I am in a close and very tender relationship with someone, who might be suffering from PPD. He has been reading the symptoms and the characteristics and feels they totally describe him. He is willing to get some help. He has a great mind, is quite mature emotionally and is open to discussing his problems of mistrust and his ungrounded suspicions. So he manages to have his paranoid thoughts under control most of the time, though I dont know with what cost.

Once a month though something irritates him and he has a burst, accusing me of trying to hide information from him, being manipulative and a liar, being flirtitious etc. He really insults me and I feel so rejected and angry, since I am a pretty straight forward and loyal person, I hate lies and manipulative behaviors- it’s just not me! Although I know at these moments he cannot control his thinking and although I know that trying to confront him with logical arguments doesnt work, I started falling in this trap lately. I cannot not “not react” when being falsely accused and I can not find a smooth way to put my limits. Recently I got extremely raged and lost control- it’s so tiring and hard to respond calmly all the time…

What is the best way to behave when I am being verbally attacked about things I “have done”, that have nothing to do with reality? Just leaving the spot doesn’t really help, because he will come back with the accusations. Confronting him is helpless too. My patience starts to reach its limits as far as this issue is concerned, but then again he means so much to me- I really need to find a way to make this part of our relationship. So does he, he really tries hard, but it all goes away when “it gets” him…

If he starts therapy and manages to stay in therapy, is there a point in seeing the councelor together some time? How can I bring myself to keep control of my anger? I failed once already, even though I kept repeating to myself “dont take it personally, it’s over him…” Not to get hurt from what he says? But also not falling into the trap of admitting things I never did just to stop this attack? How can i put my limits?

A. Your boyfriend should be evaluated by both a therapist and a psychiatrist. The therapist might suggest therapy. The psychiatrist will most likely focus on medication. In most cases, both therapy and medication are integral parts of a comprehensive treatment approach to mental health problems. He should also have a medical evaluation to rule out a possible physiological problem.

If he agrees to therapy, it would be advantageous for both of you to meet with the therapist. Therapists often request at least one session with a client’s significant other, especially when there are problems in the relationship. The therapist may request to see each of you individually. He or she may want to see you together; it depends on the therapist.

If your boyfriend chooses not to seek treatment, then I would highly recommend that you see a therapist. A therapist could assist you in dealing with the anger you have toward your boyfriend. A therapist could also offer guidance about what your “limits” should be in the relationship. The therapist, based on a detailed description of his behavior, might also be able to determine if your boyfriend has a mental health disorder.

His behavior is unusual, and it is damaging the relationship. He should seek help immediately. If he is unwilling to seek help and his behavior does not change, you will need to decide whether you should or should not stay in the relationship. The “find help” tab can assist you in locating mental health professionals in your community. I wish you the best of luck.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 20 Aug 2011

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2011). Best Possible Way To React To Boyfriend’s Paranoid Accusations?. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 17, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/08/20/best-possible-way-to-react-to-boyfriends-paranoid-accusations/