Finding order within the disorder: a case study exploring the meaningfulness of delusions

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Can delusions, in the context of psychosis, enhance a person’s sense of meaningfulness? The case described here suggests that, in some circumstances, they can. This prompts further questions into the complexities of delusion as a lived phenomenon, with important implications for the clinical encounter. While assumptions of meaninglessness are often associated with concepts of ‘disorder’, ‘harm’ and ‘dysfunction’, we suggest that meaning can nonetheless be found within what is commonly taken to be incomprehensible or even meaningless. A phenomenological and value-based approach appears indispensable for clinicians facing the seemingly paradoxical coexistence of harmfulness and meaningfulness.


Original languageEnglish
JournalBJPsych Bulletin
Early online date12 Jan 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Jan 2021


  • Delusion, phenomenology, psychopathology, psychosis, meaning