What is Teen Delusional Psychotic Disorder?


Teen Delusional Psychotic Disorder is an illness in which teens usually have one single severe misconception that they’re unable to escape.  This delusion is so strong that often teens feel that they must conduct themselves according to it, which may entail risky or dangerous behaviors.  Furthermore, the necessary pressure to “answer to” the delusion can be so overwhelming that it disrupts a teen’s ability to function healthily.


Teen Delusional Psychotic Disorder Treatment | Paradigm Malibu


What It Looks Like


A teen with Delusional Psychotic Disorder experiences one very strong delusion that may include hearing voices, seeing people that aren’t actually there, or even sometimes, smelling things that aren’t present.  Occasionally, though less frequently, people will experience two delusions at once.




Grandiose Delusions

Characterized by a teen believing they have an above-average ability or skill, such as great intelligence or strength


Erotomanic Delusions

Characterized by a teen believing that a celebrity is paying special attention and great interest in them


Persecutory Delusions

Characterized by a teen suspecting that either they, or someone they love, is going to be harmed


Jealous Delusions

Characterized by the strong belief that a sexual partner is cheating on them, which causes them extreme levels of jealousy, leading to severe behaviors


Somatic Delusions

Characterized by the teen having the delusion that they suffer from some sort of physical disease or ailment which can’t be medically proven


Mixed Delusions

Characterized by one or more of the above subtypes present in one person



Teen Delusional Psychotic Disorder Treatment


The most successful teen delusional psychotic disorder treatment is a combination of talk therapy and medication. Though delusions can take time to treat, because a certain amount of resistance can be present, it’s very possible for a teen to return to proper life functioning, even if the delusion persists.  Depending on the individual, sometimes delusions may subside altogether, and other times, the delusion may persist, but the teen learns to live a life, no longer negatively affected or limited by its presence.


Teen delusional psychotic disorder treatment looks different for each teen and is specifically designed according to the delusion(s) present, but often therapists will work with teens to help them recognize and understand the presence of the delusion, and then the falsity of it.  Therapists help to provide teens with an objective point of view, from which the teens can begin to address their delusion as a separate entity, rather than being controlled by it.  In a sense, therapists provide teens with a factual boundary to compare their experience with, which many times helps the teens to begin to separate themselves, and their thoughts, from the delusion.  In time, this can help them to become free from it.





Prescription medications, such as antipsychotic drugs, can be extremely helpful for teens, both in treating the delusion directly, as well as alleviating stress and harmful effects caused by the presence of the delusion, such as providing relief from Depression, Anxiety, or insomnia.




What if I’m a parent who’s worried that my adolescent has Delusional Psychotic Disorder?


We understand that any signs or symptoms of this disorder can be extremely scary and overwhelming to witness and so, at the very least, it’s not something you should handle alone. The first step you can take as a parent, is to bring your teenager in to see a therapist, to be evaluated. And our advice, from the first step onward, is to just try to be as supportive as you can, regardless of what the experience brings, both for your teen, and for you.

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