How should I respond to a delusional email from my mother who is suffering from paranoia?
A few moths ago, I posted this askme
, and shared the helpful suggestions with my siblings.
Since then, my mother’s paranoia has continued to scale upwards. She’s been living with my brother and he has tried to help her and to get this looked at by her doctor, but she’s been very resistant to this. During this time, my mother has not mentioned any of this to me, although I’ve been getting updates from my sister in-law via email.
Things came to a head a few weeks ago after a couple of middle of the night 911 calls by my mom with claims she was being gassed by my brother and his family. I can’t imagine the stress their household has been under, but this at least seems to have had the effect of getting my mom’s condition looked at seriously, and hopefully will result in treatment in the long run that will help clear up her delusions.
However, last night I received an email from my Momtelling me that she was expecting my brother and his wife to kill her that evening and that she'd email me again if she survived the night.
And this morning I did indeed get an email from her letting me know she’s still there and to expect further such reports.
She had shared a little bit of such delusions with me in the past, but at that time, they were not nearly so full blown and she also only mentioned them in passing. I was able to be supportive and direct the subject to other things.
So, my question is for those of you who’ve had to deal directly with delusional and paranoid loved ones. What is the best (or least worst) way to respond to this? Should I (as my brother has tried constantly to do – clearly with no good result) try to reason with her? Should I ignore it? What? I suppose I could just try to generally supportive and loving and elide all of this, but that doesn’t seem terribly realistic either.
I’ll be checking in soon with my SIL about all of this to give her and my brother a heads up and to see what I might be able to offer them.
Email account: email@example.com is still active. Thanks.