Ask a Psychiatrist and Get Answers to Mental Health Questions ASAP
Hello I believe I can help you with your concern about your sister
I am so sorry that she has been exhibiting this type of behavior, I can imagine how this distresses her and yourself to see her like this.
May I ask when she was admitted for three days did the hospital give her a diagnosis at all?
Also it sounds like your sister may have a psychotic disorder called Delusional Disorder -Paranoid Type because believing that people are following her and tapping her phone are usually signs of paranoia. This can obviously cause symptoms of anxiety and depression as well.
Now in order to get her to a doctor will be difficult because she does not trust others because of her paranoia, so she may not trust a doctor for an evaluation
The only way she can be involuntary committed to a hospital is if she was a danger to herself, danger to others, or is gravely disabled (cannot take care of daily needs such as food, shelter, hygiene, etc...).
Now it seems possible that you may be able to involuntarily commit her for gravely disabled if she wants to live in a homeless shelter, but it would be considered a stretch and a long shot.
So the other option would be voluntary commitment or treatment, which she does not appear willing to do.
Also before I go on I wanted to provide you with a link explaining Delusional Disorder in more detail for you.
Now there is a slight possibility that her symptoms could be caused by another psychotic disorder called Schizophrenia, although that is highly unlikely given the onset of symptoms at her age and she would have to be hearing voices or seeing things that are not there (e.g. Hallucinations). There is als0 a possibility that her symptoms may be caused by an organic brain disorder (e.g. Traumatic Brain Injury, tumor, etc...)
So Delusional Disorders are one of the hardest and underrepresented disorders to treat because most individuals do not seek treatment as they do not believe anything is wrong with them, poor insight.
I also want to provide you with this book that can help provide some techniques to help her gain insight on her behavior.
So in order to help her get diagnoses and treated, you have to help her gain some insight on her disorder, but because she has linked you with the group of harassers in her mind, it seems like she will not respond to you or your brother positively.
Unfortunately unless there is someone in her life that she trusts, there will be no way to get through to her to help see that psychological treatment would be best for her. And since she may not qualify for an involuntary commitment, then she may go untreated for a very long time.
This is one of the unfortunate cracks in the system where as a country her freedom to choose her medical treatment or not choose a medical treatment is given more priority than her actual state of mind. So even though she does have a very serious mental health disorder, she still has a right to chose if she wants treatment or not.
I see that you are offline right now, but when you get back online I would be very interested in continuing this discussion with you and talking about anything further you would like to share regarding your concern, so if you respond in the chat box I will be able to get back to you as soon as possible.
Hello, I see that you are online right now. So please if you have any questions or concerns feel free to ask them at anytime.
Yeah most individuals with a Delusional Disorder do not respond well to initial outpatient therapy, so this does not surprise me. Usually you need more intensive inpatient therapy before considering outpatient therapy to help treat someone with a Delusional Disorder
The difficulty in getting her appropriate treatment which would have to include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and possibly the use of antipsychotic medications will be difficult and I am sorry to say, but usually individuals with this disorder do not voluntarily get treatment, so even if you do everything right approaching her, she still may not respond positively.
I would encourage you to read the book that I got you as that can help you gain some insight on this dilemma of yours regarding your sister.
I am so sorry that your sister is experiencing these symptoms. Eventually, her paranoia will become so great that she may respond with threats of violence. At that time, she can be involuntarily committed. Usually it is at first for 72 hours, but since her delusions will most likely still be present, so this can extended by a civil court order from a judge.
I truly hope that your sister gets the treatment that she needs to get better. My goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you ever have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime.
Before you sign off though, I would very much appreciate if you could rate my performance in helping you so that I can get credit for this question. Thank you very much