Delusional disorder

Delusional disorder

Last Reviewed : 12/25/2020
Delusional disorder

Delusional disorder is a mental illness in which the patient presents with delusions, but with no accompanying prominent hallucinations, thought disorder, mood disorder, or significant flattening of affect. Delusions are a specific symptom of psychosis. Delusions can be bizarre or non-bizarre in content. Non-bizarre delusions are fixed false beliefs that involve situations that could potentially occur in real life; examples include being followed or poisoned. Apart from their delusions, people with delusional disorder may continue to socialize and function in a normal manner and their behavior does not generally seem odd or bizarre. However, the preoccupation with delusional ideas can be disruptive to their overall lives. For the diagnosis to be made, auditory and visual hallucinations cannot be prominent, though olfactory or tactile hallucinations related to the content of the delusion may be present.

To be diagnosed with a delusional disorder, the delusion(s) cannot be due to the effects of a drug, medication, or general medical condition, and delusional disorder cannot be diagnosed in an individual previously properly diagnosed with schizophrenia. A person with delusional disorder may be high functioning in daily life. Recent and comprehensive meta analyses of scientific studies point to an association between a deterioration in aspects of IQ in psychotic patients, in particular perceptual reasoning.

According to German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin, patients with delusional disorder remain coherent, sensible and reasonable. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) defines six subtypes of the disorder characterized as erotomanic (believes that someone is in love with them), grandiose (believes that they are the greatest, strongest, fastest, richest, and/or most intelligent person ever), jealous (believes that the love partner is cheating on them), persecutory (delusions that the person or someone to whom the person is close is being malevolently treated in some way), somatic (believes that they have a disease or medical condition), and mixed, i.e., having features of more than one subtype. Delusions also occur as symptoms of many other mental disorders, especially the other psychotic disorders.

The DSM-IV, and psychologists, generally agree that personal beliefs should be evaluated with great respect to cultural and religious differences, since some cultures have widely accepted beliefs that may be considered delusional in other cultures.


We researched this topic for you and found the following best online resources. They are categorized into basic, advanced, and research level based on the extent of information you need. You will be taken to the respective websites by pressing on the links below.


Basic information: web md mental health and delusional disorder psych central delusional disorder msd manuals (professional version) delusional disorder merck manuals (professional version) delusional disorder health line psychosis


Advanced information: psycology today delusional disorder medscape delusional disorder mind disorders delusional disorder all psych delusional disorder by dr. Christopher l. Heffner medbullets delusional disorder


Research: alexandre gonzález-rodríguez, oriol molina-andreu, víctor navarro odriozola, cristóbal gastó ferrer, rafael penadés, and rosa catalán, “suicidal ideation and suicidal behaviour in delusional disorder: a clinical overview,” psychiatry journal, vol. 2014, article id 834901, 8 pages, 2014. Doi:10.1155/2014/834901

Bera sc, sarkar s. Delusion of pregnancy: a systematic review of 84 cases in the literature. Indian j psychol med [serial online] 2015 [cited 2016 sep 28];37:131-7. Available from: ian gassiep and paul matthew griffin, “delusions of disseminated fungosis,” case reports in infectious diseases, vol. 2014, article id 458028, 3 pages, 2014. Doi:10.1155/2014/458028 recent developments in the management of delusional disorders by christopher f. Fear advances in psychiatric treatment may 2013, 19 (3) 212-220; doi: 10.1192/apt.bp.111.010082 ind psychiatry j. 2009 jan-jun; 18(1): 3–18.doi: 10.4103/0972-6748.57851 pmcid: pmc3016695 understanding delusions by chandra kiran and suprakash chaudhury neuropsychopharmacology (2002) 26 794-801.10.1038/s0893-133x(01)00421-3
delusional disorder: molecular genetic evidence for dopamine psychosis by kiyoshi morimoto md, ph.d, rev. Bras. Psiquiatr. Vol.36 no.2 são paulo apr./june 2014 epub jan 28, 2014 original articles delusional disorder: no gender differences in age at onset, suicidal ideation, or suicidal behavior by alexandre gonzález-rodríguez et al., the prevalence of delusional disorder in prison by anthony c. Tamburello, md et al., j am acad psychiatry law 43:1:82-86 (march 2015)


Related videos: what is delusional disorder? (mental health guru) delusional disorder delusional disorder part 1 - delusional disorders: types, causes, coping and treatment part 2 - delusional disorders: primary versus secondary delusional disorder part 3 - delusional disorders: shared delusions, learned helplessness and false reality part 4 - delusional disorders: causes and coping with delusional family or friends


Presentations/quiz/newspaper articles: abc news delusional disorder news huffington post bbc question time: angry boston hat man calls for 'leftists' to be diagnosed with mental disorder

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