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How do you live with someone who suffers Paranoia?

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How do you live with someone who suffers Paranoia?

Postby ACoker » Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:06 pm

Hi all,

I've been good friends with someone who has PPD and we've been living together for nearly 2 years. We did pretty much everything together at the start, including working in the same department. I loved coming home from work and chatting for hours on end with her about life and people and then going out at weekends and socialising.

It's taken me up until the past month to discover what it is that's been troubling her and subsequently, troubling me too!

I'd dismissed all of her strange personality traits and unusual behaviour - most of the time, blaming myself and feeling guilty for ways in which I'd spoken to her - thinking that I could've said or done different. Doubting myself the whole time.

Progressively, her condition had gotten worse and more obvious. We'd fall out frequently; she'd hold grudges and blame me for things that wasn't my fault. When I'd sat her down on a couple of occasions to tell her how much her behaviour was upsetting me, she'd seemed to take it all in and cried as she's extremely sensitive. I'd thought I was getting somewhere with her.

It didn't last, however, and she'd continually wait for me to put one toe out of line and then pounce. Nothing I could say or do was right with her. Even if I did something completely innocent that didn't involve her (and quite often, this was the case) she'd somehow manage to turn it all back round on her as if everything I ever did was solely to get at her.

In the past, I'd withdrawn and apologised to her on several situations just to keep the peace but it would just go in one ear and out the other. Our other flatmate has expressed that we need to help her because she's getting worse and she's beginning to lash out at waiters for topping up her friend's glass and not hers- believing that he was excluding her deliberately.

Question is...how? How on earth do you live with someone who is suffering so much and is going through so much emotional, internal anguish and pain? I've tried desperately to understand her and empathize with her but she doesn't want to talk to me anymore and we've started avoiding each other. Recently, I'd gotten a new job so I don't have to see her at work everyday but we still live together.

I need to know how to talk to her or at least be civil towards her. She doesn't trust doctors so suggesting she sees a therapist is almost out of the question. I have to walk on eggshells around her and I dread coming home from work everyday so any advice is most welcome!

Thank you for taking the time to read this

xAx
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Re: How do you live with someone who suffers Paranoia?

Postby conclave » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:31 am

First off your friend will have to decide when she's ready to help herself. She sounds pretty bad at the moment but no matter what until she's ready to help herself theres nothing you can do about that. Now about reducing possible stress and put offs in your friendship with her it may be a little hard at this point. The important thing to do when you first identify a PPD is not play their #######4 trust games. I'm a recovered PPD and I know exactly how they think. If she says a little thing on the side about expecting you doing something a certain way if you're a true friend you can say something like " "PPD's name" when I choose to be someones friend I mean that and I'm not the kind of person that takes advantage of others just because they're my friend. When I say I'm your friend I mean it." Then if she tries to make you play these games of "if you are my friend you would do this" say something like "If you really are a friend of mine then you will respect who I am and what I do and not doubt my friendship me for that." Then you must refuse to be a part of the whatever trust game they create for you. If you choose to play those games as you saw. You give into their demands then they scrutinize just how well you achieved what they wanted you to do and then give you another game to play on top of that to prove your friendship. Essentially if you play along it will only get worse. If you tell them that "a friend of mine wouldn't question my loyalty" they will usually respond well to that and realize the flaw in their action and retract. PPDs can be quite lovely people to be around as long as they feel safe with you. If you play their games however they will find the most tiny of detail to say why you have ambitions to betray them and will create a world of hell for you. Step back talk to other people about it, don't isolate yourself with them and realize whats happening before it happens and stand up for yourself. The PPD will either respect you for it or run from you for good perhaps. Either way those are certainly two better realities than the one you're experiencing now. Good luck!
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Re: How do you live with someone who suffers Paranoia?

Postby WhatsGoingOn? » Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:49 pm

I have a wife who meets ALL the criteria for having PPD. At first when I found out about PPD I was in a sense relieved because I knew something was wrong but not what.

I was then a bit low when the advice from so many people online was just to carry on as you are and trying to just handle situations with PPD sufferer. The poster Conclave however is the first person I have seen claiming to have "Recovered" from PPD. I would be greatful to Conclave or anyone else who would make such a claim to explain how.

Thanks

Forever hopeful
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Re: How do you live with someone who suffers Paranoia?

Postby conclave » Thu Jun 06, 2013 5:57 am

I had shifts in intensity of symptoms over five or six years I think? I had therapy on and off that whole time but the last two or three years before recovering I decided to stick to therapy and not quit anymore. Even then though I wasn't sharing everything with my therapist even but I never lost trust in him either. I had probably only one person I truly felt close to anymore at the start of this year. Obviously partially because of the trust problems and attraction to isolation PPDs usually have. I ended up losing her though because of various things. Half of it being my actions which I didn't understand and didn't view as right so I looked it up and realized I had PPD but then snapped out of it in a sense because of all the therapy I had already had. So in a sense it was really just the end of a very long journey when I recovered. The biggest misperception in a patient with PPD is thinking that trust is about another persons actions. But trust is a frame of mind you give someone to begin with from within yourself. Then if the person betrays it is when you may have good reason to retract that trust. As a PPD though you constantly want others to re-earn your trust through actions and you never really fully trust anyone. Partially because pwPPD don't really trust themselves I think.

