Few days ago, my husband and I rescued my best friend as he showed signs of paranoia and hallucination in one of the hotels down South. In our more than 20 years of friendship, I knew this was coming. I have seen it coming, in fact. You should too if you know of a person whose a drug addict for more than 10 years.
My best friend’s been using since first year high school and his strong personality and high IQ made him a really hard candidate for rehab. He has evaded rehab all these years. He was never imprisoned, he was never caught red-handed, never sold a thing to pay for his drugs. I’ll be brave and say he’s a smart user.
Until two days ago.
His wife called me to say he’s stuck in this hotel, afraid to go out because he thinks people are after him and they will hurt him bad. I have not been in speaking terms with this guy because I got tired of his old antics and knew we were just running in circles. I was tired of rescuing him all the time. The wife though was out-of-town and they didn’t have anyone else but me.
Husband and I got him and I saw how bad his situation was. He was really scared. He got scared when he saw guards in uniform. He got hostile around bell boys and steward too.
He kept rambling things and I knew this was not going away.
He asked me, “What’s next for me, bes?”
I told him, “We will see a doctor tomorrow. You need help, badly.”
And to my surprise, he said “I surrender to whatever you guys think should happen to me. I admit I really need help bad. I saw things that I know aren’t real. I know that now. But I can still feel I am scared”.
We drove him home and made sure he slept.
The next day, he is again frantic and scared. Sleep didn’t make him better.
A friend of mine referred us to a Psychiatrist at the National Center for Mental Health. I opted for this doctor against the ones from The Medical City and Makati Medical Center because I want him to see where he will end up- in a mental hospital. Plus I knew my friend will not recommend someone who can’t handle my best friend.
True enough, my best friend loved the doctor. He tried to toy with her but he failed. I noticed he tried several times, but the good psychiatrist dodged him. I was really happy of the result.
My best friend was given a month’s worth of medication to rule out drug abuse as the culprit of his paranoia. He will undergo psychological testing though in maybe 2 weeks from now. After a month, we will go back to the doctor and see what her recommendations are.
What is paranoia?
Paranoia involves feelings of persecution and an exaggerated sense of self-importance. Paranoia occurs in many mental disorders and is rare as an isolated mental illness. Since the delusions involve only one area, a person with paranoia can usually work and function in everyday life, however, their lives may be limited and isolated. There are different types of paranoia including conjugal paranoia, erotomania, hypochondriacal paranoia, and different types of paranoid disorders such as paranoid personality and paranoid schizophrenia.
Other symptoms to watch out for:
- Self-referential thinking: The sense that other people in the world (even complete strangers on the street) are always talking about the paranoid individual.
- Thought broadcasting: The sense that other people can read the paranoid individual’s mind.
- Magical thinking: The sense that the paranoid individual can use his or her thoughts to influence other people’s thoughts and actions.
- Thought withdrawal: The sense that people are stealing the paranoid individual’s thoughts.
- Thought insertion: The sense that people are putting thoughts into the paranoid individual’s mind.
- Ideas of reference: The sense that the television and/or radio are specifically addressing the paranoid individual.
Do you know someone who went through the same process?
Do you know someone who went to a rehab and didn’t go back to his/her old ways? I know plenty who after x years went back to their addiction.
What’s next for them?
These are hard questions that keep running inside my head. Should we always be there to help them?