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Types of Delusions

Delusions of Grandeur, Delusions of Control, Delusions of Thought broadcasting, Delusions of Persecution, Delusions of Reference, Delusions of Thought Withdrawal


Delusions of Grandeur

Individuals may believe they are someone famous or powerful (from the present or the past).


Delusions of Control

Individuals may believe that other people, animals, or objects are trying to influence or take control of them.


Delusions of Thought broadcasting

Individuals may believe that others can hear their thoughts.


Delusions of Persecution:

Individuals may believe that others are plotting against, mistreating, or even trying to kill them.


Delusions of Reference

Individuals may believe they are the center of atten- tion or that all happenings revolve around them.


Delusions of Thought Withdrawal

Individuals may believe that someone or something is removing thoughts from their mind


What is the Capgras delusion?

It is named after the person who first reported it, is a rare type of delusion involving a belief in the existence of identical doubles who replace significant others


What elements of hallucinations heighten the associated distress?

Hallucinations are particularly distressing when they involve dominant, insulting voices. Negative hallucinations can be quite unsettling; those who hear destructive voices often try to cope by ignoring them or by keeping busy with other activities


What factors are associated with a more positive outcome (prognosis) in schizophrenia?

Factors associated with a positive outcome include gender (women have a better outcome), higher levels of education, being married or having a social network of friends, and a higher premorbid level of functioning


Relationship between genetic factors and schizophrenia

Genetics and heredity play an important role in the development of schizophrenia; Past research focused on the attempt to identify the specific gene or genes that cause it; Most researchers agree that schizophrenia results from interactions among a large number of different genes; Single genes appear to make only minor contributions toward the illness (Researchers have found that closer blood relatives of individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia run a greater risk of developing the disorder)


How are the brains of schizophrenia patients different than those without SZ?

Individuals with schizophrenia have decreased volume in the cortex and other areas of the brain, as well as ventricular enlargement (enlarged spaces in the brain; Ventricular enlargement may be an early indication of an increased susceptibility to schizophrenia


What structural characteristics may predispose someone to develop schizophrenia?

Decreased cortex volume and enlarged ventricles predispose someone to develop schizophrenia because these structural characteristics may result in atypical or weak connectivity between the various brain regions, leading to reductions in integrative functioning in the brain and impaired cognitive processing.. Thus ineffective communication between different brain regions may lead to the cognitive symptoms (e.g., disorganized speech and impairment in memory, decision making, and problem solving), negative symptoms (e.g., lack of drive or initiative), and positive symptoms (e.g., delusions and hallucinations) that are found in schizophrenia


The 3 pieces of support (based on drug studies) for the dopamine hypothesis?

Phenothiazines, L-dopa, Amphetamines



Conventional antipsychotic drugs that decrease the severity of disordered thinking, decrease social withdrawal, alleviate hallucinations, and improve the mood of individuals with schizophrenia. Phenothiazines reduce dopamine activity in the brain by blocking dopamine receptor site



Used to treat symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, such as muscle and limb rigidity and tremors. L-dopa increases levels of dopamine; schizophrenic-like side effects often occur in individuals with Parkinson’s disease who take this medication. (In contrast, the phenothiazines, which reduce dopamine activity, can produce side effects that resemble Parkinson’s disease.)



Stimulants that increase the availability of dopamine and norepinephrine (another neurotransmitter) in the brain. When individuals not diagnosed with schizophrenia use amphetamines, they sometimes show symptoms very much like those of acute paranoid schizophrenia. Also, even small doses of amphetamine can increase the severity of symptoms in individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia


What are 4 possible explanations for the relationship between cannabis use and SZ?

-The increased risk of developing psychosis may be due to cannabis use itself;
-Individuals with a predisposition for psychosis may also be predisposed to use cannabis;
-Individuals with prodromal symptoms or psychotic-type experiences may use cannabis to self-medicate for these symptoms; or
-Cannabis may influence dopamine levels or increase vulnerability through interactions with environmental stressors associated with cannabis use (e.g., family conflict or poor school or work performance).


What is the concept of “healthy paranoia?”

Elevated rates of schizophrenia among African Americans occur even when clinicians unaware of the ethnicity of clients reanalyze the assessment data. It is possible that previous discriminatory experiences lead to cultural mistrust and a “healthy paranoia” that is picked up during clini- cal assessments. Discriminatory experiences may cause African Americans to respond in a manner that represents normative responses to ongoing discrimination; The responses may appear delusional to clinicians who do not understand these sociocultural realities


How are first-generation (conventional) antipsychotics and atypical antipsychotics different?

First-Generation Antipsychotics (Conventional): A group of medications originally developed to combat psychotic symptoms by reducing dopamine levels in the brain; also called conventional or typical antipsychotics
Atypical Antipsychotics: Newer antipsychotic medications that are chemically different and less likely to produce the side effects associated with first-generation antipsychotic


The prevalence of delusional disorder is quite low. One reason for this may be that it’s truly uncommon. What is another reason?

It is believed that many with the disorder do not perceive they have a problem and therefore do not seek assistance. People with delusional disorder generally behave normally when they are not discussing or reacting to their delusional ideas