How To Overcome Persecutory Delusions

Updated October 4, 2022 by BetterHelp Editorial Team

A delusion of persecution is defined as "the false conviction that others are threatening or conspiring against one." This delusion usually manifests itself when someone thinks misfortune is either happening or going to happen. Those living with this delusion might believe a "persecutor" is out to get them. As the name implies, this state of mind starkly contrasts with reality and usually breeds undesirable consequences. Therefore, many people aspire to overcome persecutory delusions, which is an excellent starting point. Before persecutory delusions can be conquered, they must first be understood.

Are You Being Overcome By Persecutory Delusions?

An Analysis Of Persecutory Delusions

Previously referred to as paranoiddisorders, persecutorydelusions are one of the most common types of delusions. Ultimately, the afflictedindividualbelievesthatthey are against the world, and everyone else is out to harmthem in oneform or another. Thisform of delusionisoftenfound in personswhohaveschizophrenia or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It is also common among those who use medications. Persecutory delusions tend to foster anger, frustration, resentment, and even physical violence. Individuals who have these delusions are likely to request that the legal system take action against who or what they believe is out to harm them.

Of the general population who have psychosis, approximately 10-15% experience persecutory delusions. Both men and women are correspondingly susceptible to this delusion, and it usually occurs in later years. More often than not, individuals who have persecutory delusions struggle to break free, even when other people state that not everyone is out to get them. If you're having problems like this, then know that you're not alone. It is possible to get help for persecutory delusions. You can start by getting assistance from a skilled therapist.

What Causes Persecutory Delusions?

Due to the rarity of this disorder, investigating persecutory delusions is somewhat challenging. A concrete cause behind persecutory delusions has not been discovered yet. However, it is believed to be a coping method that may be developed over time as a result of high-stress levels. An individual's heredity can also impact susceptibility to persecutory delusions. For instance, someone who has relatives who have schizotypal personality disorder or schizophrenia may be more likely to experience persecutory delusions.

An Extension Of Paranoia

The clinical diagnosis of persecutory delusions is an offshoot of paranoia. People who experience paranoia may believe that the world is out to get them in one form or another. Clinical paranoia is highly problematic on many counts and must first be recognized before being treated.

Paranoia is the root of persecutory delusions, along with many other mental health and emotional disorders. Individuals with paranoia have reported experiences of feeling anxious, depressed, frightened, or even suicidal. Paranoia is not grounded in reality or occurrences in the real world. Paranoid thoughts exist in the head of the victim. Yet, convincing them of anything else can be an insurmountable task.

Treatments That Are Available

There are many treatments for persecutory delusions and paranoia that will allow people to cope with these challenges and live a mainstream lifestyle. Options include antipsychotic medication or antidepressants, as well as a talk therapy of many forms. Regardless of what a person with persecutory delusions or paranoia is dealing with, help is out there and readily available through many outlets.

Please be advised, the information found in the article is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have.

Are You Being Overcome By Persecutory Delusions?

Common Treatments For Persecutory Delusions

The process of rehabilitating individuals with persecutory delusions requires patience. More often than not, these people may be denial about the accuracy of their delusions. They may resist those who suggest that they seek help or treatment and begin to see them as the enemy. People with persecutory delusions are not at fault. This is a mental condition. Treatment is imperative, so people can see the world through a healthy and realistic perspective.

Psychotherapy and psychopharmacology are often used to deal with various forms of delusion. This form of treatment hones in on the exact requirements of the individual and works to help them regain healthy social skills and better their lifestyle. Psychotherapy and psychopharmacology are gradual forms of treatment. They require time and trust between the patient and therapist. Sometimes rehabilitation can be difficult, every process will be different, but worth the effort. If someone with persecutory delusions is believed to be a danger to themselves or others, they may require admission to a hospital.

Antipsychotic drugs, psychotherapy, and psychopharmacology are not the only potential forms of treatment for individuals with delusions. Cognitive therapy is an effective form of aid for particular patients. Cognitive therapy uses questions and behavioral experiments to assess persons experiencing various delusions. After a trusting relationship is established, the therapist then begins to work with their patients to help them combat their delusions and adopt more realistic, critical thinking habits.

Gentle, supportive treatment options are better than more abrasive ones. After all, individuals plighted with persecutory delusions are considerably more likely to view criticism as attacks. A person who feels as though their therapist is attacking them is much less likely to be receptive to treatment. The rehabilitative process for persecutory delusions takes time, effort, and pragmatism.

The Power Of Positive Thinking

If you or someone you know has persecutory delusions, it can be very challenging and strenuous. The best form of overall therapy entails seeking one of the forms above of professional treatment. As one undergoes the process of therapy, they might find that gradually adopting positive thoughts and beliefs may help them as they work to overcome persecutory delusions.

Positive thinking, combined with professional help, is an excellent way to see the world through a realistic and healthy lens. All thoughts, delusional or not, appear in minds. Our thoughts are more powerful than we know and greatly contribute to how we see the world around us.

Spending time with loved ones can also be helpful to someone who is overcoming delusions. Every one of us needs help sometimes. It is absolutely okay to seek both professional assistance and support from those who love us.

Getting Help Is Important

Persecutory delusions indicate a serious medical disorder that should be professionally treated. Telling someone to simply "get over it" is unhelpful and will make their plight even worse. Many delusions are caused by trauma or underlying causes that need to be addressed by licensed specialists.

Are You Being Overcome By Persecutory Delusions?

If you are experiencing persecutory delusions, it's not your fault. Sometimes, blaming ourselves can be tempting. It’s better to treat yourself with kindness. You are stronger than any delusion or obstacle. It’s also important to seek out professional assistance or guidance. Psychotherapy and cognitive therapy, whether with an in-person or online counselor, are excellent forms of treatment to help you feel better about yourself and the world around you.

How BetterHelp Can Support You

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been overwhelmingly shown to treat persecutory delusions and other forms of psychosis. Researchers have even begun to develop virtual reality (VR) supplementary programs to further enhance the effects of CBT. In a recent study, those who received CBT showed significantly less worry, fewer or no delusions, and overall improvement. These effects held again for a follow up after 24 weeks. It may be some time before VR CBT is available for those with persecutory delusions. Until then, online therapy is at your disposal. CBT has been repeatedly shown to work just as well online as when it is delivered in-person.

If you are experiencing symptoms of psychosis, please do not hesitate to reach out to BetterHelp. Our team of caring, licensed professionals can meet with you in the comfort of your own home and at a time that works best for you. They are here to help you manage your delusions and learn tools to deal with them. Take a look at the following counselor reviews to see how they have helped others experiencing similar issues.

BetterHelp Counselor Reviews

"I've barely started my counseling through this website. Even though it has been 3 weeks, it has helped out. I'm able to tell her things that my paranoid delusions aren't able to use against me. I guess it is because she is at a distance. Either which way, her tools of coping are massive and highly appreciated. Adding more tools to the chest."

"I'm so glad and thankful to better help for not only providing therapy at a price I could afford but having sessions from home, which has been important for me since all of this has made me paranoid about going out to seek help. I know I have more work to do, but with Monica and better help, I'm more hopeful now than I have been in about two years. That's priceless to me."

In Conclusion

Overcoming persecutory delusions might not always be easy, but you can get the help of compassionate professionals. Over time, you'll be able to see things in a different light so that you can start living a more positive life. The rehabilitation process might take time and patience, but it's worth it. Take the first step today.

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