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How to talk to my boyfriend about getting him help? (Delusions)

My boyfriend of 6 months is experiencing paranoid delusions and has no insight. He's only confided his beliefs to me on two occassions but I can tell they weigh heavily on him. He has been through a very stressful few months but I believe he may have been experiencing this for much longer. I've been trying to understand and process what he told me and what I should do.

We met in another state but then I chose to move back to my home in Melbourne due to family illness. He has just been here for a long visit and plans to move here permenantly in a month. I want to try to get him help but I don't really know how to approach it, especially wether he would be better off in his home state or here with me in Melbourne. He has a difficult relationship with his mum and dad but seems to have a good relationship with his brother (I've only met his dad). His two best friends also live in Melbourne.

He has expressed distrust of psychologists but I think if I approch it from the more concrete symptoms (sleep troubles, appetite, stress) he may be willing to come with me to a GP what will happen next? I'm really scared that if he feels I don't believe him or I push too hard for him to get help I'll lose him.

I'm wondering how other people have first broached the subject of getting help with their loved ones?


Re: How to talk to my boyfriend about getting him help? (Delusions)

Hi @Elderflower,

Welcome to the forums Smiley Happy it is great that you are reaching out here to get some support and hopefully hear from people who have had similar experiences. It sounds incredibly challenging supporting your boyfriend while he is experiencing delusions and trying to help him engage with support.

Here is one of our fact sheets on psychosis, which is a bit of an umbrella term that includes delusions, it has advice on getting help too:

What you mentioned about encouraging him to seek help from the perspective of sleep, appetite, and stress sounds really good. Focusing on issues that you both agree need attention can be a great start. GP's are often a first step in accessing support for mental health. Does he have a GP that he trusts? It can be useful when going to a GP about mental health issues to go to the clinic website to prioritise seeing a GP who lists mental health as one of their areas of expertise.

Whatever you and your boyfriend decide about where he lives, it is also really important to look after yourself during this stressful time. It sounds like you are providing a lot of care, are there people in your life you can talk to who will support you too?

Re: How to talk to my boyfriend about getting him help? (Delusions)

Also, here are also some discussions from the forums that may be helpful or have some similar experiences to what you are going through right now: Our Topic Tuesday on Psychosis, which is part of our scheduled discussions on Tuesday nights and so now a closed discussion here and also 'Help' by @Hopeless and 'Support for delusion disorder' by @Steffie.

Take care Smiley Happy


Re: How to talk to my boyfriend about getting him help? (Delusions)

Oops didn't tag @Steffie properly Smiley Happy

Re: How to talk to my boyfriend about getting him help? (Delusions)

@TortoiseshellThank you, I've been looking through the forums (and reading almost anything I can get my hands on!). It's helping me to feel a bit more in control and prepared for how to talk to him when he gets back.

I really didn't want to talk to anyone about it because that almost felt like a betrayal of his confidence but I've told my mum and two close friends. One of them is a newly graduated psychiactric nurse and she actually brought up with me that she was concerned about him which is what finally got me to talk about it. It's been a little hard for my mum because she obviously just wants to look after me.

I'm considering talking to one of his best friends about it and what I've been noticing but i'm not sure if that would be crossing a line. I don't know if this is something my boyfriend has been through before. Hopefully he could give me some insight and help me decide whether to talk to my boyfriend's family.

He doesn't have a GP either here or in his home state, so we'd need to find one.

It's funny, trying to come to terms with this is almost like a process of greiving. And I'm not even sure how any of this is going to go.

Re: How to talk to my boyfriend about getting him help? (Delusions)

Hey @Elderflower,

You need to speak to your support network to keep yourself strong through this process so dont feel like you shouldnt... 

My partner has Bipolar T2 and I was the first one to raise it with him when we were 23. Im not sure if this will help you but here is my story. I too had spoken to my mum, and come to the belief that there was definetly something not quite right about my boy's emotional responses to things. I waited for the right time, when he was seemingly relaxed... for us that was on a friday night when we had cooked and eaten dinner, he seemed happy. I firstly established that I loved him, and I wanted him to know that I was about to talk to him about something he might not like, but that I was raising it from a place of love and concern and that I would not abandon him. I described how his moods appeared to me, and gave him an example or two of situations where I would have responded in a completely different manner to him. 

I suggested that he may be struggling with MI and asked if he could identify things about himself that he perhaps didnt see as "normal". He could. I then suggested we see a doctor together, just to get their opinion and thoughts. He luckily agreed, he wasnt happy about it... but he agreed. And that is where our journey began. 

Just put yourself in his shoes, how would you feel if someone said this to you... and what would you want to hear from them to not be defensive and offended. I think it is about support, I would want to know that even if i wasnt "well", that wouldnt change how this person felt about me... that it wouldnt leave me abandonded. 

As a side note... pick your GP well if he agrees. You need one who is comfortable and proactive about MH so they dont brush him off and you will lose your chance. 

And look after yourself most of all... you need to be safe and comfortable at all times. Keep chatting here... there is a wealth of knowledge and support to be shared. 



Re: How to talk to my boyfriend about getting him help? (Delusions)

It sounds like he might be better off from a support point of view in Melbourne.  As for how to get him in front of a shrink. I would take him to a GP and let the GP do the heavy lifting of convincing him to visit the pdoc.  That is my two cents.

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