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Delusion Treatment

Delusion Treatment at Promises

Delusions can be challenging to deal with. If they affect your daily life, you may require residential mental health treatment. When a person has delusions, they may believe in things that aren’t really there or aren’t happening. No amount of evidence will change their mind. Types of delusions can include:

  • Believing that someone is after them
  • Thinking their family is against them
  • Believing certain activities or attacks are happening around them

This mental illness can be confusing to the person experiencing the delusion. It can be devastating to a spouse/partner and family members as well. Delusions can be extremely disruptive to the individual’s life.

If delusions are a new occurrence, the situation should be addressed without delay. It’s crucial to assess the severity of the delusions and diagnose the cause. If the delusions have been present for some time, residential mental health treatment may be the best approach to healing. Call Promises to learn more about our treatment programs: 844-876-5568

Residential Treatment for Delusional Disorder

Residential treatment for delusional disorder typically involves medication and therapy. While there is much treatment can do to improve symptoms, the mental disorder is considered difficult to treat. Treatment options at Promises may include:

  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring psychiatric disorders. Examples include anxiety disorders, bipolar disorders or personality disorders.
  • Antipsychotic medications to address symptoms of delusional disorder
    • Common typical antipsychotic drugs include Haldol (haloperidol), Thorazine (chlorpromazine) and Serentil (mesoridazine)
    • Common atypical antipsychotic medications include Abilify (aripiprazole), Seroquel (quetiapine) and Zyprexa (olanzapine)

What Are Delusions?

Delusions are false beliefs that a person holds despite evidence to the contrary. Delusions can occur as part of many different psychotic disorders. When delusions are the primary symptom, a diagnosis of delusional disorder is usually made.

People tend to affiliate delusions with schizophrenia. This is because they may involve hearing voices and seeing people and things that aren’t there. But this is not always the case. It’s true that delusions may be present in psychotic disorders such as:

  • Schizophrenia
  • Brief psychotic disorder
  • Substance-induced psychotic disorder

But they occur due to other conditions as well. They may also be present in individuals diagnosed with:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Major depressive disorder with psychotic features
  • Delirium
  • Dementia

The delusions in delusional disorder may involve circumstances that could occur, but are unlikely. However, the individual with the delusions is convinced the delusions are real. Identifying the root cause and treating delusional disorder is crucial.

Types of Delusional Disorder

Delusions are categorized as bizarre or non-bizarre. They are also either mood-congruent or mood-incongruent. An example of a bizarre delusion is that aliens have taken control of the neighborhood. A non-bizarre delusion might be that the police have one’s home under surveillance.

A mood-congruent delusion has content consistent with either a manic or depressive state. A mood-incongruent delusion is mood-neutral or has content not consistent with a manic or depressive state.

Types of delusions are also characterized by themes, including:

  • Delusions of control: a false belief that another person, people or external force controls one’s thoughts, feelings, impulses or behavior
  • Delusional jealousy or delusion of infidelity: a false belief that a spouse or partner is having an affair
  • Delusions of parasitosis: a false belief that parasites like lice or insects have infested the body
  • Delusions of guilt: a false feeling of remorse or sin
  • Delusion of the mind being read
  • Nihilistic delusion: false belief in nonexistence of self, parts, or the world, or that the world is ending
  • Erotomania: delusions that another person is in love with the person struggling with delusions
  • Grandiose delusion: the person exaggerates their self-importance or is convinced they possess special powers, talents or abilities
  • Persecutory delusion: false belief of being followed, harassed, cheated, drugged, poisoned, conspired against or attacked
  • Religious delusion: any delusion with spiritual or religious content
  • Delusions of reference: a false belief that others’ remarks, objects or events have personal meaning or significance
  • Somatic delusion or delusions pertaining to bodily function

People with delusional disorder do not generally have hallucinations or a major mood problem. They do not appear odd or display odd emotions, as do those with schizophrenia. People with delusions know their beliefs are unique. As such, they generally don’t talk about them. If functioning is impaired, it is usually a direct result of the delusion.

Causes of Delusions

The causes of delusions are unknown. Researchers are investigating a few key areas:

Genetic – Delusional disorder is more common in families where schizophrenia or delusional disorder is already present. This indicates there may be genetic factors involved. Experts believe that there is a tendency for it to be passed on from parent to child. This is similar to other mental health disorders.

Biological – Certain brain abnormalities might be involved in the development of delusional disorders. In addition, chemical imbalances in neurotransmitters could interfere with the transmission of messages. These issues can cause delusional disorder symptoms.

Environmental/Psychological – Stress could trigger delusions. Alcohol and substance abuse may also contribute to the mental disorder. Isolated populations may be more vulnerable to developing delusions. Examples include immigrants and those with poor hearing and/or sight.

The Difference Between Delusions and OCD

There has been a great deal of research into delusions and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). This is because severe OCD can mimic delusional disorder. The difference is that obsessions often relate to ideas about “contamination, symmetry and/or aggressive impulses.” The person is overwhelmed by the obsessions. But they are able to recognize them as irrational and a product of their own mind. By contrast, delusions are firmly fixed, false beliefs. They are held true despite strong evidence to suggest that they are incorrect.

OCD and a form of delusion or psychosis may coexist with OCD and may be unrelated. Obsessions could become a delusion. Likewise, delusions could become obsessions. In addition, obsessions may trigger a psychotic episode. They could be misdiagnosed as delusions or hallucinations. Recognition and treatment of OCD may improve the outcome of delusions related to psychosis.

Getting the Right Diagnosis

Delusions have several possible causes. They are often misunderstood and misdiagnosed. Getting the right diagnosis is crucial. Unfortunately, people around the person with delusions may try other approaches before helping the person get a firm diagnosis. This can delay treatment for delusional disorder. It can also lead the person onto the wrong course of treatment. Residential mental health treatment is often the gold standard.

Why Self-Help Is Not Enough

Once an individual has gone through inpatient delusion treatment, it is important that they have ongoing support. This includes medical and psychiatric care to monitor their condition. Ongoing therapy is also crucial. It is unfair to expect a person with delusions to address this condition through self-help measures alone. At the onset of treatment for delusional disorder, they may not know the difference between reality and delusions. Someone suffering from delusions will be mistrustful of and possibly paranoid about self-help or support groups. In fact, unsupervised group involvement may do more harm than good.

Get Help Today

Call Promises’ recovery advisors today. Learn how we can help you or a loved one recover and create a better life: 844-876-5568.

To learn more about Delusion Treatment, call 844-876-5568

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