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Claims stressful events never happened - is this condition familiar to anyone?

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Pelennor

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Jan 8, 2015
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Claims stressful events never happened - is this condition familiar to anyone?

My friend has a habit (showing up with increasing frequency) where when faced with an even slightly stressful situation, he will attempt to convince himself that it didn't happen.

I don't consider it any of my business if he chooses to have these beliefs privately, or even when he forcefully states "that didn't just happen" - I wouldn't mind not contradicting him, I'd just chalk it up to one of his many (often amusing) eccentricities. Where I draw the line is when he asks questions of me and others in an attempt to coerce us into conforming to his delusions. For instance, "how could we have been doing [activity X related to stressful scenario], we literally just finished doing [whatever we did just before activity X]". I have tried ignoring him when he does this, with limited success, because he'll keep pressuring me for a desired answer.

When I once tried confronting him with proof that a given claim of his was BS, he went full-two-year-old mode, stormed out of the room, slamming the door behind him before audibly banging his head against it.

He has other friends that have been familiar with this streak of his longer than I have, and they seem to believe that incentivizing his behavior has been a productive strategy for alleviating his problem. This is utterly counter-intuitive to my ears, but hey, they'd be in a better position to know than I would.

I care about this fellow's well-being, but I'm inclined to just go zero-tolerance and ditch him without a word whenever he presents this behavior (and if that's a dealbreaker for him, tough, then we ain't friends), but if validating his delusions really is the right move for his mental health I'd like to be persuaded otherwise. Is there any scientific literature on this condition, if it is one? Have you known anyone like this? How did you choose to react to them?
 
Purple Chaos

Purple Chaos

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Oct 23, 2014
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Hi Pelennor and welcome to the forum.

I've not personally come across anything like this before. I might be wrong but I think there was a thread a while ago, that was not too dissimilar, regarding lying and/or denying events had occurred. It might be irrelevant and not connected to your friend's problems but I'll see if I can find it. I wouldn't hold your breath! (I'll look tomorrow as I really need sleep at the moment)

I know when I have suffered with delusions in the past that my family was told to neither completely ignore them nor to reinforce or validate them. Something along the lines of 'yes, I understand that you feel that way and believe this at the moment but, in my opinion this is not correct...'. I don't know if this helps at all, or if this is still seen as the best way to deal with delusions, but I hope you manage to sort things with your friend.

Good luck!
 

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