It is not an uncommon view that delusions render a person inadequate or even dangerous for society. However, not all delusions result in an adverse experience, despite being often provoked by it. Delusions can be defined as an error in judgment that persists despite the opposing evidence (Bebbington & Freeman, 2017). However, some beliefs that are caused by schizophrenia, especially the ones that are considered strange and significantly overvalued, can contain logical foundations and require intellectual effort to uphold (Bebbington & Freeman, 2017). This essay will discuss how some delusions experienced by people with schizophrenia can have a positive impact and how to separate those delusions from adverse ones.
To recognize and distinguish these two types of delusions, it is critical to analyze them. A belief, delusional or not, can be judged on the following factors: its contents, confidence of a person who believes in it, the reasoning and actions of that person, and the emotional response this belief causes (Bebbington & Freeman, 2017). The case of Milt Greek provides an example of the beliefs of a schizophrenic person, which can be analyzed for these factors.
Despite the fact that the reasoning behind his views stems from a mental issue, Carey (2011) writes that Mr. Greek experiences a strong need “to commit small acts of kindness” that provide him with positive emotions. The contents of this belief are also beneficial for Greek and society as a whole.
In conclusion, by analyzing a delusion based on these four factors, a person can determine whether it is harmful or not. People with schizophrenia might require help from a therapist in this process to add objectivity to their judgment (Bebbington & Freeman, 2017). Therefore, features of delusions that evoke positive emotions and increase the well-being of a person, despite having no logical reasoning behind them, can be considered constructive.
Bebbington, P., & Freeman, D. (2017). Transdiagnostic extension of delusions: Schizophrenia and beyond. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 43(2), 273-282. Web.
Carey, B. (2011). Putting delusions to use. The New York Times.