“What Are Delusions – And How Best Can We Treat Them?”


For The Conversation, psychologist John Done, from the University of Hertfordshire, explains his approach to discussing delusions with his patients. Done recommends more qualitative research on semi-structured interviews that get the patient to assess the rationality of their beliefs.

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what are delusions


  1. My so called “delusions” were a belief that the adverse and common withdrawal effects of a “safe smoking cessation med” / actual dangerous antidepressant and a “safe pain killer” / actual dangerous dirty opioid – a drug combo, by the way, which is the second most deadly drug combo – were caused by the drugs.

    But everyone who claims the psychiatric drugs are harmful mind altering drugs, rather than “wonder drugs” has “delusions,” according to the psychiatric community.

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  2. I see delusions as a form of reification – a psychological defense in which some complex and messy is made literal. Reifcations are usually rigid, because they are protecting against complexity or depth of feeling or experience that cannot be named. A delusion is a literal and rigid belief about something that makes a feeling make sense to the person. Hence, overwhelming feelings of dread may become a “them.” Or to compensate for chronically feeling less-than, the person literally becomes a God, or has a “special relationship” to a movie star, etc.

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    • That definitely makes a lot of sense to me.

      Preoccupations can have their own logic that hold them in place. But at a distance this logic mightn’t apply.

      I’ve been given the ‘Big Diagnoses’:

      First thing in the morning I might be full of anxiety. Later in the day my anxiety mightn’t seem very realistic but at the time it can be very convincing.

      If this were extended out I could have a breakdown, but I can deal with my anxiety through knowing how it works (and how to control it).

      Psychiatric treatment never worked for me.

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      • But if a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy approach can be proven to work (and I can substantiate that it does); and the Big Disorders are an extension of Anxiety; then the mainstream Psychiatric approach – would be Delusional.

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  3. Delusion? The whole world is in a delusion about how much methane and carbon dioxide we can dump into the atmosphere. The whole world is in a delusion about all the plastic we dump into the ocean.
    Is the weather normal where you are?

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