There are a number of individual conditions that produce delusional disorder symptoms in an affected patient. However, a full diagnosis will be needed to determine if the patient is suffering from an underlying condition or simply delusional disorder. In this condition, delusions are the primary symptom. Delusions are defined as beliefs that fit three criteria that were developed in 1917 by the doctor, Karl Jaspers. His conditions state that the belief that is held must be clearly false or impossible. Also, the conditions must be held with a firm conviction, with the patient unwilling to accept any proof or arguments that the held belief is false. These conditions are still present as the classification for delusional disorder DSM IV. There are six types of delusional disorder, including the following manifestations: erotomanic, jealous, somatic, grandiose, persecutory, and mixed.
Persecutory delusions are often the result of a paranoia delusional disorder and the patient will commonly feel that a known or unknown force is trying to attack him, either mentally, physically, or in both ways. This type of patient has extreme anxiety and dread due to these persecutory thoughts. In jealous delusional disorders, the patient becomes convinced that their sexual partner is not being faithful in the relationship. In these cases, the person often comes up with elaborate scenarios detailing how the partner is deceiving him. Also, a person with a jealousy delusional disorder will feel that there is something going on with everyone the partner has regular contact with. Usually, the patient will end up confronting the partner with false evidence.
The causes of delusional disorder are not completely known, although there are some generally held theories. Some experts in the field believe that the most common reason for developing the condition comes from genetics as a person with mental illness in their family history are more likely to develop delusions at some point in their life. Another theory states that environmental factors are more to blame. Yet another thought is that the conditions are caused by an imbalance in brain hormones and some delusional disorder treatments work by correcting these imbalances.
The most common medical treatment for a patient with delusional disorder is the use of antipsychotic drugs. Often a doctor will prescribe different medications and dosage amounts until an effective drug has been identified. Some of these drugs produce extreme agitation in patients, wherein they feel it is necessary to take action and respond to their particular delusion. In these cases, the specific medication will need to be changed immediately. Another treatment option that is frequently used is cognitive therapy. The goal of the consultation sessions are to convince the person of the falsity of their beliefs by altering the person’s typical thinking process. In these sessions, the therapist will attempt to convince the patient to come up with alternate theories they may contradict the delusion. In this manner, the delusion is weakened and the patient is able to see the unreasonable aspects of their beliefs. In most cases of the condition, the delusional disorder symptoms are treated with a combination of cognitive therapy and anti psychotic medications.