Delusional thoughts are erroneous beliefs that are held with an extreme level of certainty. These beliefs are not based on reality or evidence, and they often contradict the most basic facts. It’s important to understand this type of thinking in order to recognize it in yourself or others and take appropriate action. Let’s take a closer look at some examples of delusional thoughts.
Types of Delusions
Persecutory delusions involve a belief that someone is out to get you. This might be expressed as a fear that the government is tracking your movements, your co-workers are spying on you, or someone is trying to poison you. Similarly, grandiose delusions involve an unrealistic overestimation of one’s own abilities, such as believing you can control the weather or have supernatural powers.
Referential delusions involve interpreting random events as having special meaning for oneself, such as seeing messages in song lyrics or believing that people on TV are talking directly to them.
Finally, somatic delusions involve false beliefs about one’s body, such as believing that one has a serious medical condition despite doctors confirming otherwise, or false beliefs about another person’s body—such as thinking that someone has been replaced by an impostor.
Delusions vs. Intuition
It can sometimes be difficult to discern between normal intuition and delusional thinking because both can feel very real and convincing. A key difference between the two is that while intuition tends to come from within yourself; it feels like something you know instinctively delusions come from outside sources and tend to feel imposed upon you rather than something that originates with you.
Additionally, delusion involves jumping to conclusions without any real evidence whereas intuition is usually based upon some kind of gut feeling or personal experience.
Delusional thinking can be disruptive in many areas of life, so it is important for mental health professionals and laypeople alike to understand what kinds of thoughts fall into this category so they can identify them in themselves or others and take appropriate action if necessary.
By understanding the various types of delusions and differentiating between them and normal intuition, we will be better equipped to help ourselves or our loved ones identify when delusional thoughts arise so we can address them effectively and work towards a healthy resolution.