Delusional Disorder and Addiction to Alcohol

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Last Updated on May 27, 2021 by

Delusional disorder, also known as paranoia disorder, is a relatively uncommon condition. Delusional disorder patients have delusions but do not have hallucinations, mood or thought disturbances, or any primary signs of mental illnesses such as schizophrenia.

These delusions are also another type of insanity in which a person believes that something has happened, ( will happen or is happening) that is not true. These delusions are often delusional – for example, the individual might believe they are being watched. Delusional disorder does not necessarily make it difficult for a person to act normally, but it has the potential to do so. Delusional disorder is divided into many subtypes.

The Following Are Examples of Subtypes:

  • Erotomanic delusional disorder is when the sufferer believes that a particular person is in love or engaged with them; these delusions often include individuals of a high or distant social status celebrity.
  • Grandiose delusions are those in which the sufferer believes they have special gifts or abilities or even a unique friendship with influential people such as the president.
  • Jealousy is a collection of illusions characterized by an irrational belief that a partner or spouse is unfaithful.
  • Persecutory delusional disorder is those in which the sufferer believes they are being pursued or threatened somehow.
  • Somatic delusional disorders are delusions that make an individual feel they are suffering from a physical illness.
  • Mixed: An individual with the mixed subtype has two or more of the subtypes mentioned above.

How to Recognize Delusional Disorder

According to the Merck Manual, the delusional illness typically manifests itself in middle to late adulthood. Delusional Disorder is characterized by an apparent obsession with things such as the loyalty of friends and family members or a general feeling of mistrust toward other people. Suspicion, the assumption that they are being abused, perceiving threats when none exist, reading too much into a scenario, and a strong response to something that might be perceived as a slight are all common warning signs of delusional disorder.

Sometimes people who have Delusional Disorder will appear to have completely logical delusions because they may represent something that has happened in their everyday lives. The thought that a lover is cheating, that the boss is plotting to fire the person, that a friend is secretly working for the government, and so on are all examples. The term Delusional Disorder applies to delusions that are not bizarre.

Before the publication of the DSM-5, the most recent Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fantasies had to be non-bizarre to be diagnosed with delusional. Compared to the DSM-IV and previous models, the DSM-5 features both strange and non-bizarre delusions. In Delusional Disorder, bizarre experiences, such as the feeling of having internal organs replaced or creatures crawling under one’s skin, are more “out there” and less typical than the thought of having insects crawling under one’s skin.

On the other hand, these delusions do not significantly interfere with a person’s life, and the person does not seem to have a problem unless the delusional beliefs are agitated. Mood swings can accompany delusions, but these are usually transient. Anger, anxiety, aggression, and irritability are all possible side effects of delusions and, therefore, may occur due to delusional disorder. Untreated delusional illness can lead to social isolation, relationship problems, legal battles, an inability to accept appropriate medical treatment, and problems at work or school, all of which can be the product of persistent delusions.

People with delusional disorders can recognize that their delusions are false on certain levels, but they cannot shake them. Delusions can develop over time, but with the right therapy, people can learn to handle them when they emerge to prevent them from interfering with their daily lives.

What Is Alcohol Addiction?

Alcoholism, commonly known as alcohol abuse, is a condition that affects individuals of all ages and backgrounds. Experts also attempted to identify factors that could incline someone towards alcoholism, such as biology, sex, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. However, there is no known cause. Genetic, behavioural factors and Psychological may all play a role in the disease’s development.

It’s important to remember that alcohol addiction is a disorder. It can alter the brain’s chemistry and cause an individual with alcohol addiction to lose control of their behaviour. Alcoholism can take many forms. The nature of the condition and how much alcohol someone consumes differs from one person to another. Some individuals drink excessively every day, while others drink heavily and then go for some time without drinking.

Someone has an addiction to alcohol if they drink heavily and cannot remain sober for a long period, regardless of how the addiction appears.

Who Can Be Affected by Alcohol Abuse and Delusional Disorder?

Delusional illness is not a typical medical condition. Delusional condition is diagnosed in around 24 to 30 cases per 100,000 people. On the other hand, alcohol addiction is widespread in the United States, with an estimated 17 million people suffering.

Alcohol dependence and Alcoholism can strike someone at any time. People of various age, gender, race, class, creed, social status, family history, context, or some other definite distinction, abuse alcohol.

 Alcohol addiction is especially common among young adults. Both women and men of various backgrounds may be affected by the delusional disorder. Delusional disorder patients will effectively lead productive lives while masking their illness.

Delusions encountered by individuals with delusional disorder, unlike paranoid delusions, are not a sign of another, more debilitating condition such as schizophrenia.

