Delusion disease is a mental illness classified under psychotic disorders, a disease in which a person has trouble perceiving the truth. A delusion is a false belief based on an incorrect interpretation or interpretation of reality, and delusions occur as a symptom of various psychosis.
No one realizes the extent of the suffering caused by delusion disease, other than the one who suffers from it, as delusions become sweet and lonely, and delusion and confusion are companions on the way, and facts and concerns are mixed.
Therefore, we will put in your hands – dear reader – everything you want to know about the causes of delusion disease, its symptoms and methods of diagnosis and treatmen,treatment, so follow us.
Definition of delusional disorder
This disorder is considered one of the dangerous mental illnesses classified under the umbrella of psychotic disorders, because the sufferer suffers from delusions and the inability to distinguish between reality and imagination.
The patient is also dominated by completely unrealistic thoughts and beliefs, based on wrong interpretations, and when the symptoms worsen, the patient is separated from reality, and he is unable to enjoy his life and perform his daily tasks.
In addition, the affected person’s delusions are persistent; They are firm beliefs that are not subject to modification and are not allowed to be shaken even though they are illogical and wrong.
It is worth noting that people with delusional disease behave normally most of the time, while patients with other psychotic illnesses experience delusions and hallucinations; Which negatively affects their daily dealings.
The relationship between delusion and fantasies
Delusions are one of the most important areas studied by psychopathology, while fantasies are a trait that describes a tendency to fanciful thinking, mental imagery, and exaggerated imagination.
The relationship between delusion and fantasies has not been studied in the medical literature, but there was a study conducted in September of 2018, at the Mental Health Center at Swinburne University of Technology in Australia, as follows:
The study hypothesizes that there is an important relationship between fantasies and each of:
- Predicting the severity of the illusion.
- delusional distress.
- Weak convictions.
- Indulging in ideas.
The study was conducted on 95 patients with psychosis. Patients were assessed based on one of the survey questionnaires, with 46 healthy volunteers also completing the questionnaire.
It was observed that there is a close correlation between the imaginary impression and the severity of the illusion. In conclusion, the study indicated the following: “There are strong correlations that have been observed between fantasies and the severity of delusion among patients and volunteers.
Patient fantasies about real-life situations, not delusions of pseudo-science fiction like seeing a winged dragon.
The patient also clings to his illusions, even though there are evidences that refute his outdated false beliefs.
The most prominent symptoms associated with delusion are:
- lack of self confidence.
- Disruption of social relationships.
- Constant obsessive illness, and frequent visits to doctors to check on his health.
- Memory impairment and distraction.
- Frequent complaints of physical exhaustion.
- sleep disturbance.
- Constant worry and tension.
Causes of delusion disease
It is unfortunate that researchers have not found the causes of most mental disorders, and the same applies to delusional disorder, but there are some factors that contribute to increasing the possibility of developing it, such as:
1- Genetic factors
There are some beliefs that the genes that carry the disease have an effective role in the development of delusional disorder, when passed from parents to children.
It is worth noting that people whose family members suffer from delusional disorder or some mental disorders are more likely to be affected.
2- Environmental and psychological factors
some environmental factors contribute to stimulating this disorder, including the following:
- Drug Addiction.
- drinking alcohol.
- Chronic stress and anxiety.
- Spending a lot of time isolated from people, such as immigrants from one country to another.
- Those with impaired hearing or vision.
3- Biological factor
Some studies indicate that changes in some areas of the brain increase the likelihood of developing this disorder, such as a disorder of neurotransmitters in the brain.
Types of delusion disease
Delusion disorder is classified based on the thoughts and obsessions that a person has. The following is a description of the types of this disorder:
- 1)- Grandiosity
- 2)- Illusions of love
- 3)-The illusion of jealousy
- 4) Persecution obsession
- 5) – physical delusion
- 6)- Mixed illusion
The sufferer in this case imagines that he has a supernatural talent and puts himself at the center of the universe, and that what he does always and forever can not be matched by anyone.
He is also overwhelmed by the feeling of being of higher worth and status than others, and they give themselves the right to draw all the ovation.
