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Brad The Therapist
Brad The Therapist, LCPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 549
Experience:  10 years of experience in working with youth and adults
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My girlfriend just recently shared with me that she thinks

Resolved Question:

My girlfriend just recently shared with me that she thinks that everyone in her life - past & current boyfriends and girlfriends are spying on her. She doesn't trust anyone, she thinks that they all work for some form of the government. She is 35, and thinks that her life for the past 18 years has been a joke, that none of her relationships have been real, that everyone is spying on her. I told her that she is parinoid, but she wouldn't listen to me. What she has in her head is real to her. She refuses to tell people about these thoughts, it took her 18 years to open up and tell her son and me. She says she is not crazy, that she is right about this. I suggested she get help and see a counselor, but she refuses to listen. Is she Schizophrenic?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Brad The Therapist replied 3 years ago.

Brad The Therapist :

Thank you for your questions. To answer your concerns, I have a question. Other than these thoughts, please describe how your girlfriend is functioning in other aspects of her life. Does she work or go to school? Does she parent her son? Does she have friends?

Brad The Therapist :

hi are you still there?

Customer:

She is very depressed right now. Her job situation is not good, she is an appraiser, and she has little to no work. Her son just left her, he is 18. He lives right down the street from her living with a friend. He just threatened her life and she asked him to leave, which is breaking her heart for him to not be living with her.

Brad The Therapist :

Why did he threatened her?

Customer:

Yes, she has at least one friend, me. She suspects anyone else that says they are a friend is lying and spying on her.

Customer:

She and her son got into a heated argument over something very silly in my opinion. They were arguing over how to address his graduation letters.

Brad The Therapist :

And then he threatened her life?

Customer:

Yes, he said that he was going to stab her to death and watch her bleed to death.

Brad The Therapist :

Oh my...does your girlfriend feel safe?

Customer:

I'm not sure.

Customer:

I told her if it had happened to me, I would have called the police even if it was my son.

Brad The Therapist :

Yes, that is exactly what she needs to hear. If someone threatens her life, police definitely needs to be called so that the person can obtain help.

Customer:

Brad, so you think that she is Schizophrenic? How can I help her if she is?

Brad The Therapist :

Sorry we got off track from your original question. Schizophrenia also involves other symptoms as well. This includes having visual, auditory, or tactile hallucinations, or having negative symptoms such as feeling catatonic. Her feeling depression can also be a sign as well. Has she displayed any hallucinations?

Customer:

Not that I know of. But she does have delusions.

Customer:

I don't know what catatonic means.

Brad The Therapist :

I apologize...catatonic means showing no affect or emotions...

Brad The Therapist :

Does she ever threaten to hurt herself or others?

Customer:

It is very hard for her to share anything personal. She learned this from childhood. Her father would beat her if she even cried.

Customer:

She has admitted to being suicidal.

Customer:

She holds everything inside.

Brad The Therapist :

Next time she is suicidal, I would contact the local crisis hotline or police to get her admitted to the hospital. Does she find the paranoia she experience as bothersome?

Customer:

Of course she is bothered by it. She thinks people are after her all of the time.

Brad The Therapist :

If so, another way to frame her to obtain help is by saying to her that you completely believe her experience of people spying on her and that if she wants this experience to stop, she should see a psychiatrist to stop the experience.

Customer:

She doesn't think it can be stopped. She is convinced that she is right.

Brad The Therapist :

I want you to see that she is right because her experience is real (although it is not real in your experience). Since she trusts you the most, you can say to her that if she trusts you, she should get help so that the "spying can stop."

Customer:

But she doesn't see that the spying can stop, in her world it is very real and cannot be changed. She thinks if she tells anyone else that they will think she is crazy. But to her, she is not crazy, she is right.

Brad The Therapist :

Does she think that you believe her experience?

Customer:

No, the last time and the only time she shared this with me, I told her she was parinoid, that there is no reason people should be spying on her. She doesn't do drugs, doesn't sell drugs. So why would someone be spying on her? That's how I left it. She never wants to talk about it again. She has forbid us to talk about it again.

Brad The Therapist :

My only recommendation for you at this point is to be on a look out for further deterioration such as suicidal ideations or self-care issues such as not eating, bathing, or not able to use the bathroom. If these issues come up, call 911 and you can have your girlfriend admitted to the hospital, where she would be fully examined and receive treatment.

Customer:

Would they really upon my recomendation admit her to a hospital?

Brad The Therapist :

Yes they will. When she is being evaluated, she will be asked questions regarding suicide, homicide, or self-care. If she becomes suicidal because she feels that her friends are constantly spying on her, she would be admitted.

Customer:

She will never admit to people spying on her. She holds those thoughts deep down inside. She will not open up about it.

Brad The Therapist :

if she does not admit to this, but you have witnessed this, you may be seen more credible for her safety

Customer:

So I will be like a witness? And they will believe me? She would be so upset if I told anyone. That's why I found this website, because I can't talk about it to anyone. The only person that I've told is my therspist.

Brad The Therapist :

Although she has a tendency to internalize her thoughts and feelings, she will not be able to do this for a long time, thus resulting in anxiety and/or depression. when this, her functioning will be affected and be a cause for admission

Customer:

She has held these feelings inside for 18 years, that's a very long time.

Brad The Therapist :

That is correct. She will be upset with you but you are doing this out of concern. I would not do this right away. I would wait until she show signs of depression, suicidal ideations, or when she is not able to take care of herself.

Brad The Therapist :

Is she has held it for a long time but she had to tell you and her son so she can't hold it in. Especially since her son is out of the picture at this point, she will be feeling more sadness

Customer:

Yes, she is very depressed right now. She admits to staying in bed all day long for days on end.

Brad The Therapist :

I would ask her if she feels like she wants to hurt herself. If she says, "yes" I would call 911

Customer:

OK

Brad The Therapist :

I hope you found this helpful. Good luck.

Customer:

Thank you. God bless.

Brad The Therapist :

Please consider pressing the "accept" button if you found this helpful.

Brad The Therapist, LCPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 549
Experience: 10 years of experience in working with youth and adults
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