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Psychotic delirium


Delirium is a disorder that will affect the functioning of thought. Ideas become confused, disagreeing with facts, and the perception of reality is completely altered. Psychotic delirium is a chronic delirium linked to the development of psychosis in the subject. The subject is disconnected from reality, his perception of life is changed, his judgments are wrong and he is completely unaware that this disorder exists: one speaks anosognosia in the realm of psychiatry. We can distinguish two main types of chronic psychoses: schizophrenia and chronic non-schizophrenic delusions.


Schizophrenia is characterized by the combination of a dissociative syndrome - that is to say an impaired behavioral, emotional and intellectual functioning- and paranoid delusions. Paranoid delusions are often a fear of persecution, but can also manifest themselves in other manners. The mechanisms are different: Illusion, hallucinations, false interpretations. The disease progresses to a point of major loss of contact with reality, coupled with progressive isolation.
Other types of chronic delusions are:
  • a focus on the theme of persecution, which mainly includes passionate delusions (delusions of jealousy and erotomania);
  • paraphrenia, fantastic delusions with a conservation of lucidity;
  • chronic hallucinatory psychosis.


The diagnosis will be made upon the psychological examination. It is made by a psychiatrist.
Criteria tests will be based on:
  • speech (consistency);
  • themes of madness;
  • changes in mood;
  • Symptoms of delirium (auditory hallucinations, visual ...);
  • the emotional involvement of the patient;
  • the behavior of the person ...


In a psychiatric setting, some drug treatments can be implemented: antipsychotics, neuroleptics, mood stabilizers. Treatments are prescribed for very long periods, usually for life. Psychotherapy is usually necessary. Some patients cannot live alone and remain in institutions.

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