2)- Illusions of love
The sufferer suffers from love and infatuation, and delusions that someone is in love with him, and these feelings are usually towards a famous or very important person.
The problem may be exacerbated and the patient may try to chase the one he loves and reach him in various ways.
3)- The illusion of jealousy
Also known as betrayal mania; This is because the victim has an illusion that his partner is unfaithful to him and is cheating on him, and this type of social problems causes significant social problems, which may reach the point of murder.
4) Persecution obsession
The patient believes that someone close to him treats him badly or is spying on him and plans to harm him, so these patients may file numerous legal complaints and complaints to the security authorities.
5) – physical delusion
The patient imagines that he suffers from some health problems, or that he suffers from congenital defects in the body.
6)- Mixed illusion
This type occurs if a person suffers from two or more of the previously mentioned types of delusional disorder.
The relationship between delusion and schizophrenia
Delusion and schizophrenia are mental disorders, and both diseases are characterized by auditory and visual hallucinations and delusions.
Schizophrenia is defined as a severe disorder of the brain; It changes the patient’s thinking pattern and vision of reality and disturbs his relationships with those around him, so this disease is considered the most difficult and complex among the mental illnesses.
Dangers of delusional disorder
It is unfortunate that the severe consequences of this disorder do not depend on the aforementioned symptoms only, because delusion disease leads to some serious complications, such as:
Autism and isolation.
Impulsivity and aggressive behaviour.
Diagnosed with delusion
It should be noted that patients with delusional disorder lead a normal life, and do not exhibit strange actions related to the delusions that control them.
The diagnosis of delusional disorder is based on symptoms based on delusions and fantasies that the patient has had for an entire month.
If the patient suffers from schizophrenia or any other psychological disorder, delusion is one of the symptoms of that disease, and it cannot be certain that he suffers from delusion.
The doctor excludes physical diseases that cause delusion, such as: Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, and diseases of the liver and kidneys.
delusion disease treatment
It is difficult for the injured person to seek treatment, because he does not realize the illness that has befallen him, and that the thoughts that circulate inside his head are wrong and need direction and modification.
However, one of the patient’s relatives must seek help from the specialist doctor as soon as possible when the person suffers symptoms of delusional disorder, to seek advice and start the treatment journey.
The methods of treating delusions and fantasies can vary from one patient to another, and treatments can be classified into psychological treatment and pharmacological treatment.
Several psychological therapies can play a role in improving the behavioral and psychological problems associated with delusion.
Within psychotherapy, the patient can learn how to control symptoms, identify early signs of relapse, and develop a mechanism to prevent relapse.
Where psychotherapy is one of the most important steps in treating delusion; This is because CBT helps the patient to become aware of their negative thinking and understand their false beliefs.
It also contributes to teaching patients how to control the different situations they face, and to develop and rehabilitate themselves to face life’s problems.
2)- drug therapy
The doctor resorts to prescribing antipsychotic drugs because of their great importance in the treatment of delusional disorder. The doctor may also prescribe some atypical antipsychotics for patients who have fewer side effects.
He may also prescribe some sedatives if the patient suffers from a high level of anxiety, tension, and insomnia. Tranquilizers help relieve the stress of brain activity, by modifying some of the neural communication pathways in the central nervous system.
In the context of delusion, antidepressants may be prescribed to control symptoms of depression, which is often associated with delusion. You should consult your doctor before taking an antidepressant or any antipsychotic medication.
Dealing with a delusional patient
- We must stress the patient and encourage him, and not ridicule his thoughts and feelings.
- Talk to him honestly about his symptoms and how worried you are.
- Avoid cruelty and scolding.
- Follow up his treatment, and encourage him to regularly attend his sessions with the specialist doctor.
- Stay positive and encourage him.
We must take delusion seriously, and realize that discovering this disorder in the early stages contributes to reducing risks and reducing symptoms.
Illusion is a disease that obscures the truth and builds castles of mirage, but reassurance is half the medicine, and patience and perseverance are the first steps of treatment.