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Old 03-24-2009, 10:05 PM   #1
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Delusional obsessed friend…is she mentally ill?

This is actually about a friend of mine. An online friend. (Seriously. It’s not me. I’m very open on here about my own problems and issues, so have no need to pretend any problems I have are not my own)

This is a bit difficult, as I really do like this person and think she is a good and nice person…however. There are problems.

We met online on a website / forum around mid last year. We both really like this particular band and in particular, one of the singers in that band (anyone who is familiar with the person my username here is based on – that’s the person we both really like)

The difference between us came to light a few weeks after we began conversing on this forum. I idolise and admire this person. She is in love with this person and in my mind completely and utterly obsessed with her. I thought I got obsessed, and I guess I do, but not like this.

We have been sending many long messages back and forth since we met, and mainly since several people in the public area of the forum got annoyed at her for being so narrow minded and never talking about anything else other than this particular person and how much she loves her. So our messages have been private since then.

I’m afraid to say I’ve been somewhat indulging her…maybe even encouraging her. She has this idea in her head that she and this person are going to be together in a relationship very soon. She’s had this in her head ever since we first met, and before that even. She is a 17 year old girl. The object of her affection is a 69 year old woman. My friend is gay. This woman is not gay. At all. Ever. My friend long ago convinced herself she is in fact gay. At first I gently tried to explain that no, she really isn’t. But somewhere along the line we got mixed up and I got a bit lost in some of her “visions” and fantasies and dreams and psychic thoughts and beliefs. (She thinks she’s a bit psychic. I think maybe she is too, but it still doesn’t mean she’ll be with this person)

I thought I’d had some visions too, very brief ones, and got a bit carried away, because frankly, it would be really cool if she and this person DID get together. It’d be nice. My friend wants this so much. But I of course am fully aware this can never happen. Any “visions” I had were a daydream fun fantasy.

My friend…she is getting more negative about the fact this person has not written back to any of her billion messages she sends her…I have actually received a message from not this person, but from her daughter, saying they’re aware of this girl and don’t want to bum anyone out so haven’t replied to encourage her or anything. So that was nice of them to write back to me. I didn’t really know what to say to my friend after that, seeing as at that point in time she was expecting a reply any day.

Now she thinks this person will send her a message asking for her phone number so they can meet and eventually move in together. Oh dearie me.

Some other info – my friend apparently has no friends at school at all, has never been to a sleepover party, never has friends come over, is a bit of an outcast it seems, spends most of her time alone on the computer, is an only child (so am I and this is no bad thing obviously, but when combined with all the other stuff it could add to her loneliness), never has anyone call her, she doesn’t watch TV…she just…I don’t even know what she does!!! She just goes online and when she goes out ever, it’s just to school and then out with her parents, who she says get sick of her always being around sometimes.

She really is a nice person…but I can sort of see why she has no friends. She is just so incredibly single minded on her ambition to be with this person. She talks of nothing else, ever. She actually says I’m her best friend. We have never even met!! I’ve known her for not even a year and all we ever have talked about is her love for this person. That’s it. And I’m her best friend??? I feel sorry for her.

She frustrates me sometimes too, and I have to try and bite my tongue a bit. She sent me a message earlier and I said I was feeling negative about the whole thing, about the chances of her being with this person, and she wrote back saying she was not going to reply to that message and I had to reply a second time to it in a more positive manner. I wrote back saying NO THANKS. I’m not in school here, having to “do over” a paper. Blegh. It’s getting to me.

I feel the need to withdraw from this strange friendship.

Is she insane? Is she delusional? (I think I’ve already answered that one anyway) Is she seriously mentally ill, do you think? Or just a really extreme and lonely version of the normal exaggerated teenage feelings of being "in love"?

 
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Old 03-25-2009, 01:32 AM   #2
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Re: Delusional obsessed friend…is she mentally ill?

She may be mentally ill, but I don't think you can say that just from the behavior you described.

She's a very young girl, and it sounds like she has very little experience with relationships, sexual or otherwise. She's a recluse from what you say and it sounds like she lives to some extent in a fantasy world of her own making.

But you have to understand, that there is a huge difference b/t someone who really, truly does not understand the difference b/t their fantasies and reality, and someone who deliberately is fooling themselves into believing that their life is different from what it really is. Everyone does this to some extent at some point in their lives. The difference is that, deep down, they know what's real and what's not.

