The delusion of jealousy is characterized, similar to other forms of delusion, by the subjective certainty that it is exactly the same and not different. The madman cannot be dissuaded from this opinion even by attempts at clarification. He cannot distance himself from his misjudgment, so that these pronounced delusions often make the use of medication necessary.
What is delusional jealousy?
According to gradphysics, a jealousy is spoken of when the jealousy takes on pathological proportions. In this case, the person concerned is convinced that his partner is cheating or betraying him. Even if there is no evidence or evidence that the other is unfaithful, he or she is convinced. Morbid jealousy can also be associated with schizophrenia, paranoia, and alcoholism.
The delusional jealousy is characterized by the fact that the person concerned experiences a situation very differently than a healthy person. He develops obsessive-compulsive fantasies when there is nothing or no cause. In addition, there are often tendencies towards the use of force, especially among men.
The delusional jealousy, which is one of the delusional disorders, often occurs together with mental disorders such as schizophrenia and paranoia, but alcoholism is also a common cause. In the latter, various factors can contribute to the development of a delusion, such as defensiveness in the partner, marital problems resulting from the alcohol problems, feelings of guilt and restrictions on potency.
Alcohol addicts often use jealousy to give up the blame and to reject them. It is not uncommon for a lack of self-confidence to be the reason for excessive jealousy. If the jealous person does not find himself lovable, he usually does not believe that the partner really loves him either. As a result, there is a constant fear of losing the partner. Negative experiences and experiences from the past also play a role.
If there was infidelity in previous relationships, a mania for jealousy can develop. Experiences of loss from childhood can also contribute to this and must be dealt with, for example in psychotherapy. Depressive symptoms are also favorable factors that cause pathological jealousy. This makes it clear that the delusional jealousy is mostly associated with an underlying disorder that needs treatment.
Symptoms, ailments & signs
The madness of jealousy is associated – typical of all forms of diagnosable madness – with the inability to move away from one’s own point of view. The thought of a possible infidelity of the partner becomes so dominant for those affected that they grow into this fear in their thoughts. This leads to a changed behavior which, among other things, undermines the basis of trust in the partner.
It happens that personal belongings of the partner are examined by the person concerned in order to find alleged evidence. This also includes constant monitoring of activities through control calls or constant wanting to be present. At the same time, an explanation of the facts is not enough for those affected by jealousy.
While it is clear that his jealous paranoia is completely unfounded, he does not deviate from his point of view. This can lead to a reduced inhibition threshold with regard to the use of verbal and physical violence, which in individual cases can also lead to severe physical violence with fatal consequences towards the partner.
The person concerned puts himself into a permanent stressful situation through his delusion. Psychosomatic illnesses, such as headaches and digestive problems, can be the result. Signs of jealousy are a disregard of facts regarding the loyalty of the partner.
The idea that a partner could be unfaithful becomes so crucial that more and more actions and conversations revolve around this one topic. Fellow human beings and the partner themselves are suspected of a clever camouflage or a plot if it has actually already been found that the fears of the sick person are not applicable.
Diagnosis & course
In order to diagnose delusional jealousy, a few questions help that should be answered honestly, as they indicate pathological jealousy:
- Do you think about a possible infidelity of your partner several times a day or do you regularly hold this against him, also with insults?
- Does that mean more arguments?
- Will the partner’s personal belongings such as cell phones or bags be searched for any evidence?
- Is the partner rarely left alone, is he forbidden from meeting with friends, for example, or is he being spied on?
- Are control calls being made?
- Are other people asked about the partner’s whereabouts?
If you answered yes to several of these questions, you should consider whether you are crazy about jealousy and whether it is appropriate to seek out a jealousy consultation or a psychotherapist. This is very important because the pathological jealousy can take on serious proportions. There is much more to this than “just” separating and the quality of life is clearly restricted by constant jealousy.
The pathological jealousy can be destructive, which is not without danger. After all, jealousy is the number one motive for murder worldwide. Pathological jealousy manifests itself in constant suspicion, feelings of fear, manipulation, as well as loud arguments and disputes up to and including the use of violence. The pathological jealousy can also end in depression. The aggression that is initially directed against the partner who is supposed to be cheating on you can also develop into aggression against yourself. This can lead to physical consequences, such as:
- a headache
- Digestive problems
- Eating and sleeping disorders
When should you go to the doctor?
A delusional jealousy as opposed to a harmless jealousy is always a reason to consult a doctor or psychologist, because excessive jealousy can lead to uncontrolled actions. The boundaries between increased jealousy and delusion are fluid, but in contrast to the jealous delusion, an increased jealousy is still accessible to an objective reality, while the jealous delusion only takes its own distorted view of things as its yardstick and denies everything else.
