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Friend with apparent delusional disorder

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Friend with apparent delusional disorder

Postby Shakhaf » Mon Feb 24, 2020 12:15 pm

Hi,

Someone whose been a friend for over thirty years appears to have been exhibiting delusional disorder for these past 3 years. She hasn’t been officially diagnosed or seen a doctor about this, but here’s some history:

Firstly I have to avoid going into specifics just in case she ever reads this, and shall refer to her as “Mo”, which isn’t her real name.

Around a decade ago “Mo” was assaulted by a guy she’d started seeing. While she only confided this part recently I believe it to be 100% genuine because it’s entirely plausible, fits the timeline, everything appears to stem from this event, and it doesn’t have any of the characteristics common to her delusions. Also she’s always been a very forthright, straight up and honest person aside from the delusional behaviour.

Seven years later Mo naively confided this in a friend, who knew the guy in question. This person didn’t believe Mo’s story, accused her of making false allegations, and then proceeded to embark on a passive aggressive campaign of slut shaming and gaslighting on social media. It was a few weeks after this (around 2016) that Mo first began exhibiting symptoms of paranoia.

Initially she appeared to be manifesting the non-bizarre persecutive variant, but recently it’s expanded to include grandiose delusions and erotomania. Subsequent to the onset of all this she began smoking weed to “calm her nerves”, and this most certainly seems to be exacerbating the problem.

Aside from the delusions Mo functions normally, but certain aspects are starting to intrude on her life and career. She’s also started to broadcast these delusions to more and more people.

The delusions clearly aren’t true as they stretch plausibility too much. While the story remains mostly consistent it keeps growing arms and legs, and more and more people are now identified as persecuting her. It seems only a matter of time before I am perceived as joining her ranks.

The delusion has gradually expanded from just the friend who originally shamed her, to a millionaire sportsman from overseas who is paying a team of hackers to persecute her because she reject him, an Instagram model, hundreds of followers that these people have across social media, to an international web of conspiracy that includes any cameras and microphones she comes into contact with. More recently a second faction of world famous rock stars has begun defending her honour against the evil masses, one of whom is a band member in REDACTED who is now her secret ‘boyfriend’. All this has been communicated subliminally over social media, where the whole drama apparently plays out, and also via the radio etc. It’s literally everywhere, and she is right at the centre of all this action.

It is impossible to reason with her, she admits it all ‘sounds crazy’ but is adamant that it can’t be because it’s all true.

She’s been regularly expressing suicidal thoughts, although this depends on here mood, which depends of who is ‘winning’ this Instagram war. At the moment I have the impression that she’s too important to humanity to harm herself.

I managed to get her mind off it all for a while last year, and she admits now that she was considering that it could all be down to her mental health... but then she spilled part of the tale to some other people who tried their best to politely humour her, and now she ‘realises’ that the notion of her being delusional was ‘nonsense’ because these people immediately brought her plight to the attention of REDACTED, mobilising it against her detractors. As if.

She has even gone so far as to report all this to the police, who recommended that she see a doctor, but she won’t.

Does anyone have any suggestions as how I can encourage her to see a doctor? She never goes to a doctor with anything, not even when she’s ill.

Her parents are completely unaware of all this. She rightly keeps it from then in order to avoid upsetting them as they are old and infirm, so that avenue is out.

She has confided heavily in one other friend whom I know of, but don’t actually know personally. I could contact this person but if word ever got back to Mo then that wouldn’t play well.

The problem has become apparent to some other people she interacts with, and together we’re trying to manage it all as best we can.

It might be possible to arrange for the people who humoured her last year to come back and verbally inform her that they are not actually involved in mounting a campaign in her defence, but I suspect that might go badly, or she’d have some way of explaining/denying it. The story has become so grandiose and complex that the details have begun to get muddled.

Is there anyone here who has successfully recovered from this dreadful illness? What would you suggest? We’re in the UK.
Shakhaf
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Re: Friend with apparent delusional disorder

Postby Sunnyg » Sun Mar 01, 2020 4:08 pm

Hi,
Welcome to psychforums. Sorry about your friend. There is an excellent book for you to read called “I’m not sick and don’t need help.”

And learn more about the strategy of LEAP
Listen
Empathize
Agree
Partner

Try to get your friend to see a psychiatrist. Mocsa metropolitan organization countering sexual assault is also a great resource for your friend. She needs support.

Sunny
"I trust that if I start to fall off the ladder of life again, others will pick me back up and put me back on."
-Sunnyg
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