These arise from an attempt by a sufferer of mental disorder to explain feelings or thoughts which are already disordered and confused. For example a depressed person may try to rationalise their feelings of extreme gloom by explaining that they are guilty of some terrible crime. The pathologically elated person may explain their mania by deciding that they are rich and famous.

Such delusions are held with overwhelming conviction, and no amount of reality checking by friends or health workers can alter them.

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