Unstable delusions

R. ARNAUD-CASTIGLIONI, J.-C. FISHER, P. RAYMONDET, P. CALVET, and J.-C. SCOTTO, all psychiatrists in the University Hospital Department of Adult Psychiatry at Sainte Marguerite Hospital in Marseille, have isolated “unstable delusions” related to sensitive paranoia.

They wrote [1]: “The term “unstable delusions” was proposed by J.-M. SUTTER to describe certain acute states that can be cured by antidepressant treatment, despite the absence of any frank mood disorder. Unstable delusions are the most typical feature of the delusions of reference of sensitive paranoia, but also belong to the group of chronic hallucinatory psychoses described by G. BALLET. Two clinical cases are reported, illustrating the clinical features, responding favourably to neuroleptic treatment, but cured by antidepressant medication. The Kretschmer personality type is the most frequent, but other premorbid conditions are also possible”.

Further on, they add: “These patients, who appear to be eligible for neuroleptic treatment, were therefore considerably improved by antidepressant medication”.

1. Les délires instables, Psychologie médicale, 1988, 20, 10 : pages 1431-1433