Types of Delusions From Drugs or Mental Illness

Delusions vs Hallucinations: Understanding False Realities

Types of Delusions From Drugs or Mental Illness

Delusions and hallucinations are both symptoms of mental health disorders that alter a person’s perception of reality. However, while similar, they are not the same. Understanding the differences between delusions vs hallucinations can be helpful in diagnosis and treatment as well as in the management of mental health conditions that cause these symptoms.

The mind is an incredibly powerful tool. The brain dictates moods, thoughts, and behaviors, and creates individuals’ realities. When a mental health condition develops, a malfunction in the brain can occur. When this happens, the alterations in the brain can cause misunderstandings between what is real and what is imagined in our everyday lives.

Both delusions and hallucinations distort reality in ways that are incredibly difficult for a person to understand. While delusions can be a mental illness on their own (Delusional Disorder), delusions and hallucinations are often a part of a bigger problem. Knowing the difference between these two conditions can help you determine the best course of action.

What Are Delusions?

Delusions are false beliefs. Therefore, a person experiencing a delusion will steadfastly believe in something that isn’t true. Usually, these beliefs persist even when there is evidence that they are not real.

Delusions are referred to as non-bizarre or bizarre in nature. Examples of delusions that are non-bizarre include something that could actually happen in real life, a cheating spouse.

On the other hand, examples of delusions that are bizarre include things that could never happen in real life, such as the ability to become invisible.

Types of Delusions

There are many different types of delusions but delusional thinking generally follows patterns. Therefore, types of delusions are categorized by theme. Delusional themes include:

  • Grandiose Delusions: Symptoms of grandiose delusional disorder center around beliefs of superiority. In other words, the person believes they are better than others.
  • Jealous Delusions: Jealous delusions often revolve around beliefs of being the victim of an affair.
  • Erotomanic Delusions: A person with erotomanic delusions believes that an important person (for example, a celebrity) is in love with them. This could be harmless or lead to behaviors such as stalking.
  • Somatic Delusions: People with somatic delusions believe they are suffering from a medical condition or parasitic infection that they do not have.
  • Persecutory Delusions: This is thought to be the most common type of delusion. Persecutory delusions are paranoid in nature and include beliefs being spied on. Alternatively, a person could believe others are out to harm them. Schizophrenic delusions are most often of a persecutory nature.

Delusional psychosis can be a condition of its own or could be a symptom of another disorder. Other conditions that may cause delusions include:

Depending on the person’s beliefs, delusional thoughts may not cause distress.

For example, a person with Alzheimer’s disease may experience delusions that do not necessarily disrupt their life, such as their being able to communicate with a deceased family member.

Alternatively, someone diagnosed with schizophrenia may believe that they are being spied upon through the appliances, which could become a major source of stress in their life.

Hallucinations are similar to delusions in the sense that they cause a person to feel that they’re experience something that didn’t actually happen. However, hallucinations are not beliefs.

What Are Hallucinations?

Hallucinations are delusions, but instead of centering on misbeliefs, they involve sensory misperceptions. That is, a person will feel, see, taste, hear, or smell something that isn’t there. delusions, hallucinations are often a symptom of a broader disorder, but can also be caused by situational circumstances, such as substance abuse.

Types of Hallucinations

Hallucinations affect your senses and are categorized by such. Therefore, types of hallucinations include:

  • Auditory (hearing)
  • Visual (seeing)
  • Olfactory (smelling)
  • Tactile (feeling)
  • Gustatory (tasting)

Hallucinations are created in the brain and are very real to the person experiencing them. Given this, they can be quite distressing. Causes of hallucination are similar to those of delusions. For example, the mental illness schizophrenia is a common cause of hallucinations.

In addition, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, dementia, epilepsy, and brain injuries are also common causes.

Further, it is not unusual for a person who is going through drug or alcohol detox to hear, see, or feel things that aren’t real, which is one of the reasons detoxing under medical supervision is so heavily recommended.

Delusions vs Hallucinations Treatment

The treatment of either delusions or hallucinations will greatly depend on the condition that is causing these breaks with reality.

If psychosis is not evident, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common approach to the treatment of delusions.

CBT offers the opportunity for the person to address their delusions and to discuss alternate possibilities about their misbeliefs. This type of therapy will be paired with medication if necessary.

Hallucinations are also treated with a combination of therapies. However, medication may be more of a first approach if the hallucination is tied to a mental illness or physical condition. The type of medication used will depend on the condition causing the hallucination.

If substance abuse is causing delusions and hallucinations, an evaluation by a medical professional versed in both mental health and addiction treatment is often the first step.

Mental Health Help in Louisiana

Delusions and hallucinations can be upsetting to those experiencing them as well as to those around them. At Baton Rouge Behavioral Hospital, our treatment team is well versed in stabilizing patients who are experiencing hallucinations and delusions regardless of the severity.

At our Louisiana mental health hospital, we offer adult psychiatric programs in both inpatient and outpatient formats. In addition, we offer a dual diagnosis program to address any accompanying addiction and can assist in crisis stabilization. At Baton Rouge Hospital we understand that no two patients are the same, and we provide individualized options to cater to your recovery needs.

