In A Better You

Delusion or Delusions, What is the matter?

Mental illness affects many teens and young adults under a broad category of classifications. Most delusion is a cognitive distortions of reality. Often these symptoms might be a from of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Delusions are often connected to religion, grandiosity, persecution, and jealousy. Often delusional disorders are often classified as bizarre and non-bizarre.

Typical delusions might be thoughts or ideas that are possible but not true. The person believes their spouse is cheating on them or a co-worker is out to get them. Other ideas the person might have are that they are being watched and monitored, a friend is a government agent, or someone wants to kill them. These are all possible realities but often not very likely.

Bizarre delusion are often out of the realm of reality. They think they are a God or that they came from another planet. These often include delusion of grandeur where the person thinks they are someone they are not. Persecutory delusions is when a person feels everyone is out to get them and they alone have been targeted.

What does delusional mean? It often means teen or adult that believes in something that is distorted and not rational.Other symptoms of this disorder are hallucinations, incoherent speech,  angry behavior and irritable low mood, and sitting and staring for long periods of time. There are different themes in delusional patients. One is called erotomanic type where the man or woman believes a famous person is in love with them. The grandiose type believes they have a special relationship or power beyond normal. The jealous type believes their sexual partner is unfaithful when they are not.

Causes of delusion are often genetic, biological or environmental factors. It can be caused by alcohol and drug abuse. Those isolated like immigrants and those with poor sight or hearing are at risk. If a child, teen, or adult suffers from these symptoms parents should take them to the doctor to rule out a physical disorder.

Those with persecutory delusion believe that are are being treated unfairly or someone or people they know. The somatic delusion is a person that thinks they have an illness physical or mental that does not exist. These are some of the types and symptoms of the disorder.

Treatments for Delusional Disorders

Often psychotherapy is a common treatment for delusional disorders. An important part of the therapy is the relationship between the therapist and patients. Trust is important and if the person believes the therapist thinks they are crazy they may terminate therapy. It is important to challenge the beliefs and help the person set realistic and attainable goals.

Going back to school, getting a job, or doing volunteer work are all ways to build self esteem. The therapist will often have to start challenging small delusions before moving on to more complex ideas. Therapy can range from 6 months to many years.

Often patients with delusional disorder need someone that is honest and does not intrude on their privacy. Learning new behaviors and even group therapy might be part of the therapy for some patients. Medication are often prescribed by the doctor that help the person cope with the symptoms Anti-psychotic drugs are the one most frequently prescribed. Hospitalization should be avoided. Psychiatric day programs or individual treatment are better options.

Delusions of grandeur often range from the mild to the more serious. A patient for example might be disabled but be unable to see this in themselves. A person injured from an accident that is paralyzed might find a number ways to explain why he cannot move his arms. The need to feel in control often leads to delusions. as most people don’t want to feel helpless.

The god delusion of those with delusional disorder has nothing to do with real religion. It often is a person that believes they can control events through magical thinking or possess traits not human. They can cure someone dying of cancer or cure or heal serious illness with prayer of just their touch. This fits into the grandiose category.

Other types of treatments for delusional disorders includes cognitive behavioral therapy where a person learns to change thought patterns. Family therapy helps caregivers cope with someone with the disorder more easily. Sometimes tranquilizers and anti-depressants are prescribed for the disorder.

Teens with Delusional Disorders

Teens with this disorder often have one idea of thought they cannot escape. This can often include hearing voices, seeing people that are not there, and even smelling strange odors. The most successful treatment for teens is talk therapy and medications. Teens and adults can receive effective treatment for this disorder.

A 60 year old woman came to the St. Marianna University School of Medicine with a history of delusions. She thought her husband and neighbors were spying on her despite evidence to the contrary. Her explanation was sensible and she showed no sign of hallucinations. Also she was not depressed. This woman had no history of psychiatric illness.

The woman was put on medication which was reduced due to side effects. During her treatment she gained insight into the problem. The symptoms or thoughts decreased and she was better able to think more clearly. It was treated with a drug called aripiprazole effectively. There is a case where a 17 year old girl was successfully treated with this drug and psychotherapy.

More Serious Forms of Delusional Disorders

Sometimes those with delusions have bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Tests for this may include a blood count, MRI, or CT scan . They often test for drugs or alcohol use and physical disorders with similar symptoms. Doctors will talk to patients about ideas, beliefs, moods, and family. Those taking care of someone with these disorders can join support groups to talk about the frustrations and problems associated with the disorder. It is not easy so parents often need support too.

Parents should learn about the disorder their child suffers from and find way to cope with stress. There is no known natural cure but certainly a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, poultry and seafood, low-fat dairy products helps a person. Daily exercise to relieve anxiety and depression helps too. This is not a substitute for professional treatment but helps the teen or adults in treatment.

The delusion definition is not an easy concept to define. Delusion in children, teens and adults range from very mild to strong. Some cases of celebrity stalking can be a from of delusion of the ertomanic type where they belive a famous person or very attractive popular person is in love with them. This leads them to stalk or follow the person or use Internet and phone to contact them. This is more serious form of the disorder.

Persons that suffer from the above disorder can be a man or woman. The person they admire often has a higher social status. It can someone they know like a doctor, teacher, co-worker or boss, neighbor, or politician. Often they have little contact with this person and have not any encouragement from the person. The victim is first unaware until they get romantic or sexual emails that causes embarrassment. The delusion may begin with hope followed by anger and rage when the love object does not respond.

These patients often belive the love objects cannot state their true feeling due to different circumstances. In the extreme form it can lead to stalking following the person around or even calling or sending emails. Treatment of this disorder is psychotherapy and medications. It is hard disorder to treat like other forms of delusions. This is because those with the disorder do not recognize their illness.

When seeking treatment for teens and youth with grandiose delusions it is important to find treatment that offers more than just medication. Some types of individual therapy or group therapy is important in getting the patient to recognize and change thought patterns and behaviors. A psychologist or psychiatrist have questions and assessment tools to make a diagnosis. Individual therapy, cognitive therapy and groups therapy are all helpful in helping patients with delusions.

It is important to define delusion. It not a dream someone has about achieving a goal. Some teens and youth with dreams are called delusional by other because they want to be an actor, writer, scientist, or sports figure. Some want to get married and have children. Perhaps their families want to see them in the family business, as a caregiver, or doctor. Their dreams conflict with what the family wantes this is not what a delusion is.

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