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Paranoid Girlfriend

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I want to learn how to deal with my female friend that has a paranoid disorder. My girlfriend is undiagnosed. However, displays every symptom of the paranoid personality disorder. I was searching for an explanation as to why she has gotten worse in her paranoia.

It has turned into a love-hate relationship. I know that my responses to her are wrong because things only escalate. I will not confess to things I didn’t do — and she always returns to past issues that never happened, it is a Jekyll and Hyde personality shift. She gets angry quickly and begins using foul language and name calling. I get angry and respond to ridiculous accusations. I know there must be better way to handle myself.

I have no expectation of reconciliation. I would like to help her recognize that there is a problem, but it’s not me.

When I read the symptoms, I was stunned because she scored 10 out of 10. I finally had a name for what’s been developing.

We have parted ways twice for about 3 months, but she has reinitiated contact both times. This wonderful girl is very intelligent when she is not living in the past.

Her affect on me is a powerful depression, and frustration and anger. It lingers for weeks and impacts my work, sleep, and eating habits.

Please, tell me how to communicate with her in a way that helps, not hurt. I also would like to know the prognosis for recovery for a person that is so deeply into the disorder? Thank you.

Paranoid Girlfriend

Answered by on -

A.

Since there is no possibility of reconciliation I would not pursue trying to get her to realize her problem. If you were correct in your diagnosis, this is not something you are likely to be able to manage on your own. A couple’s therapist would be the only way to go if you were staying together. He or she could help sort this through, and make recommendations to your girlfriend about how she may proceed getting some help on her own. But if you are done with the relationship move on and let her figure it out for herself.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Paranoid Girlfriend

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Paranoid Girlfriend. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 21, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2015/05/24/paranoid-girlfriend/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.