Manichean Delirium

Manichean delirium is the most acute kind of antagonistic delusion. It was described by the French psychiatrists for the first time in 1922. Some psychiatrists identify antagonistic and Manichean delirium, or refer the last to kinds of delusion of grandeur.

The Manichean delirium differs with its mental duality. At this delirium the patient is talking about antagonism of two resisting forces leading the world – good and evil. All events are surveyed by the patient in Manichean delirium as a fight of benevolent and hostile forces (in relation to him or someone other). In the center of the fight, from the point of view of the patient having a global value, there is a patient’s person, he is sure that fight is conducted for his soul and happens in his body. Friends (patrons) and enemies (persecutors) are various, these are certain people, parties, the peoples. The outcome of fight is forecasted as fatal: crash of the world, universal victory of “power of darkness”, and “Disbelievers”. At the same time very often the delirium is followed by ecstatic mood and manifest fear.

By contents the Manichean delirium is similar to mystical, apocalyptic and messianic delirium. The crazy plot is formed within a hallucinatory paranoid syndrome. The contents, duration, mechanisms of formation of delirium (hallucination, sensual) depend on a form of schizophrenic psychosis.

The patients suffering from acute Manichean delirium are often deadly to people around. It is defined by features of delirium and content of interpreting. For the non-specialist it is extremely difficult to define that it is a patient with a serious mental disorder as dysphasia is absent, no movements’ disorder, in other words the patient isn’t similar to “violent loony” in the usual sense.

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