Dr Kevin Morgan, Senior Lecturer of Psychology at the University of Westminster, wrote an article for The Conversation on which symptoms can mean experiencing a delusion and how people can detect this condition. The article was re-published by The Independent.

In the article, Dr Kevin Morgan defined delusions and hallucinations asWhen people experience delusions or hallucinations there is usually some loss of contact with reality whereby normal processes of thought and perception are disturbed.”

Continuing, Dr Morgan explained that every human could be susceptible to experiencing, in specific situations, anomalous mental states such as delusion. “When faced with negative, ambiguous or unsupportive feedback, we often respond with exaggerated perceptions of control and unrealistic optimism. In some life situations – in states of delirium, bereavement, severe lack of sleep and sensory deprivation – it is not uncommon for hallucinations to occur.”

However, delusions and hallucinations may become pathological when a person is experiencing these symptoms outside of specific situations and when this person is considering them true despite strong contradictory evidence.

Dr Morgan said: “Problems in the self-recognition of such mind states seem to occur even when they lead to personal distress and severe disruptions to quality of life. But this difficulty in self-recognition does not necessarily come from a lack of rational thought.”

To conclude, the article mentioned that self-recognition regarding this pathology does not always come with cure and treatment for patients. “Following a series of interviews with patients with psychosis, it was found that the pathway between the appraisal of delusions and hallucinations and the acceptance of any need for treatment is one of great complexity. […] The identification of abnormal mental states therefore does not always lead to a belief or acknowledgement that treatment is a necessary or desirable course of action. When it comes to treatment, then, awareness is not the same as acceptance.”

Read the article on The Conversation website.

Read the re-published article on The Independent website.

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