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Paranoia - How long till the delusions end?

KileakA Paranoia - How long till the delusions end?
Hi to all, my best wishes for everyone learning to live without using meth. I have a question if i may. I have a close friend who smoked meth daily for 3+ years, and suffers from paranoia. He thinks he is being watched, and that his every thought and move are monitored. He also thinks that all his friends and family are somehow coerced into playing along. He has about 35 days clean now, but these ideas continue to plague him. He once did 5 months clean in jail and still held these ideas. If he stays clean how long does it take to lose these delusions?
Loraura Re:Paranoia - How long till the delusions end?
If the paranoia is from amphetamine induced psychosis, 2 weeks clean usually clears it up.

If he is having psychotic symptoms at 35 days clean he REALLY should be evaluated by a mental health professional.

Sometimes the damage meth use leaves behind triggers other psychological problems. This may be the case with your friend.

It is not normal for someone 35 days clean to be paranoid as you described.

There are, however, mental disorders that will display the symptoms you described. There are also medications that help.
Sfj Re:Paranoia - How long till the delusions end?
It is quite likely that his paranoia is already decreasing, but it may be so gradual that it seems unnoticeable. The amount of healing and return to sanity is in direct proportion to clean time. There are no guarantees or perfect continuums which can be used to chart mental health and recovery from meth addiction. Each case has differences.

In general, a few weeks, or a few months should be enough time to notice a difference.

Occasionally, someone may have more permanent or long-lasting mental problems – even after extended abstinence. If that is the case, medical help is seriously indicated.
Lisa Re:Paranoia - How long till the delusions end?
Unfortunately, I have direct experience through a loved one with paranoia.
I can only tell ya what happened in her situation.

My gf suffered from PTSD, which pre-existed her meth addiction. She was addicted, off and on for about fifteen years.

Even when she was clean, which could be up to a year at a time, she suffered horribly from paranoia (stemming from her Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and felt that she was being followed for the purpose of being murdered. (Her PTSD was that she narrowly missed being murdered).

For twelve years she lived with the paranoia, which of course was exacerbated when she used.
Finally, she killed herself because she was so tired of living in fear.

I think if your friend persists in his delusions after three months or so, he'll need medical/psychiatric attention immediately.

Paranoia is serious stuff.
Loraura Re:Paranoia - How long till the delusions end?
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-IV-TRT̮M

Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorders may at times not resolve promptly when the offending agent is removed. Agents such as amphetamines ... and cocaine have been reported to evoke temporary psychotic states that can sometimes persist for weeks or longer despite removal of the agent and treatment with neuroleptic medication. These may be initially difficult to distinguish from non-substance-induced Psychotic Disorders.

Is there any chance he is smoking pot? (same source as above)


Cannabis-Induced Psychotic Disorder may develop shortly after high-dose cannabis use and usually involves persecutory delusions. The disorder is apparently rare. Marked anxiety, emotional lability, depersonalization, and subsequent amnesia for the episode can occur.

Is he taking anything over the counter?
Some antihistamines, allergy medications, analgesics (pain meds) , and blood pressure medications (as well as others), can cause this.

I would strongly suggest he see a mental health professional and be 100% honest about anything and everything he has been putting into his body recently.

Re:Paranoia - How long till the delusions end?
My paranoia lasted for about 3 months, after I stopped using.

The "suspicion", anxiety, fear slowly subsided as more clean time was added on.
The fog began to lift, I slowly started to really listen to the people that I trusted and knew that they loved me unconditionally.
It didn't happen all at once, it was little at a time, but the nurturing sure worked.
Yes, at times they were at wits end because I was so convinced that some of the occurrences are real.
It took time.

Educating myself helped also, learning that I am not alone, and others who have used meth had the very same paranoia and experiences, just slightly different in regards to the small details, but basically the same. It made me second guess my fears, and listen a little more to the people that loved me.
vctry7 Re:Paranoia - How long till the delusions end?
We bought security cameras for our house AFTER we quit using. We watched the cameras for several months. We were about a year clean before we took them down.

The paranoia diminished very gradually over the first year. It was so gradual I am sure no one would have noticed.

There weren't any hallucinations like when I was using, though.

See also:

Paranoia, Hallucinations and Meth Psychosis Topics

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