More on Othello Syndrome

Raleigh Mental Health ServicesAs we continue to explore Othello syndrome, we turn our attention to what causes a person to experience this syndrome and what triggers someone to have difficulty with this rare disorder. In our previous post we covered the three forms of jealousy that those with Othello syndrome may experience. They include obsessions, delusions, and extreme obsessions. Othello disorder is characterized by repeated accusations that a spouse or sexual partner has been unfaithful based on minimal or insignificant evidence. Don't let mental health problems hold you back in life. Call Legacy Freedom instead. We offer outstanding Raleigh mental health services.

So what causes someone to suffer from morbid jealousy or Othello syndrome? Some researchers equate morbid jealousy with being in a delusional state. Others believe that subconsciously the actions of their partner or spouse have been misinterpreted to the extent that the accuser is absolutely convinced of the betrayal. Morbid jealousy most commonly is associated with one of four features:

  • An underlying and untreated mental health disorder that is diagnosed before the jealousy
  • A mental health disorder that coexists with the jealousy
  • The jealousy has no basis in reality
  • The underlying disorder relates to the course of morbid jealousy

Highly insecure people are more likely to struggle with morbid jealousy. They are easily made anxious or fearful of their partner's commitment to them. Some people become insecure to the point of grand delusions which may include believing that their partner has received a sexually transmitted disease from someone else, or that they are being given drugs to decrease their sexual performance.

Men and women experience morbid jealousy in dramatically different ways. For women, the strongest trigger that can bring out these delusions and extreme jealousy is emotional infidelity with fixations on the attractiveness and youthfulness of the other party. Often morbid jealousy is accompanied by violence. Women who are angry with their partners do not typically resort to violence. When they do become violent they are not likely to kill their partner. Instead, they will inflict injury with a knife or other blunt object. Men, on the other hand, are triggered by the sexual infidelity of their partners and the perceived status and power of the other person. They are more likely to use violence to stop the infidelity from happening again. If the infidelity does not stop, men are more likely to commit suicide or kill their partner in response to their jealousy over the infidelity.

Morbid jealousy can be a very dangerous mental illness. Drug and alcohol abuse exacerbates these feelings and delusions and can contribute to the violence and aggression that the accused partner may experience. If you are experiencing symptoms of morbid jealousy, Legacy Freedom of Raleigh can help.

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