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Issue: Issue 2 (2015) – Supplement 1


Kretschmer's syndrome of sensitive delusions

Catarina P. Ferreira, Maria J. Avelino, Susana Alves, José M. Jara, Ciro Oliveira, and José Salgado
Introduction: Kretschmer's syndrome of sensitive delusions is a self delusion that occurs in patients with sensitive Kretschmer character and develops after a triggering traumatic event in patient’s life, like a discussion or a humiliation. The delusion may be of several types, from persecutory, to guilt and/or ruin. Hallucinations may also be present. It is fundamental to establish an early diagnosis in order to improve the prognosis of this disease.

Methods: This work presents a systematic review about Kretschmer's syndrome of sensitive delusion and reports a real clinical case as an example, describing and explaining the so called sensitive personality that predisposes to that kind of delusion.

Results: Female, 50 years old patient, with obsessive and dependent traits of personality, history of sad mood and possibly depressive disorder since her father’s disease diagnosis in 2011. After a humiliating triggering event in patient’s life, psychotic symptoms developed, with auditory hallucinations as commentator voices and self-reference delusions. Besides that, the patient presents with major depressive symptoms, probably with suicide ideation (which the patient probably hides).

Discussion and Conclusions: Kretschmer sensitive delusions generally appear in subjects with a predisposing character named Kretschmer sensitive personality. These individuals are usually hypersensitive, demanding, with high moral principles and hardly deal with errors or frustrations. When a given triggering event happens they may have a psychotic development with escalation of their previous personality traits. A depressive disorder may precede or follow the delusion. Psychotic depression usually occurs in association with a pre-morbid sensitive Kretschmer character. In that case the patient develops the so called Kretschmer's syndrome of sensitive delusions. It is therefore fundamental to perform a complete clinical history, investigating the premorbid personality of the patient. An early and correct diagnosis allows an earlier institution of treatment and therefore a better outcome for the patient.

From the 23rd EFPT Forum, Porto, Portugal. 22–27 June 2015.

International Journal of Clinical Neurosciences and Mental Health 2015; 2(Suppl. 1):P30
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