To learn more about our mental health treatment options contact us at 225-300-8470 or by using our confidential online form, many times we can get you admitted as soon as today.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Delusions vs Hallucinations

Delusions and hallucinations can be caused by numerous conditions. Often, these breaks with reality are caused by mental illness, physical ailments, or substance abuse.

Hallucinations are created in the brain. Usually, they are from a mental illness (e.g., schizophrenia) or a physical condition (e.g., epilepsy). However, they can also occur from substance abuse. To stop hallucinations, the source will need to be determined. From there, the appropriate treatment plan can be outlined. Usually, this includes medication, psychotherapy, and/or a drug detox.

The main difference between hallucinations and delusions is that hallucinations revolve around senses and delusions center on beliefs. Therefore, a hallucination includes seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, or feeling something that isn’t there. On the other hand, delusions are false beliefs despite evidence to the contrary.

Contact our Admissions staff at (225) 300-8470 to discuss our treatment programs or reach out online.

Источник: https://batonrougebehavioral.com/delusions-vs-hallucinations/

20126 Psychosis

Types of Delusions From Drugs or Mental Illness

The word psychosis is used to describe conditions that affect the mind, in which people have trouble distinguishing between what is real and what is not. When this occurs, it is called a psychotic episode. A first episode of psychosis is often very frightening, confusing and distressing, particularly because it is an unfamiliar experience.

About three every 100 people will experience an episode of psychosis in their lifetime. Psychosis affects men and women equally and occurs across all cultures and socioeconomic groups. Psychosis usually first appears in a person's late teens or early twenties.

Psychotic illnesses seem to affect women at a later age than men, when women may be farther along in their social and work lives. On the whole, women respond better than men to most treatments.

However, there are times when the risk of relapse for women is greater. These times are before their period is due, after childbirth and around menopause.

This suggests that women's hormones may in some way affect psychosis.

A number of mental illnesses can include psychosis as a symptom, including:

  • Schizophrenia: A person has some psychotic symptoms for at least six months, with a significant decline in the ability to function.
  • Schizophreniform disorder: A person has some psychotic symptoms for more than one month and less than six months.
  • Bipolar disorder: With this type of illness, the symptoms of psychosis relate more to mood disturbance than to thought disturbance.
  • Schizoaffective disorder: A person will have symptoms of schizophrenia and, at some point in the course of illness, concurrent symptoms of a mood disturbance.
  • Depression with psychotic features: A person has severe depression and symptoms of psychosis without the mania associated with bipolar disorder.
  • Drug-induced psychosis: The use of drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy, ketamine, LSD, amphetamines and alcohol can sometimes cause psychotic symptoms.
  • Organic psychosis: Sometimes, symptoms of psychosis may appear as a result of a physical illness or a head injury.
  • Brief psychotic disorder: This type of psychosis usually lasts less than a month. It is sometimes triggered by a major stress in the person's life, such as a death in the family.
  • Delusional disorder: This type of psychosis consists of very strong, fixed beliefs in things that are not true, without the presence of hallucinations.

Signs & Symptoms

Psychosis affects the way a person thinks, feels and behaves. The experience of psychosis varies greatly from person to person. Psychosis can come on suddenly or can develop very gradually.

The symptoms of psychosis are often categorized as either “positive” or “negative.”

Positive symptoms are those that add to or distort the person’s normal functioning. They include:

  • delusions (false beliefs that are firmly held and are keeping with the person’s culture)
  • hallucinations (hearing, seeing, tasting, smelling or feeling something that is not actually there)
  • disorganized speech, thoughts or behaviour (e.g., switching rapidly between subjects in speaking; finding it hard to concentrate or follow a conversation; being unable to complete everyday tasks).

Negative symptoms involve normal functioning becoming lost or reduced. They may include:

  • restricted emotional and facial expression
  • restricted speech and verbal fluency
  • difficulty with generating ideas or thoughts
  • reduced ability to begin tasks
  • reduced socialization and motivation.

Other symptoms may include:

  • cognitive symptoms, such as difficulties with attention, concentration and memory
  • mood changes
  • suicidal thoughts or behaviours
  • substance abuse
  • sleep disturbances.

Causes & Risk Factors

Psychosis occurs in a variety of mental and physical disorders, so it is often difficult to know what has caused a first episode.

Research shows that a combination of biological factors, including genetic factors, place a person at greater risk of developing symptoms of psychosis.

For such a person, a psychotic episode may be triggered by many different environmental factors, such as stressful events or substance use.

An imbalance in brain chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin can also be a factor.

A person who is having symptoms of psychosis should have a thorough medical assessment to rule out any physical illness that may be the cause.

Diagnosis & Treatment

Psychosis can be treated, and many people make a good recovery, especially if they get help early. Treatment may be recommended either on an outpatient basis or in hospital. It usually consists of medication and psychosocial interventions (e.g., counselling).

Throughout treatment, families can receive support and education during sessions with the treatment team.

Medications called antipsychotics are usually essential. They relieve symptoms of psychosis and may prevent further episodes of illness.  

