Should I even try?

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Athena2020

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Should I even try?
« on: April 20, 2016, 03:18:44 PM »
I have a sister (age 60) I believe has had some form of paranoia or PTSD disorder for at least 20 years. She believes pretty much everyone is out to hurt her. It started with her ex-husband but in recent years she's started being suspicious of me and my sisters. I don't believe she's a danger to herself or others, but I'm afraid she could be if it gets worse. Mostly she's only causing herself a lot of pain which I hate to see.  We used to be quite close, but have become more distant in recent years, although we are friendly enough when not talking about anything important. I have been trying to get close again, despite the fact that she is still really suspicious of me - if only so I can tell her that I am concerned about her behaviour and think she should talk to someone. Everyone else in the family has decided just to ignore her or given up. Nobody challenges the things she says that make no sense or has ever dared suggest she might be mentally ill, lest we be considered part of the conspiracy. I have tried many of the "do's" and "don'ts" in the toolbox on this site (definitely in "rescuer" mode now), and am wondering if there's any point in telling her what I'm seeing in her that worries me, and if so, is there a way to do it without having her just shut the door on my completely?  I can live with the outcome if it goes that way (and have the resources I need to take care of myself), I just wonder if I might do her more harm than good by trying. Thanks, Lynn Marie

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practical

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Re: Should I even try?
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2016, 04:28:03 PM »
Welcome to OOTF!

I'm very sorry about the health issues your sister has and how it is affecting you. The best thing for her would most likely be to see her GP or a mental health care professional about it. Not sure whether you have ever been able to broach this subject and how she would react, she might shut you down. It certainly seems to be an issue that needs professional help however much you try to rescue her. It is wonderful of you to try to help her, please don't lose site of your own needs though.

Do you suspect her paranoia is related to a personality disorder? You may want to check out the Disorders    site for further information and see whether anything matches your sisters issues. The website and forum focus on people who have a loved one with a personality disorder in their lives.

You may want to look at the "Dealing with PD Siblings and other Family Members" board and see whether any of the problems and experiences people describe there as well as how they dealt with things is helpful to you.

Sending you strength as yo hare trying to find a way to help your sister.
If Im not towards myself, who is towards myself? And when Im only towards myself, what am I? And if not now, when? (Rabbi Hillel)

"I can forgive, but I cannot afford to forget." (Moglow)