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Sarah, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 143
Experience:  Chart'd Psych, 12 yrs exp. English prisons, Clinical Hypnotherapist, EMDR Therapist, BPS, HPC reg'd.
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A friend of mine is in a difficult situation because her

Resolved Question:

A friend of mine is in a difficult situation because her mother has become mentally ill over the last 6 years with what appears to be severe paranoia. Her mother does not see she is ill and will not seek treatment but is making my friends life terrible.
She lives in London and wants to know where she can get advice or support?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Sarah replied 6 years ago.
Chat Conversation Started
Sarah : Hi there,
Sarah : Your friends mom definitely requires medication so getting her to see a GP would be best of all. I understand that she doesn't wish to go as she doesn't recognise her illness?
Sarah : Are you there?
Sarah : Hi, are you ready to chat? You don't pay for any info until you are happy with my advice and you press the accept button.
Sarah : Are you there?

yes, i am here

Sarah : Hi, welcome to just answer.


Sarah : The trouble with paranoia is that the person can believe that everyone is against them, including their family and the GP - is that what is happening?

this is exactly what is happening, yes.

Sarah : or does she simply not recognise that she is poorly?

both... she does not think she is sick and thinks anyone in authority is trying to get her.

Sarah : Maybe your friend could ask the GP to visit the house? She could make an appointment with the doctor and go herself, and explain what is happening with her mum.
Sarah : Maybe the doctor and your friend could come up with a plan that is less threatening to her by saying, we know that you aren't ill, but how would you feel about (for example) those voices giving you a bit of peace for a while? So you are targeting the symptoms that you think she may benefit from relieving rather than going down the 'poorly' route. Once this lady has started her medication, then she should start to feel better and the symptoms will start to quieten down.

her mum does not seem to be under a regular gp as she keeps moving because she needs to get away from where she is because her neighbours wiill be against her too.

Sarah : It is very common for sufferers to believe this and then getting them to trust anyone who wants to give them something to swallow is extremely difficult.

is an organisation like Mind interested in family members of mentally ill people?

Sarah : I know of someone who had this problem, and the son went with the brother ( the sufferer) to the houses and introduced him to the people, and explained that he would just like to say hello and to see that they were very normal and nice people. This helped a lot.
Sarah : Yes, mind is for mental health and i would imagine they have a strong support system for family members.
Sarah : If you search for mental health support for family members on the Internet, there will be several sites who can help, with er on line or perhaps there may be a meeting by your friend.
Sarah : Mental health problems are far more common than we imagine and there are lots of support groups.
Sarah : They recognise that the family members are the ones who carry the support forward because often the sufferer is not able to do so for themselves.
Sarah : There should be a GP in your friends mums area, even if she hasn't been for a long while.

I dont think the doctor idea will work because her mum does not have a regular GP, she changes when she moves.... does this just leave an oorganisation like Mind??

Sarah : There is the process of being sectioned under the mental health act, and being administered drugs for ones own best interests against your will, but again, you are up against them not wanting to go in at all. Although it feels like a betrayal, once the drugs kick in, the mental health should stabilise and the person should see things much more clearly.

Ok, so essentially we have to get a GP involved and maybe speak to Mind for general support??

Sarah : Somewhere like MIND would be able to give more detail about how to go about this without the input of the GP. If you can get her to go to A and E at the hospital, she would get referred onto the psychiatric ward and given the right meds, but again, you may have to talk about relieving some of the symptoms for her benefit rather than saying 'you are poorly and need to go to hospital'.
Sarah : Taking her to accident and emergency might be easier, even if you have to concoct a story in order to get her there.
Sarah : Remember, your friend would be doing this for her mums safety and out of caring for her, eve though it sounds like an awful thing to do.
Sarah : The other way that they get the attention is when some incident occurs, and someone calls the police and the doctor is called in. Then it is taken out of your hands and the lady would be admitted, which often happens. But concocting a story and trying to get her to hospital may be a better option to try.
Sarah : There aren't any easy answers I'm afraid, because you aren't dealing with someone who is thinking inn a rational way at the moment.
Sarah : Your friend needs support and to contact Mind or somewhere similar would help here to see that she is by no means alone in her situation.

ok thanks for that... i will chat to my friend about it and try to get her to make some headway before she ends up with more probs herself.

Sarah : Your friend may feel that she should be able to deal with this herself because it is her mum, and she may feel guilty for wanting to ask strangers to help her - but these are normal reactions. It simply isn't possible for one person to be responsible for such an enormous thing, and there will be many people who can sympathise with her.

yes, that is exactly how she feels and her her only other sister is not ointerested and has moved away.

Sarah : She needs to hear that it's ok to feel everything she is feeling, that she is not alone, that there are people whose job it is to support people in her situation - they do it everyday, which tells you how wide spread it is. I hope that is helpful to you?
Sarah : which leaves her with an even stronger sense of responsibility. But as her friend, you can tell here that it's ok to say 'i can't do this any more' because she still haas her own life to lead. Her mum will always have issues in the mental health field, but once her mum is stable, she can at least take a breather and relax a little.

Yes it is helpful.... because it confiirms pretty much what i thought and also has given me some other options about how to speak to her mum about saying this is to help cure the voices etc, not saying to her that she is sick.

Sarah : Some people are not very good at asking for help and take it all on their shoulders; your friend needs to see that it's ok.


Sarah : Get your friend to talk with here mum and find out what are the most irritating things that annoy her - then her mum may be as motivated as she is ever going to be to do something about it. She can take some tablets without losing face or fearing the consequences.
Sarah : I.e. "We can try and take those things away mum, but you might need to take a tablet to see if they will go.".
Sarah : Is there anything else?
Sarah : Are you still there?

no, that makes sense, thanks foor your help.

Sarah : You are very welcome. You are a very supportive friend to have and I wish you the very best with advising your friend about this. Take care, Sarah
Sarah : Please press accept if you are happy with my advice, or I do not get paid for my time. Thanks.
Sarah : Try this website.
Sarah : Or this one.
Sarah :
Sarah : Try this support group
Sarah :
Sarah : Or this one ...
Sarah :
Sarah : Best Wishes, Sarah
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