What's the Best Option?
A childhood friend and I have reconnected over the past few years. A few years ago she told me about some hallucinations she’s had. When I suggested that she get mental help, she shied away from me a bit and did not open up about some of her issues for a while. Recently though, she’s started communicating her “deeper” issues again, and I am sincerely concerned.
She’s had hallucinations of experiencing things that don’t really happen (think aliens, demons, fairies), but she’s also having delusions that she IS someone else. She honestly believes she is a fictional character in her spirit, but trapped in her body. Recently more “personalities” like that have started speaking to her as well- she can sometimes hear their voices.
She has confided these things to her other family members as well, and she is very upset that no one believes her. I know she has been treated by a doctor for depression because she has a lot of self-loathing, no motivation, fatigue, physical difficulties, dark moods and thoughts of suicide. But her mother and I don’t think that she’s spoken to a doctor about the other stuff, her “beliefs” and hearing voices. She keeps saying she doesn’t want people to think that she’s crazy (and most of the time she seems normal until she goes off the deep end and explains how she is someone else or that a demon spoke to her).
Her family members and I don’t think she’s “crazy,” but we know she needs help because some of the things she’s explaining to us are not normal. Her physical and mental problems have made it difficult for her to hold down a job, so she’s dependant on many other people. She doesn’t really have the money for extensive treatment or medications, and so we’re afraid that she will refuse to seek help simply because she cannot afford it. She has a great home support system, but this isn’t enough as she clearly needs medication and therapy.
Where should we turn?? Are there public services that can help her?
THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION WILL NOT BE DISPLAYED UNTIL YOU HAVE INDICATED YOUR AGREEMENT WITH THE DISCLAIMER PRINTED JUST BELOW. CLICK THE 'I AGREE' BUTTON TO AGREE TO THESE TERMS AND SEE THE RESPONSE.
- Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
- Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
- Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
- No correspondence takes place.
- No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
- Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
- Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.