How can mental health professionals open their minds to psyc
By understanding the intricacies of feelings, attitudes, and experiences which are interlinked with delusions, clinicians will be better able to build trust and genuine engagement with patients. The authors examined the experiences of more than 370 patients, described in 24 different scientific studies and found a number of themes that were common across all the studies.

For most participants, for example, delusions were not just a symptom of illness or an irrational belief. Delusions often were the most compelling way that the person could make sense of their life, in the context of a radical alteration of reality and intense emotions. While the experience could be hostile, sparking fear or panic, individuals could also experience awe or wonder, or deep meaning in their delusions.

When reality is altered in this way, individuals can struggle to make sense of their own identity, experiencing self-doubt or a loss of control or, conversely, the feeling that they are someone special, or with a unique purpose. In the latter case, the delusional experience seemed to provide a sense of coherence, purpose and belonging at a time of intense life stress and can therefore be interpreted as temporarily adaptive or beneficial. Effective clinical care for patients with psychosis means understanding the ‘lived experience’ of their delusions.