Mental Disorders

Ask Dr. Dombeck
Ask Dr. Dombeck
Psychotherapy and Mental Health Questions

Delusional Friend

What is the best way to deal with a paranoid persons delusional behavior. I recently became re-acquainted with an old friend who is now a disabled, lonely woman. She is obsessed with notions that people terrorize her and are constantly plotting against her. She believes people break into her apartment and destroy things, and that her enemies are "getting to" the people she is close to and turning them against her. I hate to abandon her, but don't know how to deal with her delusions. Is it best to just act like I believe all this stuff and sympathize or try to be gently realistic with her. She does see a therapist and psychiatrist - but clearly her condition has worsened over the past 10 years. By the way, her paranoia is what caused the fall-out between us 10 years ago. She has alienated everyone who tries to be her friend and help her. I hate to abandon her since she is physically disable as well - but I don't know how to respond to her.

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