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Q8. Types of delusional disorder

Delusional disorder refers to a condition associated with one or more non-bizarre delusions of thinking - such as expressing beliefs that occur in real life such as being poisoned, being stalked, being loved or deceived, or having an illness, provided no other symptoms of schizophrenia are exhibited. As per DSM V, the various types of delusional disorders are:

  1. Erotomanic type: In this type, the central theme of the delusion is that another person is in love with the individual. The person about whom this conviction is held is usually of higher status (e.g., a famous individual or a superior at work) but can be a complete stranger. Efforts to contact the object of the delusion are common. 


  2. Grandiose type:
    In this type, the central theme of the delusion is the conviction of having some great talent or insight or of having made some important discovery. Less commonly, the individual may have the delusion of having a special relationship with a prominent individual or of being a prominent person (in which case the actual individual may be regarded as an impostor). Grandiose delusions may have a religious content. 
  3. Jealous type: In this type, the central theme of the delusion is that of an unfaithful partner. This belief is arrived at without due cause and is based on incorrect inferences supported by small bits of "evidence" (e.g., disarrayed clothing). The individual with the delusion usually confronts the spouse or lover and attempts to intervene in the imagined infidelity. 
  4. Persecutory type: In this type, the central theme of the delusion involves the individual's belief of being conspired against, cheated, spied on, followed, poisoned, maliciously maligned, harassed, or obstructed in the pursuit of long-term goals. Small slights may be exaggerated and become the focus of a delusional system. The affected individual may engage in repeated attempts to obtain satisfaction by legal or legislative action. Individuals with persecutory delusions are often resentful and angry and may resort to violence against those they believe are hurting them. 
  5. Somatic type: In this type, the central theme of the delusion involves bodily functions or sensations. Somatic delusions can occur in several forms. Most common is the belief that the individual emits a foul odor; that there is an infestation of insects on or in the skin; that there is an internal parasite; that certain parts of the body are misshapen or ugly; or that parts of the body are not functioning.
  6. Mixed type: This subtype applies when no one delusional theme predominates.
  7. Unspecified type: This subtype applies when the dominant delusional belief cannot be clearly determined or is not described in the specific types (e.g., referential delusions without a prominent persecutory or grandiose component).

* * *

The main feature of delusional disorders is the presence of delusions, which are unshakable beliefs in something untrue. They are of 7 types: erotomanic type, grandiose type, jealous type, persecutory type, somatic type, mixed type and unspecified type.

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