Delusional Disorder: What Causes It

The cause of delusional disorder is unknown, but genetic, biochemical and environmental factors may play a significant role in its development. Some people with delusional disorders may have an imbalance in neurotransmitters, the chemicals that send and receive messages to the brain. There does seem to be some familial component, and social isolation, immigration (generally for persecutory reasons), drug abuse, excessive stress, being married, being employed, low socioeconomic status, celibacy among men, and widowhood among women may also be risk factors. Delusional disorder is currently thought to be on the same spectrum or dimension as schizophrenia, but people with delusional disorder, in general, may have less symptomatology and functional disability.