Delusional Disorder: Symptoms and Treatment
A delusional disorder is a mental illness, called a psychosis, where the individual is unable to tell what is real and what is imagined. A main feature of this disorder is the presence of delusions, which are beliefs in something untrue. These delusions involve situations that could occur in real life, such as being followed, poisoned, deceived, conspired against, or loved from a distance.
What are the Symptoms of Delusional Disorder?
Delusions, by definition, are simply classified as false beliefs. These delusions may be a symptom of a larger psychosis diagnosis. This means that the individual’s delusions may be a symptom of their bipolar disorder or other psychotic disorder, but this is not always the case. A full evaluation should be completed in order to create an accurate diagnosis.
Unlike other disorders where delusions are present, delusional disorder indicates that the individual is only experiencing delusions without any symptoms of other psychotic disorders.
There are a few defined types of delusional disorder:
This type of delusional disorder presents itself in a situation where the person believes that another person in love with them. Sometimes this person believes even a famous or notable person is in love with them. An erotomanic delusion may result in stalking behavior.
Grandiose delusions are false beliefs in one’s own abilities or attributes. These inflated beliefs may include one’s intellect, power, worth, or identity. It should be noted that grandiose delusions are different to narcissistic personality disorder.
Someone with a jealous delusion believes that their spouse, sexual partner, or significant other is being unfaithful to them constantly.
Persecutory delusions result in someone falsely believing that others are persecuting or targeting them in some way. In some instances, an individual with persecutory delusions may make repeated attempts to make legal complaints.
Those with somatic delusions may be more commonly confused with hypochondria. The difference is hypochondriacs entertain the possibility that a feared disease is not present, whereas those with somatic delusions are wholeheartedly convinced they are suffering from a false disease.
There are instances where an individual may present two or more of the above types of delusions. This combination would be defined as mixed.
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Delusional Disorder Treatment
Treatment for delusional disorder may require medication, psychotherapy, or some combination of the two. Psychotherapy is particularly important, as it helps individuals work through their irrational delusions that are untrue.
It should be noted that those with delusional disorder may be highly resistant to treatment, as they are convinced of their delusion—regardless of how unimaginable it may be for others. A full evaluation should be done to rule out any other disorders that may be causing the delusions, like bipolar disorder.
How Can The Mentally STRONG Method Help Us?
Through the Mentally STRONG Method, those suffering from delusional disorder can understand their condition and work through their delusions.
Learn More about The Mentally STRONG Method as your first step!