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Delusional disorder is a psychiatric diagnosis denoting a mental
illness that involves holding one or more non-bizarre delusions in the
absence of any other significant psychopathology (signs or symptoms of
mental illness). In particular a person with delusional disorder has
never met any other criteria for schizophrenia and does not have any
marked hallucinations, although tactile (touch) or olfactory (smell)
hallucinations may be present if they are related to the theme of the
A person with delusional disorder can be quite functional and does not
tend to show any odd or bizarre behaviour except as a direct result of
the delusional belief.
It is worth noting that the term paranoia was previously used in
psychiatry to denote what is now called 'delusional disorder'. The
modern psychiatric use of the word paranoia is subtly different but now
rarely refers to this specific diagnosis.
Delusional disorder may typically be one of the following types:
- Erotomanic Type (see erotomania): delusion that another person, usually
of higher status, is in love with the individual.
- Grandiose Type: delusion of inflated worth, power, knowledge, identity,
or special relationship to a deity or famous person (e.g. see Jerusalem
- Jealous Type: delusion that the individual's sexual partner is
unfaithful (see delusional jealousy).
- Persecutory Type: delusion that the person (or someone to whom the
person is close) is being malevolently treated in some way.
- Somatic Type: delusions that the person has some physical defect or
general medical condition (for example, see delusional parasitosis).
- A diagnosis of 'mixed type' or 'unspecified type' may also be given if
the delusions fall into several or none of these categories.
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