Thursday, April 26, 2012


As much as I tried, I found nothing wrong with her.

She was beautiful, amiable, and well dressed. She spoke with an air of confidence, obviously well educated - I would later learn she was a qualified pharmacist.

Let me call her Miss P - She was brought in by her aunt who insisted she was a nut case and should be admitted into the psych ward; Miss P however, insisted her aunt was evil and could not be trusted. Looking at the aunt I couldn't put that beyond her.

The story was straightforward (so I thought). Miss P's mom who was a widow, believed her relatives were evil - she believed this so strongly that she stayed away from any form of communication with them and discouraged any of them visiting.

The mom constantly related this belief to Miss P who subsequently developed the same belief and attitude towards their relatives. She went as far as locking herself indoors to prevent anyone seeing her.

Miss P claimed the relatives had evil intentions towards her mom and herself and she didn't want to have anything to do with them. Looking at the aunt who brought her, I could easily understand this.

However, in the course of my history taking , I learnt Miss P's mom had already been admitted into another psych hospital, this raised my suspicion.

Sensing something wrong somewhere,and getting tired of the back and forth accusations between Miss P and her aunt, I hobbled off to psych to hear what they thought.

Miss P was admitted.

She was admitted as a case of Shared Delusion.

Shared Delusions (Folie a deux).

This is a psychiatric disorder in which a false belief or delusion is firmly held by one person who shares this belief with another; the second person then develops the same false beliefs(delusions) as the first.

There is usually a dominant partner(the mom), with fixed delusions who induces same beliefs in a dependent partner (Miss P).

Treatment is for both individuals to be separated and managed accordingly.

Image Courtesy

With special thanks to B.A
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