Delusional disorder, formerly known as paranoid disorder, affects the brain of a person. In this mental disorder, a person can not differentiate between the reality and imagination. It is a serious mental illness and is also known as psychosis. In delusional disorder, a person has delusions and unshakable beliefs in something which is not true or real. People with delusional disorder generally misrepresent their own experiences or perceptions. Delusional disorders are non-bizarre. People with schizophrenia are known to have bizarre delusions. In non-bizarre type, a person imagines something which could occur in real life like deceived, followed, conspired against and more. People with non-bizarre delusions either highly exaggerate the facts or imagine something which is not true. While in the bizarre type of delusional disorder, a person imagines something that can not occur in the reality like TV broadcasting your thoughts, aliens and more. It has been noticed that this disease is more common in women than the men. It generally occurs to a person during the middle to late life. People with disease generally socialize normally. But in some cases, people are very much surrounded by their delusions that their lives are disturbed. By now, you must have got the answer to your question i.e. what is the delusional disorder? In the later section, we will discuss the symptoms of the delusional disorder. There are various types of delusional disorders depending on the delusions experienced including Erotomanic, Grandiose, Jealous, Persecutory, Somatic and Mixed.
- Erotomanic delusional disorder: People with Erotomanic delusional disorder believe that someone who is famous or important to them is in love with them.
- Grandiose delusional disorder: People with Grandiose delusional disorder believe that they have got a great talent or have discovered something.
- Jealous delusional disorder: People with Jealous delusional disorder believe that their partner or spouse is unfaithful to them.
- Persecutory delusional disorder: People with Persecutory delusional disorder believe that someone is trying to harm them or someone has mistreated them.
- Somatic delusional disorder: People with Somatic delusional disorder feel that they have some medical problem or physical defect in themselves.
- Mixed delusional disorder: People with the Mixed delusional disorder have the mixture of two or more above- mentioned delusional disorders.
Check out the various symptoms of delusional disorder:
- People with delusional disorder generally face difficulty in concentrating.
- You will notice that people experiencing this disorder are generally in a depressed mood.
- People experiencing delusional disorder tend to either sleep a lot or a very little.
- People facing delusional disorder have a lot of delusions.
- People with delusional disorder get suicidal thoughts or have suicidal actions.
- Hallucinations, one of the symptoms of the delusional disorder. In Hallucinations, people see, hear or feel things that do not exist.
- In this disorder, people generally have an irritable, angry or low mood.
- Suspiciousness, withdrawal from family and friends, disorganized speech are some other symptoms of the delusional disorder.
The real cause of delusional disorder is still not known to the people. Each person who experiences this disorder has a different case. The exact cause or problem is not always known. Though, it has been believed that genetic, biological or environmental factors are the causes of the delusional disorder. As per the researchers, these are the various causes of the delusional disorder.
- Genetic: It has been noticed that delusional disorder is genetical. This disorder can be passed down from a parent to a child. Delusional disorder is more common in those who already have delusional disorder cases in their family.
- Biological: The abnormalities in the certain areas of the brain might lead to delusional disorder. Due to abnormalities in the proper functioning of the brain, perceptions and thoughts of a person are controlled leading to the formation of delusions in mind.
- Environmental: There are many pieces of evidence which support that this disorder is caused by stress. The intake of alcohol and drugs can also lead to the contribution of delusional disorder. People who are isolated and vulnerable are more prone to develop this disorder.
Genetic, biological and environmental factors can be the various causes of the delusional disorder. If any person is found to have the symptoms of delusional disorders then he or she should be immediately taken to the doctor. Doctors do the physical examination and complete medical history check-up. There are no lab tests to diagnose this particular disorder. Various diagnostic tests are conducted by the doctors including blood tests or imaging studies to check out the physical illness as the reason for the symptoms. If no physical illness is found in the body then the person is referred to a psychologist, psychiatrist or healthcare specialists who are trained in assessing the mental illness. They have a great knowledge of treating such kind of people experiencing delusional disorder. They specially design the interviews for the people suffering from the symptoms of the delusional disorder. The designed interviews and various assessment tools are used to diagnose a person with the delusional disorder. The diagnosis depends on the reports of the person related to the symptoms and attitude & behaviour of the person as noticed by the psychologist, psychiatrist or healthcare specialists. By the diagnosis, it becomes very visible whether the person has the symptoms of the delusional disorder.
Till now, there is no way that has been discovered to prevent delusional disorder. But a person should be given proper medical treatment as early as possible if diagnosed with any of the symptoms of the delusional disorder. A person who is suffering from the delusional disorder can harm himself or herself in any way. It is important that as soon as it has been diagnosed that a person is suffering from this disorder then he or she must be immediately given proper treatment so that the life of sufferer and family can be prevented from the disruption.
