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Am I delusional?

Gunn, Rachel (2014) Am I delusional? In: University of Birmingham Graduate School Research Poster Conference 2014, 10th June 2014, University of Birmingham. (Unpublished)

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Delusions are a significant feature of mental illnesses and can occur in many clinical conditions (Maher, 2001) yet the standard clinical definition (American Psychiatric Association. DSM-5 Task Force, 2013) is highly contentious.

Much of the literature holds elements such as bizarreness of content and incorrigibility of belief as defining factors of delusion. However, on closer inspection, delusions are not so easy to pin down. The difficulty in defining delusion is not a new one as “…we are all capable of having convictions and it is a universal human characteristic to hold on to our own mistaken judgements.” (Jaspers, 1963, p.63).

I intend to highlight some of the difficulties associated with the definition of delusion and perhaps clarify the phenomenology.

I examine some of the philosophical, psychological and psychiatric literature with regard to the definition of delusion. I also consider my experience of my own mental activity and experiences from my therapeutic work.

I identify that delusions are a heterogeneous group and that there may be more than one ‘class’ of delusion. I also show that delusions are multi-dimensional with characteristics on a continuum with normal beliefs and that further research is needed to clarify the phenomenology.

Type of Work:Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion
Additional Information:

Research Supervisor: Professor Lisa Bortolotti

Date:June 2014
Series/Collection Name:Prizewinners from the Graduate School Research Poster Conference 2014
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Related URLs:
Copyright Status:This poster is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this poster must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged.
Copyright Holders:The Author
ID Code:1913

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