Erotomania

Close up of red roseErotomania is a delusion that occurs when a person strongly believes—despite evidence to the contrary—that a person is in love with him or her. The target is often a celebrity, politician, or other high-status person, but people with erotomania may also develop fixations on random strangers and acquaintances. Erotomania has also been termed de Clerambault’s syndrome, after the French psychiatrist who identified the behavior.

Erotomania is not a stand-alone psychiatric diagnosis. In some cases, people with erotomania may be diagnosed with a delusional disorder. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), in order to be diagnosed with a delusional disorder the delusions cannot be due to the effects of a drug or other medical condition, and the person cannot be previously diagnosed with schizophrenia. The person cannot demonstrate strange/bizarre behavior except for the delusions. Erotomania may also be a symptom of other psychiatric conditions, such as schizophrenia.

What are the Symptoms of Erotomania?

The primary symptom of erotomania is an unassailable belief that another person is in love with you. Common behaviors associated with erotomania include:

  • The belief that the target is sending secret messages to you. A person with erotomania, for example, might believe that a television news anchor uses a secret code to communicate with him or her.
  • Obsession with the perceived “secret admirer” that may include stalking, letter-writing, and other attempts to make contact—even if this contact is unwanted by the target.
  • The belief that the target is in love with the person despite all evidence to the contrary. If the target takes out a restraining order, the person with erotomania might believe this is a secret message encouraging him or her to pursue even more forcefully.

Is There Treatment for Erotomania?

Antipsychotic medication can effectively treat erotomania in some cases. Medication is usually combined with psychotherapy. In some instances, people with erotomania may stalk or otherwise threaten the person of their affection and hospitalization may be warranted.

Erotomania in Popular Culture

Many celebrities have been victims of erotomaniac fantasies. For example, David Letterman and the astronaut Story Musgrave were both stalked by the same person with erotomanic delusions. John Hinckley, Jr., the man who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan is reported to have had erotomanic delusions toward Jodie Foster, and may have attempted the assassination out of misguided desire to communicate with or impress the actress. A minority of people with erotomania may attempt to injure or kill people who they perceive as standing in the way of their relationship with the object of their affection—this has been sensationalized in films such as Fatal Attraction.

Reference:

American Psychological Association. APA concise dictionary of psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2009. Print.

Last Updated: 01-17-2018

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  • John

    July 3rd, 2015 at 11:58 PM

    This disorder is very disabling at times. It fringes on O.C.D., but it can drive a person to utter and complete frustration because one believes that the thoughts’ they’re having are realistic when their is no basis in reality that such fantasies’ are or can become true. There are people with this disorder that exhibit the qualities’ and primary symptoms’ of erotonomia, but don’t act on these thoughts’. Rather they isolate, like someone with other disorders’ instead of acting on the thoughts’ as to avoid behaving irresponsibly.

  • Sherrill

    August 24th, 2015 at 4:23 PM

    I’m pretty sure a very good friend of mine has this delusional disorder. Her live in boyfriend broke up with her at least 5 years ago or more and even tho he has been living with someone else for quite some time now and shows no intetest in my friend, she insists he is coming back to her and even thinks he will propose. Even tho some of her friends and family have told her he is not coming back she will not beleive us. We have tried to get her to seek professional help but it doesnt appear that she has. We are thinking of doing an intervention. Would that help at all?

    Any advice you have will be appreciated.

  • Mahlah J T

    December 23rd, 2017 at 2:54 PM

    I’m pretty sure my daughter father friend has this he is obsessed with me he got my number and been calling and texting me for years I got my number change and he look at my daughter’s father phone and got my new number it’s really stressful I just want him to stop I tell him to stop I don’t like him and never gave him that impression he said i do like him stop lying I see I’m gonna have to press charges now

  • say so

    March 31st, 2018 at 12:10 AM

    Advice is…. dump your friend. a mental illness never occurs singly. its not your fault your friend is sick.

  • Robert

    February 6th, 2016 at 8:34 AM

    My wife left me last year because she was sure a national rock star was going to propose marriage to her. When that did not happen, she used the episode as a sign that some ‘perfect’ love as she HAS for him exists out there for her.

  • Gwyneth

    April 7th, 2016 at 10:10 AM

    Omygat. I think I have Erotomania. O_O I knew something was wrong with me.
    Fangirls usually suffer from erotomania right? Or is it just me?

  • Erotomaniac

    July 31st, 2016 at 7:59 PM

    No I have it too!!🤔😫

  • Jane l

    July 15th, 2017 at 6:34 AM

    Hi I knew there was something not quiet right with me, half an hour ago my son shouting out for the world to listen omg !!! Now the calm is here,,, bang looked it up EROTOMANIA gutted, doctors defo Monday early doors., what next can go wrong in my little life I lost my sisters ,,,1 my twin. End I’m a recovering alcoholic of 8 years not had a easy ride ,,, gutted I wouldn’t hurt a fly ,,give you my last then i m without.

  • Molly

    April 17th, 2016 at 7:15 AM

    @Gwyneth I’m also a fangirl. And yes, I’m afraid that I have it too, that’s why I came here searching for delusional and eromaniac disorders. The delusion happens to me quite often, but after that I was like “wtf i was thinking”. And now I’d like to find treatments for not having any delusional thoughts again. *sorry for the bad english*

  • Sherri

    September 28th, 2016 at 8:35 PM

    It took me a long time to find a therapist that knew about this she specializes in trauma and does EMDR. She told me the treatment is the same as treating the other trauma issues I have such as refraining my thoughts. She also said there is a whole spectrum of this disorder and not to be freaked out by some of these celebrity stocker stories.

  • Shivohn

    April 27th, 2016 at 3:50 AM

    @Gwyneth @Molly same as me lol

  • Dick

    May 15th, 2016 at 8:32 AM

    This is a really sad disease, I have a ruined relationship with my sons mom. Be cause she believes a Seattle Rock legend is in love with her. And they play games at night online. And he sends her secret messages. About going to leave his wife. And marry her, she’s his true love and next time his concert comes to town. He’s going to wisk her away, but will take care of our son and I financially. It’s crazy! And breaks my heart. The love of my life tells me she’s sorry, but her and this singer Are in love, and she can’t be with me anymore. She really needs help. :(

  • Jim

    October 25th, 2016 at 9:40 PM

    I have a similar situation. Which guy is it?

  • Dick

    October 27th, 2016 at 6:17 PM

    Chris Cornell, since writing my comment. She was contacted by the FBI, and told she was scaring him and his family. And to please stop. She still thinks he’s testing her. I gave up. She hasn’t been with us in 9 months. Life goes on. Good luck to you

  • R wallace

    April 16th, 2017 at 8:16 AM

    Dear Dick, can you please describe these online games and secret codes she says they are sending at night? What specifically is this guy doing that leads her to believe it is a message for her? Please get back to me on this it is very important, I would like to discuss this.