The first situation (actual disconnection from reality) is far, far less common than the second (livng in a self-constructed fantasy as an escape from real life, but knowing deep down that it's not really true).

She may just be doing this b/c it makes her happy. Or maybe less unhappy would be more accurate. I think the fact that she doesn't want your messages to intrude on her fantasy means that she realizes that it's not really true. If she had truly broken from reality I doubt your messages saying that it wasn't going to work out would bother her at all. The fact that they do seems to me to mean that she realizes this isn't real, but doesn't want anyone bringing her back down to earth yet.

And the fact that she picked such an impossible person to "fall in love" with - a heterosexual senior citizen with no interest in her, may show that your friend in truth has no intentions of this becoming more than just fantasy. It seemed like she made sure to choose someone who there was no danger of actually having to deal with in the real world. She may be lonely and want an intimate relationship, but is too afraid to take a chance with trying one in real life.

So IMO, no she's not "insane". Is she a troubled, lonely girl whose fantasy life takes up an unhealthy portion of her time? Yes. I'm certain she could use some counseling. And although she may not like you pointing out that her fantasy is just that, I certainly would not encourage her in it. You don't have to argue with her about it if you don't want to, but that doesn't mean you have to play along with it either.

It sounds to me like she needs to meet some real human beings in real life. Maybe you could encourage her to do that. If she lives near you, maybe the two of you could meet in person?

Last edited by fossilapostle; 03-25-2009 at 01:38 AM.

 
Old 03-25-2009, 10:22 PM   #3
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graces23 HB User
Re: Delusional obsessed friend…is she mentally ill?

That’s such an understand and insightful post, thank you so much.

I agree with you actually…she often mentions how scared she is that her dream won’t come true…and when she says it WILL happen, she partly does really believe it but also she doubts it at the same time.

I think she doesn’t feel that this person is impossible to be with…I consider it is virtually impossible but she seems to think it can happen. She’s been sending messages to her for ages, but I mean…as you said, this person is 69 years old and my friend is 17…and my friend is gay, but this woman is not.

Also, something I forgot to mention, and something that implies to me that it’s eventually going to be a passing phase in an otherwise fairly dull, lonely and immature lift (she’s never been with anyone before in any sort of intimate way and has no experience in that regard), is that before this person, she was “in love” with Cyndi Lauper and also Ann Wilson from the band Heart. Now she looks back and says she knows she wasn’t really in love, but merely obsessed. She says this person is different now though. But to me it just seems like a pattern. When I was her age I was similar. I did have my own friends and a life and a partner though, but also would go through obsessions with various famous women who I was attracted to.

Anyway…thanks so much for your help.

 
Old 03-26-2009, 07:39 PM   #4
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Re: Delusional obsessed friend…is she mentally ill?

Quote:
Originally Posted by graceslick23 View Post
This is actually about a friend of mine. An online friend. (Seriously. It’s not me. I’m very open on here about my own problems and issues, so have no need to pretend any problems I have are not my own)

This is a bit difficult, as I really do like this person and think she is a good and nice person…however. There are problems.

We met online on a website / forum around mid last year. We both really like this particular band and in particular, one of the singers in that band (anyone who is familiar with the person my username here is based on – that’s the person we both really like)

The difference between us came to light a few weeks after we began conversing on this forum. I idolise and admire this person. She is in love with this person and in my mind completely and utterly obsessed with her. I thought I got obsessed, and I guess I do, but not like this.

We have been sending many long messages back and forth since we met, and mainly since several people in the public area of the forum got annoyed at her for being so narrow minded and never talking about anything else other than this particular person and how much she loves her. So our messages have been private since then.

I’m afraid to say I’ve been somewhat indulging her…maybe even encouraging her. She has this idea in her head that she and this person are going to be together in a relationship very soon. She’s had this in her head ever since we first met, and before that even. She is a 17 year old girl. The object of her affection is a 69 year old woman. My friend is gay. This woman is not gay. At all. Ever. My friend long ago convinced herself she is in fact gay. At first I gently tried to explain that no, she really isn’t. But somewhere along the line we got mixed up and I got a bit lost in some of her “visions” and fantasies and dreams and psychic thoughts and beliefs. (She thinks she’s a bit psychic. I think maybe she is too, but it still doesn’t mean she’ll be with this person)

I thought I’d had some visions too, very brief ones, and got a bit carried away, because frankly, it would be really cool if she and this person DID get together. It’d be nice. My friend wants this so much. But I of course am fully aware this can never happen. Any “visions” I had were a daydream fun fantasy.

