Ketamine Therapy

It’s a False Life – How Delusional Disorder Affects People

      Do you know anyone who is living in the constant fear that someone will harm him or her? Have you ever heard to someone talk for hours about things that don't exist? There is a high possibility that a person who is exhibiting these signs is suffering from a rare medical condition called delusional disorder.     It is a condition in which the sufferer cannot intelligently distinguish between imaginations and reality. Such a person will cling to false beliefs and refuse to give up, even when presented with facts. While these people do not behave in a definitive odd manner in public, they often have the tendency to get lost in their own thoughts, thus secluding themselves within a crowd.     For the condition to be termed as a mental disorder, the signs need to exist for more than a month. For example, in a conflict-affected zone, a person complaining about hearing gunshots is not suffering from the disorder. The reaction is merely an effect of the environment he or she has been exposed to. But if the condition persists for more than one month, the person may require psychiatric help.    

Classification of Delusions

  Delusions are called 'bizarre' when people within the same environment cannot recognize them. For instance, a person talks about witnessing a snowfall in the desert region.  'Non-bizarre' delusions, on the other hand, relate to the incident which can exist but there is no sufficient evidence of their occurrence.    

Different Forms of Delusions

  Spotting the signs of delusional disorder can be tricky as the person with the condition usually carries out their routine activities in an efficient manner. And save the delusions, there is no apparent change in behavior. Generally, a person who shows the following signs is diagnosed with the disorder:     Grandiose – having the wrong perception of being special.     Somatic – having the wrong perception of suffering from a medical condition.     Jealous – being afraid that someone they trust will cheat on them.     Erotomanic - falsely believing that someone of a higher social standing is in love with them.    

Treatment

  One of the most difficult aspects of the treatment of this disorder relates to a patient's denial. An individual who has a delusional disorder doesn't seek medical treatment. For people who seek professional help, experts may opt for psychotherapy or antipsychotic medications, depending on the nature of the disorder.    
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Cyclothymic Disorder

    Cyclothymic disorder, a milder form of bipolar disorder, are episodes of hypomanic symptoms — elevated mood and euphoria — and depressive symptoms that prolong for at least two years. Medical professionals do not classify this disorder as a full-blown hypomanic or depressive episode because the number, severity, and duration of the symptoms is less.  

How Do Doctors Diagnose Cyclothymic Disorder?

  For doctors to diagnose a person with cyclothymic disorder, the person should have experienced hypomanic and depressive symptoms at different times in their life for at least two years. Cyclothymic disorder begins at adolescence or early adulthood with a 15% to 50% probability of the person to develop bipolar I or II disorder.   However, the risk of a person developing bipolar I because they suffered from cyclothymic disorder is still less, as most people tend to recover and do not experience any hypomanic and depressive symptoms in the future. In both males and females, cyclothymic disorder is common.  

The Symptoms of Cyclothymic Disorder

  For children and adolescents, cyclothymic disorder symptoms last for one year, but generally, the person should exhibit its symptoms for at least two years for doctors to diagnose them with it. The symptoms of cyclothymic disorder and hypomanic disorder are the same with the only difference being the duration they last.   The symptoms of cyclothymic disorder do not last long and are less severe. Since cyclothymic disorder’s symptoms are a combination of both hypomanic and depressive disorder, it is important to look at both before diagnosing a person with cyclothymic disorder.  

Symptoms of Hypomanic Disorder

 
  • A lasting duration of behavior that is different from usual
  • Abuse of drugs, sleeping medications, and alcohol
  • Being more talkative than usual or feeling pressure to continue talking
  • Denial that something is wrong
  • Distractibility, inability to concentrate
  • Excessively euphoric mood
  • Impractical beliefs in their abilities and powers
  • Increased energy, anxiety, and activity
  • Increased sex drive
  • Irritability
  • Poor judgment
  • Provocative, invasive, or aggressive behavior
  • Racing thoughts and speech, jumping from one idea to another
  • Sleeping less
  • Impulsive spending behavior
   

Symptoms of Depressive Disorder

 
  • Unable to concentrate, remember, and decide
  • Excessive sleepiness or unable to sleep
  • Fatigue or lethargy
  • Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness and, or, guilt
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss OR overeating and weight gain
  • Loss of self-esteem
  • Persistent sadness
  • Persistent thoughts of death
  • Withdrawal from activities that were once enjoyed
  • Withdrawal from friends
  The treatment for cyclothymia disorder is similar to the treatment of bipolar I and II disorder and the duration of the treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms.    
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