  • Jim

    May 27th, 2017 at 12:21 AM

    Well, since he passed away, hopefully they will break this delusion and come back to reality

  • Judith

    November 16th, 2017 at 9:52 AM

    My husband has thought he and a famous female singer are man and wife since I married him 14 years ago,it seemed he had got over it for a while but now he lives alone and won’t have sex with me or even kiss or cuddle me because of her,for five years !to others he blames me,but I caught him out as asked to buy him a wedding ring and for second time he refused,he’s a paranoid schizophrenic,my heart is broken,there is no help for us,the abandoned other halves

  • Smile

    September 13th, 2016 at 1:20 AM

    What happens if after a while the object of affection reciprocates some feelings to the patient?
    Can these delusions be termed as love then?
    And can the patient lead a normal life with his/her object of fascination?

  • Matty

    October 12th, 2016 at 2:27 PM

    I have this, and it freaks the hell out of me. it’s a completely different feeling to just being attracted to someone. I can never have spoken to them, just shared a glance, then that’s it, they are clearly crazy about me, in my head. I know as i am thinking these things in the back of my head that it’s rediculous and how completely f****** crazy this is and i just try to ignore it, which is nie impossible sometimes. I am a good looking guy and i think that makes it worse, in the past i have actually been able to hook up or go out with these people but then so quickly i get to know them and the infatuation passes and i am left thinking, why the hell was i so obsessed with making yo like me…? i don’t even really find you attractive anymore and it’s been like three days or a week. I try to reflect on that and try not to let it affect my behavior to the point of avoiding people i feel like this for. It sucks and i want it to stop. Does anyone know how to gt this under more control at least? i am guessing acting on these impulses is just feeding the flames right?

  • Shea

    November 6th, 2016 at 9:20 PM

    I want to die. I’ve been suffering from erotomania for years since I hit puberty and I cannot make a life because I’m so obsessed and focus on love.

    It didn’t help that I don’t have a job, no friends, hate where I live.
    I just want to die

  • The GoodTherapy.org Team

    November 7th, 2016 at 11:52 AM

    Thank you so much for reaching out and leaving a comment, Shea. First, if you are ever in danger of harming yourself or are in crisis, it is very important you seek help immediately. You can dial 911 in the United States, visit your local emergency room, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY). We also wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you and additional information about what to do in a crisis at https://www.goodtherapy.org/in-crisis.html

    We are thinking of you and wishing you the very best!

    Warm regards,
    The GoodTherapy.org Team

  • R wallace

    April 16th, 2017 at 8:19 AM

    Shea, me too, I can’t take it anymore. I need to die, I know how you feel.

  • The GoodTherapy.org Team

    April 16th, 2017 at 10:12 AM

    Thank you for your comment, R. Wallace. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about what to do in a crisis at https://www.goodtherapy.org/in-crisis.html

    Warm regards,
    The GoodTherapy.org Team

  • Saurabh

    November 26th, 2016 at 10:08 PM

    I have also been sufferd by this dilusional disorder, but now then she (victim) has leave me completely… And im aware about this dicese… Im trying to move on in my life…
    When she got engaged with a other man. i was a huge shock…. I was unable to sleep for 72 hours, its very hard to move on in these conditions….
    I have join a religious institution and I am practicing some yoga practices to get out of this dilusional disorder……

  • Lien Sun

    December 12th, 2016 at 2:46 AM

    I am in love with a man who is a victim of an erotomanic stalker. She is destroying his life, his sanity, his family and our relationship. She is threatening to kill him and his child. This is a terrible illness and apparently the delusions can go on for years and years.

  • Adriana

    December 1st, 2019 at 4:27 PM

    Did you find a way out of this? I hope só. I am in the same situation as you.

  • Erotomaniac

    December 16th, 2016 at 9:06 PM

    I had this problem too, I became obsessed with someone (a stranger) and I thought he loved me even though he did not. It almost ruined my relationship with my actual real boyfriend, thank god I was put on the right medication in time and I came to my senses.

  • AP_Erotomania

    March 14th, 2018 at 8:28 AM

    How did you came out of Erotomania? what kind of therapy you did and how long it took for you to come out. Please let me know.

  • Is

    December 21st, 2016 at 8:46 AM

    I often times feel like certain celebrities I admire and genuinely like can see me and I have great feelings of superiority when I have this feeling. Like, they actually like me and think I’m cool. I could be outside and I feel them “watching” me from somewhere else. Idk if this all falls into the erotomaniac spectrum ,but I feel like they all love me. Sometimes when I think of myself not having this disorder anymore, I feel terrified that my self importance and worth would be no more. My life is based around “impressing” these people who in reality don’t really know me or would even actually care. When I feel down on myself, I feel like they all hate me. If someone could reply who understands this feeling or knows what it might be, that would be much appreciated. I have searched far and wide for answers to these delusions and have been trying to name it for years , but it’s like I’m the only one with it.

  • Tiya

    January 27th, 2017 at 11:21 AM

    I feel the same exact way! This has been happening to me since I was a kid! Ive been doing things thinking that a certain celeb is watching me. It really affects my self esteem! According to me they are watching me through cameras, and I do stupid things to impress them. Everyday I scream at myself saying that it’s not true and everyday I go through the same thing. I have no idea what to do! But at least I am not alone in this. Did you find a solution?

  • Judith

    November 16th, 2017 at 9:59 AM

    I noticed while trying to understand my husbands problem,some medical people suggest not trying to remove the delusion,as it’s damaging to the persons esteem,to a deep level,I guess this is where drugs really do help,I’m generally anti drugs but when your life is being wrecked a proper chemical balance needs to be reinstated by trained doctors I think,to then get the thing under control,for everyone’s sake ,I should add my husband is an unmedicated schizophrenic,so there is no hope

  • Lemonoid

    November 3rd, 2018 at 8:51 PM

    You’re not alone. I read your comment and it was like reading my diary. Idk if this is a delusion as well but I wonder if the industry- not the celebrities themselves (at least not most of them)- are aware of this psychology and use it to their advantage for all the money and recognition they can milk out if it… Because I’m learning a lot of fans are experiencing this disorder.

  • Noname37woman

    January 2nd, 2017 at 6:33 PM

    Im aware I have this, I’m on my 3th love for a total stranger.

