18-11-2017 11:13 PM
Hi there, I've been helping look after a family member, who I am not that close to.
She has come out of hospital after attempted suicide, the trigger was delusional thoughts about people breaking in to her house, and feeling anxious about this.
I talked to her last night and she is still experiencing these delusions.
I'm trying to get her out of the house and do things in the day time. She has had anxiety problems for over 10 years and has no friends, no life, has never worked as her mother has cared for her. She struggles to talk to people becuase of anxiety.
It doesn't seem like she has a gp that she likes, or is getting good health from her social worker, or psychiatrist. I've asked her if they have been helping her, but it seems like she isn't getting access to great mental health professsionals. I'm not sure if this is the whole story obviously, or whether she is just not trying to help herself. She is able to cook food and keep her hygiene up to normal standards. Can anyone suggest on how to move forward with helping her. I'm trying to find a new psych/psychologist for her, and gp.
How can you help someone who is not willing to do small things to help themselves because of the anxiety and delusions still occurring. I'd be grateful for any suggestions, thanks.
19-11-2017 06:44 PM - edited 19-11-2017 06:53 PM
What a very sad story of what your family member is going through. What a wonderful person you are to care about her so and help her as you do. We need more people in the world like you.
From the symptoms you describe it sounds like your family member is suffering a serious complex mental health illness which incorporates extreme anxiety. And when someone is living alone with delusional thoughts with no adequate outside help or anyone around her on a consistent basis to help assist her in questioning these irrational thoughts - makes it all the more real for the sufferer. Her delusionals are her reality then.
This is a very difficult situation, but the best thing to do here is help encourage her and attend with her to see a good recommended psychiatrist and psychologist as you are currently doing. Your family member will need the right type of medication and counselling to stabilise. That's the first step.The catch twenty two is when people are paranoid they can lose insight into their illness and that can be why they don't pursue treatment. They will need someone else to step in and ensure they are receiving it.
There are psychologists that can visit the home of people whom have trouble leaving it for these reasons. You can enquire about that in the area where she lives. With getting her out of the house and connecting on the outside is an excellent way of also helping her anxiety. It sounds like she has been too isolated for too long and that feeds anxiety, depression and delusions. So taking her out in the day if you can keep it up will help her tremendously. The long term goal is in time for her to do this on her own. When she is a lot better and stabilised - with her engaging in some volunteer work, even if only for a few hours or a short hobby or interest course etc will help her confidence, which in turn will help her anxiety. Going for routine walks etc also will help her.
What may also help her also is attending real life support groups for her specific mental illness. These groups can offer social outings as well. Someone can attend this with her for a period of time until she feels comfortable going on her own.
I hope this has helped a little. Please let us know how you get on ☺️
19-11-2017 11:06 PM
Thank you @Former-Member so much for your reply. This all makes perfect sense, and I will try to get her out of the house as much as possible. With not many life skills and unable to talk to people or even make eye contact, it is very difficult.
Thank you though for the info, it is encouraging to say the least. Hopefully I can find her a good psychologist.
It's hard to not get frustrated, but it looks like so many wonderful carers are going through so much hard work! I feel like her close relatives have just completely burnt out and hurt from her being verbally abusive in the past.
With me being a not so close relative, she hasn't been like this to me and is very passive, and seems to be going ahead with my suggestions (unless she can't say no) but I hope she can make some progress. With her current situation I feel that she is going nowhere, and perhaps will become unstable again and time is running out fast.
Unfortunately with no life skills, passions, interests, it is very hard to start something when she has never experienced a positive outcome.
Thank you for online support. We will see how we go!
19-11-2017 11:52 PM
22-11-2017 05:35 PM
Welcome to the forums @Nellie90
I’m sorry to hear how difficult things are for your family member and for you as her support. It can be such a challenge to provide support to someone who is not motivated to make changes in their lives. It’s great that you’ve reached out here to find some suggestions.
As @-Enigma- has said, it sounds like you are doing the right thing by helping her find a GP and psychologist or psychiatrist that she is comfortable with. How has it been going with getting her out of the house a bit?
There are other members here on the Forums whose situations have some similarities to yours. I believe @Steffie, @Darcy, @Shaz51 and @patientpatient have all supported or do support a loved one who didn’t or doesn’t wish to seek help. @Darcy has posted some helpful links here.
Also feel free to take a look around the Forums and jump in anywhere. Hot chocolate anyone? is a nice place to join others for a virtual cuppa and chat.
Welcome once again @Nellie90 and please keep posting
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