Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Can Delusional Disorder Turn Into Schizophrenia

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Can Psychotic Depression Lead To More Complications Such As Schizophrenia

Psychosis: Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, Delusional Disorder, Hallucinations

As weve explored already, depression is a disorder of a different kind and category than schizophrenia. This means that depression does not ultimately evolve into schizophrenia. But there are overlaps in symptoms and side effects with the two disorders, and it is possible for someone to have both disorders at once. When someone has co-occurring depression and schizophrenia, it has a unique diagnosis: schizoaffective disorder. This dual diagnosis is important because it informs the level of integrated treatment someone needs.

Even without the occurrence of a psychotic disorder, when depression is particularly severe, it is possible for a person to experience distortions in their reality, including psychotic symptoms. An important difference is that someone with schizophrenia who experiences a psychotic episode inherently believes that their delusions or hallucinations are part of reality someone who experiences a psychotic episode in connection with severe depression often has a better grip on their actual reality and can clue into the discrepancies there.

This understanding of the disconnect between what they are perceiving and the reality they know does not necessarily diminish their distress and confusion. On the contrary, this awareness can bring its own overwhelming complications. It can add to a persons anxiety and their feelings of shame, unworthiness, hopelessness, and lack of confidence.

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What Are Other Types Of Psychotic Disorders

Mental disorders associated with symptoms of psychosis are known as psychotic disorders. In addition to schizophrenia, other psychotic disorders include:

  • Schizoaffective disorder:Symptoms of this disorder may include hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized thinking, along with either a depressed or manic mood.
  • Schizophreniform disorder:With this disorder, a person develops the symptoms of schizophrenia for a period shorter than six months.
  • Delusional disorder:This describes strong, unchangeable beliefs in things that are not real or true, without experiencing hallucinations.
  • Brief psychotic disorder:This describes psychotic symptoms with a sudden onset, lasting one month or less. Another episode may or may not occur in the future.
  • Substance-induced psychotic disorder: This describes psychosis brought on by the use of substances such as cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy, and alcohol.
  • Psychotic disorder due to a medical condition:This describes conditions such as brain tumors, brain infections, or strokes that can lead to psychotic symptoms.

Psychosis can be limited to one episode. However, it is possible to have recurring episodes as part of certain conditions.

What Is Schizophrenia Or Paranoid Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a challenging brain disorder that often makes it difficult to distinguish between what is real and unreal, to think clearly, manage emotions, relate to others, and function normally. It affects the way a person behaves, thinks, and sees the world.

The most common form is paranoid schizophrenia, or schizophrenia with paranoia as its often called. People with paranoid schizophrenia have an altered perception of reality. They may see or hear things that dont exist, speak in confusing ways, believe that others are trying to harm them, or feel like theyre being constantly watched. This can cause relationship problems, disrupt normal daily activities like bathing, eating, or running errands, and lead to alcohol and drug abuse in an attempt to self-medicate.

Many people with schizophrenia withdraw from the outside world, act out in confusion and fear, and are at an increased risk of attempting suicide, especially during psychotic episodes, periods of depression, and in the first six months after starting treatment.

Take any suicidal thoughts or talk very seriously

If you or someone you care about is suicidal, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the U.S. at 1-800-273-TALK, visit IASP or to find a helpline in your country, or read Suicide Prevention.

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What Are The 3 Stages Of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia occurs in stages.

  • Prodromal phase:During this phase, which can last from weeks to years, symptomsdevelop gradually and typically involve loss of interest in activities, social withdrawal, or difficulty concentrating. Intense fixation with ideas or subjects can also develop.
  • Active phase:This is known as theacute stage of schizophrenia and is when psychotic symptoms occur. Symptoms can develop gradually after a prodromal phase or appear suddenly.
  • Residual phase:During this period, symptoms have reduced, but the individual may feel withdrawn and have difficulty focusing.
  • While the length of these stages differs from person to person, these phases tend to occur in sequence and may recur throughout the life of a person with schizophrenia.