  • Me

    January 27th, 2017 at 9:07 AM

    It really sucks. I’ve been like this for a while and I don’t know what to do. I develop these huge crushes on classmates I have never even talked to before and become completely obsessed over them. The more I like them, the more I keep my distance from them. For two years in highschool I had a crush on this guy who I now feel so sick for liking. I remember when he got a girlfriend and I would just stare at them and think about how much cuter I was and that I could have him if I wanted him. When my thoughts became threatening, I immediately pulled myself back. I couldn’t believe those type of thoughts were running through my mind. Now in college and im on to another one. I’ll most likely like anf fantasize about being with him for another year ad usual.Why these wierd crushes always happen towards outgoing people is a mystery to me.
    Should I really see someone about this?

  • The GoodTherapy.org Team

    January 27th, 2017 at 12:26 PM

    Dear Me,

    Thank you for your comment. We at GoodTherapy.org are not qualified to offer professional advice, but we believe that the services of a qualified and compassionate counselor can be beneficial to anyone, even if you are not sure therapy is right for you. We encourage you to reach out and talk to someone, especially if it any time your thoughts cause you distress.

    You can locate a therapist in your area through our website. To see a list of practicing mental health professionals in your area, simply enter your ZIP code here:

    https://www.goodtherapy.org/find-therapist.html

    Please know you are not alone, and we wish the best to you.

    Kind regards,
    The GoodTherapy.org Team

  • Pania

    February 8th, 2017 at 1:31 AM

    A man whom I met many years ago believes that I am his partner and that my daughter is his. Even though we have had any type of relationship other than hello and goodbye. He is mentally unwell as he has been in mental institutions and now claims that he is coming to see me so he can pick up his daughter??? (My daughter!!!) I’m literally scared I don’t even know what to do! Any help please I don’t want us to end up dead like those ppl on Stalked programmes 😱

  • Liinu

    February 8th, 2017 at 4:53 PM

    HI, it sounds like it might be a good idea to calmly get the police involved, or at least as for their advice on the best way to deal with the situation. Perhaps someone could go and have a calm friendly chat with the guy (not in any way that would aggravate him towards you). This must be very stressful to you, but at least it sounds like the man has no intention of harming you or your daughter (as he believes he is your partner & her father). Please check back in here to let us know you and your daughter are ok. All the best, sending you peace and angel protection, may the situation resolve itself in the best way possible. Hugs xxx

  • Country girl

    April 4th, 2017 at 10:32 AM

    I am afraid I have a girlfriend with this disorder . A former classmate of hers recently befriended her on social media . In a short time she was convinced they were going to be a couple . When he wouldn’t succumb , she slandered him. I don’t know him at all but since I’ve read this I worry that she may have ruined a good guy. She’s a good girl and I love her, wish she would get some help with this

  • Suffering Wife

    May 21st, 2017 at 3:22 PM

    Can this go the other way round? My husband thinks he is in love with a woman who he doesn’t even know who she is or where she is for 17 years. He said he has been searching for her and his love to her has been just growing despite how hard he tries to turn it off. Is this Erotomania delusion disorder?

  • Mark

    June 10th, 2017 at 6:50 PM

    I think so. My (ex?) girlfriend has the same problem as your husband, but she also suffers from a lot of other delusions and paranoia too, and I think is either Schizophrenia or Bipolar. Probably Bipolar. It is quite sad. She was hospitalized and forced to take an anti-psychotic pill for a while. During that time, she was more rational and realized that the guy had not returned any of her feelings and was not interested in her, but she still could not explain why she had such strong feelings for him. She also did not think she needed medication, so unfortunately she stopped taking the pill and the delusions came back full-force. If your husband is anything like my girlfriend, I would say this “irrational love” is just the tip of the iceberg. He likely has a deeper psychological problem that is only beginning to manifest itself. Strictly speaking, it’s not considered erotomania unless he actually believes this woman is secretly in love with him too, but seeing how my girlfriend’s illness developed, I think you are just witnessing an early stage. The root causes are both biological and early childhood. The biological part is a chemical imbalance in the brain that causes a really strong addictive feeling to be produced that in a normal person would just be a mild crush. The person considers this feeling to be love, because love is romanticized that way in Western culture. The early childhood part explains the subconscious reason for why he chooses this woman. In my girlfriend’s case, her dad abandoned her, so I believe she is unconsciously trying to repeat that trauma by stalking and harassing guys who are guaranteed to reject her. Freud noticed this phenomenon a long time ago. You keep reliving the same trauma until your unconscious has figured out how to deal with it. If you love your husband, try to get him help before it’s too late. It sounds like he’s trying to fight this, but without help, he will eventually lose and your relationship will deteriorate to the point you don’t recognize it anymore.

  • Suffering Wife

    September 20th, 2017 at 2:30 PM

    Mark, how did your ex-girlfriend end up? Was she healed? Are there any success stories?

  • ErotoManiac

    August 2nd, 2017 at 4:14 PM

    Well it certainly doesn’t help when the object of your affection goes “liking” your comments on Instagram and Twitter.

  • The rot in Erotomania

    August 11th, 2017 at 7:06 AM

    To deal with erotomania find a new hobby listen rm to music take up running

  • say so

    March 31st, 2018 at 12:20 AM

    a variation of this sickness exists in other relationships but then may be its called narcism. my brother rented a house for me without telling me. another brother knows more about the people I employ in my farm in great details that I have no way or interest in knowing. A neighbour knew about my old second hand car with incredible details and a lot of people come to me and say “your cheque cleared”. etc etc.

  • Fire dancer

    June 14th, 2018 at 2:56 PM

    I think i go through that when i go through episodes of psychosis, I saw a guy years ago and we never got it together but we did hook up a few times and spend time together. I still think of the times we had and that one day we might go out together and date and that he still likes me. sometimes we message but not always, when i am not going through psycohsis i tend to forget about him and have little contact. he is a very old friend too and i have known him for years and im sure he still considers me a good freind, but also when im well I seem to relsie that hes not into me in the same way and i cut off.
    He is coming to the end of study this year and last year i asked hime if he had a girlfreind and he said no not till after he finished his degree. I have put of dating in hope for a year we would go out. but know i’m starting to think realistically that it wont happen and i need a way to move on and try to put this behind me. I’m not entirely sure what to do and have though about asking him to tell me that he would never date me or consider going out with me and talk to him about the fact i might have erotomainia to try and resolve this issue.
    Thanks for reading and if anyone has any comments of advice it would help thanks

  • Frustrated

    August 24th, 2018 at 2:22 PM

    What do you do when you think someone has erotomania but it’s plausible but not probable? My husband had a young employee years ago who claims to have had an affair with him, yet there is no evidence of it and several people say she made it up. Yet she contacts us and keeps telling me it’s true and that she even aborted his child! She can produce no communication or proof of an affair yet she continues to swear it and contact us until I threatened a restraining order. She has a history of alcoholism and substance abuse. Not sure if she would ever admit she made it up.