A case manager or therapist can provide emotional support, education about the illness and its management, and practical assistance with day-to-day living. They may also recommend programs in the community and provide supportive psychotherapy and vocational counselling.

Recovery from a first episode of psychosis varies from person to person. Sometimes symptoms go away quickly and people are able to resume their regular life right away. Other people may need several weeks or months to recover, and they may need support over a longer period of time.

  • Treatment from CAMH: Access CAMH
  • Help for Families from CAMH 
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Additional Resources

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Источник: https://www.camh.ca/en/health-info/mental-illness-and-addiction-index/psychosis

Psychosis symptoms and treatments

Types of Delusions From Drugs or Mental Illness

Treatment for psychosis involves a combination of antipsychotic medicines, psychological therapies, and social support.

Your care team

Your treatment is ly to be co-ordinated by a team of mental health professionals working together. If this is your first psychotic episode, you may be referred to an early intervention team.

Early intervention teams

An early intervention team is a team of healthcare professionals set up specifically to work with people who have experienced their first episode of psychosis.

Some early intervention teams only focus on a certain age range, such as people who are 14 to 35 years old.

Depending on your care needs, early intervention teams aim to provide:

  • a full assessment of your symptoms
  • prescriptions for medications
  • psychological services
  • social, occupational, and educational interventions

Treatment for psychosis will vary, depending on the underlying cause. You'll receive specific treatment if you've been diagnosed with an underlying mental health condition as well.

For example, treatment for bipolar disorder uses a variety of medications, which could include antipsychotics to treat symptoms of mania, lithium and anticonvulsants to help stabilise mood, as well as psychological therapy, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

Treatment for schizophrenia usually involves a combination of antipsychotic medication and social support. CBT or another type of psychotherapy called family therapy are also often used. 

Psychosis related to drug or alcohol intoxication or withdrawal may only require a short course of antipsychotics or tranquillisers, which have a calming effect. Referral to an addiction counsellor may then be recommended.


Antipsychotic medicines, also known as neuroleptics, are usually recommended as the first treatment for psychosis. They work by blocking the effect of dopamine, a chemical that transmits messages in the brain.

However, they're not suitable or effective for everyone, as side effects can affect people differently. In particular, antipsychotics will be monitored closely in people who also have epilepsy, a condition that causes seizures or fits.

People who have cardiovascular disease – conditions that affect the heart, blood vessels, or circulation, such as heart disease – will also be closely monitored.

Antipsychotics can usually reduce feelings of anxiety or aggression within a few hours of use, but they may take several days or weeks to reduce other psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusional thoughts.

Antipsychotics can be taken by mouth (orally) or given as an injection. There are several slow-release antipsychotics, where you only need one injection every two to six weeks.

Depending on the underlying cause of your psychosis, you may only need to take antipsychotics until your psychosis subsides.

However, if you have a condition schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, you may need to take antipsychotics on a long-term basis to prevent further episodes of psychosis.

Side effects

Antipsychotics can have side effects, although not everyone will experience them and their severity will differ from person to person.

Side effects can include:

  • drowsiness – this may affect your ability to drive 
  • shaking and trembling
  • restlessness
  • muscle twitches and spasms – where your muscles shorten tightly and painfully
  • blurred vision
  • dizziness 
  • constipation
  • loss of sex drive (libido)
  • dry mouth 

See the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine for a full list of possible side effects. In addition, long-term use of antipsychotics can lead to complications  weight gain and diabetes.

Read more about the complications of psychosis.

Tell your GP if you have side effects that are becoming particularly troublesome. There may be an alternative antipsychotic medicine you can take.

Never stop taking medication prescribed for you unless advised to do so by a qualified healthcare professional responsible for your care.

Suddenly stopping prescription medication could trigger a return of your symptoms (relapse). When it's time for you to stop taking your medication, it will be done gradually and under close observation. 

Psychological treatment

Psychological treatment can help reduce the intensity and anxiety caused by psychosis. Some possible psychological treatments are discussed below.

Cognitive behavioural therapy

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for psychosis is an understanding of how people make sense of their experiences and why some people become distressed by them.

The aim of CBT is to identify unhelpful thinking patterns and emotions that may be causing your unwanted feelings and behaviours. It's then possible to learn to replace this thinking with more realistic and balanced thoughts.

A CBT therapist may encourage you to consider different ways of understanding what's happening to you. The aim is to help you achieve goals that are meaningful and important to you, such as reducing your distress, returning to work or university, or regaining a sense of control.

Family therapy

Family therapy is known to be an effective form of treatment for people with psychosis. It's a way of helping both you and your family cope with your condition.

After having an episode of psychosis, you may rely on your family members for care and support. While most family members are happy to help, the stress of caring for somebody can place a strain on any family.

Family therapy involves a series of informal meetings that take place over a period of six months. Meetings may include:

  • discussing your condition and how it might progress, plus the available treatments  
  • exploring ways of supporting someone with psychosis 
  • deciding how to solve practical problems caused by psychosis, such as planning how to manage future psychotic episodes 

Self-help groups

If you're experiencing episodes of psychosis, you may benefit from being around other people who've had similar experiences.

Источник: https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/mental-health/psychosis

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