    Neurologic And Neuropsychologic Abnormalities In Schizophrenia

    Delusions may stem from sticky beliefs, study finds

    Sophisticated psychometric testing has disclosed abnormalities not so much in intelligence and memory as in other psychologic functions. Alertness is not impaired, but the ability to maintain attention, as measured by continuous performance tasks, is reduced . In tests of verbal and visual pattern learning, problem solving, and memorizing, Cutting found a surprising degree of impairment in both acute and chronic schizophrenic patients that was not attributable to previous treatment. In the acute schizophrenic patient, verbal memory was more affected than visual pattern memory, in agreement with the findings of Flor-Henry that left-hemispheric functions are more reduced than right-hemispheric ones. Yet, in the chronic schizophrenic, there is usually evidence of bihemispheric impairment.

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    What Are The Types Of Delusional Disorder

    There are different types of delusional disorder based on the main theme of the delusions experienced. The types of delusional disorder include:

    • Erotomanic. Someone with this type of delusional disorder believes that another person, often someone important or famous, is in love with him or her. The person might attempt to contact the object of the delusion, and stalking behavior is not uncommon.
    • Grandiose. A person with this type of delusional disorder has an over-inflated sense of worth, power, knowledge, or identity. The person might believe he or she has a great talent or has made an important discovery.
    • Jealous. A person with this type of delusional disorder believes that his or her spouse or sexual partner is unfaithful.
    • Persecutory. People with this type of delusional disorder believe that they are being mistreated, or that someone is spying on them or planning to harm them. It is not uncommon for people with this type of delusional disorder to make repeated complaints to legal authorities.
    • Somatic. A person with this type of delusional disorder believes that he or she has a physical defect or medical problem.
    • Mixed. People with this type of delusional disorder have two or more of the types of delusions listed above.

    Real Life Example Of Religious Delusions Destroying Lives

    Not very long ago Indian media covered a horrifying suicide case of 11 members of the same family. In 2018 a mysterious case of 11 deaths surfaced and left everyone in shock. The Chundawat family living in the Burari area in Delhi were found hanging from an iron grid from their ceiling.

    There was one question that started to bother whoever heard of the accident. Why did all of them hang themselves and how did each one of them agree to commit such an act?

    According to the psychological autopsy, the youngest son of the family claimed to be in contact with their dead father. The entire family believed that he was possessed by the father and they had to obey him if they wanted to succeed in life.

    The thing that made their belief so firm is that the decisions they made under the influence of the supposed spirit of the father actually benefited them. This was purely coincidental. Since the youngest son was suffering from religious delusions he made the family conduct various ceremonies.

    That day they all conducted a similar religious ceremony in which they were to hand themselves and practice patience and meditate. They all believed that none of them would die but eventually each one of them ended up losing their lives.

    This is an example of religious delusion but what surprises me even more is why didnt anyone say something? Was the entire family delusional?

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    What Mental Health Conditions Are Linked With Psychosis

    Psychosis can be:

    • a one-off experience,
    • part of a long-term mental health condition. You may only experience psychotic symptoms as part of your condition. Or you may experience other symptoms too, such as depressive symptoms.
    • part of a neurological condition such dementia, Alzheimers or Parkinsons,
    • caused by a brain injury,
    • a side effect of medication,
    • an effect of drug abuse, or
    • an effect of drug or alcohol withdrawal.

    Hallucinations can also happen if you are very tired. Or if someone close to you has recently died.

    On this page we use the term symptom instead of experience. This is because symptom is a medical term. And here we are describing mental health conditions from a medical view.

    If you want more information about psychosis linked to neurological conditions or brain injuries look at the Useful Contacts section at the end of this section.


    You may get a diagnosis of schizophrenia if you experience a mixture of what medical professionals call positive symptoms and negative symptoms.

    You can have a combination of negative and positive symptoms.

    Positive symptomsPositive symptoms are something you experience in addition to your normal experience. Such as psychosis. They include the following.