  • Reply to Frustrated

    August 25th, 2018 at 3:55 AM

    What you’re describing may not be erotomania but some other problem. Erotomania is a delusion, and a delusion is when you give an irrational interpretation to something that really happened. Like for instance, if someone shook your hand and you interpreted that as unequivocal proof they are in love with you. However, if the person you think has erotomania says they had a sexual affair with your husband that led to an abortion (and it didn’t really happen), then they are either purposefully lying or having hallucinations that go way beyond a delusional disorder. I suspect they are purposefully lying, and doing so with the hope that if they can sow even a sliver of doubt in your mind, it will hurt your marriage. This is sociopathic in nature and they might also have Borderline Personality Disorder, given the substance problems.

  • Sara

    November 3rd, 2018 at 12:09 AM

    Myfriend believes he’s engaged to and marrying a celebrity this month. He believes they are flying over seas for their secret wedding. I’m supposedly his best friend and I ask for a picture of them together, he refuses saying that she insists that they keep their relationship private because it’ll affect her status. His family did an intervention and he got livid, cursed them all out and refuses to talk to them, so I don’t confront him about it, but I do ask questions. I don’t know how to help him. He says that he’s with her now but she had to fly somewhere to do a show and is coming back in the morning. He’s 30 years older than this celebrity and lives with roommates, is poor. He’s always been socially awkward.
    How can he believe he’s with her? What’s going to happen in a month when he’s not on the award show he keeps bragging about, or when he isn’t married overseas in a few weeks? He’s quit his job, drove 900 miles to be w her (just to have her leave to “do a show”), he’s sleeping in his car right now, fully believes she’s flying back for him. Who the hell is he spending time with right now if he is with someone? He told me earlier today he borrowed $650 to give whoever this person is he believes is this celebrity money for her prescriptions. I asked him, “why are you paying for her scripts?” He said she forgot to pack them. Im afraid he’s going to have a full blown meltdown when things don’t happen the way he believes they will. What’s worse is that he’s becoming so annoying to deal with. He’s beginning to act very snobbish, saying that they are about to go public bc so many people were recognizing “them” while they were out today. He told me he complained to the host of where they were staying for noise late at night, telling them “we want to be refunded because we are losing our needed rest before we go on tour”.
    At first when this started happening I ignored it thinking he had developed a crush on me and was trying to somehow make me jealous. I knew he liked me because he would say inappropriate things about us being together, or would act like he was my boyfriend. Ex: “you went to bed without saying goodnight”, or “that’s no way to treat your man”… …to which I promptly would tell him that he and I are not and were never a couple, only friends.
    This just has been starting to scare me. I used to give him access to my house for when I was traveling so he could house sit, but since this new delusion, I’ve changed my locks and had my boyfriend move in.
    I don’t know how to help him, and it’s making me nervous.

  • Anonymous

    November 28th, 2018 at 12:11 AM

    For years I’ve had some guy I know stare at me and act like he likes me. He makes me jealous by kissing his wife. Is this erotomania?

  • Marie

    May 3rd, 2020 at 7:16 AM

    This is a very sad and scary topic for me. I have a guy friend who I have know for some 15 years briefly. When some tragedy happened in my life, he started to write me lots of e-mails, was sending me post cards from his travels. I thought he was a friend, not a romantic relationship. He as well sent me his stories and photos about “the females” he was interested into. I never reacted. Often, he wrote that this and this female does not want to talk to him anymore, that she had told him he has a boyfriend. Somewhere on the go, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. I don´t know what was the cause or how it happened, I suppose that he is not telling the true story…esp. as I have been only in e-mail contact with him past years. I strongly suspect it was about him stalking females. He seems to develop the phantasy about each of these females who are just being polite and nice to him (as some people are simply kind). I am getting worried that he has developed this phantasy as well about me. Lately, he has been sending me e-mails about particular one lady (his last flame) – he sent me as well e-mails that he supposedly sent to other people where he as well talks about this lady being his girlfriend. I had this thought that he is making me jealous, that he is using the triangulation. I had written him in the past that I am not interested in his private stuff. He stopped bothering me with this, but he started again past couple of weeks. Last week he has been hospitalized for psychosis (I suppose that his family has let him hospitalize). He does not reveal the truth, he says that he has trouble with his parents (he is living with them) and that he is searching for his own flat. Until he finds it, he will be living in the hospital. He included a copy of a letter he was sending to some female friend for the past who does not apparently responds his letters anymore. He asked her in this letter whether she was married, he repeated he had a girlfriend now, but he does not know whether he is ever going to marry her, he wrote about being at the dentists…all thoughts mixed together in a clearly thought disorder, difficult to follow the content. I got scared of this e-mail and I advised him to search after a doctor. I did not know that he had been already hospitalized at this point.
    I had understood that he truly does have schizophrenia and what it sort of means. I suppose that one of his big delusional thoughts is erotomania. I feel very scared right now what to do. It is highly possible that I am as well his erotomanic object. He does not mind at all that he has not seen me for couple of years and that I keep repeat to him that it is great that he has another girlfriend. Maybe I have to address his erotomania directly. I would like to cut off the contact, however it feels scary that he will revenge at me. I have to be careful. He has my address, he has been once at my house. I feel better when I know that he is locked up in the hospital. Never could I have thought that this kind, quiet friend who sometimes writes me an e-mail in the time of my physical sickness, is more over someone who exerts control over me. He does not truly care for me as for a friend. He seems very self-centered, not attuned. It feels that he is searching for his “female” supply only (even though it is only a brief e-mail contact, he can make up other things ouf ot that). I hope that I will be safe and move safely out of this “friendship”.

  • Marie

    May 3rd, 2020 at 7:28 AM

    Sara, I hope you are well and safe.
    Thank you very much for your sharing. It has helped me to reflect upon my situation.
    Might you please share how this has developed with this guy “friend” ? I am in a similar position. I as well thought that the guy friend is trying to make me jealous talking so much about the other female, then I was thinking that hopefully he truly has found someone (the females he talks about seem to be real, he sent me photos…however, I can never prove it, I live far away from him). The thing is, can this be that a guy is talking about his private, intimate friendships with another female ? Or is it truly a sort of triangulation and he does the same to some other females, who as well does not seem to want to be with him in a relationship ?

  • Ray

    May 28th, 2020 at 11:54 AM

    There’s this girl I met in high school ten plus years ago that stalks me hacks my phone harasses me makes lies about me til this day. She’s delusional and disrespectful and dirty. How do I get rid of her for good? She won’t leave me alone.

