How are delusions


A delusional disorder is a mental illness in which persistent delusions are the only or dominant symptom. There are several types of delusions. Some make people feel like they are being followed or cause fear of having a disease that doesn't exist. People can have megalomania that they think they hold high positions or are famous. Delusions can also include jealousy or strange beliefs about physical appearance, e.g. B. the belief to have a certain physical defect.

Delusional ideas are difficult to deal with. Neuroleptics, antidepressants, and mood stabilizers are commonly used to treat this mental illness. There is also increasing interest in psychological therapies as treatment methods, such as psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy.

The aim of this review is to assess the effectiveness of all current treatments for people with delusional disorders. A search for randomized controlled trials was conducted in 2012. The authors found 141 references in the search. Only one study that randomized 17 people could be included in the review. The study compared the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy with supportive psychotherapy for people with delusional disorder. Participants were already taking medication and continued to do so throughout the study. The review could not include studies that used drugs of any kind to treat delusional disorder.

For the study that was included, only a limited amount of data was presented that we could use. It was difficult to draw firm conclusions and there was no evidence of improvements in people's behavior or overall mental health. More people in the supportive psychotherapy group left the study early, but the number of participants was small and the overall difference between the two groups was insufficient to conclude whether one treatment was better than the other. With regard to people's social self-esteem, a positive effect of cognitive behavioral therapy could be found, although here too this result is limited due to the small amount and low quality of the data and it does not relate to people's social behavior or everyday coping.

There is currently a lack of high quality evidence regarding the treatment of delusional disorders and insufficient evidence to make recommendations about any treatment modalities. Until such evidence is found, treatments for delusional disorders are most likely to include those that are believed to be effective for other psychotic disorders and mental health problems.

Further large-scale, high quality research on the subject is needed. The research could be improved through studies specifically designed for people with delusional disorders.

Ben Gray, Senior Peer Researcher, McPin Foundation: