False beliefs delusions

The most common types of delusion in schizophrenia would probably be persecutory, but grandiose or nihilistic delusions are also common. At this point, it is worth noting that, strictly speaking, paranoid has a wider meaning than just persecutory: the derivation, I understand, is from Greek words meaning 'out of mind', and paranoid has been used to cover, for example, the grandiose or sexual content of delusions also.

As previously described, a delusion is a false belief that is unshakable by reasoned argument, and that is inappropriate, bearing in mind the patient's cultural and religious background. Delusions, are almost always false, although occasionally they may be true; perhaps, for example, the police may really be 'after' the person. It is the reasons for the belief that are irrational, and fundamentally define the belief as delusional - for example, that the patient knows the police are after him because they are wearing blue uniforms.

Onset of schizophrenia may be preceded by a delusional mood in which the patient feels perplexed because the environment seems subtly changed. This feeling may be suddenly followed by a primary delusion (autochthonous delusion), usually linked with an ordinary sense perception (delusional perception). For example, one patient saw a yellow car drive by and took this to mean that he was Christ reincarnated. Delusions are most often paranoid, but may be of any kind. A complex system of secondary delusions may be elaborated from the primary one.

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