  • Anonymous

    June 11th, 2020 at 5:37 AM

    I’ve been delusional too, still in love with a guy who dumped me 4yrs ago. He’s in another relationship, but sometimes, I still fantasize about us coming back together, about him still being in love with me, about all the dreams and hopes we had coming true. And it hurts to hope, but I can’t seem to stop. I just want to encourage as many as are going through something like this. You’re not alone. God loves you and has better plans for you, even if you don’t see it, even if you don’t understand it. He knows better and He’s always near, He’s got us, He’ll take care of us. He’ll take better care of our hearts than anyone ever did. Have faith in Him, you’ll see. Know that you’re chosen, you’re a special gift, you’re preferred. You’re not rejected, you’re loved!
    Everything is gonna turn out just fine, and we are gonna be alright!

  • Victoria

    June 22nd, 2020 at 8:05 PM

    I have had an erotomanic stalker for almost 3 years now, ever since having a nervous breakdown Nov 1 2017 that he helped give me.

  • Kelli

    November 19th, 2020 at 6:36 PM

    My sister started making strange comments about a year ago about a guy she had totally fallen for. He told her he didn’t want a relationship several times but she would tell me he secretly was obsessed with her because of some song he would post or when any of his mutual aquaintances liked or saw her Insta post. She’s says he’s afraid of how strongly he feels for her and that his ex has something over him and it’s HER keeping them apart. Because he texts her sometimes she always has something to twist around and claim he means something else. At first I thought this guy might be a psycho game player but recently I started looking into what this behavior might be since her symptoms have become much worse. When I found erotomania it was obvious what she’s been suffering from. Until now, her strange obsession has seemed harmless but lately she claims he’s been sneaking into her house and hiding in her attic. She’s completely euphoric as she explains this dark romance where he hides under the bed and sends her secret messages: she just “feels” what he’s trying to say to her because their connection is that deep. She’s seen his shadow, felt him kick her bed from underneath it and pull her covers off. She loves it. Calls him her beautiful ghost and believes they’re in a relationship and that he’s going to ask her to marry him. Yet, she believes he won’t let himself actually be with her physically because he has a disease he can transfer to her. Recently he posted a song on social media and she was convinced it was for her and told him that too, which he got mad at her about. But because a mutual acquaintance of theirs randomly texted her later, she was sure that was him assuring her that being mad at her was all just a show. The song was from him to her. The old work friend was simply texting her to see how she was these days. I am really worried about her because she’s so happy in this fantasy and won’t ever try to find a real, loving relationship, especially because she wants children. She’s very pretty and has a good job with no history of serious mental illness. She can be hypersensitive to things, anxious, and does have trouble reading other people’s social cues though. Not only did our dad die last year but she’s had a string of rejections by many dates recently. I’ve read all the cookie cutter things erotomania sites have to say but my sister’s case is quite different and I’m wondering if anyone else can relate to this case more specifically. Thank you for sharing, I just have no idea how to help her.

  • C

    December 13th, 2020 at 8:10 AM

    Interesting. I believe I have some level of this. I have been married for 12 years and never voiced or acted on it, but have these thoughts that an acquaintance in college, whom I had a big crush on before marriage has similar feelings about me and that we are going to meet again someday when the time is right. We have talked periodically over the years, but very breif and nothing that would indicate love. A very odd, long-standing mental hang up that I am hyper aware of. I am so sorry to hear of some of the pain you all are struggling with. To feel so strongly but be hyper aware of that feeling and to battle with it is very hard.

  • Cal

    December 13th, 2020 at 8:15 AM

    First, I’m so sorry to hear of the pain that some of you have had to bear. I hope you are all alive and carrying on.

    It was so enlightening to find this. I believe I have some degree of this. I have always been “head in the clouds”, since I was a young girl. I have been married for 12 years and have a good job, but ever since a couple non-sexual or romantic experiences with an acquaintance, I have had this strong feeling that we are going to meet again some day when the time is right and that we were meant for each other. I have never vocalized this or acted on it because I am very aware of the delusion behind it, but it is so difficult to navigate. It is now especially difficult being separated from my husband (this was absolutely not the issue), and having to continue to keep that under wraps.

    This doesn’t compare to what some of you experienced. It is so difficult when the logical and emotional are in constant opposition.

  • Worried

    January 10th, 2021 at 11:52 AM

    This article and comments have been so enlightening. I want to help a dear friend I’ve know and cared for 35 years. He is 51 years old and has spent the better part of the last year obsessed with an Instagram model – the sad thing is that this wretched women’s entire existence on Instagram is “tempting men”. She eggs this on by posting sexy photoshoped bikini photos with captions like “undercover lover” she also promotes her “music” (horrendous music) with soft porn videos and encourages followers to stream. She Preys on delusional men ON PURPOSE to gain followers. She has a fiancé but hid the fact for a solid year and only recently will be seen wirh her ring. Last May, squarely in the middle of the pandemic she “released” her album. On this day she actually responded to followers DM’s. My friend HD been sending her DM’s for a few months that she never reaponded to. She has 500K followers. Well the day she “dropped” her horrid techno music she RESPONDED and said something along the lines of “thanks Love, please repost on your story and tag me. “ well he completely LOST HIS MIND over this. This guy is flat broke, without a dollar to his name and barely pays his rent by delivering for Favor. He’s 51 years old! Handsome and with a college degree”. He used to have his own business but it dried up and he can’t bring himself to “work for anyone” cause he’s fear of being “controlled”. (So there are other issues here but this guy actually has potential when he’s not deiauonal). So from that day forward he believes Everything she does is a sign. He believes the song lyrics are for him (though logically she would have written them long before she became interested wirh him. He proceeded to like all 422 of her post and to research every “caption” she made and make a public comment on each one. While also sending DM’s sometimes 5 times a day. Here is where it gets really scary. He had a part time job he was lucky to get during the pandemic, he quit his job and told me he was moving to LA because she had invited him out to live with her! At the time, I didn’t know this was in his head, I somewhat believed a version of this could be true. I knew it was built on false pretenses as hes 51 and broke and SHES a bikini model who twerks on tik tok and IG but I wasn’t privy to what he actually thought. When I questioned him if he’s spoken to her by phone or only DM he got ENRAGED with me. He has a precious 20 year old son who lives and is supported by his x and I know that he loves him dearly and hates that he has zero cash to take him to dinners, etc. despite that “normal” part of his life he gave his notice at work and scrambled up money to FLY TO LA and meet up with her. I could NOT believe it! I begged him not to go without her phone number but he lashed out (cause she’s famous and so can’t give her number). Bless his heart he calls a friend our there and tells this good person that hes met a gorl and he’s probably gonna be staying with her but as a back up can he stay with him. This told me he really believed this. He sent her his flight info ! He asked her if the dates worked. He believes she said YES.

