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What Are Delusions Of Grandeur (A False Belief Of Superiority)? Causes, Symptoms And Treatments

Delusion has always been a topic of interest for psychiatric researchers. It is a mental health disorder characterised by false beliefs held by a person, which is different from reality. Among many types of delusions, delusions of grandeur are among the most common types.

Delusions of grandeur, also known as grandiose delusions, is a type of delusion in which the patient believes that they are a famous celebrity or have some kind of supernatural powers. In short, people with grandeur delusions often believe that they are someone else other than who they actually are, like they have special abilities, powers or possessions, which is not true in reality. [1]

Grandiose delusions could be the result of some other psychotic disorders such as bipolar disorders, dementia or schizophrenia. It may change the patient's sense of reality and make them believe in things that are actually not real.

In this article, we will discuss what exactly are delusions of grandeur and their causes, symptoms, treatments and other details.

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Types Of Delusions Of Grandeur

Delusions of grandeur can affect different people in different ways. Some of the common ways in which the condition affects include: [2]

  • Make a person believe in one's own importance, which is not true in the eyes of others.
  • Make a person believe that he/she is famous or has a very high position in society, without having any.
  • Make a person believe that they can live forever due to some extraordinary power.
  • Make a person believe that they cannot be touched by any disease or injury.
  • Make a person believe that they have an inflated sense of intelligence.
  • Make a person believe that they have magical skills.
  • Make a person believe that they can read the minds of any.
  • Make a person believe that they have a secret talent or object that no one knows about.
  • Make a person believe that they have a secret relationship with someone famous like the President.
  • Make a person believe that they are a religious leader.
  • Make a person believe that they are a multimillionaire or going to become one soon.
  • Make a person believe that they have found a cure for a disease that was impossible by many medical experts.
  • Make a person believe that they are God's voice.

Symptoms Of Delusions Of Grandeur

  • Hallucinations
  • Mood swings
  • Impair judgement and self-esteem.
  • Feeling of irritation or anguishes when people refuse to accept their delusion.
  • Difficulties in making friendships or relationships due to their delusions.
  • Other behaviours problems to believe what they think is true.
  • Making constant attempts to make people believe in their false delusion.
  • Experiences other types of delusions.

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Causes Of Delusions Of Grandeur

Experts say that there are no specific causes for delusions of grandeur. However, most of the cases of the condition are found in patients already with some other mental illness or mental health conditions

  • bipolar disorders, [3]
  • schizophrenia, [4]
  • chronic depression,
  • post-traumatic stress disorder,
  • auditory hallucination [5]
  • narcissistic personality disorder
  • dementia and
  • delirium.

Some of the factors responsible for grandiose include:

  • Stress
  • Inherited mental illness
  • Use of illicit drugs like cocaine and marijuana.
  • Lack of social connection
  • Imbalance in brain neurotransmitters
  • Brain injury

To Note: Studies say that delusions of grandeur are most common in all manics and around 74% of schizophrenics. Also, it is mainly associated with narcissistic personality disorder, a mental health disorder in which a person greatly overestimates themselves and believes in their own uniqueness. [6]

Diagnosis Of Delusions Of Grandeur

Diagnosis of grandiose delusion is easy when it is due to some other mental illness like schizophrenia and could be difficult to diagnose when it is just limited to a person. Many people who have grandiose remain undiagnosed until their thoughts and delusions start interfering in their lives and others as well.

The first step to diagnose the condition is understanding the detailed history of the patients. It must include past traumatic events, any existing mental health conditions, use of drugs such as marijuana, episodes of occurrence of delusions and how long they last.

If the condition is due to some existing mental illnesses, it is diagnosed according to the symptoms based on the scale of DSM-5.

Can Delusions Of Grandeur Be Treated?

The treatment methods available for delusions of grandeurs include:

  • Brain imaging: This helps get the image of the brain and its affected areas if the condition is caused by certain kinds of injury, followed by effective treatment methods.
  • Medications: This includes medications like antipsychotics, anti-anxiety and antidepressants, depending on the severity of the condition. [7]
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy: It is mainly given along with medications to help people understand what is reality and what is a false belief. Though the therapy is quite difficult, with time, the patients may progress. [8]

To Conclude

Delusions of grandeur are a type of delusions that come under mental health conditions. If you know anyone who is suffering from the same, consult a medical expert sooner for immediate treatment. Also, you may opt for involuntary treatment, where you can consult an expert and get yourself treated.

MENTAL HEALTH HELPLINE NUMBERS

1. COOJ Mental Health Foundation (COOJ)- Helpline: 0832-2252525 | 01:00 PM - 07:00 PM ( Monday to Friday)

2. Parivarthan- Helpline: +91 7676 602 602 | 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM (Monday to Friday)

3. Connecting Trust- Helpline: +91 992 200 1122 | +91-992 200 4305 | 12:00 PM to 08:00 PM (All days of the week)

4. Roshni Trust- Helpline: 040-66202000, 040-66202001 | 11:00 AM - 09:00 PM (Monday to Sunday)

5. Sahai Helpline: 080-25497777 / Email at - SAHAIHELPLINE@GMAIL.COM | 10 AM- 8 PM (Monday to Saturday)

6. Sumaitri Helpline: 011-23389090 / FEELINGSUICIDAL@SUMAITRI.NET |2 PM- 10 PM (Monday To Friday); 10 AM - 10 PM (Saturday and Sunday)

7. Sneha Helpline: 044-24640050 (24 HOURS) / 044-24640060 | Email at- HELP@SNEHAINDIA.ORG |8 AM - 10 PM

8. Lifeline Helpline: 033-24637401 / 033-24637432 | Email at LIFELINEKOLKATA@GMAIL.COM | 10 AM - 6 PM.