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Mom With Auditory Hallucinations

by Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Hi! A blessed day to all! I want to ask how to deal with my mom who has auditory hallucinations. She always (all the time) hear voices of her cousin saying many negative things such as our unit was previously owned by her cousin and wants it back. She also hears that they are going to kill us. That causes her to panic and believe that all she heard was true. My mom does not see her cousin for about 30 yrs. Last Christmas eve i brought my mom to the church to attend the Christmas eve mass and she ask her seatmate if she was her cousin. She also thinks that there is a camera in our sprinkler in our unit. I brought my mom to the psychiatry and the doctor does not addresss us what she’s been through. The doctor only prescribe Thozarine and take this medicine at 200mg a day (50mg on breakfast, 50mg on lunch and 100mg on dinner)for 2 weeks but after taking the first 100mg she does not want to take anymore because she feel very drowsy and cannot concentrate in her work. She also thinks that we are thinking shes crazy. Please help me what can i do to help her. She does not accept that what she hears are all came from her mind. Please also advise me how will i deal with her. I love my mom so much. I will do anything in order my mom can live the way she had before. Thank you very much and Godbless!!

I am sorry to learn about your mother’s condition. It seems as though she is experiencing auditory hallucinations, delusional beliefs as well as paranoia. It’s good that she was willing to attend a doctor’s appointment. But now the problem is that she doesn’t like the medication because it makes her drowsy and interferes with her ability to work.

As you said, she does not believe that what she hears is originating from her mind. She believes that what she hears and thinks is completely real. For this reason it must be a frightening experience for her to believe that her cousin is attempting to kill her and her family. Living in a world of psychosis is a frightening way to live. Those who can recall the experience and are willing to speak about it recount it as a hellish and confusing time.

As you recognize the idea that a cousin is out to murder your family is delusional. So is the idea that there is a camera in the sprinkler unit. Even though she believes in these ideas it’s best not to argue with her about why you’re right and she’s wrong. That’s because no matter how much evidence you provide to prove your point it’s probably not going to be enough to convince her otherwise.

The best way to deal with this situation is to convince her to take the medication. Medication is the most effective way to reduce or eliminate psychotic symptoms. Without the medicine her psychosis will likely become worse. That’s why you need to do what you can to ensure that she takes her medicine.

At this time, the main reason she cites for not wanting to take the medicine is drowsiness. Suggest to her that the both of you revisit the doctor to ask if he can lower the dose of medicine. Maybe your mother would be willing to take a lower dose of the drug. A lower dose might reduce her side effects.

You and she could also ask the doctor for an alternative antipsychotic medication. I am not sure what medications are available in your country but in the United States there are several newer antipsychotic medications patients can choose from other than Thorazine. In fact, U.S. doctors rarely prescribe Thorazine. That’s because it has many unpleasant side effects that can be difficult to tolerate. Some of the more common, newer antipsychotics prescribed by U.S. physicians include Zyprexa, Risperdal, Seroquel and Abilify. Inquire whether any of these drugs are available. Recent research shows that newer antipsychotic drugs are equally as effective as some of the older drugs (e.g. Thorazine or Haldol) but their side effects are more tolerable.

Many people with psychotic disorders do not believe that they are ill and thus refuse to take their prescribed medications. Because of this it can be a struggle to convince them to take their medicine. Approach this situation with the goal of making certain that your mother consistently takes her medication. This might be the only way you can help your mother restore her quality of life. I hope this helps. Thanks for writing.

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