    • Hallucinations. Such as hearing voices.
    • Delusions. Such as believing something that isnt factually correct.
    • Disorganised thinking. Such as switching from one topic to another with no clear link between the two.

    Bipolar Disorder

    Schizoaffective disorder

    What Causes Delusional Disorder

    Depression vs. Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia – How To Tell The Difference

    As with many other psychotic disorders, the exact cause of delusional disorder is not yet known. Researchers are, however, looking at the role of various genetic, biological, and environmental or psychological factors.

    • Genetic. The fact that delusional disorder is more common in people who have family members with delusional disorder or schizophrenia suggests there might be a genetic factor involved. It is believed that, as with other mental disorders, a tendency to develop delusional disorder might be passed on from parents to their children.
    • Biological. Researchers are studying how abnormalities of certain areas of the brain might be involved in the development of delusional disorders. An imbalance of certain chemicals in the brain, called neurotransmitters, also has been linked to the formation of delusional symptoms. Neurotransmitters are substances that help nerve cells in the brain send messages to each other. An imbalance in these chemicals can interfere with the transmission of messages, leading to symptoms.
    • Environmental/psychological. Evidence suggests that delusional disorder can be triggered by stress. Alcohol and drug abuse also might contribute to the condition. People who tend to be isolated, such as immigrants or those with poor sight and hearing, appear to be more vulnerable to developing delusional disorder.

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    Attempt To Redirect Or Distract The Person From Their Delusion

    • Does the person always greet you with the delusion? If so, just quietly listen and then give direction for the task at hand.
    • If it appears that the individual cannot stop talking about the delusion, ask gently if they recalls what you have been doing and that its time to resume that activity.
    • If the person is very intent upon telling you the delusion, just quietly listen until there is no need to discuss it any further.
    • Remember that it is helpful to give the person reassurance during the delusion that they, as a person, are okay.

    How Is Psychosis Related To Schizophrenia

    An individual with schizophrenia can experience periods of psychosis. During this time, they may have hallucinations and delusions. The psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia are also called positive symptoms.

    Antipsychotic medications are used to treat acute psychotic episodes in people with schizophrenia. Additionally, these medications can also be used as maintenance medications to help prevent symptoms from coming back.

    A diagnosis of schizophrenia can sometimes follow a psychotic episode. However, schizophrenia has some additional symptoms as well as specific diagnostic criteria.

    A person can experience psychosis without having schizophrenia or another mental health disorder. Psychosis can occur due to things like substance use, medical conditions, and certain medications.

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    What Are Examples Of Psychosis In Schizophrenia

    Psychotic symptoms can manifest in individuals with schizophrenia as:

    • Paranoia, like the belief that they are being spied on or being controlled by outside forces
    • A belief that others can read their thoughts
    • Believing that ordinary events hold special meaning specifically to them, like that a person is sending them messages through the television
    • Delusions of grandeur, such as believing they are of great importance, are very powerful, or have special powers
    • Hearing noises or voices that aren’t there, like hearing commands
    • Switching quickly from subject to subject when speaking
    • Making up words
    • Discussing ideas that seem unrelated
    • Having difficulty performing everyday tasks such as self-care and hygiene
    • Difficulty planning
    • Experiencing symptoms of catatonia, including physical rigidity, repetitive movements, or lack of a response to their environment

    Causes And Risk Factors For Delusional Disorder

    5 Most Common Types of Schizophrenia and Their Characteristics

    Research suggests that people who have family members with schizophrenia or schizotypal personality disorder are at greater risk of developing delusional disorder, suggesting that genetics may play a causal role in determining a persons risk of developing the disorder. In addition, people who are older are more likely than younger individuals to develop delusional disorder as well.

    Risk Factors:

    • Family history of schizophrenia or schizotypal personality disorder
    • Being of older age

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    Long Periods With No Sleep And Extra Energy

    Having bipolar is often categorized by having long periods where you get little to no sleep and being overexcited. Though this is classified as a manic episode, there are different components. The person isnt really doing anything to get them in trouble, but they have so much energy they cant be calmed down.

