My Mum has been admitted to hospital and has severe paranoia. She mistrusts everybody and thinks her family is against her. How do we convince her this is not the case? Do we go along with what she is saying or do we explain to her that it is part of her illness?
Supporting someone with any mental illness can be very difficult and upsetting. Sometimes people simply feel helpless. It sounds like your mother is going through a difficult time. Experiencing severe paranoia, mistrust and being admitted to hospital is extremely distressing. Understandably, you sound concerned about how you should react to your mum's paranoia and how to support her.
The thoughts your mother may be experiencing will be very real to her and simply telling her she is wrong all the time could affect her confidence and self-esteem. Instead, it may be worth gently encouraging her to consider the realistic facts in relation to her thoughts or assumptions. Although this may be difficult to do, it may help to show her you understand how real the thoughts are to her, but then explain why you do not share the same belief.
The situation you describe sounds like it could be very isolating for you and your family, including your mother. Talking about how you are feeling as a family might be helpful to enable you to understand and support each other more effectively. You may also consider talking to a close friend, as it can help to share feelings with someone outside the family.
As an alternative source of support, SANEline is a national mental health helpline with advisors offering confidential emotional support and information to anyone experiencing mental health problems. They will be able to give you the time and space to talk about how you are feeling, without judging you or telling you what to do. If you feel this could help, you could call them on 0845 767 8000. It may also be worth passing on these details to your mother and other family members, as they may benefit from the support too.
Question answered by SANE