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

What Are Delusions of Grandeur?

Delusion of grandeur refers to a person’s false belief that they are someone other than who they truly are — typically someone powerful or important. Delusions may be a sign of a mental health disorder. Delusions may also affect a person’s sense of what is real and what is not.

Overview

A delusion is a false belief held by a person. It contradicts reality or what is commonly considered true. The strength of a delusion is based on how much the person believes it.

Specifically, a delusion of grandeur is a person’s belief that they are someone other than who they are, such as a supernatural figure or a celebrity. A delusion of grandeur may also be a belief that they have special abilities, possessions, or powers.

Delusions are generally the result of a mental health disorder. However, not all people with delusions meet the full diagnostic criteria for any mental health disorder.

Many types of mental health disorders classified as psychotic disorders can lead to delusions. These include:

Psychotic disorders can change a person’s sense of reality. They may be unable to tell what is real and what is not.   more

Delusions and Delusional Disorder

 Medically Reviewed by Jennifer Casarella, MD on December 13, 2020

Delusional disorder, previously called paranoid disorder, is a type of serious mental illness called a psychotic disorder. People who have it can’t tell what’s real from what is imagined.

Delusions are the main symptom of delusional disorder. They’re unshakable beliefs in something that isn’t true or based on reality. But that doesn’t mean they’re completely unrealistic. Delusional disorder involves delusions that aren’t bizarre, having to do with situations that could happen in real life, like being followed, poisoned, deceived,

conspired against, or loved from a distance. These delusions usually involve mistaken perceptions or experiences. But in reality, the situations are either not true at all or highly exaggerated.

A bizarre delusion, by contrast, is something that could never happen in real life, such as being cloned by aliens or having your thoughts broadcast on TV. A person who has such thoughts might be considered delusional with bizarre-type delusions.

People with delusional disorder often can continue to socialize and function normally, apart from the subject of their delusion, and generally do not behave in an obviously odd or bizarre manner. This is unlike people with other psychotic disorders, who also might have delusions as a symptom of their disorder. But in some cases, people with delusional disorder might become so preoccupied with their delusions that their lives are disrupted. Although delusions might be a symptom of more common disorders, such as schizophrenia, delusional disorder itself is rather rare. Delusional disorder most often happens in middle to late life and is slightly more common in women than in men.   more

Mental Illness and the facts

What is mental illness?

 

Mental illnesses are medical conditions that disrupt a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.

Serious mental illnesses include major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and borderline personality disorder. The good news about mental illness is that recovery is possible.

Mental illnesses can affect persons of any age, race, religion, or income. Mental illnesses are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character or poor upbringing. Mental illnesses are treatable. Most people diagnosed with a serious mental illness can experience relief from their symptoms by actively participating in an individual treatment plan.

In addition to medication treatment, psycho-social treatment such as cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, peer support groups and other community services can also be components of a treatment plan and that assist with recovery. The availability of transportation, diet, exercise, sleep, friends and meaningful paid or volunteer activities contribute to overall health and wellness, including mental illness recovery.   more

Psychotic Disorder

What Is a Psychotic Disorder?

 Medically Reviewed by Jennifer Casarella, MD on September 04, 2022

Psychotic disorders are a group of serious illnesses that affect the mind. They make it hard for someone to think clearly, make good judgments, respond emotionally, communicate effectively, understand reality, and behave appropriately.

When symptoms are severe, people with psychotic disorders have trouble staying in touch with reality and often are unable to handle daily life. But even severe psychotic disorders usually can be treated.

 

Causes

Doctors don’t know the exact cause of psychotic disorders. Researchers believe that many things play a role. Some psychotic disorders tend to run in families, which means that the disorder may be partly inherited. Other things may also influence their development, including stress, drug abuse, and major life changes.

People with certain psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia, may also have problems in parts of the brain that control thinking, perception, and motivation.

In schizophrenia, experts believe that nerve cell receptors that work with a brain chemical called glutamate may not work properly in specific brain regions. That glitch may contribute to problems with thinking and perception.

These conditions usually first appear when a person is in their late teens, 20s, or 30s. They tend to affect men and women about equally.  more

What Is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder that affects less than one percent of the U.S. population. When schizophrenia is active, symptoms can include delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, trouble with thinking and lack of motivation. However, with treatment, most symptoms of schizophrenia will greatly improve and the likelihood of a recurrence can be diminished.

While there is no cure for schizophrenia, research is leading to innovative and safer treatments. Experts also are unraveling the causes of the disease by studying genetics, conducting behavioral research, and using advanced imaging to look at the brain’s structure and function. These approaches hold the promise of new, and more effective therapies.

The complexity of schizophrenia may help explain why there are misconceptions about the disease. Schizophrenia does not mean split personality or multiple-personality. Most people with schizophrenia are not any more dangerous or violent than people in the general population. While limited mental health resources in the community may lead to homelessness and frequent hospitalizations, it is a misconception that people with schizophrenia end up homeless or living in hospitals. Most people with schizophrenia live with their family, in group homes or on their own.

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Biology may make certain PTSD patients unresponsive to behavioral therapy

How well-connected a particular brain network is, and how successfully memories are formed, may determine which patients with post-traumatic stress disorder benefit from behavioral therapy, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have found.

The finding could indicate a biological subtype of PTSD whose clinical relevance only becomes obvious when patients undergo treatment, the researchers said. Furthermore, by replicating their results across a diverse range of patients, the researchers were able to clearly and objectively characterize a biological signature in PTSD patients who differ in their response to behavioral therapy.  more

The Unreliable Reader

In Esmé Weijun Wang’s book of personal essays, “The Collected Schizophrenias,” it’s the reader, not the writer, who is an unreliable narrator.

“I write this while experiencing a strain of psychosis known as Cotard’s delusion, in which the patient believes that they are dead,” the novelist Esmé Weijun Wang writes at the beginning of “Perdition Days,” an essay from her new book, The Collected Schizophrenias. (Read an excerpt on Longreads.) “What the writer’s confused state means is not beside the point, because it is the point,” she continues. “I am in here, somewhere: cogito ergo sum.” The passage moves swiftly, from first person agency (“I am writing”) to distanced third person (“the patient,” “the writer”) to the famous Descartes assertion, in Latin, “I think, therefore I am.” As a reader, it’s astonishing and a little unnerving to consider the immediacy of the prose, your intimacy with a speaker searching to find the correct vantage from which to narrate the strangely drawn, difficult-to-map districts of her mind. more

Psychosis and Symbiosis: Microbiome and Schizophrenia

Fascinating new research links the gut and brain in sickness and health.

Schizophrenia is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects about 1 percent of the world population and tends to strike in the prime of life. Preventing this disease could help tens of millions of families throughout the world, so finding the risk factors for early diagnosis and treatment are paramount. We know there are genetic risks that, at the moment, can’t be changed (and as the disorder is polygenic, we will not find a single “schizophrenia gene”). Other major risk factors, such as prenatal infection, also can’t be changed 18-35 years later when the disease shows up. We know there are risk factors that can be addressed, such as using large amounts of high-THC marijuana in adolescence. But are there other factors that predispose people to schizophrenia that we may be able to address, such as changes in the microbiome?  more