Dear Dr. Archer,
My husband filed for divorce three years ago. He did this after I refused to support him because of his inability to keep stable employment, as well as being verbally abusive and controlling. He moved back to his home country while I continued with my job. However, the divorce has not been granted yet due to the fact he wanted the custody of our two girls.
Around the first of the year he had a major heart attack, and since he was alone, he gave my contact information to the doctor, and I had to take care of him. Since then, we started to communicate but I made it clear that there was no way I was returning to him. I stressed the only reason I was there was compassion and kindness.
Around three months ago he started to act strangely, crying on the phone, telling me his neighbors were spying on him, practicing black magic and everyone in the community and church were against him. He told me that three years ago he had a one night stand and clips of this encounter were being broadcasted via mobile MMS.
He has become so paranoid that it is getting difficult for me to understand if he is genuinely sick and needs treatment, or if he is doing this to get my sympathy and go back to him. He cannot face people, feels like everyone is spying on him, and everyone has received the intimate video on their mobiles. He has told me to change my mobile number as he feels he is being tracked through me. What do I need to do? Is he a danger to himself and others around him? Thanks.
Paranoid Delusional Disorders are quite uncommon, affecting only 1 in 3000 people. However, the symptoms you describe do sound like true paranoid delusions.
Delusions are irrational beliefs, held with a high level of conviction.Those who have them won't change their mind even when shown uncontestable proof. I think it unlikely that he would be faking these to get you back. But that's not for you to decide Samantha, you need expert help.
You must get him scheduled for a psychiatric evaluation and let a professional be the one to make that call. If necessary, get members of his family to convince him to get help. Establishing a therapeutic alliance, establishing treatment goals and educating the family are of paramount importance and hopefully medication can get this under control. You must schedule him for a psychiatric evaluation right away, the sooner the better. Good luck.
This is a difficult situation for S.R. What are some tips you can offer her? Have any of you had a similar experience?