15 Red Flags That Someone is Delusional (and How to Help)
Dealing with a delusional person can be alarming. It is not advisable to wait until the person is in the middle of a severe delirium to learn of this disorder. Knowing the signs can help you recognize when an episode is approaching so that you are better prepared to help the person.
Also, treating the person incorrectly can make things worse. This article will tell you everything you need to know about this scary mess, red flags you need to be careful and what to do when you suffer from the disorder.
15 signs of a delusional person
1. The obvious deception.
You may be doing your best to convince them that what they are claiming is not real, but despite your best efforts, they will not believe you. In fact, they may be doing everything they can to get you to believe them. Interestingly, they can be quite convincing, and at some point, you may get the idea that they might be right.
Of course, recognizing this red flag requires you to know for sure that what they are saying is not true. When a person affirms things that could happen, it is difficult to know in advance that it is an illusion. You might believe that someone stole something from them. After all, theft happens all the time.
2. Irritable mood.
It is understandable that a person suffering from delusions is in a bad mood. In their head, they are hurting for something. This can get your emotions all over the place.
Worse still, no one believes them, so they are suffering alone. If you put yourself in their shoes, you will see how irritating this can be. Your delusions may not be real, but the effects of your delusions are.
Delusions and hallucinations may seem the same at first, but there is a big difference. Delusions are more idealistic: the person thinks something is wrong. Hallucinations are visual. The person sees something that is not there. Think of delusions as illness and hallucinations as a symptom.
4. Negative or antagonistic behavior.
People who suffer from delusions may appear to behave negatively or aggressively. They can harass people, constantly argue, aggressively protest, or even interrupt. There are many ways that a delusional person can display negative behavior.
5. Self-inflicted injuries.
If you notice that a person appears to have a lot of scratching or even cutting wounds, this is a great red flag. People who suffer from delusions can sometimes think that there are “things” on the skin or under the skin. They hurt themselves to get these things off or off of them.
6. Unfounded accusations.
People who suffer from delusions often accuse those around them of things that did not actually happen. They will think that a romantic partner is cheating on them, that they are being teased by friends, that strangers are stalking them, or other false scenarios. The person may lash out because of these made-up scenarios in his head. These accusations can make social ties vulnerable for people who do not recognize delusional behavior.
7. Claims of being constantly ill.
Affirmations of illness is one of the most popular symptoms of people suffering from delusions. In fact, it is so common that it has a medical name: somatic disorder. It is sometimes confused with hypochondria.
These two topics mentioned are similar, but there is a characteristic that differentiates them from each other. According to an entry from the Encyclopedia of Human Behavior (Second Edition), 2012For this type of mental illness to be classified as somatic delirium, the person must be experiencing tactile or olfactory hallucinations associated with the delirium. For example, they believe that they have a foul odor coming from their body, that they are infested with parasites, or that their body is deformed in some way.
8. Belief of being an important person.
We are all important, but delusional people may think that they are important to society in some way or way. For example, they may think that they are Jesus incarnate or that they have discovered something more valuable and important than anything ever discovered in the world.
At first, it may not be obvious that the person is having a delusion. They may seem obnoxiously motivated to achieve some powerful dream. A great example is when Kanye West announced his intention to run for president in 2020.
9. They will not take no for an answer from the person they like.
People who suffer from this type of delusion will update and detail a relationship with the person they like. You may believe them at first, thinking that they are in the perfect relationship, but after a while, you will notice that this infatuation is never close. They may even buy gifts for themselves and tell others that the person they like bought it.
10. Beliefs that people want to get them.
A delusional person may feel that people are trying to catch him or conspire against him. Is similar to schizophrenia, but there are subtle differences. People with delusions tend to have a “milder” form of delusions than people with schizophrenia People with delusions can function normally while people with schizophrenia can be affected.
This ability to function normally while having a delusion can make it seem like someone is really chasing you. However, once you realize that they are not being pursued, it will become apparent that they are being cheated.
11. Incessant gambling habits.
This refers to someone who believes that certain numbers, colors, seats, and more are lucky. Beliefs themselves are not deception: there are many bettors who believe that putting pennies on the table is bad luck or that a certain number is their lucky number. The illusion arises when the person thinks that it is more than luck, that it is real. What pennies they really are bad luck. They live their life for it, and you can’t tell them otherwise.
12. Making constant complaints to the authorities.
A person who suffers from persecutory deception may constantly complain that he is being harassed or persecuted. They may think that someone is after them, that a company needs to be sued because that company is ruining their lives, or that they are victims of a false misfortune. No matter how hard you try to convince them that the incident in question did not occur, they will not believe you even if you have evidence.
13. Dismissing facts as if he had never said them.
When you try to convince a delusional person that what they are experiencing is not true, they may skip what you said as if you never said it. It is almost as if your brain is blocking the processing of the truth. You can tell them that no one is chasing them and they will respond with something like “we have to arm ourselves.”
You may repeat what you said, but it seems that you are not assimilating it. This is a clear sign that they are experiencing deception.
14. They gravitate towards people who share their delusions.
It’s hard enough dealing with one delusional person, but imagine if you had to deal with two or three! A person suffering from delusions will gravitate towards another person suffering from delusions because that person believes them. It makes them feel less alone. Unfortunately, this can also make the illusion worse.
15. They have anger problems.
A lot of people have anger problems, but a delusional person will have anger problems causally related to the delusion. They could show explosive anger, especially when someone tries to get in the way of their delusion. The person rarely becomes violent, but their behavior can sometimes get out of control.
Final thoughts on delusions and how you can help someone who suffers from them
At some point, the person will need professional psychological help. However, you can take steps to help them at home or in your daily life. The first thing to do is be patient. Keep in mind that these delusions are very real for the person suffering from them, so it is important to be patient, calm and understanding.
According to the British Columbia Schizophrenia Society, the worst thing you can do is challenge or disprove the deception. This will only create mistrust and then you will not be able to help the person.
Reassure them about their safety if that is relevant to their deception, and try to get them to express what they are feeling. However, don’t be the first to mention delirium if you are not experiencing it at the time.
If the person is in immediate danger of harm, seek help immediately. If not, rate the intensity and frequency of your delusions over time. See if you can identify any triggers. This information will be helpful when the person seeks professional help for their delusions.
Please don’t treat them like they’re crazy. Above all, listen if they need someone to talk to. Sometimes they drop the subject on their own. At other times, you may need to redirect your focus.
Just remember that this deception is real to them, so know their support system as if the deception is real. It may seem dishonest to do this, but it is the best way to help a delusional person without making things worse.