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Symptoms of Delusional Disorder

Rashmi Nemade, Ph.D. & Mark Dombeck, Ph.D., edited by Kathryn Patricelli, MA Updated: Mar 20th 2017

Delusional Disorder

Like schizophrenia, delusional disorder involves the presence of delusions that last for at least one month or longer. Delusions are fixed, mistaken ideas that the person holds. These are often odd or incorrect ideas about themselves and the world around them.

Unlike schizophrenia, however, hallucinations are either not present or are not prominent, unless related to the delusions. Delusional disorder also tends to start later in life than schizophrenia. Those with delusional disorder often are still able to care for themselves, work, have relationships and manage their daily lives.

For a diagnosis to be made, one or more delusions must be present for one month or longer.

The symptoms cannot be caused by another mental disorder or be the effects of a substance taken or other medical condition.

There are several subtypes that can be specified. These are made based on the main theme of the delusion(s) and include:

  • Erotomanic type - when the delusion is that another person is in love with the individual (usually a famous person)
  • Grandiose type - having the belief of having some great (but not recognized) talent or having made some important discovery
  • Jealous type - believing that his or her spouse, partner or lover has been unfaithful
  • Persecutory type - the individual believes that he or she is being plotted against, spied on, followed, poisoned or drugged, harassed, etc.
  • Somatic type - the delusion involves bodily functions or sensations
  • Mixed type - there is no one main theme of the delusion(s)
  • Unspecified type - when the main belief of the delusion cannot be clearly determined or doesn't fit in the above types

Reader Comments
Discuss this issue below or in our forums.

At witts end!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - DebbieGibson - Aug 29th 2008

  I have a friend that is a compulsive lyer, he has destroyed my life by dognapping my companion of 61/2 years, Gizmo, my little pekingnese, he has my cell phone and refusses to give it back to me , so I have had to have the sevies turned off and have another one ordered  to be sent to my home, previos to this I had just had my home phone and cell  number changed to keep him from calling me, but after my baby  was stollen , I put a n add in the paper with both numbers so he was able to get them in the paper.  He vandleized my daughters grave by taking several large flower pots of dirt that I had once had and left in his back yard and dump them on  top of her  grave and headstone,  He says that he didn't do it but who else would have taken them out of his yard an known where my daughters grave plot was to dumo them on top om it.  He is saying that I fabercated the story because the cemetary groundsman cleaned it up for me the next day after I reported it to the office of the cemetary and nobody else so it.  I told him that I would get a written statement from the cemetary, then I thought I didn't Have to prove anything to hem, He knw that He did it.  He has stolen two diferant watches that I have forgotten at his house  and all he will tell me is that he will look for them when he gets tiem, I know where I left them and they're aren't there now.  He has intentionally broken some of my glass bells when he has been upset at me fow nothing, like if I was late getiing back from somewhere or  I didn't do something the way that he wanted me to do it.  The list goes on an on  What type of perso is this??  I have gotten out of this relationship, but he keeps trying to pull me back in.  I still miss my little dog and I know that he had something to so with his disaperance.

Sincerely,Deborah Gibson

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