06 Nov How to Help Someone with Delusional Paranoia – Tips to Follow
Delusional disorder is when someone is having disorganized thoughts and incoherent speaking with thoughts that are not real.
How to help someone with delusional disorder?
Everything they talk about is in their head, imagined because of chemical disruption in the brain. It has various subtypes including persecutory, grandiose, and jealous types.
Their thoughts won’t be completely bizarre or unrealistic, based on something that could happen to people in real life.
A person with delusional thinking might even have non-bizarre thoughts involving misinterpretations or experiences or perceptions.
Sometimes these thoughts can be quite exaggerated. People with delusional disorder can socialize and function well in normal circumstances.
Although, at times when they start talking people won;t be able to make sense of them. Their thoughts will be regarded as weird in the normal sense.
In some delusional disorders, the people suffering from it might become so preoccupied with their thoughts that it can disrupt their normal daily functions.
There are different types of delusional disorders like –
Grandiose – in this type, people have an inflated sense of power, knowledge or self-worth. They think they are a famous celebrity, an important figure or have made a world changing invention.
Jealous – in this type of situation people have insecurities, overt sense of protectiveness for their partners with thoughts that their partner is unfaithful and cheating on them.
Erotomaniac – This delusion has people believing that some famous person is in love with them and might try to contact them.
Persecutory – people believe someone or something is mistreating them, and trying to follow them, or trying to harm them. This can be in general people close to them or relatives or neighbors.
A delusional person will have thoughts that can contradict real evidence. They will have bizarre thoughts that have no real proof of happening.
Thought broadcasting – A person might think that other people are perceiving their thoughts.
Thought insertion – a person thinks that some external source is trying to insert their thoughts into their mind.
The main sign of a delusional disorder is the clinical behavior of the person. With the way they talk, and behave it gets very apparent.
A person with delusional disorder lacks self awareness, and cannot accept that their thoughts are delusional or irrational.
They get agitated and upset when someone suggests otherwise. They can develop anxiety or depression due to their thought process. Some of the symptoms that can be seen are
- Doubting loyalty or trustworthiness of friends
- Hold grudges
- Misunderstanding threatening meaning with small remarks
What Causes Delusional Disorder?
Delusional disorder doesn’t have a specific main cause. There are various other factors playing a role in this disease. For example,
Genetic causes such as family history. People who have had some kind of psychotic or delusional disorder in their family are more prone to developing this disorder.
Biological reasons such as abnormalities in some parts of the brain can trigger some disruption in neurotransmitters that is associated with development of delusional disorder.
Other factors like alcohol abuse, stress, or substance abuse can be linked with the development of this disorder.
Ego defense mechanisms turn active in people with delusional disorder. Isolation, envy, self-esteem are some of the characteristics experienced by people with delusional disorder.
Delusional disorder can be diagnosed when there’s a history of a person experiencing delusion for more than two times in a month without any evidence of any underlying medical condition.
How to help someone with delusional disorder?
If a patient is complaining of delusional thoughts, the physician might perform complete medical history and physical examination.
There aren’t any specific laboratory delusional disorder tests that can be performed; although evidence of any infection or urine test and drug test can be conducted to rule out any other medication or substance causing the disorder.
How to help someone with delusional paranoia?
Someone having paranoid delusions might go through thoughts such as
Someone, or some close family, or neighbors are trying to harm them
It includes intense and irrational mistrust with feelings of anger, fear, and betrayal.
These people have a tough time forgiving others, always looking for threats, and have a defensive attitude towards anyone that they think are criticizing.
They always have a fear that people will take advantage of them, or will be tricked into doing something they don’t want to do. The common causes of this paranoid behavior is
- Childhood neglect
- Childhood emotional trauma
- Substance use disorder
- Alcohol use
Or any links with mental health disorder
These causes can be a mix of environmental and biological factors. How to help someone with delusional disorder? These delusions can be treated with medication and counseling with a therapist.
The most important thing to keep in mind when dealing with people having delusions is that they are very fragile with their thought system and trusting anyone.
Building a rapport with the person impacted by this disorder can help them listen to you. They need to know and believe that you’re not gonna harm them, and you’re only going to do whatever it takes to help them.
They have a hard time dealing with the treatment process because of their symptoms like irritability, hostile nature, and emotional guarding.
To help someone with their disorder, first of all one should be very careful about their tone and judgment. They are already going through a lot dealing with their delusions and mood changes.
And, when they sense someone is judging them for something that is out of their control they might become reserved and go inside their shell or get agitated and might show aggression.
So, How to help someone with delusional disorder – while talking to them your word choice matters a lot. Try to talk and understand in a way that is not confrontational and in a calming way.
Try to come across with your worrying as a concern and not judgment. And it would be best to talk to these people when they are not in between their delusions.
How to talk to someone with paranoid delusions?
A person with paranoid delusions needs emotional and moral support. When they are going through an episode, give them space and try not to dismiss their thoughts as delusions or treat them as what they are saying is impossible.
Try to listen and be careful about your movements so as to not make them agitated or upset. Don’t try to hug or calm them down, they might not feel comfortable and get angry.
Just give them space and let them feel and talk about things they want to.
Supporting them in their condition by accompanying them to their doctor’s appointment, helping them take their medication on time, walks or exercises, sitting with them when they are not feeling like themselves is all the support they need.
Do not try to convince a delusional person that their thoughts are not real. Try to stay neutral and understand what they are saying and feeling.
Arguing with a delusional person about their disorder can result in erratic behavior and can isolate them furthermore. That doesn’t mean you but what their delusional mind is thinking.
Alternatively, try to talk to them in a way that you’re giving your opinions about their delusional thoughts.
Try to say things in a way that they think you understand what they are saying to you, but there can be this other situation also.
If you agree to their delusions it might validate their delusions and that can make them more scared about their situation.
How to get a delusional person to seek help?
When a person is delusional, they won’t necessarily know that there’s something wrong with them or they need help. These people live most of their life in denial.
So, trying to make them see that something is indeed wrong with them and that they should meet a health professional is important.
Talk to them about how it will be better for their life to see a specialist and follow a treatment plan given by them to stop these thoughts.
Talking to them as though it’s not their fault they are going through this and it’s okay how they are feeling can help them make themselves comfortable around you.
They are scared of judgments and people treating them as an outcast. It’s important you let them know they are humans and deserve just as much love.
How to help a delusional family member?
The most important thing to remember while How to help someone with delusional disorder is to stick with a treatment plan.
You should make sure that they take their medications regularly and not miss their doctor’s appointments.
It’s important for you to educate yourself about their disorder because that way you will be able to understand them more and can help them better.
Speaking to mental health professionals about their mental health and asking them for advice on how to deal with it can be one way to take care of your loved one.
If you have to behave a certain kind of way around them in order to not trigger them or their delusions, you should know them. Have all the information you need for their mental health diagnosis.
If your loved one suffers from a crisis, get them to a hospital immediately. It can be with their consent or involuntarily but you should know what you need to do for them so that they receive the best care.
Be more accommodating and helping about their hospitalizations. And, you should know at all times, if they are in a state of mind with suicidal tendencies.
Delusional disorder can be controlled with the right medications and therapy. There’s nothing to worry about as such that they are gonna go through something that’s impossible to fix.
If you have any more doubts about the condition or want a proper consultation and a treatment programme, get in contact with the best psychiatrist in Patna, Dr. Vivek Pratap Singh.