst this is rather sweet and could have been worse, it’s shocked me that this time her delusion was about me and that she nearly didn’t tell me because of that. I have grown up with her as a schizophrenic all my life and I have always been able to tell when she is getting unstable and needs to review her medication. Each time I probe how she is feeling and whether she is battling with the voices in her head again. What shocked me this time is they were about me and that she almost didn’t open up to me. The problem with this illness is that it lies beneath the surface and can masquerade as a well managed condition, but you always have to be vigilant for subtle shifts in behaviour. You have to catch it just in time because if it gets too powerful in their minds it prevents them from seeking help. So how do you make sure you catch it early is my question….??

    Reply
 

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