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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 ?
Antipsychotics such as olanzapine, 5 to 10 mg nightly, or risperidone, 1 to 2 mg nightly, can decrease the delusional thoughts' intensity and frequency, allowing patients to function more appropriately.
Psychodynamic theories also describe the role of an ambivalent relationship in shared delusional disorder.
This hypothesis has been criticized because, if illogical thinking were enough to cause delusions, there would presumably be more delusional thinking than is seemingly apparent in the general population.
The post Delusional megalomania versus some hard truths appeared first on Cyprus Mail .
In 1992, Bourgeois and coauthors reported a case of shared delusional infestations between husband and wife (folie a deux) in which a 58-yearold woman was institutionalized for attempting to kill her general practitioner who refused to confirm her delusions.
Rosiello was mentally ill at the time of his wife's death and had the delusional belief she was cheating on him with other men and plotting to have him killed.
Daniel Oscroft, defending, said: "Her delusional beliefs, and her psychiatric issues which led to her believing them, had allowed her to develop such antipathy towards her mother.
The State's own mental health professionals have diagnosed him as schizophrenic, noting that he suffers from delusional and paranoid thoughts and auditory hallucinations.
Being false, even strikingly false, does not seem to be a sufficient condition for a belief's being delusional either.
I tell those who are delusional, seeking to issue one-way tickets to millions of Lebanese, that it is easier for them to issue their own tickets and leave the country.
In patients thought to have delusional infestation, neither skin biopsy nor microscopic examination of patient provided "specimens" is likely to change the clinical diagnosis, according to a report published online.