My friend thinks everyone is against her. How do I help?

You are doing the right thing by understanding, listening and being available, says Philippa Perry

The question My friend has been unwell for a year. She is convinced her neighbours are trying to damage her property and trying to get all the locals against her. She installed CCTV cameras, then became agoraphobic and, although she managed to go back to work, she remains suspicious of everyone. She is stuck with her anger about her neighbours ruining her life and not wanting to give up her house although she has never been happy there.

I am not sure how to help her any more. I thought that I did not want to challenge her beliefs as she felt alienated enough, but part of me wants to say that I do not think that the neighbours would bother to follow her everywhere, convince hundreds of people to monitor her moves, tap her mobile or persuade people at work to cough at her “to make her think she is mad”.

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