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Hallucinations about neighbours gossiping, refuses medical help. What can I do?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 2011
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This question is pertaining to my mom. Of late she has been hallucinating about things. She can hear neighbours gossiping about her even if she is well inside the house and all doors closed. she feels the neighbours are keeping a constant watch on her and can know what she does in teh house. She feels the neighbours are spreading bad things about her to us that is her own family and in teh neighborhood. When we try to explain her she gets defensive and says she knows we will not support her thought but she is right...I lost my pop 3 years back and maybe this has cropped in mom due to loneliness but ive tried all my best to make her understand calmly , sternly even emotionally blackmailing her but no success...She is well educated and cant fool her to come to any doctor. She refuses to believe that she needs medical help. She is fine sometimes and sometimes i just see she is fully in those thoughts of hers. How can you help me.I am disturbed as currently my wife is pregnant and i want my mom to get well soon so that my childs development is not hampered furtheron as mom does not interact with ay neighbours and im scared she will make my child also withdraw in a shell due to her hallucinations . my family consists of my mom , sister who will get married just 3 months down teh line , my wife and my kid to come....pls help
Posted Sat, 9 Jun 2012 in Mental Health
Answered by Dr. Aashish Raghu 12 minutes later

Thanks for the query.

Since when has your Mom developed such symptoms ?

Does your Mom get enough sleep ?

Is she on any medication ?

Since your mother is able to hear things which you aren't, she is possibly experiencing auditory hallucinations. Delusions of her neighbors speaking ill is also an important symptom to be considered in making the diagnosis. Also refusal for need to seek medical help indicates loss if insight which is a component of psychotic illness like Schizophrenia.

I would advise you to avoid trying to discuss anything negative with your mother as this could agitate her and can lead to violent behavior. Do not try to correct her or criticize her behavior. At this point of time she needs your help and support the most. Kindly be patient with her and try to convince her logically that there is something wrong.

You will find success in convincing her during the lucid intervals where she is perfectly fine. If it works, you may accompany her to the Doctor for evaluation and management of her problem.

You can consult a leading Psychiatrist about her condition, discuss her symptoms. The Psychiatrist can be requested to send medical help if needed to calm her down especially if she is not functioning like she used to.

Kindly do not delay. Do try to talk to her and convince her to seek medical help as soon as she seems fine in her lucid interval.

I hope I have answered your query. I will be available to answer your follow up queries.

Wishing good health.


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Follow-up: Hallucinations about neighbours gossiping, refuses medical help. What can I do? 56 minutes later
I have noticed that she has disturbed sleep > She is not under any medications. She has urticaria problem since many years and we tried all types of treatment for her but its not cured, due to which she gets swelling on the head at times and rashes on skin maninly on head and neck.The symtoms started gradually which we now realise . All this started after my dads death in 2007....It started with her forgetfulness at times which we used to ignore ..Gradually these symptoms have increased and are more prominent since past one year....Are there any OTC medicines that can be used safely without having any side effects ???also can you suggest any good doctor who can help in such a case.....
Answered by Dr. Aashish Raghu 1 hour later

Thanks for the reply.

Since your mother is having sleep disturbance and possible delusions and hallucinations since a year it is indicative of psychiatric disorder of psychotic etiology. The forgetfullness could be part of possible depressive illness which may have preceded the hallucinations.

There are no OTC mediation which can be used but only prescription medication. I advise you to consult a Psychiatrist at a reputed Hospital as soon as possible in this regard.

Do take care of your mother in this time of need and be more understanding and patient with her. Once evaluation and treatment shows effect, she will be herself and appreciate your help.

I hope I have answered your query.

Wishing good health.


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