Long story shprt my younger sister (32) lives in a state of fear that a certain celebrity is stalking her and her 2 children, and has gained psychic powers to rape her. She has been diagnosed with severe ptsd (retired disabled vet) and anxiety. She said she had been tested for schizophrenia and all tests came back that she didnt have it. I don’t know what to do or how to help or to comfort her. I’ve contacted cps, and the police dept and there is nothing theu can do unless she shows/threatened harm against herself or others. Can anyone advise or has anyone been in this situation?
She may not have SZ - depression, PTSD, even severe anxiety can cause psychosis.
But, she’s paranoid & delusional - so just stick with psychosis instead of worrying about whether or not she has SZ.
My favorite book for this kind of thing is I’m Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help by Dr Xaviar Amador. There are also videos on Youtube, he has a website & there are links here.
It goes over methods that help you talk to someone who lacks insight (doesn’t think they’re sick) and helps you find common ground so you can convince them to get help even if they don’t ever see that they have lost touch with reality.
If she admits she had PTSD, that’s your open door. If not, maybe you can talk to her about getting some help with her anxiety or something to help her sleep better.
My son, when he was first psychotic, thought government agents would knock down the door at any moment to kill him because he “knew” something. Of course, he can’t tell us, because it would put us in danger.
He’s past that, but now, he believes he knows & talks to all kinds of celebrities - so everything you’re talking about is common with psychosis.
If you ever feel that the children are in danger, that would also be a time to act.
If she gets to the point that she’s gravely disabled & can’t protect herself from harm, that can get an involuntary hospitalization too. Not being able to protect yourself includes all kinds of things from not eating to standing in the middle of traffic. Learn the law where you live & get someone to explain everything that you can use - not the police, but a crisis line or something like that.
Hello, Just try to be a gentle presence by accessing your own calm and loving heart; breathe slowly and deeply; feel your weight in your feet and their contact with the ground where you are standing. Make sure the kids are safe and that they eat and sleep well. Try to get your sister healthy food if she will eat it.
You have discovered the very real limits of our medical/legal system for treatment. Your sister’s health is at stake, but you cannot do anything until legal criteria are met, so it is time to access your best and calmest self. I wish someone had told me how long it can take to get help. I would have modulated my behavior to keep myself stable during the crisis times instead of losing my own balance.
Psychosis, as @slw wrote, has many causes.
Does she take any medication?
Keep track of her behavior and statements in a diary to present to doctors if there is ever any chance she will be hospitalized.
There may be a local mental health crisis line staffed by social workers who can walk you through practical steps to help your sister.
NAMI https://www.nami.org/Find-Support/Family-Members-and-Caregivers has support groups for family and friends of people with mental illness in many US cities.