October 30, 2009

Paranoid Disorders Types and Prevention

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

Delusional disorder (also called paranoid disorder) is a mental sickness in which the patient cannot tell the real from the imaginary. This illness involves the patient believing very firmly in something that is untrue. Unlike in schizophrenia, these delusions are non-bizarre and essentially quite plausible in real life, even if they are untrue and exaggerated. The sufferer may claim to be poisoned, stalked or followed, cheated on, conspired against, or unloved. One of the main features of delusional disorder is misinterpreting experiences or perceptions. The patient suffering from delusional disorder usually has no other psychotic symptoms, and is normal in his or her social activities. The disorder usually afflicts people at middle age, and women are more susceptible to it.

There are different subtypes of delusional disorder. If suffering from an erotomanic delusion, the patient is deluded that a famous or important person is in love with him. This makes the person try to contact that personality, and often stalk him or her. The grandiose type of delusional disorder involves the patient having a bloated sense of self importance and power, identity, or knowledge. Another type is jealous, wherein the person feels that his or her partner is cheating on him or her. Persecutory delusional disorder has the sufferer believing that he or she is being mistreated, spied on, or will be harmed. This can even make them lodge complaints with legal authorities time and again. In somatic type, the person believes that he or she has a medical problem. People who have a combination of two or more subtypes are said to have a mixed delusional disorder.

Delusional disorders seem to be caused by one’s genes. The patient is likely to have had a history of delusional disorder in his or her family history. Other than genetic factors, biological reasons like chemical imbalances (or neurotransmitters) or abnormalities in some areas of the brain are also known to cause delusional disorders. Neurotransmitters aid nerve cells in the brain in sending messages to each other. An imbalance interferes with the transmission of messages, giving rise to symptoms of delusional disorders. Environmental and psychological factors like alcohol or substance abuse, living in isolation, immigration, or people with hearing or visual impairment may also have this disorder. Treatment of delusional disorder includes psychotherapy and medication – this includes anti-depressants and tranquilizers. There is no way to prevent delusional disorder, but early medical help is beneficial for the patient. One can also try meditation, deep breathing exercises, and a calming bath with a few drops of essential oils to control anxiety, if this is a contributing factor.