Those affected then firmly believe that they are being cheated on by their partner, even if there are no signs to confirm this suspicion. Rather, they see it as a clever disguise. For some, this goes so far that they even suspect conspiracies when caregivers can credibly assure them that there is no reason for their excessive jealousy.
Such cases are anything but harmless, because people who suspect cheating by their partner always and everywhere are under constant tension and tend towards aggressive outbursts towards their partner to physical violence and in the worst case to murder or manslaughter.
Often there is a strong feeling of inferiority and a pessimistic mood behind delusional jealousy, combined with a great fear of loss, which can result from childhood or earlier relationship experiences.
Treatment & Therapy
First of all, it is important that the person concerned recognizes that there is a delusion of jealousy, i.e. that his jealousy is exaggerated. Then an attempt can be made to counteract the pathological disorder. For this it is important that independence is regained and that one’s own life is no longer made dependent on the partner. Measures such as searching personal items such as cell phones and clothes, control calls, spying must be avoided.
If the jealousy continues and it cannot be dealt with alone, it is possible to visit a jealousy clinic or a psychotherapist to clarify the problems and work out strategies for solving them. It is also important to strengthen your own self-confidence. However, the treatment is often very difficult, as those affected usually feel completely right and do not see themselves as sick.
In many cases it makes sense to take special medication. If the jealousy occurs in combination with alcoholism, weaning must also take place. For a successful treatment of the mad jealousy, it is always important that the person concerned realizes that his jealousy has nothing to do with the partner, that he is responsible for it himself.
Outlook & forecast
The prognosis of the delusional jealousy is linked to the willingness of the patient to change. In addition, factors such as the personality of the person concerned and their environment must be taken into account. The best prospects for recovery are for people who are open and self-reflective with their behavior and who are capable of criticism.
As soon as they take advantage of therapy and have an understanding and stable social environment, there is an opportunity to work out solutions together. In the case of an existing level of suffering due to the maddening jealousy, the behavior can be gradually adapted and optimized to the needs of the person concerned and the partner. Reactions are practiced in training sessions and these are tried out in everyday life. In this way, changes can be achieved and trust can be built in cooperation with the partner.
If the person concerned does not understand the disease, his prognosis worsens. With a narcissistic personality or highly controlling behavioral traits, improving the situation becomes difficult. Without treatment, the symptoms will increase in many cases. Relationships often fail and other mental illnesses can arise. In addition to loneliness and isolation, there is a risk of depressive disorders or an anxiety disorder. Obsessive-compulsive acts or eating disorders are possible consequences that will further worsen the situation.
Strong jealousy is always poison for the relationship, especially if it is a jealous mania. You can prevent your own jealousy so that it doesn’t even get that far. This includes the following options:
- Maintain partnership
- Ensure a good mood
- Pay attention to nice experiences for two
- Taking time out as a couple
- Choosing your own hobby and meeting with others outside of the relationship, i.e. maintaining independence
- Talk to each other, also about fears, wishes and needs
- Avoid control measures
- Giving partner respect, appreciation, affirmation, affection, and love
- Keeping sexuality alive and being faithful
In most cases of jealousy, options or measures for follow-up care prove to be relatively difficult or hardly possible. First and foremost, the disease should be completely cured so that there are no further complaints or complications in the life of the person concerned. Whether the disease is easy to treat cannot be universally predicted.
In most cases, those affected by jealousy are dependent on the help and support of friends and their own family and partner. Above all, intensive and detailed discussions about the disease are very useful in order to alleviate the symptoms. If these discussions do not help, professional treatment by a psychologist is usually necessary.
In serious cases, the relatives can persuade the person concerned to seek treatment in a closed institution. When taking medication for the treatment of mad jealousy, care should be taken to ensure that the dosage is correct and that the medication is taken correctly and regularly. As a rule, the disease does not reduce or reduce the life expectancy of the person affected.
You can do that yourself
The person concerned is usually not aware of his madness, but feels completely right. It is therefore important for the partner and the near social field to recognize the disorder as such and to react correctly. Under no circumstances should pathological jealousy be played down.
Anyone who constantly observes behavior in their partner that is unfounded or inappropriate to the actual situation should bring this up immediately. Since madmen are usually completely convinced of their own position, it is important not to be confused and to keep your own perspective.
The delusional partner must be asked to change their behavior, if necessary with the help of a doctor or therapist. If the patient refuses this repeatedly, separation will be necessary. Under no circumstances should one persevere out of pity with a severely mentally ill but completely insensitive partner.
Affected persons who realize that they are exhibiting a level of jealousy that is delusional should try to stop all compulsive acts as a first step. In particular, you must refrain from searching handbags or cell phones and secretly following your partner. Anyone who is unable to give up such behavior patterns must urgently obtain professional help. The first point of contact is the family doctor, and a psychotherapist should also be consulted.