Megalomania corresponds to the overestimation of one’s abilities. A megalomaniac person may exhibit exaggerated, self-centered behavior, characterized by power and self-love. What is the difference with narcissism?
Definition: what is megalomania?
Megalomania East a psychological state characterized by overesteem of oneself and one’s abilitieswho trains a desire to impose oneself and a lack of interest in others. We distinguish : “ordinary” megalomania which is a more or less adapted character trait, of “delusional” megalomania which is often a sign of mental illness and completely disconnected from reality. “The megalomaniac person is convinced of his power and gloryshe may feel invested with an extraordinary mission or extraordinary gifts which are not recognized by others, explains Dr Guillaume Fond, psychiatrist and teacher-researcher at AP-HM, Marseille. It is then a delusional megalomania (therefore disconnected from reality), it falls into the category of psychoses. The person then attributes actions that are often not very credible and completely adheres to this mystification.“. When delusional, megalomania often reveals the presence of bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, two chronic severe mental disorders. The prevalence of megalomania is not currently known in France.
What is childhood megalomania?
In this case, it is rather a character trait (superiority complex) which is often linked to the child’s place in the family (reinforcement of parents in the “extraordinary” character of the child) or a particular environmental context (privileged families, etc.).
What is the difference between megalomania and narcissism?
Narcissistic personality is a personality in which an individual manifests itself as megalomania through the excessive need to be admired and a lack of empathy. “However, narcissism often hides low self-esteem unlike megalomania which is an erroneous belief in one’s superiority.“, specifies the specialist.
Is megalomania an illness?
Megalomania can be a trait (otherwise called superiority complex) whose pathological nature will depend on the impact (social isolation) and the adequacy to the situation validated by peers. If not validated by the context, this megalomania can be delusional and part of a severe mental disorder such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. In this case, it is pathological and indicates an indication for treatment.
What are the symptoms of megalomania?
The characteristics of this mental illness are:
- a overestimation of oneself ;
- a delirium of greatness ;
- a delirium of power ;
- a self-attribution of extraordinary abilities;
- an immense desire to glory ;
- A pride disproportionate
What are the causes of megalomania?
Schizophrenia and bipolar mood disorder are the most common causes of delusional megalomania. Organic causes (poisoning) can also sometimes occasionally be the cause. In the case of schizophrenia, megalomania is accompanied by other delusions (persecutory, mystical, etc.). In the case of bipolar disorder, we often find associated signs of heightened mood (insomnia without fatigue, non-productive hyperactivity, acceleration of thought, etc.). “ordinary” megalomania as a character trait often derives from a history of psychological development linked to the child’s place in the family (parents’ reinforcement of the child’s “extraordinary” character) or a particular environmental context (privileged families, etc.).
What are the treatments for megalomania?
The treatment will be that of the underlying pathology identified:
► In cases of schizophrenia, treatment antipsychotic (possibly accompanied by a mood regulator).
► In the event of bipolar disorder, treatment mood regulator.
“There psychotherapy only targets ordinary megalomania if the person concerned complains about it, which is very rarely the case (it is often those around them who complain about it and who come to consult)“, concludes the psychiatrist.
Thanks to Dr Guillaume Fond, psychiatrist and teacher-researcher at AP-HM, Marseille, author of the books “Become the best version of yourself” (ed. Ellipses) and “I make my life a Great Project” (ed. . Flammarion).