What is Delusional Disorder?
Delusional disorder was previously known as paranoid disorder, which is a type of serious mental illness known as “psychosis,” which occurs when the sufferer is unable to distinguish between what is real and what is imagined. One of the main features of this disorder is the existence of persistent delusions. People who suffer from delusional disorder will experience what is considered to be non-bizarre delusions, which are situations that can occur in real life.
What are Some Common Delusions?
There are numerous common delusions that people with delusional disorder suffer from. These delusions are usually misinterpretations of experiences, but in reality the situations are not true at all or highly exaggerated. It is important to note that these delusions must be possible rather than fantastic and unattainable.
Some Delusions Associated with Delusional Disorder Include:
- Being followed
- Being poisoned
- Being deceived
- Being conspired against
- Being loved from a distance
Profile of Sufferers of Delusional Disorder
People who suffer from this disorder often live normal lives and socialize appropriately, apart from the focus of their delusions. They will generally not behave in a bizarre or odd manner. It is possible that people who have delusional disorder might become too preoccupied with their delusions to live and function normally.
What are Some Symptoms of Delusional Disorder?
The biggest symptom of delusional disorder is a persistent delusion, which would be a fixed belief.
The Seven Subtypes of Delusions Associated with Delusional Disorder Include:
- Erotomanic, which is a delusion of a loving relationship with another person. It is usually with someone who is famous or of higher rank/standing. It is associated with stalking.
- Grandiose is a delusion that the person has special abilities/powers. It can also be an imagined relationship with a powerful person.
- Jealous is a delusion usually associated with a lover being unfaithful.
- Persecutory is a delusion where the sufferer perceives himself as being maltreated or threatened.
- Somatic is the delusion of having a defect or physical illness.
- Mixed consists of the above delusions mixed in different combinations.
- Unspecified represents all delusions that do not fall into any of the above categories.
How Does One Diagnose Delusional Disorder?
Delusion disorder is considered to be very rare, which is why the possibility of another illness being present is very likely, such as when a person develops dementia and becomes delusional. There is no known way to prevent this disorder. It also varies in duration of this disorder varies greatly, and some delusions only last a few months.
What Treatments Are Available for Delusional Disorder?
Treatment for this disorder is very challenging, especially if the delusions are long lasting. It has been shown that antipsychotics can be very helpful. Some sufferers may not even know they have a problem and may refuse treatment. Educating the sufferer’s family about the disorder is very important.
What is the Prognosis of Delusional Disorder?
The outlook of this disorder will vary depending on how long the delusions have lasted. The refusal for treatment makes the prognosis even worse. It is thought people can recover from this support, treatment, assistance, and acceptance.