Help me understand a particular mental illness
January 25, 2013 11:07 AM Subscribe
The short version: chronic paraphrenia.
posted by Iosephus to health & fitness (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
The long version, then, thanks for reading. So there's someone in the family that had a serious breakdown including (ineffectual, pretty much ridiculous) attempted suicide, female, single, late 30s, living alone by herself and with a decent job, first time with any such issues. Spent a month in a psychiatric facility under observation but among the general patients of the place, as seems is the legal requirement here after such an attempt. After release, proper medication and a lot of talk with psychologists she was diagnosed with chronic paraphrenia. Her delusions seem of the "political victim" type, as in "the government and multinational companies' executives are after me for my facebook opinions", or "they hired the neighbours downstairs to keep tabs on me", not to mention thinking they actually installed a microphone in her cell phone to hear all she said or the unending tales of woe about hackers with magical powers of snooping chasing her through internet. Before the breakdown and medication, visual and auditory hallucinations most likely happened to her. There is no apparent neurological cause, just psychological, and they haven't yet been able to determine the origin of the delusions, which probably started 6 to 9 months before the breakdown. They also haven't had much luck in making her see she has a condition or that she imagined most of what she imagined happen to her last year. So I'm pretty much at a loss here, never having been in contact with anyone in those conditions, much less a family member that might need permanent assistance in the future. I'm looking for online reading material to learn and understand this condition, and practical advice about what to expect as development of the condition, how to help (or at least not make things worse), what are the ways one should interact with such a person when she starts complaining or getting agitated about her "persecutors", what the actual risk of a new breakdown is, how this will affect her ability to hold and keep a job, etc.