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Arundhati, Counselor & Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 259
Experience:  Licensed psychotherapist, Published Wellness Author
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how can I help a friend who lives in a fantasy world, he tells

Resolved Question:

how can I help a friend who lives in a fantasy world, he tells me stories that I know are not based in reality but he really believes them
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Arundhati replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for writing in to Just Answer.

From what you describe it sounds like your friend might be creating a fantasy world to escape from a reality he does not like. He might have been doing this initially as a defense mechanism to cope with a certain difficult event/incident but it might have slowly turned into a habit of its own. Alternately, these fantastical stories could also be symptom of a mental health disorder.

You are right that your friend needs help. Without help this habit could spiral into a pattern that can impair his functioning (e.g. affect his school/career, relationships etc.) if it's not already doing that.

To start with you can recommend that he consult with a psychiatrist for a full mental health evaluation. This will help to bring out any mental health issues he might be dealing with. Based on the result the psychiatrist would prescribe appropriate medication (if needed) or refer him to a talk/behavioral therapist for ongoing therapy.

The way you can be most helpful is by making him aware/conscious of the fact that his stories are not based in reality. Whenever he says something that you are aware is not true you can start to make him conscious of what he said in a way that he becomes aware that he is relating untrue stories. Sometimes those who create fantastical stories are not aware they are doing so - in other words it is an unconscious pattern - so by making him aware of what he is doing you can help him bring this unconscious pattern to his consciousness. This repeated making him conscious will serve to either push him to seek help or change his pattern.

I hope this provides some perspective.

Please feel free to reply back with your thoughts/reactions/questions if any.

Warm regards,

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