By Sheldon Pilsworth
Among the different types of schizophrenia that have been diagnosed by science, certain variants (in particular paranoid schizophrenia) tend to result in symptoms of delusions among patients. To look at common delusions in schizophrenia, it is critical to firstly define delusions.
Typically, delusions are untrue beliefs held by the individual patient that are irrational, despite evidence to the contrary or not at all in-line with that particular patient’s normal cultural base.
Common delusions in schizophrenia among paranoia patients involve false persecution or the irrational belief that other people are out to cheat, conspire against, plot, discriminate against, victimize, harass, spy on or poison them. They might believe that this is being directed at them or their family members.
As such, someone suffering from schizophrenia may be suspicious of almost every little everyday thing. For instance, when walking down the street, he or she may sense that every eye is on him or her, that people are talking about them, that every phone being used is a device for monitoring their every move, that even the guy sweeping the road is an “agent” observing them.
Such delusions can get very bizarre. A patient might believe that the radio or TV is talking directly to them or about them. Or a neighbor is using telepathy to read and control their thoughts.
A common variant of such bizarre delusions is the belief that the CIA or FBI or some secret government agency has been able to implant wires or a radio device into the patient’s brain which enables them to monitor his or her thoughts, and even dictate their behavior and actions.
Other common delusions in schizophrenia are what are referred to as “delusions of grandeur” where the patient might believe he or she is someone famous or important, or knows someone famous or important. Sufferers might believe they are historical figures like Jesus Christ or Napoleon Bonaparte, or they might think they are the President Of the United States. They might refer to their “close friendship” with the Pope or Mick Jagger.
A particular dangerous delusion is one where the patient believes he or she has superhuman powers. This is probably brought on by the popular culture of superheroes in comic books, TV and the movies. Regardless of the source, patients might hurt themselves if they choose to call on their “superpowers” for example flying off a 10-story building, or leaping across a river.
As can be seen, there are quite a few common delusions in schizophrenia. When encountering such cases, it is critical that medical care workers and family and friends of the patient monitor closely for situations where the patient might endanger their lives or the lives of those around them as a result of such delusions.
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