A fixed fantasy — also known as a "dysfunctional schema" — is a belief or system of beliefs held by a single individual to be genuine, but that cannot be verified in reality. The term is typically applied to individuals suffering from some type of psychiatric dysregulation, most often a personality disorder, and essentially summarizes it.
A fixed fantasy differs from a delusion or delusional system in that, superficially, a fixed fantasy tends to appear plausible, and the person expressing the fantasy is not suffering a break from reality, as occurs in a delusional state. For example, sufferers of obsessive-compulsive personality disorder would believe that "everything has to be perfect" while sufferers of avoidant personality disorder would believe that they are "not good enough".
In and of themselves, fixed fantasies are typically not harmful, but they can sometimes interfere with an individual's ability to develop a coherent and integrated life experience.
|40x30px||This psychology-related article is a stub. You can help ssf by expanding it.|