The exact cause of delusional disorder is unknown, but it is believed to be related to underlying psychological and biological factors. It is commonly seen in those who have experienced significant stress or trauma, or those with a family history of mental illness. There is also evidence to suggest a link between delusional disorder and certain neurological factors, such as an imbalance in neurotransmitters.
Diagnosis of delusional disorder is based on a complete medical history and physical examination, as well as diagnostic criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). During the evaluation, a healthcare professional will ask questions about the person’s symptoms and look for evidence of delusions.
Differential diagnosis is the process of determining whether a person has delusional disorder or another mental health condition with similar symptoms. Other mental health conditions that can be mistaken for delusional disorder include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder, and major depressive disorder.
The primary treatment for delusional disorder is psychotherapy, which can help people identify and address the underlying causes of their delusion. Medications may also be prescribed to help reduce the intensity of symptoms.
The prognosis of delusional disorder varies depending on the severity of the person’s symptoms and whether they receive appropriate treatment. If treatment is successful, the person may experience fewer or no delusional episodes. However, without treatment, the disorder can become more severe and difficult to manage.