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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 periodicals archive ?
Until now, treatments for trauma in psychosis have focused on post-traumatic stress disorder rather than specific symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions.
Learning theory supports the view that the father eventually learned to adopt the delusions from the more domineering patient.
13] The former, and perhaps less popular, theorizes that delusions arise from a basic deficit in reasoning and illogical thinking.
sup][7],[8] In our reported case, her morbid jealousy improved significantly after excision of the extra-axial tumor in the orbitofrontal region of the left frontal lobe, while her other psychiatric symptoms including auditory hallucinations and delusions of persecution and being watched improved with antipsychotic treatment.
Nuplazid represents a major medical advancement for patients with Parkinson's disease psychosis who suffer from hallucinations and delusions," commented Steve Davis, Acadia's president and chief executive officer.
Nuplazid was shown to be superior to placebo in decreasing the frequency and/or severity of hallucinations and delusions without worsening the primary motor symptoms of Parkinsons disease.
A nihilistic delusion of the nonexistence or dissolution of a body part; in extreme form, the delusion of being dead or nonexistent.
Besides it, hypochondriac delusion as the way described by Cotard (an interpretation of pathological sensations) [1] was present, as well as guilty and condemnation delusions congruent with the depressed humor.
Psychopathological delusions have a number of features that are curiously difficult to explain.
In the case of In re Estate of Berg, (1) the South Dakota Supreme Court upheld the validity of a will executed by Fred Berg, an individual under a conservatorship who suffered from numerous delusions and who had been unable to live independently for most of his adult life.
When she had grandiose delusions such as "I am an angel; therefore, I don't have a gender because angels do not have a gender" "I am superior to other people" and psychomotor agitation, she was hospitalized for one and a half month.
However, in recent years, it is experiencing a historic moment: the end of delusions.