« on: February 27, 2012, 04:36:10 PM »
[...] They are often convinced that the celebrity is sending them cryptic messages intended only for them to understand. Erotomanic delusions last an average of 10 years.
I can just imagine what hell the chased person must have gone through during those 10 years!
Horrible indeed! The core of the syndrome is that the affected person has a delusional belief that another person, usually of higher social status, is secretly in love with them. The sufferer may also believe that the subject of their delusion secretly communicates their love by subtle methods such as body posture, arrangement of household objects and other seemingly innocuous acts (or, if the person is a public figure, through clues in the media). The object of the delusion usually has little or no contact with the delusional person, who often believes that the object initiated the fictional relationship. Erotomanic delusions are typically found as the primary symptom of delusional disorder, or in the context of schizophrenia.
Occasionally the subject of the delusion may not actually exist, although more commonly, the subjects are media figures such as popular singers, actors and politicians. Erotomania has been cited as one cause for stalking or harassment campaigns. The assassination attempt of Ronald Reagan by John Hinckley, Jr. was reported to have been driven by an erotomanic delusion that the death of the president would cause actress Jodie Foster to publicly declare her love for Hinckley. Late night comedian David Letterman and retired astronaut Story Musgrave were the targets of delusional Margaret Mary Ray. Other reported celebrity targets of erotomania include Madonna, Steven Spielberg, Zachary Quinto, Britney Spears, Barbara Mandrell, and Linda Ronstadt.
There's a not-very-accurate belief that the delusional disorder (paranoia) is almost always linked with homosexuality. That's not really the case. Take a look at this post:
[...] The paranoid preoccupation with homosexuality has sometimes been explained as reflecting "unconscious homosexual impulses." This locution is misleading, in that it is not usually genital urges that stimulate homophobia; it is loneliness and the wish for a soulmate. Because as children we were comfortable with peers of the same sex before we became comfortable with opposite-sex peers, and because people of the same sex are more like us than people of the opposite sex, when we are withdrawn from everyone, we are attracted to someone of the same sex. Unfortunately, the patient becomes aware of this attraction, misinterprets it as homosexuality, and this sets off the defenses. In other words, at the core of the self-experience of paranoid people is a profound emotional isolation and need for a "consensual validation" from a "chum."