    So he rents a car (again he is broke and these expenses put him further in jeopardy ) and drives to her apartment and DM’s her and waits…. no response….. he believes she busy – goes to drive and waits more. Finally he says well darn I was really hoping to meet you. He goes to his friends and flys home the next day. Then he unfollows her and deletes some of the 400 “clever” comments hes made on her IG and on her TiK TOK.
    He called me and was honest and said “you were right”. It made me sad for him but I was so relieved! THREE days later he saw a SIGN and started writing to her again! OMG ! This time he hid it all from me – he but gently let me know SHEd been busy that day- she wanted him to come back out – this time FOR THE 4th of JULY! He got a title loan on his car, BOOKS MORE flights MIDDLE of pandemic! He’s ready to fly out to be wirh her – he researches every song lyric every post this bitch post constantly on her story – sexy, tounge OUT – flirty stories ! CONSTANTLY- and he thinks each one is for him. He believes she had a nick name for him. He even listed it as HIS IG BIO. She never ever followed him back or to my knowledge ever read another DM . Does anyone know how she would have NOT seen the flight info DM’s for example ? Since she did respond to him on album drop days for 24 hours in May. So…. he’s got his plane ticket – he’s stopped speaking to me as I’m the bad guy and she post on her STORY a video of herself flying away ans says “east coast here I come”……. he KNOWS I am gonna see this. So he eventually contacts me and says “she wants me to follow her to Boston”. I imagine he was DMing her non stop. Well something lucky happened and she starts posting stories with the guy we think is her boyfriend (turns out they are engaged and have lives tigger for years). SO THEN he starts to assume she’s in a miserable relationship and is in need of RESCUE! He offers to fly to see her. He says I just need one more “push” cause I’m starting to think I’m crazy. Well he “see’s” a sign and REBOOKS to fly to LA after the long weekend. Bless him he flies out AGAIN. Again he is stood up. Days later – she is sorry and wants her to come for her birthday !! Just as hes about to fly out again she post “HE PUT A RING ON IT” along with engagement photos !!! OMG it was like a miracle I thought I was gonna get my friend back. But that was august and hes back at it again. Rather than applying for jobs hes spend at least an hour or two maybe 3 checking all her social media – sending her DM’s and to make matters worse he listened to her music on Spotify. All the lyrics are about sex and how sexy ahe is ans how she “wants” it , etc truly the tackiest shit you’ve ever heard.
    She MUST see that she has 1000 message Requesr from this guy. Yet she continues !!! It’s been 4
    Months since she announced her engagement and be told me he thinks she was “using him” to push the buy friend to propose – later it was revealed she had been engaged a FULL YEAr prior ! So that theory was blown. It’s keeping him from moving on and supporting himself – he’s so preoccupied with it her photos are on all platforms SHES like a professional escort selling her body every dAy lap dance type videos of her tweking and huge push up bra boob post, every singe day. Claims SHES an artist but she is really just a narcissist who needs supply from lonely men . She gets 200 comments on every post “your hot” love your boobs” SHES clearly mentally ill and addicted to the praise – for what? She doesn’t even really promote products just her music – it’s so twisted she’s equally mentally ill in a different way. Any advice appreciated!

  • Smith

    January 19th, 2021 at 12:25 PM

    Hi, my wife has been diagnosed with erotomania and mixed delusional disorder. It breaks my heart, the way she talks about how we need to separate as she is preparing for a relationship with an actor that won’t happen. Does any know if there are any support groups setup that are specific to the affected spouses? Thanks for your help.

  • Mark

    January 21st, 2021 at 3:57 AM

    Hi Smith, I read your comment and feel I can relate to what you are going through with your wife. We definitely need a support group!!!
    For 6 years, I have been in an on-and-off relationship with a girl who has erotomania and other delusions. I do still care about her, but I am emotionally spent. The targets of her erotomania have changed over the years, and have actually not been famous people but guys who have still made it abundantly clear they want nothing to do with her. The latest guy went so far as to file a police restraining order, because she is genuinely stalking him at this point.
    Is your wife willing to take antipsychotic meds? That may help although it’s far from a perfect solution. My ex-gf was taking them for a while, thanks to strong pressure from her parents. The pills restored some normalcy, and I got back together with her for a short time during the pandemic. Things were relatively peaceful during that time. The pills seem to make the delusions fade into the background, although not disappear entirely. What I mean that is she never reached a point where she would admit that she had been delusional. For instance, when she was off the pills, she believed that a friend of mine who barely knows her spontaneously proposed to her, because he secretly wants to be with her. On the pills, she never was willing to admit the proposal didn’t happen, but she rationalized that he must have been joking. Unfortunately, she hated taking the pills. And she managed to convince her most recent psychiatrist to let her stop taking them altogether. Then she went completely off the rails — quit seeing the psychiatrist, quit her job, moved far away to stalk this guy, and even completely rebelled against her parents, so even they can’t convince her to go back on the pills. The disease is worse than ever and this is the first time she has ever physically stalked someone. I worry what will happen to her. One thing I should state is that I think that it is common that when you go off these medications, the disease will often flair up to be much worse than it was before. One of the many reasons it’s not a perfect solution. I barely recognize her at this point.
    Over the last few years, I spent a lot of time trying to research her disease, but couldn’t get much conclusive information. So I developed my own theories. I’d be curious to know if your wife has any of the same patterns as my ex-gf. Does she have a lot of trouble sleeping, general sleep disturbances, and nightmares? My ex-gf does and her trouble sleeping seemed to correlate heavily with mental disturbance. Also, do you have any suspicion that your wife has had a severe trauma in her life?
    In the case of my ex-gf, I believe she has a repressed trauma that may be part of the cause of her erotomania. I can’t know for certain this trauma is real, since she suffers from so many delusions and false memories. However, the reason I think it may be real is because it’s the one thing she tries to block out, avoid thinking about and is not entirely certain what happened. The obvious delusions and false memories, on the other hand, are thoughts she obsesses about and has unyielding confidence in. I believe that the erotomania may be a maladaptive defense mechanism against the trauma, because it permits her to escape into a fantasy world rather than face it. The fantasy world is “safe” because nothing bad can happen there. If you think about it, what’s the “safest relationship”? It’s one that can never exist outside of fantasy. I believe that it’s no coincidence that people with erotomania are drawn to people for whom a real relationship would be absolutely impossible, because that keeps their relationship with this person in the safe realm of fantasy forever. But it’s just a theory. Anyway, let me know if you’d like to chat more.