- The delusional disorder can be treated with the help of psychotherapy which is a type of counselling. Proper medication is also given for treating this disorder.
- For treating the people with the delusional disorder, the first and most used treatment is antipsychotic medicines. As per the various studies, it has been proved that near to half of the sufferers have shown at least partial improvement in the treatment of antipsychotic medicines.
- It is not easy to treat the people who are suffering from delusional disorder because sufferers do not understand that this problem exists.
- Psychotherapy is also very helpful for treating the sufferers of delusional disorder. It is used to release the sufferers from various stresses which create a great disturbance in their life.
- Individual psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioural therapy and family therapy are the various psychotherapies that are used to treat the sufferers of delusional disorder.
- Individual psychotherapy helps the sufferer to know and make the correction in the distorted thinking.
- Cognitive-behavioural therapy helps the sufferers to understand and change the patterns and behaviours of various thoughts which lead to troublesome feelings.
- Family therapy helps the families to deal nicely with the sun of the family who is suffering from delusional disorder.
- Conventional antipsychotics, atypical antipsychotics and some other medications are the antipsychotic medicines that are primarily given for the treatment.
- Conventional antipsychotics are also known as neuroleptics that are used for treating the mental disorders from the mid-1950s. These drugs do their work by blocking the dopamine receptors in the brain.
- Atypical antipsychotics are the newer medicines that are quite effective in treating the people with the delusional disorder. These medicines have very fewer side effects in comparison to the older typical antipsychotics. These drugs do their work by blocking the dopamine and serotonin receptors in the brain.
- Tranquillizers and antidepressants are the other medicines that are used to treat the anxiety, fear, sleep-disorders and tension which are the various symptoms of the delusional disorder.
- People having the unstabilised condition and showing severe symptoms of the delusional disorder should be immediately hospitalised as their life can be at risk because they can hurt themselves.
- Depression: A lot of difficulties are associated with delusional disorders. This problem leads to depression.
- Life-long illness: It is important that a person who is diagnosed with the delusional disorder should be treated as early as possible. If the person is not treated at the right time or left untreated then it would lead to the life-long illness.
- Violence and legal problems: Delusional disorder can lead to the legal or violence problems. People who suffer from Erotomanic delusional disorder believe that someone who is famous or important to them is in love with them. Such people may stalk or harass the objects of delusions. Stalking and harassing can lead to the violence and legal problems.
- Poor relationships with others: People with delusional disorder start preferring to be alone and separate themselves from others. This leads to damage to the relationships with others.
- Suicidal thoughts or actions: People who suffer from delusional disorder generally get suicidal thoughts which can put their life at a risk.
Myth #1: It is believed that the people who suffer from the delusional disorder are very dangerous and it is hard to control them. But the reality is there are a few people who show such symptoms. So, it is not that all those people who suffer from the delusional disorder are not good for the society.
Myth #2: People often confuse delusional disorder with the multiple personalities or split personality. There are the different terms with different meanings.
Myth #3: Delusional disorders cannot be treated is a myth. Many people have such perceptions but it is not true. There are proper medical treatment and psychotherapy for treating the people with this disorder.
Myth #4: People experiencing delusional disorder are crazy. This is not true. There are a lot of people who suffer from this disorder and still perform well in the society. There is a proper treatment for such people.
Myth #5: It is a myth that people who have delusional disorder snap and become insane without any warning. People do not develop this disorder in a short while. There is a possibility that a person with delusional disorder may not have the delusions for a long time but the person must be having the other symptoms of the delusional disorder. People find it sudden because without the delusions it is hard to understand that a person is suffering from delusional disorder.
In delusional disorder, a person imagines something which is different from the reality. People with the delusional disorder have non-bizarre delusions meaning that they imagine something which is possible. This means that the people who suffer from the delusional disorder imagine something which is possible but not true. There are a lot of signs of knowing that a person is suffering from the delusional disorder. The person who has a delusional disorder gets suicidal thoughts, sleeps a lot or not enough, gets angry or irritated, feels depressed and more. These are all the symptoms of a person having a delusional disorder.
A person who is experiencing the symptoms of the delusional disorder should be taken to the doctor as early as possible otherwise it can lead to long-life illness. It is risky to leave them untreated as they can put their life at risk any time in the future. People with this disorder get suicidal thoughts or actions. There are proper medication and psychotherapy to treat the people who suffer from delusional disorder. If a person shows the severe symptoms of the delusional disorder and is hard to control then he or she should be immediately taken to the hospital for the proper medical care and counselling required.
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