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Psychiatry & Psychology--General/How to respond to a friend with delusions

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Question
I have a friend who is having delusions. This friend is in a psychiatric ward involuntarily but keeps calling me asking me to do things that are really unrealistic. (ex. get him Jets, get him into Congress)

I've been playing along as everything I have seen online says not to challenge delusions.

If he gets out and find that I have only been "playing along" and "think he's crazy" I have no idea what to do.

Answer
You do NOT play along -- that sends him mixed messages.  YOu can either simply refuse to talk to him about it ("I don't want to talk about that, but I'll be willing to talk about baseball with you) or, to tell them you believe he is delusional.  You NEVER agree with the delusions, since that only makes things worse. You can simply say, "I do not believe that" when he talks about a delusion, without any further explanation.  You just keep repeating that.

Psychiatry & Psychology--General

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Daniel S. Harrop, M.D.

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Dr. Daniel S. Harrop received his B.A. and his M.D., both from Brown, and his M.B.A. from the Edinburgh Business School, Scotland. Board-certified in adult and geriatric psychiatry, he is a past president of the R.I. Psychiatric Society and a member of the Committee on Medical Quality of the American Psychiatric Association and the Committee on Continuing Medical Education of the R.I Medical Society. He serves as a consultant to four of the top five major medical management companies, including OptumHealth/United Healthcare, Magellan Behavioral Health Services, ValueOptions and APS Healthcare, and maintains a private practice in Providence, R.I. He also serves as chief psychiatric consultant on the Medical Advisory Board at the R.I. Workers Compensation Court. He was formerly on the faculty at the medical schools at both Brown University and Harvard University.

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