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Treatments for Delusional Disorder

The following treatment guidelines are meant as a reference tool only, and are not intended as treatment advice or to replace the clinical decision-making process of psychiatrists or other health professionals who administer these treatments. In clinical practice there are often good reasons why treatment approaches differ from what is described here.

Treatment strategies for Delusional Disorder have not been rigorously studied. There is some evidence that about 50% of these individuals improve with antipsychotic medications [ref]. In the absence of better data, it is assumed that the same guidelines for treating Schizophrenia could be applied for prescribing medications for Delusional Disorder.

One exception to this would be for cases of Somatic Type Delusional Disorder where the delusion involves the fixed and erroneous belief that there is a gross defect of one's physical appearance. These cases may be better diagnosed as Body Dysmorphic Disorder, and the most appropriate treatment for them might be high-dose SSRI antidepressants [ref].

There is some early evidence that Delusional Disorder may also improve with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy [ref].

 

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Course & Prevalence

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