>>> READ THIS NEXT: Treating Mental Health and Addiction Issues Together

Issues Related to Delusional Disorder and Concurrent Substance Abuse

A variety of mind-altering substances can cause delusions; however, for a diagnosis of psychotic illness, the delusions must not be the product of drug abuse. However, anyone suffering from the delusional disorder may resort to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate their symptoms, which may only exacerbate them. Some substances, such as alcohol, opioids (heroin and prescription pain relievers), and benzodiazepine medicines (sleep aids and anti-anxiety drugs), can appear to temporarily alleviate delusional disorder symptoms by slowing down central nervous system functions such as blood pressure, heart rate, breathing and respiration levels. They often relieve anxiety and tension while providing a brief break from reality.

However, these drugs modify brain chemistry, and chronic use causes changes in how the brain works, contributing to drug dependency and addiction. When someone has a concurrent or co-occurring mental health condition, such as a psychotic disorder, this can be especially difficult. According to The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, almost 8 million Americans (aged 18 and up) battle with co-occurring mental and substance abuse disorders.

Co-occurring disorders may be best served through specialized treatment programs that involve an integrated treatment method to work through some of the complications that may arise due to the two various disorders. Substance abuse may increase the magnitude of a person’s delusions and potentially lead to an exaggerated response (e.g., heightened aggression, self-harm, or more risky behaviors). Delusions may become more profound due to substance abuse; therefore, treatment may need to be tailored to address this.

The Relationship Between Alcohol Abuse and Delusional Disorder

The connection between delusional disorder and alcoholism must be recognized. Understanding this reality’s nuances will help you seek appropriate care for yourself or those who are suffering from delusional disorder or substance misuse.

The two key reasons for how these conditions can coexist at times. Alcohol can be used to self-medicate by people with psychotic illnesses. People with this condition can find out that their delusions are easier to handle and process with alcohol aid. Alcohol has the ability to either eliminate or conceal their illusions. Alcohol can either eliminate or disguise their delusions.

Regularly consuming alcohol could make an individual with delusional disorder believe they are not responsible for their actions. However, since people with the delusional illness are often unaware of their condition, most self-medication attempts are made unconsciously. Another explanation for the two conditions can coexist is that alcohol dependence may result in delusions that match the definition of delusional disorder. Alcohol-related psychosis is the term for this condition. Before a psychotic disorder diagnosis may be made, it must be a possible diagnosis for a patient suffering from substance addiction and delusions.

What Causes Delusional Disorder?

Like many other mental disorders, delusional illness is believed to be the result of various causes. These influences could be biological, environmental, or genetic. People with family members that are delusional, whether from delusions or schizophrenia, are more likely to develop delusional disorder.

The development of delusional disorder has been linked to a neurotransmitter imbalance in the brain. Stress, alcohol, narcotics, and social isolation can all play a role in advancing delusional condition. There is currently no treatment for delusional illness.

The causes of drug abuse, like the causes of mental disorders, are complex. A person can become addicted to alcohol due to numerous reasons, including the availability of alcohol and self-medicating, peer pressure, inability to cope with stress, and delusional disorder. Individuals who have a family history of alcoholism are often more likely to abuse alcohol themselves. While preventing alcohol abuse is difficult, legislation and education on the subject can help make American communities more informed and safer.

Treatment of Dual Diagnosis

As delusional illness and alcohol dependence coexist, it’s important to treat both issues simultaneously. Patients with delusional disorder also do not have the empathy and self-awareness required to recognize that their condition is treatable. The most common treatment for delusional disorder is psychotherapy.

If treatment is not professionally monitored by consulting doctors, alcohol addiction may be severe, and some individuals can experience life-threatening physical withdrawal from alcohol.

With psychotherapy to treat alcoholism. In the treating of alcoholism, holistic treatment approaches can be used. Acupuncture, meditation, lifestyle changes such as a dramatic change in nutrition and diet, emotional support from an adopted pet, and group participation are examples of alternative approaches.

Medications are often used with psychotherapy to treat alcoholism. When treating alcoholism, holistic treatment approaches can be used acupuncture, yoga, meditation, aromatherapy, lifestyle changes such as a dramatic change in emotional support from adopted pets, diet and nutrition, and group participation are examples of alternative approaches.

Physical exercise, in general, is beneficial to those suffering from alcoholism, as long as the activity has been authorized by medical professional monitoring the rehabilitation process. Call us today at 615-490-9376 for more details about what dual diagnosis care can offer you or a loved one to heal from alcohol addiction issues and delusional disorder.