Delusions are a common symptom of a range of mental health conditions. They often occur alongside other symptoms of psychosis.

Unfortunately, they are very difficult to live with for both the person with the delusion, as well as those around them.

There are a range of different types of delusions. In this article, we explore the 6 different types of Delusional Disorder [1].

Paranoia is a common delusion

What is a Delusion?

Delusions: A delusion is where an individual has a belief that they believe steadfastly in, though isn’t true. The person involved will be adamant that their belief is true. In the majority of cases however, they will not be correct. Delusions can take on a wide array of forms. An example of a delusion is paranoia – such as the feeling an individual is being spied on. As such, the delusion can have a marked effect on the day-to-day life of the individual.

Erotomanic

This is a delusion which involves a person believing that someone is in love with them. In many cases, this person will be a celebrity.

As a result of this, the person will often go to great lengths to try and contact this person, as they truly believe they are meant to be together.

Unfortunately, this feeling isn’t mutual. Stalking is a common unfortunate consequence of an erotomanic delusion.

Somatic

A somatic delusion involves a person believing they have a medical condition or some sort of physical defect, even though they don’t.

This is a very common delusion. It will often result in a person going to hospitals or a doctor’s surgery on a frequent basis, or perhaps even calling an ambulance.

This is a type of delusion that is closely linked with Somatic Disorders. Some may liken this to being a hypochondriac.

Jealous

A delusion about jealousy often involves an individual believing that their partner is being unfaithful to them – even though they have no evidence to back this feeling up.

The individual may go to great lengths to “catch” the person in the act, such as returning home at random times, constantly texting the person, or reading their messages.

This delusion is very difficult for both the person feeling it, as well as the partner. These delusions often result in a breakup ensuing.

Grandiose

A grandiose delusion involves a person having an inflated sense of power, knowledge, worth, or believe they have a secret identity or mission.

As a result, the person may believe they are undercover for a government agency, have a secret mission they need to complete, or have power over those around them.

This can cause significant interpersonal issues, and often sadly results in the breakdown of friendships, or strained familial relations.

Persecutory

One of the most common delusions is the feeling of persecution – which is closely linked with feelings of paranoia.

Someone with a persecutory delusion will often think they are being discriminated against, are being spied on, having their calls, texts, or conversations monitored, or someone is planning on harming them.

This is an incredibly dangerous delusion, as it can lead someone to doing unusual activities. The person may complain to the Police about their feelings. They may alienate those close to them, or cut themselves off from all other humans.

Mixed

As the name suggests, someone with a mixed delusion will have two of the above types of delusions running concurrently.

For example, someone may feel jealous that their partner is seemingly being unfaithful to them, which can link with being persecuted, as the person may feel that being cheated on is part of a wider plan by an evil group of people to bring them harm.

This can be extremely difficult to live with. It can result in a person having problems in multiple areas of their life.

Summary

Delusions are very difficult to live with. This is the case for both the person going through them, as well as those around them.

Seeking treatment for psychosis is important. Treatment is available, and can result in an improved quality of life being attained.

See Also

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References

[1] Joseph, S. M., & Siddiqui, W. (2023). Delusional Disorder. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK539855/. Last accessed: 14th May 2024.