    Signs of this may include:

    • Acting like they have ADHD because they have so much energy.
    • Being awake for days with no sleep.

    Remember, they will crash after going without sleep for long periods, and then the depression will likely come into play.

    Religious Delusion: When Faith Turns Into Psychosis

    Kirti Bhati

    In earlier times when a person would behave in a way that is not normal or natural people would begin to think that the person might be processed. Experts never believed in the demonic possession, they termed this condition a religious delusion.

    Did you know an increased focus religion or presumed religious activities can be considered as a symptom of mania or bipolar disorder? Anything in excess is bad. Being blindly religious can turn your faith into psychosis.

    There are so many superstitious beliefs around us and so many of us hold on to them. It is quite possible that sometimes our thought process is possessed by irrational beliefs. Lets get to know about it in detail.

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    Final Thoughts On Schizoaffective Disorder

    Schizoaffective disorder is undoubtedly one of the most challenging mental health conditions to treat. There is no cure, but some treatment methods can make things better. This person must have a strong support system around them that can notice when things are starting to turn bad.

    Since there are often marked periods of highs and lows, managing this mental health concern is often challenging. Though there are no longer asylums where people are locked away with mental health concerns, there are places where those with such challenges can stay long-term. Group homes often become a viable option for those with such severe mental health needs as its often exhausting for the family to help for long periods.

    Since both bipolar and schizophrenia have components of chemical imbalances within the brain, eating the right foods and getting plenty of exercises can only help matters. Eating foods that stimulate serotonin, like bananas, chia seeds, flax seeds, eggs, tofu, and many others, might help. Its a challenging condition, but it can be managed.

    A Brief Look At Schizophrenia

    Paranoia, Paranoid Personality Disorder, and Borderline Personality Disorder

    Though schizophrenia and depersonalization might share some similar symptoms, they are vastly different in their nature. Lets briefly go over what this illness is. Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that is characterized by a failure to understand consensus reality. Consensus reality is a term that denotes the reality that is generally agreed upon by you, me, and everyone else in the world. People with schizophrenia tend to feel confused about reality. This can lead to the development of delusions, hallucinations , and aberrant social behavior.

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    Can Schizoaffective Disorder Turn Into Schizophrenia

    For the most part, no, schizoaffective disorder does not turn into schizophrenia. Schizoaffective disorder is a separate condition that, although considered a chronic or life-long condition, usually becomes less severe with age.

    As they get older, people with schizoaffective disorder may experience fewer and less severe symptoms, especially when theyre middle-aged. The same cannot be said about people with schizophrenia.

    Fortunately, while there is no cure for either condition, both are treatable and manageable with medication and behavioral therapy.

    What If I Am Not Happy With My Treatment

    If you are not happy with your treatment you can:

    • talk to your doctor about your treatment options,
    • ask for a second opinion,
    • get an advocate to help you speak to your doctor,
    • contact Patient Advice and Liaison Service and see whether they can help, or
    • make a complaint.

    There is more information about these options below.

    Treatment options

    You should first speak to your doctor about your treatment. Explain why you are not happy with it. You could ask what other treatments you could try.

    Tell your doctor if there is a type of treatment that you would like to try. Doctors should listen to your preference. If you are not given this treatment, ask your doctor to explain why it is not suitable for you.

    Second opinion

    A second opinion means that you would like a different doctor to give their opinion about what treatment you should have. You can also ask for a second opinion if you disagree with your diagnosis.

    You dont have a right to a second opinion. But your doctor should listen to your reason for wanting a second opinion.


    An advocate is independent from the mental health service. They are free to use. They can be useful if you find it difficult to get your views heard.

    There are different types of advocates available. Community advocates can support you to get a health professional to listen to your concerns. And help you to get the treatment that you would like.

    The Patient Advice and Liaison Service


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