How to Treat Thought Disorders?
- A Thought disorder is marked by false beliefs for at least one month.
- Delusions are false beliefs.
- Treating delusional disorder can be hard but help is available.
Any Thought Disorder is a rare psychotic disorder. It involves delusions—false beliefs—that last for at least one month. This tends to be the only symptom. If you have this disorder, you may not seem mentally ill. This may make you not seek or accept help. Yet the disorder can impair your life. It is important to seek help if the people around you keep telling you what you believe is wrong. This step can provide you much needed support. If someone in your life has delusions, reach out to a mental health professional for ways to offer support.
Thought disorders are very hard to treat. Once treated only as a part of schizophrenia, it has only been its own disorder for a brief time. This means that there is not as much information about it as there is for others.
What’s more, it is hard to accept that you need help. People with delusions do not feel ill. Rather, they feel wrong for not being believed. In fact, conflicts with others over beliefs may stop you from getting help.
If you do seek help or are seen for another disorder, there are ways for a mental health professional to confirm that you are having delusions and/or hallucinations. For instance, someone with either may:
- Change actions because of the belief
- Act in a secretive way
- Hold a belief that is just not likely
- React intensely when challenged
- Have loved ones who notice odd behavior and challenge beliefs
- Insist with odd force that what they believe is true
Often, people will be given both an antipsychotic and an antidepressant. Yet these medicines may not make beliefs go away.There are no medicines available just for this disorder. Doctors often prescribe those used for other mental health conditions.
Talking with a mental health professional can also help. It may help you see that you have false beliefs and help you change them. And even though beliefs may never fully go away, therapy can help you manage stressful feelings about them. Research shows that social skills training may also help people with delusions feel more confident and in control. This may be helpful if you feel judged by those around you.
Even with these options, more research is needed to understand the role of therapy and find more effective medicines. The research studies that experts have to rely on for now are limited. But more studies will help inform future treatments.
Hope for the future
While treating this disorder is hard, people who have it can function well day to day. This is because there are no other mood symptoms to manage at the same time. Plus, while beliefs may not completely go away, you can learn to cope with them.
If you have been told that what you believe is just not true, do not be afraid to seek help. You may feel alone, but you are not. A mental health professional can provide the support you need. If you care about someone who is committed to false beliefs, reach out to a mental health professional for help. You can also find support by calling your employee assistance program. It may be hard to trust when people do not believe you, but help is available.
National Alliance on Mental Illness
www.nami.org/Find-Support/ (800) 950-NAMI
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