  • Worried

    January 22nd, 2021 at 1:26 PM

    Mark and Smith – I am not sure if I am replying correctly but this comment is for you both. First I want to say that I am so sorry you all are dealing with this. After my original post I confronted my friend about what he was doing and he completely blew up on me. I too have SO many questions about Erotomania and feel there is not much help out there. I wrote to the author of the article we are commenting on month ago but never got a response. One therapist I spoke to questioned ME about “why I Care so much” about someone who so clearly doesn’t want to help himself…. so that was no help and just made me feel worse. My friend had asked me in the past to look into his target and I provided him with lots of proof she was engaged, etc. he took it pretty hard and then 2 months later was back to following her on Instagram and liking every single post every day and then searching for any photos she is tagged in (SHES a professional seductress type Instagram influencer whose life’s work is attracting men. I don’t know fir sure but I am sure that he DM’s her every day. Ironically and to make my worry level skyrocket I have a friend who is an actress who is being stalked on Instagram – she hired an attorney – printed out all the DM’s and other comments and filed a civil suit. This was not because she thought she’d win but because the police side was just going to take to long. So just as a way to put him on alert. This is pure misery. I feel for you both with your spouse and former girlfriend as I have a healthy husband but my heart breaks for my friend. He’s been social isolating more and more over the years BUT I do feel this is largely exasperated by the pandemic. Could we find a way to keep in touch. I have found some books I can share with you and I woiod like to continue to share resources as we learn more. My friend would likely never see a doctor, he is extremely hard headed. Another thing I really wanted to share is I wonder if I did the right thing confronting him with facts? Do facts every matter to them? (Engagement photos, post about engagement, etc) I may be shut out for good now he lost it on me and is ignoring me now. Another question is should we alert the person who is the target ? In my case this girl is a seductress but …… I don’t think she wants someone flying out to meet her. I am worried it could turn into violence if he goes out there again. He has not been violent before but she willingly posted in between bikini post a photo of her fiancé and said “this is my love”. So while I vehemently disagree with her way of life – I would not wish harm on anyone.

  • Manny

    April 28th, 2021 at 11:59 AM

    I think my bf might have this, im not sure. He has been heavily obsessing over a celebrity for the past few years. We have only been dating for about 8 months. He has tattoos of her, posters, he has social media dedicated to her (her on his pf pic) and follows everyone that are obsessed with her too. He listens to her music 24/7, has bookmarks of deep fake porn on his phone of her. I also recently discovered that he has been trying to contact her on social media right before he met me. I have spoken with him and he says that im over reacting, but I am definitely not. Its hard being with a man if you know that this celebrity lives rent free in his mind. He doesnt want to connect with me on social media, but I know this is because of his obsession, maybe he doesnt want me to see what he does, but in reality I do. I just keep quiet about it. He said that he seeked help and saw a therapist about this, but im not convinced he is over it. He lies and says he doesnt listen to her music anymore or watch her youtube, but i found his comments he made on her videos, this was after we dated. I am at a loss, I dont know how to get over it as I am getting obsessed with him being obsessed, its just a stupid circle.

  • Carlie

    April 28th, 2021 at 6:12 PM

    A) is it Ariana Grande? I’m a little obsessed with her, too ;)
    B) in all seriousness, I wouldn’t be with a guy who hid things and was that into someone else, especially if they’re unattainable. If he won’t accept your help to be mentally healthier and invested in His own relationship, I would bag it. Everyone deserves better in a loving relationship.

  • abc

    June 23rd, 2021 at 7:23 AM

    I was looking to assess some girl’s behavior and accidentally saw this. I don’t know whether this G’s behavior is the same.
    Scenario:
    A girl who is just a social media friend , messages this guy in a normal way. He is a very down to earth, caring, humble guy who has very good family and who values his family very much. This girl takes his number and starts messaging in normal way. He too responds in a friendly way. As it was some casual friend messaging him he dint bother telling this to his wife. Girl starts telling her family problems(she is a married woman) and seeks counselling. Guy consoles and gives suggestion and he feels good thinking he is helping somebody. After 2 months one fine day suddenly girl tells him she wants him physically and guy in shock scolds her telling how will her family problem gets solved if she thinks somebody else and behaves like this. He tells her what she is doing is wrong and blocks her. Later She calls him after few months and confesses her mistake, tells she lost a good friend and she ll not behave like that in future. Guy talks with her occasionally and their friendship is just a hi-bye one. 3 years later one fine day she calls his wife and tells she had affair with her husband, he hid it with her and he is not at all the good guy which the wife believes. Wife does not believe her stories and when wife asks the husband he tells about the incident in details. As he too doesn’t have any clue that this girl behaves like this he decides to talk to her husband. When both husband and wife are ready to talk with her husband about this she begs not to talk and confesses what she told is a lie. Now is this a pure case of revenge or is this behavior any where related to her mental illness? Her mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia ..Girl tells all the lies like its nothing to her. Even when she apologizes she does not mean it. She thinks what she did is right only. Any expert analysis on this?

  • FrugalFred

    July 18th, 2021 at 12:41 AM

    This is totally sad, and I landed here because of my friend. Actually, a post on IG gave the name and definition of the disorder and then I did a Google serch. She has me real worried and goes back and forth from delusions to rational thoughts. She totally believes that a celebrity and her have carried on a relationship through social media, reading minds, signs, maybe even some psychic stuff cos I think she practices witchcraft or something. She has quit jobs and fought people about it. This also isn’t her first “high caliber” relationship according. To her. She thinks people are always attracted to her, cursing her, or obsessed with her. At first I believe he but the stories were too out there sometimes. Like I felt I was listening to an episode of alien abductions at times. I tried to reason with her and not say anything too insulting because she will lash out and say I’m calling her crazy. she’s had a pretty traumatic life from what I know so I think that’s maybe where these delusions come from. I just don’t know if I’m in danger or her neighbors or family. I get conflicted with wanting to force he to see the truth and wanting to be that one source of support and like human deciency in her poor life. I truly doubt she would ever see a therapist but I’m afraid she’ll be homeless or worse if someone doesn’t step in.

  • Anonymous

    July 18th, 2021 at 4:44 PM

    I wrote on here about three years. I got help and now I can see I was just sick. No one was in love with me or was trying to get my attention. It was all in my head. Sometimes I still sense that men are trying to get my attention or they are in love with me; but they are not. Sometimes I feel like men are staring at me, but I just think that it is fake. No one else is in love with me. My boyfriend love’s me. It’s sad, because I thought this person liked me for many years and he didn’t. If he did he would of told me or pursued me. Instead he got married to someone else. This still happens with other men, but now I know to not let it bug me, because now I know I’m just being delusional.