My friend…she is getting more negative about the fact this person has not written back to any of her billion messages she sends her…I have actually received a message from not this person, but from her daughter, saying they’re aware of this girl and don’t want to bum anyone out so haven’t replied to encourage her or anything. So that was nice of them to write back to me. I didn’t really know what to say to my friend after that, seeing as at that point in time she was expecting a reply any day.

Now she thinks this person will send her a message asking for her phone number so they can meet and eventually move in together. Oh dearie me.

Some other info – my friend apparently has no friends at school at all, has never been to a sleepover party, never has friends come over, is a bit of an outcast it seems, spends most of her time alone on the computer, is an only child (so am I and this is no bad thing obviously, but when combined with all the other stuff it could add to her loneliness), never has anyone call her, she doesn’t watch TV…she just…I don’t even know what she does!!! She just goes online and when she goes out ever, it’s just to school and then out with her parents, who she says get sick of her always being around sometimes.

She really is a nice person…but I can sort of see why she has no friends. She is just so incredibly single minded on her ambition to be with this person. She talks of nothing else, ever. She actually says I’m her best friend. We have never even met!! I’ve known her for not even a year and all we ever have talked about is her love for this person. That’s it. And I’m her best friend??? I feel sorry for her.

She frustrates me sometimes too, and I have to try and bite my tongue a bit. She sent me a message earlier and I said I was feeling negative about the whole thing, about the chances of her being with this person, and she wrote back saying she was not going to reply to that message and I had to reply a second time to it in a more positive manner. I wrote back saying NO THANKS. I’m not in school here, having to “do over” a paper. Blegh. It’s getting to me.

I feel the need to withdraw from this strange friendship.

Is she insane? Is she delusional? (I think I’ve already answered that one anyway) Is she seriously mentally ill, do you think? Or just a really extreme and lonely version of the normal exaggerated teenage feelings of being "in love"?
I don't think she's mentally ill or delusional.

People who are delusional have false beliefs and cannot be persuaded otherwise no matter how much evidence is provided to the contrary.

I don't believe she has a mental illness either. I think she's just obsessed and lonely. This is pretty obvious by the messages she sends you as well as the fact that she only talks about one topic. Not having any friends in school most likely adds to her loneliness as well.

In regards to whether or not you should continue this friendship, that's up to you.

If I were in your shoes, I would send a polite message to her indicating that you do not wish to maintain your friendship. If you decide to do this and she continues to send you messages, I would block her PM or e-mail address and report her to either her ISP or one of the mods from the web forum you both participate on.
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Old 03-27-2009, 04:28 AM   #5
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graces23 HB User
Re: Delusional obsessed friend…is she mentally ill?

Thanks for the advice.

Yeah, I've sort of decided to continue the friendship, but I did write to her saying I didn't really appreciate it when she treated me as if she was using me as an endless well of information or a sounding board about this person...

Anyway, so she's trying to be more of a "normal" friend now, which is nice.

Oh, and no, she lives in Florida and I live in Australia, so we can't hang out. lol. Otherwise sure, I'd give it a go spending time in real life with her...see if she's too obsessed for me in real life too, heheh.

 
Old 03-28-2009, 09:12 PM   #6
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fossilapostle HB User
Re: Delusional obsessed friend…is she mentally ill?

Quote:
Originally Posted by graceslick23 View Post
Thanks for the advice.

Yeah, I've sort of decided to continue the friendship, but I did write to her saying I didn't really appreciate it when she treated me as if she was using me as an endless well of information or a sounding board about this person...

Anyway, so she's trying to be more of a "normal" friend now, which is nice.

Oh, and no, she lives in Florida and I live in Australia, so we can't hang out. lol. Otherwise sure, I'd give it a go spending time in real life with her...see if she's too obsessed for me in real life too, heheh.
She sounds like she could use a good friend like you. Hopefully, at her age,this may be something she might grow out of as she gets older.

Anyway, it's nice of you to stick with her. It'll give you some good karma if nothing else.

 
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