Delusional disorder is a mental health condition where people have difficulty differentiating between real and imagined. Formerly known as a paranoid disorder, people with delusional disorder may misinterpret and experience or perceive things out of the norm because their brains process information differently. For example, people with delusional disorder believe that their imagining experience is real despite conflicting evidence. One common delusion is when a person feels a sense of being extraordinarily famous or important, even though they are not. Another common delusion is when someone thinks that some renowned artist or figures are stalking them, despite the famous person living in a different country and not knowing of the person with delusional disorder.
Types of delusions include:
Overt suspicion that their partner or spouse is unfaithful or that their friends are not loyal or genuine despite overwhelming evidence that point otherwise
Belief that they have an illness or disease and continuing to seek confirmation for such belief against a doctor's advice or assessment
Belief that they are being followed, poisoned or persecuted by someone. Sometimes the delusion may be so extreme that the affected person believes that an organization planted a monitoring device in his or her brain
Grandiosity – having an overinflated sense of worth, power, knowledge or identity, such as believing they have a great talent or made an important discovery
Love – believing that someone famous or important is in love with them
Generally, people with delusional disorder can live their lives without much interruption. They can interact well with friends, family, and colleagues as most of their behaviours may seem ordinary. They are also capable of picking new skills or studying. However, there are times when a person with delusional disorder can become so preoccupied with their delusion that their lives become disrupted.
Most researchers believe that genetic and environmental factors contribute to the onset of delusional disorder. Interventions for the delusional disorder include learning to identify whether the experience is real or imagined and learning skills to cope with the delusions. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the effective interventions for delusional disorder. In some cases, a psychiatrist may prescribe anti-psychotic or mood-stabilizing medication to help reduce the anxiety caused by the delusion.
Restoring Peace Counselling and Consultancy offers various counselling and psychotherapy services for individuals dealing with delusional disorder and other psychological challenges. For more information, please visit www.restoringpeace.com.sg or Whatsapp us at +65 8889 1848.
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