Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Need advice on how to deal with delusions of persecution

Our son, 32, lives with his dad and I, has paranoid delusions so is unable to be employed and is on AISH (government supplement). It is barely adaquate and he is preoccupied with the need to make money which motivates him to start all kinds of projects that he never actually finishes. He doesn’t read instructions and eventually things go wrong and he gives up. However, I love that he is motivated. It gets him off the couch and keeps him enthuised about life. I do worry though, that at some point the reality of not actually accomplishing anything will get him down. And then what?

My question is… how should we respond to his delusional thinking about someone wanting to harm him? I’ve listened to some of Dr. Amador’s talks about not presenting reality until you have built a trusting relationship, but as his mother I want to reassure him that he is safe. Often our conversations start something like this: “Mom you don’t understand. You should never associate with (friend/relative). When I was a kid he tried to kill me. You weren’t there so you didn’t know about it. He should be in jail…” I have learned not to defend the person he’s accusing because that turns him against me, but I want to reassure him that he’s safe with them. As it stands we’re not free to have these people to our home which causes misunderstanding if we exclude them from family get togethers etc.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

My 34 year old daughter is delusional about my husband, her step-father. She is convinced that he is evil and mind controls me while abusing her. I try to never counter her delusions. Per LEAP, I listen to her statements as long as she wants to talk, then empathize by telling her I understand that the idea of mind control might upset her, then tell her we need to agree to disagree as I don’t feel mind-controlled by my husband, then I ask her if I can help her (partner with her) to solve her feelings as my husband owns the house and without him we wouldn’t have a place to live right now. She always says no, but it has reduced her ravings about my husband to a degree. I use LEAP on small things and large things (eating was one where I had success in getting her to accept food from me).

Perhaps with your son you could say, “I am sorry that you feel we should never associate with him/her, I can understand that you have angry feelings about him/her, but I hope you can agree to disagree with me, as I don’t feel the same anger. Can work out something together so that you don’t feel uncomfortable next time he/she visits here?”

I built a new outside door into my daughter’s room so that she can “escape” from my husband if she needs to without going through the house where he is. That came out of LEAP.