Delusions can be categorized in various ways. The following are not mutually exclusive categories; for example, a delusion may be both bizarre and systematized.
Bizarre delusions-are absurd and factually not possible. They may involve newly discovered gods or supernatural/space creatures.
feelings that one is dying, is already dead or does not exist (cotard delusion)
feelings of different people being a single person (fregoli delusion)
feeling like one’s reflection in a mirror is some other person (mirrored-self delusion)
feeling that family, partners, friends and / or pets have been replaced by identical fakes (capgras delusion)
feeling like the world only exists inside one’s head (solipsism delusion)
feeling that one is living in a reality TV show (Truman show delusion)
feeling like one has an identical doppelgänger with a different (usually malicious) personality and life (subjective doubles delusion)
feeling like other people swap identities with each other without changing appearance (intermetamorphosis delusion)
feeling like doesn’t belong to one’s body or doesn’t own parts of one’s body (somatoparaphrenia delusion)
feeling like a person, place, object, or body part has been duplicated or transported somewhere else (reduplicative paramnesia delusion)
Grandiose delusions-are beliefs that the individual has exceptional beauty, intelligence or influence.
feeling that one is a god or deity
feeling that one has magical powers i.e. mind reading, control over the weather etc
feeling that one is indestructible or unimaginably strong
feeling that another person or other people (usually celebrities) are in love with oneself
Persecutory (or paranoid) delusions- include that the individual is being harassed, threatened, watched or bugged. They often involve spies, bikies, God, Satan or neighbors.
feeling that one is constantly being followed / stalked
feeling that one is secretly being spied on by family, partners, friends, others, pets and / or inanimate objects
feelings of fear over being kidnapped. Usually by a stranger.
feeling that one is constantly being watched (by unknown entities or known entities)
feeling that one is being ridiculed by family, partners, friends and / or others
feeling that one is being spied on or monitored by the government, FBI etc.
feeling that family members, partners, friends, others, pets and / or inanimate objects are secretly conspiring to kill oneself
feeling like is being or will be poisoned by others
Delusions of reference- are the belief that the everyday actions of others are premeditated and made with special reference to the patient. Commonly patients complain about being talked about on television or the radio. Patients may believe that music played or words spoken on television have been specifically chosen to identify or annoy them. People crossing the street or coughing may be interpreted as making purposeful actions, performed to indicate something to, or about, the patient.
Delusions of control- involve the belief that others are controlling the patient’s thoughts, feelings or actions.
Nihilistic delusions-are the belief that part of the individual or the external world does not exist, or that the individual is dead (Cotard syndrome). Financially comfortable individuals may believe they are destitute, in spite of bank statements to the contrary. Patients who believe they have no head or are dead, are unable to explain how that could be possible, but still hold the belief.
Somatic delusions- are false beliefs about the body. These may be bizarre or non-bizarre. A bizarre example is when the individual believes his nose is made of gold. A nonbizarre example is when the individual believes he has cancer of the rectum, in spite of negative reports from a competent doctor who has examined the rectum.
Delusions of infestation/parasitosis- are not uncommon in dermatological clinics (Hylwa et al, 2011).
Delusions of guilt - that the individual is guilty of purposefully or non-purposefully damaging themselves, other individuals or important property. Individuals may believe they are guilty of causing the cancer of the lady who lives next door, or a drought in Central Africa.
Delusions of jealousy - the belief that the partner is being unfaithful, and may involve checking the partner’s underclothes for stains or foreign pubic hairs.
Erotic delusions (erotomania) - the belief of the patient that another person is in love with him/her (de Clerambault syndrome). This (among others) may be a motivation for stalking, and lead to contact with the unwelcoming central figure of the delusion.
Systematized delusions- are united by a single theme. They are often highly detailed and may remain unchanged for years.
Non-systematized delusions- may change in content and level of concern, from day to day or even from minute to minute.
truman show AU where john is (unsuspectingly of course) the star of a reality show created by magnussen. he lives in a fake town with his fake wife “mary” and he is more and more bored with his life and more and more suspicious of all the weird things happening around him. but more importantly he can’t stop thinking about that beautiful man he had the best day of his life with years ago, he kissed him and immediately fell in love with him but then he inexplicably disappeared. john was heartbroken and he is secretly trying to reconstitute his face with cut-out magazine pictures in the basement of his boring little house (but he doesn’t suspect that millions of viewers are watching him and that most of them actually support their love)
meanwhile sherlock, after being excluded from the show for kissing john and violating his contract, is doing everything in his power (with mycroft’s help) to come up with a plan to free john from this fake reality. in the meantime he spends his time watching the show because this is the only way for him to see john (and he’s constantly stroking john’s face on the screen and crying because one day he will be able to do this again for real)