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What is delusional disorder: symptoms and treatment

What is delusional disorder: symptoms and treatment

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The Delusional Disorder or Paranoid Psychosis It is a psychotic disorder that is characterized by the presence of one or more delusional or out-of-reality ideas, without this causing another significant concomitant pathology.


  • 1 Symptoms of Delusional Disorder
  • 2 types of delusions
  • 3 Treatment of delusional disorder

Symptoms of Delusional Disorder

To make this psychological diagnosis, delusional ideas must persist for at least one month and should not be the direct consequence of the consumption of any type of substance or medical illness.

People who have Delusional Disorders are firmly convinced of things that are not really true. For example, to believe that they are good writers and have been awarded a Nobel Prize or to think that they are being persecuted and that there are people who want to harm them.

This type of disorder is part of a group of disorders characterized by the appearance of a single delusional theme or a group of related delusional ideas that are usually very persistent, and that can even last until the end of the individual's life. The content of the theme or set of delusions is very variable. It is often from chase, hypochondriac or greatness, but can also refer to litigation or jealousy issues or show the conviction that a part of the body itself is deformed or that others think that it smells bad or that it is homosexual.

It usually begins towards the middle or advanced age of life, but sometimes, especially in cases of beliefs about deformations of the body, it arises at the beginning of maturity. The content of delusional ideas and the moment in which they appear and can usually be related to some significant biographical situations, for example, delusional ideas of persecution in people belonging to social minorities. Outside the behavior directly related to the topic of delusional ideas or system, affectivity, language and the rest of the behavior are normal.

Other symptoms of delusional disorder

They are characterized mainly by being people with one or more very persistent ideas or beliefs that are not true but constantly invade their thoughts, although they do not always directly influence their daily lives.

  • His work and social activity does not have to be affected, unless delusional ideas are related to any of these activities or according to the type of delirium. However, most people who suffer from this disorder develop an irritable mood, they may even have violent behavior.
  • They are usually very reserved people and keep a lot of secrecy when talking about their delirium.
  • They are people who may have incoherent and disorganized ideas, although for them it has an indisputable meaning.

Types of delusional ideas

There are four major types of delusions depending on the type of delirium.

Persecutory type

It is the most usual. Who suffers it is totally convinced that he is the object of some kind of plot, and that they spy on him and even persecute him.

Great guy

This type of delirium makes the person consider himself someone important because he believes that he has made some kind of great discovery, that he has an extraordinary talent or that he has been the protagonist of some important event. They may come to believe that they are great scientists, bankers, writers, etc.

Somatic type

This type of delirium affects the senses. The most frequent idea is the belief that a part of your body gives off a bad smell or that you have an internal parasite or walking through your skin.

Jealous guy

The fundamental object of this delirium is the conviction that your partner is unfaithful. This conviction is based on incorrect assumptions and uncertain evidence. The big problem with this kind of delusional idea is that you can physically assault your partner.

Erotomaniac type

It is based on the delusional and persistent conviction of being loved by someone. Generally, it appears more in women. They believe they receive covert messages or signals from the person who is the object of their love delirium. These people are usually a reference for her (a doctor, teacher, singer, etc).

Usually, they tend to get in touch with that person through phone calls, mobile messages, letters, gifts, etc. Normally, the person object of this idea occupies a higher status, although it can also be a stranger.

Treatment of delusional disorder

There are treatments that can relieve symptoms, reducing them and helping the person to think more clearly. The therapist focuses on achieving patient confidence from a series of slow and progressive steps. The most important thing at the beginning is to accept what he explains to us, but without confirming his beliefs, and try to explore his thoughts and feelings little by little.

From the perspective of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, the therapeutic approach basically focuses on the modification of delusional beliefs and their emotional and behavioral consequences. It is advisable to visit a psychologist or psychiatrist periodically as part of the treatment. The goal is to help and guide you to understand those thoughts and thus be able to control them better. And on the other hand, also learn to prevent future problems.


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