I kind of was lucky because most pwPPD mistrust science and cling to a specific religion and become a fundamentalist. Not that I think religion is wrong in its purest of nature now but before I mistrusted religion and science kind of became my religion. Therefore I trusted psychology whereas I think most people with PPD distrust psychology. That definitely helped me to keep with it. It's hard to say what exactly works best for each person as PPD is one of the least understood PDs I think since it is one of the hardest of the PDs to get the person to open up and talk about their issues or misperceptions. Even when two people have the same PD they are still unique individuals. Each person expresses each symptom at different intensities and possibly in completely different ways from each other as well. Basically for me though it took a lot of self-work and losing everything I had, to finally look at the bigger problem or realize that something wasn't right with myself. Luckily I suppose since pwPPD tend to love to rationalize every little detail eventually they may stumble on every little detail in themselves and out think the disorder in a sense the way I did. I hope this helps in some way. If you have more questions I would be happy to answer them.
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Re: How do you live with someone who suffers Paranoia?

Postby yYyYy » Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:55 am

the book "Emotional Vampire" provide practical guideline for amateurs who has PPD friend/lover etc
if you ever feel weak or powerless
Remember than a single pubic hair of yours
could shut down an entire restaurant.
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Re: How do you live with someone who suffers Paranoia?

Postby WhatsGoingOn? » Thu Jun 06, 2013 3:46 pm

Conclave, yyyyy thanks for your replies.

Conclave it sounds like you had quite a good starting point in that you could look at your self objectively. The problem I have the situation with my wife is so bad we no longer speak. Things have not been good for a long time as she has continuously accused me of having affairs for years which I haven't.

It got so bad at one stage that I was literally in the middle of a very stressful situation myself when she approached me and asked me if I had been seeing someone. I was so annoyed that she was raising this now that I looked her dead in eye and said YES. *Which I know i should NOT have*. She then said Gods honest truth? and I said NO. She went on to question why I would say yes and my response was if I am willing to admit to something like that just for some peace, which I did NOT do imagine how much you have gone on.

This conversation took place about 6 months ago, when I had no idea about PPD etc. What effect would such a conversation have on someone who may have PPD?.
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Re: How do you live with someone who suffers Paranoia?

Postby conclave » Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:49 pm

She probably definitely has a ton of distrust now towards you and probably feels like she can't "read" you. When you have PPD you constantly feel like you have to read all the little things people around you do to try and catch the "inevitable" betrayals coming. It's just how you think when you have PPD and now that I am recovered I no longer understand why I use to think in similar ways, I mostly just know how painful it feels to think that way.

She definitely has no justification for accusing you though and I understand why that would be painful for you. If you are trying to have things work between the two of you still have you considered going into therapy yourself? The best thing I've found to help others we care about, especially those with a lot of issues, is to be sure that we are taking care of ourselves in order to maintain the least amount of emotional stress as possible. Sometimes having therapy can release a lot of that stress as it has for me. Maybe talking to someone objective like that would make you feel better and therefore more patient in order to get through troubling times with your wife? There isn't anything you can do if someone doesn't want to get better, people can only change themselves. Hopefully in time she sees everything she is doing and gets better but until then all you can do is have realistic expectations of her and be mindful of doing whats best for yourself in order to be there the best you can for others, as well as just being there for yourself. I hope that helps you in some way.
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Re: How do you live with someone who suffers Paranoia?

Postby WhatsGoingOn? » Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:46 am

conclave, thanks

I will speak to my doctor about the possibility of getting therapy myself. Not long after that event I also said I would no longer be discussing these accusations and others (some too ludicrous to post) unless she had some proof.

This he has recently gone to another level and is including the children in our issues. I fear some off her problems is beginning to rub of on them. One my off my concerns is if I show up as wrong some of the accusations she has made this will only make her condition worse and also make things worse for our children. it is a horrible situation, I know she would not believe it in a million years but I still love her.

It is like watching someone drowning and not being able to help.
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Re: How do you live with someone who suffers Paranoia?

Postby MrOmega » Sun Jun 09, 2013 8:17 pm

I used to get paranoid like crazy... sometimes, I would "snap" into another world... nearly 100% substance induced of course, however, different substances, relatively the same high alert brain space.

Leave them alone... do not challenge them... stop before your help, confuses them even more... and smile... because the chances of them being hyper sensitive to evil grins and laughter is fairly high...

Our other flatmate has expressed that we need to help her because she's getting worse and she's beginning to lash out at waiters for topping up her friend's glass and not hers- believing that he was excluding her deliberately.


See... super sensitive, with a dash of insecurity... smile it off, call them silly... and get the waiter to fill up the glass, teach them to be assertive.
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