Paraphrenia: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Paraphrenia is a type of mental disorder characterized by paranoid delusions. The affected individual experiences imaginary fears or anxieties that are often exaggerated, but do not undergo significant loss of intellectual capabilities, such as memory and daily routine habits.

Although paraphrenia presents symptoms similar to schizophrenia, it often occurs only in the elderly, above the age of 60 and is also quite a rare condition. Schizophrenia, on the other hand, is often reported in teenagers, young adults, as well as middle-aged people.

 

Paraphrenia is, in the majority of the cases, not a very severe ailment. Nevertheless, it is absolutely essential to seek immediate medical care, as soon as typical indications of paraphrenia are recognized in any older person, to ensure timely treatment and efficient management of brain-related irregularities.

Causes

The main factors contributing to the development of paraphrenia in aged persons include:

Severe Neurological Illnesses

When the brain undergoes significant physical modifications, due to a tumour, stroke, grave injury, nerve or blood vessel damage, other neurodegenerative conditions, it affects its normal functioning and response to external stimuli. These abnormal instances could give rise to paraphrenia.

Stressful Personal Situations

Older adults who do not engage in regular social contact, are extremely disconnected from normal events going on around them, have no family or friends and struggle to sustain themselves suffer from serious emotional trauma to the brain. These challenging circumstances, in some cases, lead to paraphrenia.   more

Shared Psychotic Disorder

Introduction

Shared psychotic disorder (folie à deux) is a rare disorder characterized by sharing a delusion among two or more people in a close relationship. The inducer (primary) who has a psychotic disorder with delusions influences another nonpsychotic individual or more (induced, secondary) based on a delusional belief. It is commonly seen among two individuals, but in rare cases, can include larger groups. For example, it can occur in a family and is called folie à famille.

Jules Baillarger was the first to report this condition in 1860. During the 19th century, psychiatrists in Europe suggested different names. In France, it has been called “folie communiquee“(communicated psychosis) by Baillarger. In German psychiatry, it was named “Induziertes Irresein” by Lehman and Sharfetter. In 1877 Lasegue and Falret coined the term “folie à deux.” The French word “folie à deux” means madness shared by two. In the early 1940s, Gralnick, in his review of 103 cases of folie à deux, described four types of this disorder. He defined it as a psychiatric entity characterized by the transfer of delusions from one person to one or several others who have a close association with the primarily affected person. The four types are as follows:

  1. Folie imposee (imposed psychosis) – Described by Lasegue and Falret in 1877. The delusions are transferred from an individual with psychosis to an individual without psychosis in an intimate relationship. The delusions in the induced individual soon disappear once the two are separated.
  2. Folie simultanee (simultaneous psychosis) – Described by Regis in 1880. Both partners share the psychosis simultaneously. They both have risk factors through long social interactions that predispose them to develop this condition. There are reports of sharing genetic risk factors among siblings.
  3. Folie communiquée (communicated psychosis) – Described by Marandon de Montyel in 1881. This type is similar to folie imposee; however, the delusion in the secondary partner occurs after a long period of resistance. Also, the secondary partner will maintain the delusion even after separation from their partner.
  4. Folie induite (induced psychosis) – Described by Lehmann in 1885. In this type, new delusions are assumed by an individual with psychosis who is being influenced by another individual with psychosis.    more

Six Murderers Who Embody the Nine Traits of Narcissism

  • Grandiose sense of self-importance
  • Sense of entitlement
  • Preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
  • Belief they are special and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people or institutions
  • Need for excessive admiration
  • Interpersonally exploitative behavior
  • Lack of empathy
  • Envy of others or a belief that others are envious of them
  • Demonstration of arrogant and haughty behaviors or attitudes

Somatic Symptom Disorder

What is Somatic Symptom Disorder?

 

Somatic symptom disorder is diagnosed when a person has a significant focus on physical symptoms, such as pain, weakness or shortness of breath, to a level that results in major distress and/or problems functioning. The individual has excessive thoughts, feelings and behaviors relating to the physical symptoms. The physical symptoms may or may not be associated with a diagnosed medical condition, but the person is experiencing symptoms and believes they are sick (that is, not faking the illness).

A person is not diagnosed with somatic symptom disorder solely because a medical cause can’t be identified for a physical symptom. The emphasis is on the extent to which the thoughts, feelings and behaviors related to the illness are excessive or out of proportion.

Diagnosis

  • One or more physical symptoms that are distressing or cause disruption in daily life
  • Excessive thoughts, feelings or behaviors related to the physical symptoms or health concerns with at least one of the following:
    • Ongoing thoughts that are out of proportion with the seriousness of symptoms
    • Ongoing high level of anxiety about health or symptoms
    • Excessive time and energy spent on the symptoms or health concerns
  • At least one symptom is constantly present, although there may be different symptoms and symptoms may come and go

People with somatic symptom disorder typically go to a primary care physician rather than a psychiatrist or other mental health professional. Individuals with somatic symptom disorder may experience difficulty accepting that their concerns about their symptoms are excessive. They may continue to be fearful and worried even when they are shown evidence that they do not have a serious condition. Some people have only pain as their dominant symptom. Somatic symptom disorder usually begins by age 30.   more