Home » Schizophrenia » What I Perceive to Be Psychosis in Sister

What I Perceive to Be Psychosis in Sister

Asked by on with 1 answer:

Due to alcoholic parents I raised my sister. She is 10 yrs younger. She has been w her bipolar wife for 9 years. She is on disability due to four back and one neck surgeries. She has a long hx of alcohol and pain pill abuse. She is above average intelligence and had 20 yrs as a UPS supervisor before the surgeries. About 2 1/2 years ago she n her wife began to believe that they had parasites and were contagious. At that time they were taking large amts of pain pills. She ended up losing her house and all the contents and had moved from motel to motel since that time. They had custody of my SILs children until last summer when the ex husband won custody bc the kids were being kept out of school due to them being “contagious.” Since that time they believe that ppl are following them EVERY TIME they leave from where ever they are staying. They believe that every place they have stayed there have been spies and that their living space and vehicle are “bugged” They moved in w me two months ago. My sister had a near break down over all this and my SIL has not been compliant w her bipolar meds until recently. The both started suboxone about year and a half ago and no longer take pain pills. My sister takes b/p Med, atterall, suboxone and a cholesterol Med. She talks totally normal, acts totally normal, with the exception she believes that there are ppl in the trees outside my home that are camouflaged underneath so you cannot see them if you look up. They are looking in the upstairs windows and they have drones that fly by w their cameras. My upstairs looks like a fortress with the windows taped up, quilts used as a curtain across one end of the room, light fixtures exposed so the cameras can’t be hidden there. My neighbors are being paid off so these ppl can use their houses. It goes on. I constantly tell her there is no one in the trees and my house is not bugged and no one has been in here while we were gone. I am at a loss as to what to do. She is adamant that this is all real. HELP!!

What I Perceive to Be Psychosis in Sister

Answered by on -


It’s possible that she is psychotic. You mentioned that she has bipolar disorder and that may be a symptom of her disorder. You also mentioned that she has a long history of alcohol and pill abuse. The paranoia could be the aftereffects of the damage done to the brain via drug usage. Another possibility is that she is experiencing a physical health condition and the paranoia is a symptom of it. You also can’t rule out the possibility that she is currently using illicit drugs or alcohol. She has used in the past, and it’s possible that she could be using again. Finally, another thought is that this could be a side effect of her medication or she’s taking medications that are interfering with one another. She’s taking four different medications that could be interacting in a problematic way.

You should encourage her to consult a primary care physician and/or a psychiatrist. I’m not certain that she’d be willing to consult a mental health professional, but this would be the ideal. It’s important for her to consult a primary care physician in order to determine if there’s a physical health problem. The mental health professionals could address her psychological symptoms.

One thing you should try to avoid is arguing with her or trying to convince her that she is wrong. As you mentioned, she is adamant and strongly believes in these ideas. In all likelihood, nothing you would say will change her mind or convince her otherwise. In fact, it might even make the situation worse or convince her that you are part of a conspiracy to spy on her.

The best thing you can do is encourage her to seek professional help. If she’s unwilling, then you might want to reconsider her living in your home. By allowing her to continue living in your home, while refusing to seek help, you may be inadvertently reinforcing or supporting her delusional ideas. You might try giving her an ultimatum: allow her to continue living in your home on the condition that she seeks treatment. It could solve the problem. It puts pressure on her to seek treatment which she clearly needs. It might be what is necessary in order for her to get the help she needs.

Before making any decisions about how to deal with your sister, it would be advisable for you to consult, in person, a mental health professional. You might only need one or two sessions with a therapist to devise the best plan for approaching your sister. It’s not going to be easy because of her symptoms.

Undoubtably, this is going to be a challenge. She likely doesn’t trust you because of her symptoms which in turn makes you potentially suspect in her mind. Having the guidance of a mental health professional will help you to know what to do in this situation. Good luck and please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

What I Perceive to Be Psychosis in Sister

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2020). What I Perceive to Be Psychosis in Sister. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 28, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 5 Jun 2020 (Originally: 6 Jun 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 5 Jun 2020
Published on Psych All rights reserved.