Bipolar Delusions: Types, Causes, Example and Treatment
Do you know what delusions are? Delusions are thoughts and beliefs that are not even close to reality but for the delusional person, it is real. The person who has delusions has complete belief in their thoughts and for them, it is The Reality!
People often try to tell delusional people about their unrealistic beliefs and ironically the delusional tell the other that they might be delusional. It is very difficult to make a delusional person understand that their beliefs are not based on reality.
For someone to have delusions be a disorder on its own, known as delusional disorder. However, delusions can occur alongside a lot of other mental health conditions like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety, etc.
Today we are going to talk about delusions that occur as a symptom of bipolar disorder, known as bipolar delusions. Let’s look at the different types of delusions that can accompany bipolar disorder and the treatment options for the same.
What Are Bipolar Delusions?
Bipolar delusions are those delusions that happen to an individual who is already suffering from bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a condition where one experiences massive mood swings including depressive and manic episodes.
Along with these episodes, delusions come in and make the condition even worse. In most cases, in a depressive episode, paranoid delusions are most commonly experienced. However, when in a manic episode, delusions of grandeur are very common.
With bipolar delusions, there are a set of delusions that can happen depending on the mood of that individual. Extreme mood shifts are quite common in bipolar disorder. Moreover, these bipolar delusions can make these shifts even worse.
To understand bipolar delusions, we need to understand all the different types of delusions that can occur alongside bipolar disorder.
Types Of Bipolar Delusions (Common Bipolar Delusions)
Delusions are considered a symptom of both manic and depressive episodes in people with bipolar disorder. Anyone with bipolar disorder is already under a lot of stress and when delusions come into the picture, the confusion, frustration, and stress increase even more.
It is important to seek professional help in dealing with bipolar delusions. But how can one deal with bipolar delusions if you don’t know what type of it you are dealing with? Let’s look at a few types of delusions that coexist with bipolar disorder;
1. Grandiose: grandiose delusions are when one believes that one is the best, most powerful, rich, smart, and more talented than one is.
E.g.: “I have millions of dollars in the bank.”
2. Paranoid or persecutory: when someone believes that someone is following them or trying to harm them even when there is nothing like that.
E.g.: “My co-worker puts poison in my coffee every morning. They want to kill me.”
3. Jealousy: this is when the person believes that their partner is cheating on them, which is of course not true.
E.g.: “I need to check my partner’s emails every day to see who they’ve been talking to.”
4. Guilt: It is when someone believes that they have committed a crime or is mistaken even when they have done nothing wrong.
E.g.: “I wished for rain so that I wouldn’t have to go to work. The hurricane that blew through my city was my fault.”
5. Erotomaniac: in this type of bipolar delusion, one believes that someone is in love with them, and has nothing to do with them.
E.g.: “The anchor on the evening news is sending secret messages straight into my brain.”
6. Somatic: it is when a person believes that there is something wrong with their body or has developed an illness.
E.g.: “Parasites have crawled into my skin and are laying their eggs inside my intestines.”
7. Mixed: this type of bipolar delusion is when a person experiences two or more of the above-stated delusions.
What Causes Bipolar Delusions?
Pinpointing a particular cause of bipolar disorder is not possible yet. Researchers have not yet found what causes bipolar delusions but they continue to work toward it. Many experts claim that the psychotic features of bipolar disorder can have a role to play in making someone delusional.
Delusions are said to have something to do with the chemistry of our brains. The neurotransmitters collect and send signals to variousr part of the body. When there is an imbalance in the transition of that signal, delusions can be a result.
However, other than these there are a few other factors that can make someone have delusions;
- Genes (someone in the family had a delusional disorder)
- Drug and alcohol use
- Extreme loneliness
- Poor vision and hearing
How To Deal With Bipolar Delusions (Treatment for Bipolar Delusions)
Bipolar delusions are a serious condition and require professional attention. You might be able to manage delusions for some time but without treatment, it’s only going to get worse. Once you and your therapist have discussed your condition and the severity of your symptoms, they will advise you to either get therapy, medicines, or both.
Let’s look at some treatment options for bipolar delusions;
- Individual psychotherapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Family-focused therapy
- Talk therapy
- Antipsychotic drugs
Family members and friends play important roles in this treatment journey of someone with bipolar disorder. Let’s look at a few ways the family and friends should respond to a delusional person;
- Actively listen to the delusional person’s concerns
- Make them feel protected and safe
- Give them alternate explanations for their delusional thoughts
- If nothing works, try to distract them from their delusional thoughts
That’s All Folks!
I hope you found this blog about bipolar delusion helpful, informative, and interesting. Bipolar delusions can worsen your condition and leave you extremely distressed.
Do share this blog with your friends and family because knowing about bipolar delusion can help in identifying the condition and treatment can begin soon.
Thanks for reading.
Take care and stay safe.