Erotomania, meaning, what is it; love as a mental disorder.The phrase “crazy love” is not always just a hackneyed metaphor. We tell you when you can let the lover go to write poetry and sing serenades, and when it is better to call the orderlies.
At the beginning of the last century, the famous French psychiatrist Gaetan de Clerambault described for the first time a clinical case of erotomania: an old French woman believed that the English King George V was in love with her. The woman was sure that all of England knew of her feelings. The evidence was … the curtains of the carriage. The unfortunate woman located the monarch near Buckingham Palace and, when he raised or lowered the curtains, she took it for a message of love.
That is why it is often called De Clerambault’s Syndrome.
This is how erotomania manifests itself, a mental disorder in which the patient is convinced that someone is in love with him. Moreover, this confidence is absolutely unfounded: the object of sympathy may not even be aware of the patient’s existence. As a rule, it is a celebrity or simply a person with a higher social status. The erotomaniac in all his movements sees secret signs, declarations of love.
It is an illusion that the other person (usually of higher status and importance) is in love with you. Erotomania develops suddenly, abruptly. It is not at all necessary for the erotomaniac to date the object of his love in life.
For example, there are cases in which erotomaniacs fell in love with movie stars or members of the royal family.
They believe that the object of their love sends them secret, encrypted messages from television, or even advertisements in the newspaper, and this supports their love. They may think that they must prove their devotion, loyalty, sincerity, that they must remove obstacles in the way of their love. Erotomania is surprisingly resistant to the contradictions of reality: no attempt to explain to the erotomaniac that the object of his love not only does not love him, but is afraid of him, or does not even know of his existence, produces no results.
Note that it is not necessary for the patient to have other mental abnormalities. In fact, a sudden onset without a history of psychological illness is primary erotomania. The delusion appears apparently from scratch (although there are factors contributing to the development, which will be discussed).
The Erotomaniac, most of the time, has no cognitive abnormalities, has not committed crimes, even childhood trauma is optional. But for some reason, a person with Clerambault syndrome develops a paranoid state.
It is believed that Adele Hugo, the youngest daughter of the famous writer, suffered from erotomania. At the age of 31 she met an English officer, Albert Pinson, and decided that this was her destiny. The woman followed the chosen one everywhere, paid his debts and convinced everyone that they were married. She was not ashamed of refusals, nor of a disdainful attitude, nor even of Albert’s marriage to another.
At the age of 90, Adele died in a psychiatric hospital: she could not forget the chosen one. Her last words were about Albert. Now, the “Adele syndrome” is a separate diagnosis, a kind of erotomania. Psychiatrists refer it to those who experience a feeling of immense and destructive unrequited love.
Why is erotomania dangerous?
Symptoms may seem quite innocent and even romantic, but in fact, this disorder is no less dangerous than any other mental illness . The patient constantly pursues the victim, develops a plan, looks for ways to get closer.
He is 100% sure of the reciprocity of his feelings, so no rejection stops him. Even if you write a statement to the police, the erotomaniac will decide that you are just punishing him for something. If the object of attraction does not respond for a long time, the phase of hope may be replaced by a phase of resentment. The patient moves on to more dangerous measures.
A delusional idea deprives a person of common sense: he can kidnap the victim, beat his partner, etc. Sometimes attempts to get close can harm even strangers: in 1981, John Hinckley makes an attempt on the life of Ronald Reagan. That is why he tried to attract the attention of Hollywood actress Judy Foster, who before that did not even know of his existence.
Cure for love
Erotomania requires urgent psychotherapeutic treatment. Psychiatrists associate it with diseases such as depression , anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia and psychosis. If the diagnosis is confirmed, the patient may be prescribed psychotherapy, antidepressants or antipsychotic drugs.
However, the forecasts are disappointing: an erotomaniac is not able to see that his beliefs are false, so it is quite difficult to achieve positive results. How to distinguish infatuation from the disease.
A key symptom of erotomania is the determined and delusional belief that someone is in love with the patient. If you notice this behavior in your loved one, consult your physician immediately. In psychiatry, pathological falling in love is not the rarest of cases.
There are people who are eager to cut off their arm or leg. And there are those who are sure that the end of the world happened a long time ago, and there are no people left alive in the world.
Erotomania is more common in women than in men, but men are more prone to aggressive stalking: the behavior of pursuers. Erotomania is divided into two forms: primary and secondary.
The primary form is also called “spinster madness”. Characterized by persistent delirium that is difficult to treat. In this case, the disease exists by itself, has a sudden onset and a chronic course. The secondary form is accompanied by other mental disorders such as schizophrenia, delusions of persecution, hallucinations or megalomania.
Unlike the first, it has a gradual course and is reversible during treatment. The second form manifests itself in the form of calls to the “victim” itself, sending letters, gifts, unannounced visits to the house or in the form of constant persecution. If we draw a portrait of a typical patient, we get a shy and dependent person, often without sexual experience.
How to identify erotomy
As a rule, the person himself does not understand that erotomania pursues him. In addition, at the same time as she may experience other delusions. For example, the illusion of reference, when a person mistakenly believes that the “admirer” transfers him “signs” of attention by subtle methods.
It can be: a “special” body posture, the location of household items, colors or even car license plates on which messages of love are conveyed in the form of numbers. When a fan is famous, he chooses the way to convey his love through “proofs” in media and messages.
Note: we have touched on this topic because this search has recently been trending in the world and, since we talk about love in many blog posts, we thought it prudent to include it in this blog.