Dear Dr. Archer,
I'd like some psychological advice regarding my sister. She's 35, completed high school and attended college, which is where her problems began.
When she was in her graduate class, she came to my office and told me that some people followed and threatened her. She came to me because I'm a senior police officer, and at the time I advised her to identify those who had made the threats. She had completed her studies, but did not receive her diploma because she fears going back to that college.
She then began working at a local hospital as a receptionist. She again came to me, this time telling me she had fallen in love with a medical doctor, but that she could not express her feelings to this doctor.
She had been working for more than four years in that hospital, and eventualy she resigned from her position, for no reason, and confined herself to her home.
She then started to run a small business at a small shop, but she would chase customers away and would sometimes smack the children that came in because she was afraid of them.
On my side, I tried to advise her to forget everything and not to be afraid of anyone. But, despite this, she continues to have these psychological problems. What can I do? What's going on?
Your sister sounds like she could be experiencing delusions, which seem to be paranoid in nature, but of course, I can’t make a diagnosis over the internet.
She needs to be assessed by a psychiatrist as soon as possible. I can understand your concern for your sister, because you love her and want to help her. The best thing you can do for her now is to get her help.
Delusions are false beliefs which cannot be disproved to the individual, even with definitive proof. They can result from a number of mental illnesses, drugs or stress. I want you to understand that as troubled by this as you are right now, she is just as troubled. So, talk to her, assure her that she is safe, but that she needs to see a doctor.
Don’t delay, set up an appointment for her soon. I wish you all the best.