Mania of greatness is a type of behavior or self-identity of an individual, expressed in the extreme degree of reassessment of his fame, importance, popularity, genius, political influence, wealth, power, up to omnipotence. Mania of greatness synonyms - delirium of greatness and megalomania, translated from Greek μεγαλο means exaggerated or very large, and μανία - madness, passion.
In everyday life, non-professionals often mistakenly use the term “megalomania”, and understand it as an elevated, inadequate mood, marked by increased motor activity, accelerated speech and thinking. So mania is considered in psychiatry.
In modern psychiatry, megalomania is not attributed to a separate mental disorder, but it is considered as a manifestation of one of the mental disorders. For example, as an integral part of a manic syndrome or symptom complex of paranoia , in which delusions are possible, when a mania reaches a severe degree with psychotic symptoms.
Megalomania what is it? This condition in psychiatry is considered not as an independent disease, but as a symptom of another pathological condition that is associated with a mental disorder.
Mania of greatness often appears with manic-depressive psychosis , paranoid disorders and an inferiority complex. Signs of megalomania are manifested in the fact that the individual concentrates all his thoughts on personal exclusivity and importance for society. As a result of this, all the conversations and actions of a sick person are aimed at alerting others about their own genius and uniqueness.
Reasons for megalomania
The reasons lie in the symptoms of paranoid disorder or manic-depressive psychosis. Often this condition occurs with various neuroses , schizophrenia and affective psychoses . A similar disorder can manifest itself after a traumatic brain injury and complications of progressive paralysis.
The following reasons for the development of this condition are distinguished
- hereditary predisposition. If one of the parents has a similar disease, then most likely that it will occur in the child;
- drug and alcohol addiction, syphilis;
- high self-esteem .
Symptoms of megalomania
There are several stages of development of this condition. For the initial stage of formation, primary symptoms are characteristic, which are not noticeable to surrounding people. Over time, there is a further progression of the syndrome of megalomania, which leads to vivid clinical manifestations and severe depression , as well as the development of dementia.
For such a state, the individual denies the irrationality of his behavior. The patient is really sure that his opinions are the only true ones and all other persons should enthusiastically agree with him. But not always symptoms of megalomania manifest themselves with concomitant delusional disorder and obsessive attempts to impress others with their point of view. Often, this disorder manifests itself in increased activity. This condition is inherent in bipolar disorder , in which the phases of depression alternate with episodes of mania. In the manic phase, the individual is completely confident in his own exclusivity, remains full of strength and energy, practically does not feel fatigue, his self-esteem increases. A person in this state not only extols his own ideas and thoughts, but also requires a similar attitude that elevates his personality from others.
The symptoms of this disorder are characterized by emotional instability, violent activity can be rapidly replaced by passivity, and a joyful mood of depression. Such mood swings in most cases cannot be controlled. Patients have a sharply negative attitude towards any criticism. Sometimes the patient in his address ignores any comments, but it happens that he answers them with aggression and refuses to categorically accept someone else's opinion and help.
People with this mania are disturbed by sleep disturbances. Due to constant nervous agitation and increased activity, the symptoms of the disorder often include insomnia, anxiety and shallow sleep. In severe cases, patients experience manifestations of depression, thoughts of suicide, and even attempts to take their own lives. Individuals often show marked exhaustion, both physical and mental.
Separately, it is necessary to consider the following course of the disease - severe depressive disorder with suicidal tendencies. There are several reasons for the development of depression. If we are talking about a patient with bipolar disorder, then with such a disorder, mania is replaced by depression. This is a characteristic course of the disease. Often severe depression can occur as a result of a person’s loss of reason to consider himself the best. The moment of the collapse of ideas about personal exclusivity, as a rule, is extremely difficult for patients to suffer. A depressed mood can appear as a result of physical and nervous exhaustion of the body.
Mania of greatness is often manifested not just not by the perception of criticism, but also by the denial, as such, of a foreign point of view. Patients with a similar mental disorder are often inclined to commit absolutely irrational and dangerous acts, completely not reacting and not listening to the advice of others and close people.
It should be noted that women delusions of grandeur are much less common than men, and this disorder is more aggressive in the male part of the population. Often the point is in trying to convey to your environment your ideas and convince them of their own righteousness can go to physical violence.
In women, the disease often takes the form of erotomania and is much milder. Usually the fair sex is convinced that they are the object of someone's ardent love and passion. Their mania extends to a well-known and public object.
Often, certain types of these disorders include signs of various delusional conditions, which are classified in clinical practice in separate forms.
Mania of grandeur with paraphrenic delirium has pronounced fantastic features and is often combined with depersonalization personality disorder and delusions of persecution. The clinical picture can complement the patient's pathological fantasies related to his uniqueness.
For example, the patient tells of his great deeds, fables, which often take on absolutely fantastic forms. A person can claim that he must save the world or that he is constantly being watched from space, etc.
An individual suffering from megalomania may turn out to be a famous person, for example, in the case of the outstanding mathematician John Nash, who refused a prestigious academic post, referring to the fact that he should be enthroned by the emperor of Antarctica.
Less common type of delusional disorder, which is accompanied by delusions of grandeur and is the so-called messianic delirium. A person in this state imagines himself to be Jesus or appears to be his follower. There have been cases in history when individuals with this disorder became famous and gathered followers of their own cult.
The greatest danger to those around them is patients who suffer from Manichaean delusional disorder. The megalomania in this case is expressed in the fact that the sick person presents himself as a defender of the world from the forces of good and evil. Often such nonsense is noted with schizophrenia.
How to communicate with a man with megalomania? This question is of interest to relatives and the immediate environment. In communicating with such an individual should demonstrate their interest. It will be advisable to show the person that his opinion is appreciated. Talking with the patient, should be given enough time and attention to this conversation. At the end of the conversation, regardless of personal relationship, you need to thank for your thoughts. It will be right to demonstrate confidence in such a person. If the patient sees that they trust him, then this will be able to confirm his sense of self-worth and gain confidence in himself, and the interlocutor can avoid aggressive behavior towards him.
Treatment for megalomania
Mental disorder with megalomania should be treated in a timely manner so that a depressive episode does not develop.
How to get rid of megalomania? This disorder is not completely cured, but the therapy of the underlying disease is very important, which is individually selected in each case and helps to slightly alleviate the symptoms that appear.
Depending on the reason that caused mania in a person, antipsychotics, tranquilizers, sedatives are prescribed, specific psychotherapy is performed.
Since the patient is not able to recognize the seriousness of his condition, forced therapy may be required. If necessary, the patient is placed in a neuropsychiatric dispensary and treatment is already underway in a hospital.