Self Help

Erotomania: The Delusion of Being Loved by Everyone

Erotomania is an uncommon mental illness defined by the enduring hallucination (fixed, erroneous belief) that someone else loves them from a distance. In psychiatry, the illness has a lengthy history and is referred to the de Clérambault’s syndrome. More recently, the International Statistical Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) reclassified erotomania as a type of “delusional disorder”. It’s also plausible that many stable relationships contain milder kinds of delusional exaggeration of pure love, and that in certain cases, these forms of delusional exaggeration may even be necessary for the long-term survival of some relationships.

History of Erotomania

Delusional condition, of which egomania is a kind, has been diagnosed with varying degrees of validity throughout the history of psychiatry. Towards the end of the 20th century, delusional disorder was uncommon.

However, there remained enduring, interest in specific subcategories, such as primary erotomania and pathological jealousy, as reported in the psychiatric literature. The 1950s and 1960s saw the introduction of strong antipsychotic medications, which correlated in large part with the recent resurgence of delusional psychosis as a recognized diagnostic category.

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Since erotomania is now acknowledged to be a relatively uncommon disorder, a lot of recent research has examined the disorder’s connection to stalking, particularly in light of well-publicized stalking instances in the United States. The historical development of erotomania can be divided into four distinct periods and definitions:

  • Unrequited love resulting in widespread illness,
  • The belief that one is loved by someone else,
  • The practice of extreme physical love,
  • Unrequited love as a sort of mental disorder (current meaning).

What do we mean by Erotomania?

In erotomania, the patient (also known as the “subject”) begins to believe that someone else (also known as the “object”) is loving them from a distance. Typically, the topic is female.

Even so the majority of forensic samples are male. The object is typically thought to be from a higher socioeconomic level, frequently appears unachievable (like a priest), and is typically thought to be the first to express love. The hallucination usually appears suddenly, although it can sometimes happen gradually. It is common for the subject to present questionable evidence of the object’s feelings and, ironically, to read rejections as secret vows of love. In erotomania, the delusional love is typically quite strong and may or may not be matched by the subject.

Many erotomaniacs only seek medical assistance after they commit socially disruptive behaviors, such as writing an excessive amount of letters, calling constantly, or harassing others in public. The press has often speculated about the connection between stalking and erotomania. Although reports of a connection between erotomania and violence are not entirely evidently explained.

Signs of Erotomania

The primary sign is the delusion that someone is madly or compulsively in love with them. Frequently, there’s no indication of the other person’s affection. The other person may be completely unaware that the erotomaniac even exists. A person suffering from this illness may talk about the other person all the time. Additionally, they could become fixated on attempting to get in touch with or meet this person to spend time together.

Also Read: A Woman with Delusional Thoughts Locked Her Son in The House

Typical signs and symptoms include:

  • absorbing media about the other person compulsively, especially if they are a famous figure or celebrity
  • sending the other person presents, emails, or letters regularly
  • repeatedly contacting the other individual by phone
  • being persuaded that someone else is attempting to communicate covertly through looks, gestures, or coded signals in social media, television, movies, or the news
  • fabricating intricate but fictitious scenarios in which the other person is attempting to contact, stalk, or pursue them
  • feeling envious when you think the other person might be unfaithful or in contact with other “lovers”

Criteria for the Diagnosis

The following criteria are considered in the diagnosis of autoimmune:

  • (A) a false belief in romantic communication;
  • (B) an object of far greater status;
  • (C) the object being the first to experience love;
  • (D) an item being the first to move forward;
  • (E) an abrupt start (within a week);
  • (F) the object stays the same (other objects only appear temporarily);
  • (G) patient explains the object’s strange behavior;
  • (H) chronic course; and
  • (I) lack of hallucinations

Treatment for Erotomania

Treatment for erotomania typically focuses on the symptoms of psychosis or delusions. This frequently entails taking medicine in addition to counseling. Before making a diagnosis, your physician or therapist may lead you through psychotherapy or counseling.

Also Read: From Confessions to Chaos: Exploring the Psychology Behind Drunk Calling

Medications classified as classic (or typical) antipsychotics, such pimozide, are frequently used with success. Antipsychotics classified as nontraditional (or atypical), such clozapine, risperidone, and olanzapine, have also been used in conjunction with counseling or therapy. Treatments for bipolar illness, or other underlying conditions may be utilized if erotomania is the result of those conditions. Mood stabilizers like valproic acid (Depakene) or lithium (Lithonia) are frequently used to treat bipolar disorder.

  • Kelly, B. D. (2017). Love as delusion, delusions of love: erotomania, narcissism and shame. Medical Humanities, 44(1), 15–19.
  • Kennedy, N., McDonough, M., Kelly, B., & Berrios, G. E. (2002). Erotomania revisited: Clinical course and treatment. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 43(1), 1–6.
  • Erotomania revisited: from Kraepelin to DSM-III-R. (1989). American Journal of Psychiatry, 146(10), 1261–1266.

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