It’s not uncommon to have a few daydreams or wild imaginings about something, but when do those thoughts become delusional? It can be hard to tell the difference between what is simply an exciting or creative idea and what is actually a sign of delusional thinking. Let’s take a look at what counts as a delusional thought, and also how to differentiate it from other, more harmless imaginings.
What Is Delusional Thinking?
Delusional thinking is a form of mental illness characterized by an individual holding onto an unfounded belief despite clear evidence that the belief is false. The delusions are usually accompanied by strong feelings of certainty and intimacy – in other words, the person believes these ideas so strongly that they cannot be convinced otherwise.
Delusions can range from mildly strange to extremely bizarre. They can involve beliefs about relationships with famous people or even aliens, or they may include impossibly grandiose plans such as inventing the time machine or becoming the president of the United States without any qualifications.
The main distinction between normal thought processes and delusional thinking is that with delusions, the person cannot be convinced otherwise no matter how much evidence there is against them. This strong certainty in their beliefs makes it difficult for them to get help because they don’t view their issues as being caused by mental illness; rather, they view them as reality.
Differentiating Between Normal Thoughts and Delusions
It can be difficult to differentiate between normal thoughts and delusions due to the fact that many people have wild dreams or hope that they know are impossible but still believe in anyway. The key difference lies in how seriously you take your thoughts: if you consider them just daydreams and accept that it’s highly unlikely that your dreams will come true, then it likely isn’t delusional thinking; however, if you truly believe this will happen despite all external evidence pointing against it, then this could be considered delusional thinking.
Delusions are dangerous because of their extreme certainty despite any amount of evidence against them; this makes them almost impossible to treat since the person doesn’t view themselves as having any sort of mental illness issue at all.
While we all have our own hopes and dreams, understanding when those become unrealistic is important in order to recognize when help might be needed for someone who has fallen into delusional thinking patterns. With enough awareness and education on recognizing delusions early on, we can ensure that anyone affected gets the help they need before their condition becomes too severe.