Delusions: what they are, types and differences with hallucinations

It is common that sometimes, and especially under high stress levels, we are faced with the firm belief that someone is watching us, that someone is following us, or that someone is talking about us even if it is not. true.

However, when these ideas flood a person’s mind and they are not able to see reality, we can talk about it. the well-known delusions. Throughout this article, we will delve deeper into the nature of this experience, as well as its causes, types, and differences from other false beliefs.

    What are delusions?

    In the field of psychopathology delirium is understood as a false belief or an idea that the patient accepts with complete conviction, Even if external evidence or evidence proves otherwise. Although it has not yet been possible to produce a fully accepted and satisfactory description of this concept, the above description would be one of the most approximate.

    Despite its pathological characteristics, delirium it is not considered a mental illness or mental disorder per seRather, it would be a symptom of a wide variety of psychological conditions such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, mania, or psychotic depression.

    During delirium, the mental state of the person undergoes many changes. These make the patient live feelings of confusion and changes in behavior.

    The other manifestations or problems of delusional states are:

    • Sudden changes between states of lucidity and unconsciousness.
    • Loss of touch with reality.
    • Impaired attention and memory.
    • Emotional ups and downs.
    • Muscle control problems.
    • Sleep disorders.

    diagnostic criteria

    Although, as specified in the previous point, delusions do not constitute a clinical disorder, but are part of a larger pathological picture. Of course, they must meet a number of particular and specific requirements to be considered as such.

    Some authors and researchers have developed a number of constructs defining delirium. These dimensions or constructions are given in the form of division continuums of what is considered a normal belief, even pathological, And are essential in being able to differentiate delirium from other types of misconceptions or misconceptions. These features are what we will see below.

    1. Fixed and immutable beliefs or ideas

    the delirium it must be maintained over time; being little or not at all possible that it could be changed or corrected regardless of the evidence against it.

    2. Intense conviction

    A delirium is a firmly held idea. In other words, that is to say the person blindly believes in an idea the concrete event.

    3. Lack of cultural support

    It should be noted that the idea that keeps the patient it cannot be shared by other people or by a cultural group. This means that for the belief to be considered irrational, it cannot be shared or accepted by the rest of the benchmark society.

    4. Excessive worry

    Unlike other types of false or irrational beliefs, in delusions the person has great anxiety or ruminates on the delusional idea, which involves significant psychological wear as the patient thinks of her obsessively.

    5. Degree of probability

    This last criterion refers to the degree of probability that the idea could be real. This degree of plausibility may vary from illusion to illusion. This means that although in some cases it is easy to detect the impossibility of the delusional idea, in others, they may be completely plausible but false.

    What are their causes?

    Delusions and delusions arise from a series of mental and psychological disorders that accompany and shape it. These psychological conditions are:

    • Paranoid disorders.
    • Paranoid, schizoid and schizotypal personality disorders.
    • schizophrenia.
    • Affective disorders such as psychotic depression and mania.

    But also they can be part of other alterations of biological origin derived from drug and alcohol abuse, as well as detoxification process and as a side reaction to certain drugs.

      What types of delusions are there?

      Despite the large number of delusions that exist, these can be categorized and classified according to their content. Below we will see some of the most common and well-known.

      1. Paranoid delusions

      In the case of paranoid ideas, the person she is convinced that a person or group wants to cause her harmWhether physical, psychological or social. This illusion can materialize in the idea that others want to kill him or that someone is trying to drive him crazy.

      2. Illusion of persecution

      People who suffer from illusions of persecution firmly claim that someone is persecuting them, or even that there is a conspiracy against them. This chase can be either on the street, straight up, or in a more veiled way: patients may think they are entering their homes, opening their mail, or checking in their mobile devices or computers.

      3. Delirium of greatness

      The content of this delirium manifests itself through excessive self-assessment of skills and powers of the patient; which is attributed special abilities as well as great consideration of their own identity.

        4. Reference delirium

        As the name suggests, in reference delirium, the patient believes that certain events, phrases or statements from other people have to do with or have a special meaning that concerns them.

        It is common for these patients to think that the media and others are sending them all kinds of messages.

        5. Somatic delirium

        In the latter case, the patient shows belief that you are sick or that your body is getting sick. Likewise, you may come to perceive a number of false changes or anomalies. These are just a small sample of what is actually a long list of delusions and delusions.

        6. Others

        Other equally well known delusions are:

        • Control the delusions.
        • Metacognitive deception.
        • Illusions of guilt or sin.
        • celotypic delirium.
        • Illusion of false identification.
        • Erotomaniac delirium.

        What is the difference between an illusion and a hallucination?

        The fact that in many cases they are presented together and share certain characteristics it often causes confusion between delusions and hallucinations. However, once we know what delusions are, it is much easier to tell them apart.

        Unlike delusions, hallucinations are an original product of the person’s mind. In other words, they do not really exist in reality or in the world outside of it. Also, just as delirium is an idea, hallucinations can be auditory, visual, tactile, or even taste experiences. Therefore, the main difference between the two concepts is that hallucination is a completely original product and invented by the mind of the person, while the delirium would be a distortion of an external stimulus.

        For example, in delirium, the person may perceive a real stimulus such as radio; but his mind distorts the message or interprets it as some kind of communique for him. While hallucination is an auditory stimulus, it would be completely invented by the mind, unable to be perceived by anyone else.

        Delirium would consist of a belief or misinterpretation of reality based on a real fact, situation or stimulus. However, the two concepts have one thing in common. In this case, it is because the patients are fully convinced of the reality and the veracity of their ideas or beliefs.

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