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false belief based upon a misinterpretation of reality. It is not, like a hallucination, a false sensory perception, or like an illusion, a distorted perception. Delusions vary in intensity, and are not uncommon among substance abusers, particularly those who use amphetamines, cocaine, and hallucinogens. They also occur frequently among individuals who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's diseaseAlzheimer's disease
, degenerative disease of nerve cells in the cerebral cortex that leads to atrophy of the brain and senile dementia and, ultimately, death. The disease is characterized by abnormal accumulation of plaques and by neurofibrillary tangles (malformed nerve
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, Huntington's diseaseHuntington's disease,
hereditary, acute disturbance of the central nervous system usually beginning in middle age and characterized by involuntary muscular movements and progressive intellectual deterioration; formerly called Huntington's chorea.
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, or schizophreniaschizophrenia
, group of severe mental disorders characterized by reality distortions resulting in unusual thought patterns and behaviors. Because there is often little or no logical relationship between the thoughts and feelings of a person with schizophrenia, the disorder has
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, and during the manic stage of bipolar disorder (see depressiondepression,
in psychiatry, a symptom of mood disorder characterized by intense feelings of loss, sadness, hopelessness, failure, and rejection. The two major types of mood disorder are unipolar disorder, also called major depression, and bipolar disorder, whose sufferers are
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). Some common delusions include persecutory delusions, in which the individual falsely believes that others are plotting against him; delusions of thought broadcasting, where the individual believes his thoughts can be transmitted to others; delusions of thought insertion, in which the individual believes that thoughts are being implanted in his mind; and delusions of grandeur, in which the individual imagines himself an unappreciated person of great importance.


A conviction based on faulty perceptions, feelings, and thinking.


Borkman, John Gabriel
suffers from delusions of power. [Nor. Lit.: John Gabriel Borkman]
Bowles, Sally
night-club entertainer thinks she has the makings of a great film actress. [Br. Lit.: Isherwood Berlin Stories in Drabble, 498]
Clamence, Jean-Baptiste
living with his own good and evil. [Fr. Lit.: The Fall]
Dubois, Blanche
felt she and Mitch were above others. [Am. Lit.: A Streetcar Named Desire]
Jones, Brutus
self-styled island emperor experiences traumatic visions. [Am. Lit.: Emperor Jones]
Lockit, Lucy
steals jailer-father’s keys to free phony husband. [Br. Lit.: The Beggar’s Opera]
Pan, Peter
little boy, refuses to grow up; resides in Never Never Land. [Children’s Lit.: Peter Pan]
opium of the people
Marx’s classic metaphor for religion. [Ger. Hist.: Critique of Hegel’s “Philosophy of Right”]
hides head, thinking itself concealed. [Animal Symbolism: Brewer Dictionary, 788]


Psychiatry a belief held in the face of evidence to the contrary, that is resistant to all reason
References in classic literature ?
Or was it all delusion, beginning and ending in a dream?
A Colorful History of Popular Delusions is at once a history and a social survey, and provides a lively discussion of crowd behavior that ranges from fads and manias to urban legends, riots, and mass struggle.
Delusions, Acceptances, and Cognitive Feelings, RICHARD DUB
Delusions are unrealistic thoughts that cannot be resolved with a reasonable explanation and that do not fit into the recent era and society (4,5).
I KNOW it seems a bit pathetic writing about an essay question that appeared in the Greek paper of the university entrance exams, but this was the probably the most inspired essay subject ever as it highlighted a disease of epidemic proportions in Kyproulla -- delusions.
A jury heard that prolonged drug abuse had led to Sadie Jenkins suffering paranoid delusions.
Delusions typically occur in the context of neurological or mental illness, although they are not tied to any particular disease and have been found to occur in the context of many pathological states (both physical and mental).
It is a "spinoff" of Delusions of Grandeur, and the second installment of the Shattered Delusions trilogy.
Bradley Fuller ("Defendant Without a Prayer," S/O 2014) maintains that criminal defendants with religious delusions are mentally ill and should be deemed unfit to stand trial.
COPENHAGEN--More than 1 in 10 community-dwelling dementia patients had firearms in their homes, and many of those patients suffered from delusions, hallucinations, or depression, a study of nearly 500 Midwestern patients revealed.
Delusions constitute one of the core symptoms of schizophrenia and are highly frequent and varied.
Taking Johan Lehrer, Antonio Damasio, and Sebastian Seung as representative of popular science writers promulgating a mechanical mental model of human behavior, White suggests that their claims are based on assumptions many of which are dubious if not outright deluded, and laments the kind of political culture their delusions have brought about and support.