For many grandiose delusional disorder patients, the expression of the primary symptoms can cause difficulties for friends and loved ones. Understanding how this mental illness functions is essential for anyone that is close to a patient with grandiose delusional disorder to help be able to deal with the specific problems that often accompany the condition. While the term of “delusions of grandeur” has come to be used to describe a person that consistently exaggerates their own personal abilities and potential, there is actually a clinical definition for the grandiose delusions. The condition involves its own set of grandiose delusions symptoms that help to characterize it from other variations of delusional disorders.
The primary grandiose delusions symptoms involve the patient’s view of their self. In the condition, the grandiose personality is represented in a much larger form than reality. The patient will often believe that they are different from everyone else in society. The most typical manifestations of this belief are that the person is famous when they are not or that they are omnipotent. Another way that the condition is expressed is by the thought that the patient possesses supernatural powers. These are often clearly impossible and can even take on fantastic aspects, such as being able to fly or having superhuman strength. An example of the famous subtype of the condition is when a person believes either that they are a specific historical figure or that they are the reincarnation of the said person. These symptoms can occur as part of a the actual disorder of grandiose delusions or as a separate symptom for a deeper underlying condition. Other conditions that sometimes have delusions of grandeur as a symptom include schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
The causes of the grandiose personality are still not understood in total. Because of schizophrenia’s higher rate of frequency and greater problems, more time has gone into research this specific problem. However, there are some leading theories addressing the potential causes of the disorder. The most common theory is that genetics and family history play a major role. As with many other mental illnesses, a person with a family history of the problem is at a greater risk of developing the condition. Another idea that is used to explain some cases of grandiose delusions is that the symptoms are part of a defensive reaction to environmental stimuli. In other words, the person develops this delusion as a way to protect themselves against reality.
For a person with grandiose delusions, there are some treatment options. Cognitive therapy is the most frequent type of counseling. The aims of the sessions are to change the way a person rationally approaches their delusion in order to see the falsity of it. Many patients are treated using a combination of cognitive therapy as well as antipsychotic medications that are helpful in dealing with the extremes of the condition. Grandiose delusional disorder does not affect a large part of the population, but for those with the condition, it can severely impair their personal and social life.