The delusional disorder is a psychosis which false and irrational beliefs persist . Typically, these exaggerated thoughts are related to ostentatious, jealous, somatic, erotomanic, or persecutory behaviors.

Characteristics of delusional disorder

An example would be the continued belief that one is being followed or watched , despite a lack of evidence and no real reason to be suspicious.

Living with a delusional disorder can greatly complicate a person’s ability to maintain a happy life and harmonious relationships with their peers.

While the exact cause of delusional disorder is unknown, medical researchers narrow down the more consistent causes to genetic, environmental, and psychological factors.

Although the latter is usually drug or alcohol abuse, genetic factors are based on a pattern of delusional disorders that commonly occur among family members.

This suggests that genes are involved, and is also supported by the fact that most mental disorders are passed down from parent to child (the tendency toward mental illness is generally passed down).

Dealing with mental illness in friends and family is complicated and emotionally charged. Too often, conditions seem to emerge without warning.

One of the best ways to support and prepare for neurological decline in loved ones is through extensive research on disorders in the family.

The causes, symptoms, and available treatments for the disorders themselves are best studied extensively. Writing disabilities or anxiety-related psychological disorders, for example, are frequently discussed in the mainstream, but delusional disorders less so. This, in turn, makes it more difficult to investigate and ultimately prepare for it.

Types of delusional disorder and their symptoms

For the purposes of study, treatment, and analysis, delusional disorder has been classified into several subtypes. It is worth noting that some people can display two or more different subtypes simultaneously throughout their daily lives.

Below is a short list of the different types of delusions, in no particular order.

Erotomaniac delusional disorder

Erotomaniac delusional disorder involves the belief that a person is in love with the individual suffering from delirium . This can be triggered by a misinterpretation of an everyday interaction. Quite often, it can lead to stalking, unwanted contact, or other illegal behavior.

Delirious persecutory trastorno

Persecutory delusional disorder involves the irrational belief that the individual is being conspired against , continually being secretly maligned, or generally being mistreated by peers. People suffering from this particular illusion often file lawsuits or complaints with authorities for their imaginary persecution.

“Showy” delusional disorder

“Flamboyant” delusional disorder involves a sense of intellect, power, or social position disproportionate to the individual’s actual achievements.

It usually results in socially unproductive behaviors such as condescension or racism. Common cases involve people convinced that they have made an important discovery, or have a unique talent that considers them irreplaceable to society.

Somatic delusional disorder

Somatic delusional disorder involves a persistent concern for the individual’s bodily functions or physical attributes . People with this deception are often convinced that they are suffering from an undetectable physical disease such as parasitism, or they are the only ones who notice a deformity in their bodies for some reason.

This usually translates into repeat appointments with medical professionals for general examinations and a degree of frustration at receiving healthy tests.

Jealous delusional disorder

Jealous delusional disorder involves the belief that the individual’s spouse or significant other is unfaithful to them . This is generally based on spurious evidence and the individual’s interpretation of imagined inferences in everyday interactions.

It causes a high risk of aggressive behavior (and even violence) towards the individual’s partner, as well as towards those around them.

This disorder in today’s world

Current events have strengthened commentary on delusional disorders (specifically major delusional disorders) within the medical and political communities.

Delusional disorders historically have not been at the center of mental health discussions the way anxiety and depression disorders have been, but the politics of recent years have played an important role in raising public awareness of delusional behavior that can and does They have important figures with positions such as the presidency of a country, neither more nor less.

Is this disorder treatable?

Because long-lasting delusions and the behaviors that accompany them are essentially the only symptoms of delusional disorder, it can be difficult to identify them early on.

Subtypes of delusional disorder are often confused with less serious psychological disorders, especially in adolescents. For example, somatic delusional disorder can be confused with body or gender dysmorphia; Persecutory delusional disorder can be confused with a mild phase of the martyr complex, etc.

Some parents assume that episodes of dysmorphia, victim mentality, or delusions of grandeur are normal in the course of adolescent life.

From the above mentioned, delusional disorder is generally considered difficult to treat. In addition to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and specialized psychotherapy, psychiatrists have commonly prescribed conventional antipsychotics, such as chlorpromazine and fluphenazine, since the 1950s.

Atypical neuroleptics, such as cannabidiol and isolated terpenes, are currently of growing interest among medical researchers and psychiatric professionals. In many cases, sedatives and antidepressants are also prescribed to treat mood or anxiety suppressing symptoms that occur as a result of specific delusional disorders.

Additional research and studies will be needed to understand the root causes of delusional disorder. With a greater wealth of knowledge, the psychiatric community can identify the disorder much earlier, as well as understand exactly how it is transmitted between family members.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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