Centre for Cultural Psychology


The Making of Delusions: From Imagination to Irreality - by Caroline Skov Vestbjerg

In this article I aim to understand meaning construction from a cultural psychological stance and investigate how human beings - both individually and collectively - create norms and beliefs that become guidelines for how we perceive.

Last modified: 15.07.2021

The real and the imaginary are closely intertwined- sometimes to the extent that one of them is taken for the other. Considering some specific product of the imagination as if it is real amounts to a delusion — the topic of this paper. A person constructs and attributes meaning and associations to objects and people and these constructions have been made by both personal and socially shared ideas. The dilemma seems to be concerning perspectives on truth and what lies prior to the determination of this. The attempt of this article and the autoethnographic research is to comprehend the extent and diversity of delusions. This will be examined in the attempt to investigate and distinguish delusions from everyday life to what can be considered pathological hence scrutinize the borderline of healthy versus maladaptive. This borderline will furthermore be discussed with the basis of symptom criteria from the ICD- and DSM diagnosis systems. This seems to be of big importance when diagnostically comprehend the pathological elements of the delusions in the sense that the judgement could come to determine life situation. These discussions lead to an understanding of delusions as semiotically made when distinguishing between general versus pathological psychological conditions.

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