How Can I Tell If I’m Delusional?

Have you ever asked yourself whether what you believe could possibly be true? You might worry that you suffer from delusions. It’s normal and there are many paths to treatment if you worry about such things.

If you are a teen, there are teen residential treatment centers that can help. As an adult, you can simply go to the doctor to rule out other causes of your symptoms and receive a referral to a psychiatrist.

If you’ve ever asked yourself how you can tell if someone is delusional, you’re not alone. In this article, we discuss the different types of delusions in greater detail as well as some of the symptoms delusions can cause and how they diagnose and treat.

Continue reading to learn more about how you can identify the presence of delusions and if you need to potentially see a doctor.

What Are Delusions?

You might not be aware, but delusional disorder used to call paranoid disorder and it is a serious mental illness known as a psychotic disorder. The main symptom people with delusional disorder experience is the inability to distinguish between real and imagined.

Delusions are the unbreakable beliefs someone has that reality is a certain way in which it is not. People with delusions aren’t necessarily unrealistic in all fashions of life. People with delusional disorders can also have delusions that aren’t strange.

These delusions might have to do with situations that are perfectly reasonable in real life. For example, someone might fear being followed, lied to, or conspired against.

The underlying premise of delusions is they involve mistaken perceptions or experiences, no matter how realistic those experiences might seem in everyday life. Bizarre delusions are different. For example, someone might believe they are the son of God or clone by aliens.

People with delusions can often cope in societal situations and function as a normal adult would. They generally don’t exhibit bizarre or abnormal behavior, either. This contrasts with those with psychotic disorders who also have delusions as a symptom. In certain cases, people might become preoccupied with their delusions to the point that it disrupts their ability to function in society.

Delusions might also be a symptom of more common disorders, such as schizophrenia and delusional disorder typically happens in middle to late-aged individuals. It is slightly more common in women than in men.

What Are the Types of Delusional Disorder?

There are six types of delusional disorders people can experience, erotomanic, grandiose, jealous, persecutory, somatic, and mixed.

Erotomanic: People with erotomanic disorder believe someone is in love with them. They might try to contact the object of their desire and often the person is a celebrity. Erotomanic delusions can lead to stalking.

Grandiose: People with grandiose delusions have an exaggerated sense of their worth, power, knowledge, or identity. They might believe they are the best at a craft or have made an important discovery.

Jealous: People with jealous delusions believe their partner is unfaithful.

Persecutory: People with persecutory delusions believe they or someone close to them is mistreating them, spying on them, or trying to harm them. They might also make repeated complaints to authorities attempting to receive protection from their delusions. 

Somatic: People with somatic delusions believe they have a medical defect or disorder.

Mixed:  People with mixed delusions suffer from two or more of the above-listed delusions.

What Are the Causes and Risk Factors of Delusional Disorder?

The exact cause of the delusional disorder is not yet know. Researchers are studying the genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors at play.

Delusional disorder is more common in individuals who have a family history of delusional disorder or schizophrenia. Though more research need and most physicians agree mental disorders can be passed from parents to children.

Researchers are also studying how psychological disorders might be a result of abnormal parts of the brain that control perception. Environmental and psychological evidence also presents itself as a possible risk factor for delusional disorder.

Delusional Disorder Diagnosis

If you have delusional symptoms, your doctor should give you a thorough exam that takes your complete medical history into account. There are no lab tests that specifically diagnose delusional disorder but the doctor might run diagnostic tests that rule out other causes and such as delirium, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and Alzheimer’s disease.

The ruling out of these causes will likely result in a referral to a psychiatrist or psychologist. These professionals will interview and assess the patient for psychotic disorders.

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