Erotomania is the delusion that someone (typically a woman) believes that another person is in love with them. The person whom they believe is secretly in love with them is usually someone of a very high status. In many instances, they may not even know the person or they may not have ever seen them in real life. Regardless of this, they may still believe that the famous or rich person is deeply in love with them.
Erotomania doesn’t always involve the delusion of a famous person, but it typically does. They may become overly infatuated with their “partner” and may even go to lengths as far as publicly professing their love together, even if the famous person denies it or never even gets wind of the claims.
It may also not be uncommon for someone suffering with erotomania to also experience symptoms of other mental disorders as well, such as bipolar hypersexuality, OCD and hypersexuality, or even schizophrenia due to the paranoia aspect of erotomania. However, this will ultimately depend on their genetic makeup, among several other factors. Nevertheless, it is definitely plausible to conceive how someone’s erotomania can open the door to other similar mental disorders.
Erotomania can cause a great deal of strife in not only the mentally ill person’s life, but also in the life of the person accused of being in love with them as well. There have been many instances where this has been the case. There are several studies that have been published which shed some light on the sheer scope of this disorder and how destructive it can truly be.
Symptoms of Erotomania
Someone suffering with erotomania may find themselves to be obsessed with their “significant other”. They may go as far as to harass and even threaten them if they refuse to acknowledge them or give in to their demands. They are typically quite irrational and unable to accept that the romantic relationship they believe they are in is nothing more than the by-product of a severe mental illness.
They may send countless emails, texts, phone calls, and letters to their “secret admirer” as they desperately crave the attention they aren’t getting. Even if the man she believes to be in love with is in an actual marriage with a woman whom he actually loves, the woman with erotomania will typically not be deflated in their efforts and will still believe that she is his true love.
Such irrationality and ineptness to think coherently about such an issue is a very significant reason for the amount of mental anguish they experience on a day to day basis. They may also experience feelings of jealousy, rage, or shame, though this will likely vary from person to person, as well as the intensity of these emotions.
Below, you will see some more common symptoms of erotomania:
Belief that someone famous or rich is in love with them, even if they have never met them
Believes to be in a romantic relationship with the person they claim is in love with them
Is obsessed with their imagined lover and spends a great deal of their time trying to contact them
May harass or stalk the person whom they believe loves them and may even threaten them
Is unable to think logically about their delusion and is unable to cope with strong emotions
Causes of Erotomania
There is no known cause of erotomania. Nevertheless, genetics and one’s environment are likely to play very significant factors. For instance, if they have a family history of mental illness, then they may be at risk for developing this condition. This may be due to them possibly having a genetic predisposition to develop mental illness.
Also, the occurrence of other mental disorders, especially delusional disorders may increase their chance of developing erotomania. One of the key symptoms of erotomania is paranoia. So, it is plausible to conceive that if they already suffer from a paranoia disorder such as schizophrenia or another delusional disorder then that may open the door for them to develop erotomania insofar as they have the genetic makeup to do so.
Erotomania Diagnostic Criteria
Erotomania can be very difficult to diagnose due to how rare this delusional disorder is, as well as the minimal amount of information that is available on this condition. Nevertheless, to be diagnosed with this disorder they will need to get a psychiatric evaluation by an accredited mental health professional.
Getting diagnosed with erotomania may also occur as a byproduct of the therapist learning more about the patient over the course of many months or by getting diagnosed with other disorders such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. This is also typically how people get diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder.
You would likely not see a narcissist overtly seeking out treatment to minimize his symptoms of feeling superior to everyone else and to reduce his irrational sense of self accomplishment. Such an occurrence would be a rarity to say the least. The same can be said for someone suffering with erotomania. They are very unlikely to seek out treatment because they do not feel as though they are mentally ill.
Treatments for Erotomania
Pyschotherapy will likely be the main form of treatment for someone suffering with erotomania. Talk therapy is likely to be a much more effective treatment method for someone suffering from an excessive sexual desire than by simply taking medication. However, this is something that should be discussed by you and your doctor.
Getting treated for erotomania may also vary greatly depending on whether or not you are suffering with any other mental disorders. Depending on the other disorders that they may have, as well as how intense the symptoms are, this may greatly influence the type of treatment they will receive.
If you think you may have erotomania or if you think you may be suffering with some of the symptoms outlined in this article, then you should talk to your doctor as soon as you can so that you can get properly diagnosed and treated.
Here at Psych Times, you’ll find a plethora of articles related to psychology, mental health, and overall well-being. Our goals are plentiful and include increasing the awareness of mental health, educating the public about why people think and behave the way they do, as well as helping to counteract the unfortunate stigma associated with mental illness.