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What Are the Different Treatments for Delusions of Grandeur?

Cognitive therapy might help patients change patterns of delusional logic.
Individuals suffering from delusions of grandeur are often extremely paranoid.
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  • Written By: Marlene Garcia
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2014
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Treatments for delusions of grandeur experienced by schizophrenic patients include medication, psychotherapy, electrical shock therapy, and hospitalization. Psychiatrists typically use a combination of treatment options for patients who exhibit delusions of grandeur. Drugs and electroconvulsive therapy might alter brain chemicals to ease symptoms of schizophrenia. Psychotherapy might help patients learn to control delusions of grandeur by changing thought patterns.

People affected with this disorder might believe they possess supernatural powers. Delusions of grandeur might include an exaggerated sense of importance linked to wealth or fame. Some schizophrenic patients believe they can perform impossible feats, such as flying or walking on water.

A companion symptom of the disease includes paranoia. Patients might hear voices that address them personally or imagine arguments among various voices. These hallucinations might involve critical remarks or direct patients to take some action. People with this mental health condition might respond to auditory delusions by yelling back.

Paranoia also involves beliefs of others plotting against the patient. This might create anger and aggression in a patient who feels persecuted. He or she commonly develops suspicion about people who actually mean no harm.

Anti-psychotic medication might represent an effective treatment option for patients suffering delusions of grandeur. Psychiatrists typically prescribe these drugs in combination with antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication. Not all drugs work the same, so doctors commonly experiment with several drugs to find the combination that successfully controls symptoms.

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Cognitive therapy might help patients learn to recognize thoughts that spark illogical behavior and change those patterns. This type of therapy might prevent a relapse of psychotic episodes that spiral out of control. Cognitive therapy can be combined with family therapy to address communication problems and conflicts with relatives.

Shock therapy creates a seizure in the brain when electrical currents are administered. This quickly alters chemical reactions in the brain and might be used in emergency situations when the patient or others face danger. This form of treatment might also be used in combination with other remedies.

Hospitalization, either voluntary or involuntary, might occur in an emergency room via an order from a psychiatrist. In some situations, the legal system might force hospitalization. Time spent by patients in the mental ward of a hospital might enable doctors to stabilize them and deal with violent or suicidal tendencies.

Alternative therapies to treat delusions of grandeur include dietary supplements. Antioxidant vitamins, including vitamin C, vitamin E, and fish oil, might control symptoms in some patients. Amino acids, such as glycine and sarcosine, might also be effective.

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