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  1. Default Does anyone know how to deal with Paranoia/OCD/Whatever the hell this is

    So I recently stopped locking my room's door at night because there's a network cable that needs to go outside into the living room and there's no reason to remove and re-attach it every day. Anyway, this has triggered my grandmother's weird terror of people coming into my room to take my keys and subsequently using them to unlock doors in the rest of the house. She thinks they'll 'dirty her makeup' and 'poison the food'. We've had no history of break-ins, the main door is locked, and I just want to leave my room door unlocked like any ordinary person does with their house.

    Anyway this morning my grandmother came into my room, took my keys and hid them away in a locked room because she was afraid someone would take them and use them for dubious purposes otherwise. God what the hell gramma, you're a bigger nuisance and liability than whatever imaginary threats you think anyone else is going to be.

    Anyway, does anyone know how to deal with this sort of thing? She's been like this since I was a kid and she is otherwise in total control of her mental faculties (she doesn't have dementia, can remember things very well, can make decisions, and is always looking out for herself).

    Does anyone have any pointers on how to deal with this kind of thing?

  2. Donator Straight Male
    IGN: ShinkuDragon HoukaPhoenix BoshokuRaven
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    Default Re: Does anyone know how to deal with Paranoia/OCD/Whatever the hell this is

    ...if they can get past your front door, why wouldn't they be able to go past the other locked doors without the key?

    you could just hide the keys from your grandma yourself too no? my dad is pretty OCD... and honestly don't think it's possible to change it without some serious psychological interference.

  3. Default Re: Does anyone know how to deal with Paranoia/OCD/Whatever the hell this is

    Hi! :). I have a BA in Psychology (not that that really means much anymore these days) and I think I can offer (some) help. First, if you want to know what to call it, I would wager that's: irrational paranoia feeding into obsessive compulsive tendencies. My first recommendation would be a straight up talk about how I phrased that: "irrational" paranoia. The matter of it all is, if your grandmother were, say, in the Irish mob, then a little paranoia would be a healthy thing but seeing as how I'm sure she's probably not, the first, easiest, and probably least effective thing would be to try to talk her out of it.

    If she's receptive, then you just take the approach of letting her explain why she does what she does and gently showing her why that's wrong. (as in, don't tell her she's in the wrong; she'll just get defensive. Instead, simply keep an eye out for logical inconsistencies and when you spot them, innocently question her on them). If she's not as receptive, offer to look up local crime stats (if you think that'd help; depends on the area, personally I live in one of the safest places in the US by FBI standards).

    The next thing that I would try would be to wait it out with her. It's sort of like when a parent spends the night with a kid to prove that "monsters" don't exist. You tell her that if that's as big a threat as it is that you want to document it; help her, you know, "catch" the perpetrators. Each night, for, I don't know, a week, help her monitor the things she is afraid of, and if, after a week, nothing has happened, that's when you challenge her paranoia. "Grandma, if this really is a problem, I want to help, but we've tested this for a week and nothing has happened. Do you think that maybe you're being more nervous about this than you should be?"

    After that, well, I recently read they made some promising strides with studies on Tylenol. I'd take this advice with a grain of sand, but apparently, taking Tylenol regularly can help people regulate their levels of anxiety about life. Of course, you could always just encourage your grandmother to see a therapist because that's someone infinitely more qualified than you or me to deal with your grandmother's paranoia, but I'm assuming we ruled that out even before you posted this. :<

    PS: I would say the thing you LEAST want to do is try to force her into something, be that hiding keys, or anything else. Very rarely, if ever, does confronting a paranoid person with hostility or passive aggressive behavior solve the problem. :< As far as I've ever studied the subject in school, the trick is to lead the paranoid person to the right conclusion such that they think they came to it on their own.

  4. Orbital Bee Cannon
    IGN: SaptaZapta
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    Default Re: Does anyone know how to deal with Paranoia/OCD/Whatever the hell this is

    Put a latch on your door.
    The sort people put on outside doors, which allow them to be opened a crack, but no further.

    Yes, I know that doesn't solve your grandmother's paranoia. I don't have any advice about that, assuming she refuses to accept therapy.
    What do your parents think about the situation, btw?

  5. Default Re: Does anyone know how to deal with Paranoia/OCD/Whatever the hell this is

    My father has been completely shut out of the picture, my grandmother thinks he's out to poison the family. My mom is very glad when gran does this kind of thing because, in mom's own words, 'a break at last, she finally is bothering someone else'.

    Now gran is going on about 'I wanted to return the keys to you! But I couldn't, because it was very dangerous! They might put things in your mother's makeup and make her look like a monster if she puts it on!'
    I think she is also trying to humiliate me into giving in to her demands, because she's demanded that my access keys to the fridge (it's in a locked room) and toilet be taken away, and is talking about buying a pot because she clearly can't let me have access to the bathroom since my keys are so easily compromised now with an unlocked door.



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