I am worried about the situation of my sister who is living in our home country. Her husband is morbidly jealous and he has caused my sister a lot of suffering. His suspicions are totally insane as my sister is a good person and faithful wife. However, if they, for example, are walking down the street together, he thinks my sister is sending suggesting signs to men walking by. He also searches all the places at home when he arrives, interrogates the children and even the neighbours by asking them if anyone has been in the gardens while he has been away. Sometimes he has even been sniffing the carpets in case they would have some strange smells. He has threatened to lock the doors from outside when he goes to work, if my sister supposingly does not clean up her act. He has also hit my sister in his attempt to weed out the bad habits from her. He talks to my sister in a very bad way and with awful words when he gets worked up about these non-existent things. My sister feels exhausted and the children are also suffering because of the atmosphere at home. There are other problems too as they are very poor. What could my sister do, because, in God’s name, I think she cannot take it much longer?
It is very likely that your sister’s husband is suffering from mental disorder called delusion disorder. You told he is working so he is capable in that way. Is he by any chance using any alcohol or drugs or is he in any other way exposed to any chemicals at his work that could affect his nervous system? Is the excessive jealousy the only strange characteristic in his thinking or are there any other strange thoughts or sensations? Is he perhaps very depressed? All of this means a lot when considering what could cause your sister’s husband’s strange thoughts. It might be a good idea if your sister could turn to someone close to her that she trusts. It would also be good if she could get someone her husband respects to talk to him and try to persuade him to see a doctor. If your sister lives near a larger city, it would be better to get in touch directly with a specialist psychiatric doctor and go to see him/her with the whole family. Everyone could then speak to the doctor and tell as much as they know so the doctor could get a wider picture of the situation. The situation could really be too hard for your sister to sort out on her own so she will need someone to help her. It is also a good idea to make a plan for what to do or where to go in case he is violent. It would probably be good if she could tell about the family situation to someone she trusts or if there are relatives living close by, obligate them to help in this situation.
The problem with delusion disorder is that the people suffering from it do not see how distorted their own thinking is. They see all of the problems separate from themselves, in other people’s thinking and doing. They do not seem different in any way until they start talking about their strange beliefs. Often they also try and get the other person to be convinced of these thought. However, there is no point to start arguing with them about these thoughts, because no logical reasoning will make them change their way of thinking. Naturally, their delusions must not be confirmed by agreeing with them. The most problematic thing with this is that these people seldom consider themselves as sick and because of this, it is very hard to get them to agree on having medication. There are also situations where medication will not help. It would be most important for your sister to think other options to protect herself and her children from this harmful situation.
psychologist Sirkku Suikkanen
Käännös: Keski-Suomen tulkkikeskus