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Mark Manley
Mark Manley, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 402
Experience:  Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Over 15 years exp. Married 30 years and happy.
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Im worried about my 30 year old son. He has just lost another

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I'm worried about my 30 year old son. He has just lost another job due to the fact he thinks people are calling him names. He has had problems with drug and alcohol abuse in the past which made him very aggressive at times. To the best of my knowledge, he doesn't drink or take drugs now. There have been at least 4/5 separate occasions, witnessed by different people when my son is adamant someone has called him a name. He then went into a pub and told me everyone in the pub was calling him this name, so he said the people at work must be spreading the word! He also told me some people were following him in his car and he regularly says someone has been into his house and moved things around or taken something very insignificant.

The latest incident was recently, and I witnessed it first hand myself. One minute everything was fine and everyone was chatting and laughing and all of a sudden my son storms off and starts swearing at us saying he's not going to take that sort of abuse. When I spoke to him about it he was convinced his cousin had called him the same name that he accused his work mates of calling him and the people in the pub. Nothing I could say would convince him that nobody had called him a name. My sister, who is a solicitor, had a run in with him a year ago...and she's only just admitted to me that some of the things he said to her during that argument were totally bizarre and absolutely untrue. Again along the lines of people putting him down. He recently told his twin brother that he does it too and it was he who brought it to my attention. Everyone in the family is concerned about him but at a lose as to what to do. We've tried to gently suggest he might need to seek help but he's adamant these incidents are happening to him and he then gets angry and says its us who are stupid as he knows what he's heard!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Mark Manley replied 2 years ago.
This is difficult for you and those who care about your son to witness. From what you are describing your son is experiencing delusions of persecution. the following links provide information on Delusional Disorder, please read them first and then read the rest of my post.


http://www.minddisorders.com/Br-Del/Delusional-disorder.html
http://psychcentral.com/disorders/sx11.htm

There are two main approaches you can take to get him to treatment.

#1 Persuasion: This ranges from requests,to urging,to active appointment setting and saying "get in the car I have an appointment for you in 30 minutes." to group intervention(family and friends confronting him as a group and insisting that he seek treatment), to compulsion by means of withholding financial resources unless he is compliant with treatment.

#2 Joining: This approach is based on the idea 'if you can't beat him, join him', in other words if you can't break through the pathology go along with it and use it to get him to treatment. This approach is very uncomfortable because it requires you to pretend that his delusions are reality (they are his reality). You would say something like "I hate what people are doing to you, let's go to the doctor together to see if we can get some relief for the pain they are causing you." You get the idea.

I am sorry you have to see your son suffer and hope he will find relief soon.

Sincerely,
Mark Manley
Mark Manley, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 402
Experience: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Over 15 years exp. Married 30 years and happy.
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Mark Manley
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Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Over 15 years exp. Married 30 years and happy.