Erotomania: De Clerambault Syndrome

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A new study published essay in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that erotomania is more common than we think. The authors surveyed over 4,000 people and found that about one third of them had experienced symptoms like intrusive thoughts or even delusions related to a love interest. This post will explore what these findings might mean for you and your relationships with others, as well as why they’re worth paying attention to.

It’s considered to be a misdiagnosis of someone clinically diagnosed with schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), psychotic depression, bipolar disorder, dementia, or personality disorders (especially borderline personality). When erotomaniacs go to a psychologist, their complaints are as follows:

What is Erotomania?

Erotomania is the delusional belief that another person is in love with you.

“Everyone is in love with me, all the men/women around me like me.”

“All the attention is on me, people constantly admire me.”

“I have secret fans and my fans are always stalking me.”

Erotomania is a kind of delusion. Patients think that the people around them fall in love with them.

Erotomania source:

Is Erotomania a Disease?

Erotomania, which is not a mental illness or disorder, is generally a symptom of another disorder. In fact, in order to define erotomania, a closer look at how mental and mental disorders are necessary.

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What Is Erotomania Exactly?

In popular media, sloppy use of terms such as psychopath, sociopath, psychopath, maniac, and schizophrenia creates some misinformation.

There are also significant differences in the use of these terms among mental health professionals. The use of common terminology for the names and definitions of mental illnesses is based on the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), a guide prepared by the American Psychiatric Association. According to DSM 5, erotomania is one of the subtypes of delusional disorders.

Delusion is all sorts of thoughts and beliefs that one believes to be true, despite the evidence that it is not. In erotomania, the delusion is the belief that a particular person is in love with him. However, this delusional belief may exist as a delusion alone or might be a symptom of other psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, psychosis, bipolar disorder, or disorders of borderline and paranoid personality.

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What Are The Symptoms of Erotomania?

The primary symptom of erotomania is that a person is obsessed with a certain and unchanging obsession that someone is in love with them. This obsession is often for a person of high social status or importance. The patient has the belief that this person loves him/her more than they actually does and is proud of it. The erotomanic person believes that their lover sent them secret messages.

For example, a person who believes that a famous newscaster is in love with him. Believes that the newscaster communicates with him using a secret code while presenting news on television to communicate with him. He tries to be in contact with his lover. He constantly acts in the form of letters, e-mails, gifts and telephone calls, surveillance, and harassment. 

The belief that the person they think is their lover refuses despite all the evidence. The patient’s love for them remains unchanged.

For example, even if the victim uses legal means to issue a restraining order the erotomanic person may believe that this is a secret message that encourages them even more strongly.

The erotomanic person does not accept that there is no love relationship with their lover and acts as if there is a normal romantic relationship between them. They may even use violence against the people who are in between the patient and their lover according to the patient. Statistics show that erotomania is more common in women than men, but that men are subject to legal sanctions because of their obsessive and delusional behavior such as harassment and threat. It usually occurs in women in their thirties and men in their twenties.

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What is the cause of erotomania?

Erotomania, a disorder that can be treated with psychotherapy, requires a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation in the diagnosis and treatment process. Psychotherapy usually focuses on the treatment of the underlying cause and symptoms.

The main problem underlying erotomania is the lack of love and intimacy needed in childhood. In childhood, the first love and intimacy relationship is established first with the mother and then with the father and siblings. Traumatic relationships may prevent a person from establishing healthy love relationships during adulthood. It is thought that it is one of the causes of erotomania in childhood, especially in women, which is deprived of father love and care.

Also, this kind of defense mechanism developed as a result of feeling unworthy. Research has shown that there may be genetic aspects of erotomania. In some cases, treatment with antipsychotic medications may require psychotherapy.

In advanced cases in which the erotomanic person interferes with the life of the person whom he thinks is the secret lover and becomes dangerous for himself or others, he may need to be hospitalized and treated.

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Aaron Beck

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About Author

I am studying in Florida about Dialectic Behavioral Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I'm doing research on Neuro-Emotional Technique (NET), Cognitive psychology, Metacognitive Therapy.

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