  • Carlie

    July 18th, 2021 at 6:38 PM

    Hi,
    Do you have a way of contacting someone who has more sway with her about your concerns? A closer friend of hers, a parent, a sibling? Genuinely speaking of your concern to someone close to her who may be able to help her seek help her get help without jeapoardizing your friendship. My other suggestion would be to suggest seeking help for anything that she’s expressed having a hard time with to you (like maybe the stress of these “relationships”, rather than her obession with them) and is something that would be acceptable to suggest help for. I.E. “It seems like these relationships are really stressing you out and have taken a toll on you. Maybe talking to someone would help?”

  • Mark

    July 19th, 2021 at 1:22 AM

    @FrugalFred: Your friend sounds a lot like my ex-gf in the early stages of her illness. I believe that usually there is a broader illness like Schizophrenia underlying Erotomania, and you’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg. Schizophrenia is poorly understood, and often takes many years (even a decade) to diagnose, even after a patient starts seeing a therapist. Considering that people who have it often avoid therapy altogether, I believe it is heavily underdiagnosed. Technically, if she only has Erotomania then it’s classified as a delusional disorder, but I’m betting it won’t stay that way. Someone prone to one kind of delusion is usually prone to other delusions as well, and eventually full blown hallucinations will start up. That was the progression with my ex-gf. I can definitely relate to where you explain your friend “goes back and forth from delusions to rational thought”. My ex-gf continues to seem perfectly normal a lot of the time. People assume crazy is crazy, and it’s much more complicated than that. Nevertheless, you can’t “force her to see the truth”. That’s useless. I know it seems that someone who is logical a lot of the time should be able to reason away a delusion, but believe me I tried with my ex-gf. It’s not possible! The only thing is there may be rare moments, 1% of the time, when she has brief clarity and doubts the delusion, and then you can try to work on her at that exact moment. But 99% of the time, it won’t work. What you should try to do instead is distract her from the delusion by getting her mind to focus on something else — anything else, that is REAL. You might also try to discourage her belief in witchcraft and other new age stuff that while not fully delusional could be promote delusions. Other than that, medications can make a huge difference but are not a cure. What I mean by that is that when my ex-gf was taking meds, the delusions would go into remission and she could live a mostly harmonious normal life. But even on the meds, she didn’t suddenly start believing she had delusions, but she’d stop focusing on them and would instead focus on what was real. The issue is she hated taking meds, because she couldn’t see why she needed to take meds. As soon as she stopped taking meds, the illness came back with a vengeance. The best case scenario would be a combination of meds and long-term psychotherapy. Unfortunately, your average psychiatrist gets paid to see a patient for 15 minutes just to make sure the meds work, and insurance usually doesn’t cover the long-term psychotherapy that these illnesses need. The idea is that if the pills work, why pay for psychotherapy, but it’s not that simple because you can’t force people to take pills they don’t want to take. So even if you can convince her to see a therapist, expect the out-of-pocket expenses to be quite high to get her the kind of therapy that will work. Poor quality therapy could be worse in the long run, because she’ll be like, “See, it didn’t work!” But medication is almost certainly going to be necessary. One thing to ask if she has trouble sleeping well? My ex-gf had a lot of sleep problems, and there are theories that hallucinations could be caused by someone rapidly switching back-and-forth from a dream and waking state. The meds improved my ex-gf’s sleep a lot, and her family could use that fact to try to convince her to stay on it. But there are other side effects, like weight gain due to a significantly lowered metabolism, which most women won’t like. Also, your fear about your friend being homeless is realistic. Is her family able to help her at all? If they have a lack of understanding, one thing you can try to do is help them understand. These illnesses need to be viewed as disabilities, the kind of disabilities that could prevent someone from taking care of themselves for the rest of their lives. Her quitting a job may not make much of a difference, because in the long run, she probably won’t be able to keep a job anyway as the illness gets worse. And sometimes job stress exacerbates the illness. Finally, if at any point you feel your friend becomes a physical threat to herself or anyone else, you may need to do a 5150, but that may make things worse in the long run. The issue is 5150 results in a short-term involuntary psychiatric evaluation but doesn’t have any follow-through effort with getting the patient the long-term treatment they really need. It may instead make them very hostile to mental health practitioners. It can however make family take the illness seriously, if the family has been in denial.

  • Gail

    August 19th, 2021 at 3:21 AM

    I need some advice. I’ve been with my boyfriend for 3 years. His previous gf of 7 years was diagnosed with schizophrenia before they broke up. They broke up for many reasons, the schizophrenia was just the straw that broke the camels back. She couldn’t hold down a job, was jealous and suspicious, entitled and lacked independence. When her schizophrenia came on she was having persecutory delusions, thinking the government was after her, or the CIA. And also thinking her ex was somehow involved I.e that they had kidnapped him and replaced him with a look-alike, that he was evil, that he was gay and been manipulated by his best friend etc. Fast forward over three years and she has never left him (or us) alone. Constantly emailing him, his friends and calling his family. He of course blocked her on everything and repeatedly asked her and her family to stop the contact. It seemed it calmed down for a while, but I think this was because she was hospitalised and not given access to internet etc. Recently though things have taken a new turn. She has taken to twitter, and for the past three weeks she has posted about 5-10 times a day each tweet a very personal message to him, using pet names etc, as if they were still together and in love. It is very disturbing to read. It is like her reality has split and she is leaning into the delusion that they are truly destined for each other and they are just kept apart “for political reasons”. She believes he has been kidnapped and replaced, so whenever he messages her to leave him alone she just thinks this is a ploy to put her off finding the real him (who she believes the CIA has done an operation on and is recovering). She talks about how they are destined, how much she loves him, their honeymoon, their future together etc. It is so disturbing to see this about someone you love. And It also makes me fear this woman because in her delusional state she truly believes that her ex and her have been kept apart by me (I am working for the CIA in her delusion) and I don’t know what she will do in this state. She currently Is in another country with her family, but she has once caught a plane to the city we are in and waited outside his apartment. So in person stalking is not out of the question. We have both also reported her to twitter but they will not do anything (i.e. block her account) despite knowing the platform is enforcing her delusions. i.e. giving her a platform. She is also blocked on everything else but still has his families phone numbers (he changed his number because of her but she still has his mum and sisters numbers). She tries every way to contact him, tagging him in group chats on Facebook to get around the blocking, emailing his friends etc etc. What should we do? Is this a report to the police kind of situation? I really fear this woman is so lost in her delusion she will do anything to be with my boyfriend who genuinely does not love or like her.

  • Mark

    August 19th, 2021 at 1:21 PM

    @Gail: I see so much I recognize in what you are going through, so I’m sorry for what you and your bf. Not even contacting the police can really help. What can they do unless she breaks a law? Restraining orders are meant for people without serious mental illness. If the police talk to her, that will likely make her more paranoid. The only thing the police can do is issue another 5150, and have her hospitalized again. But you will probably have to spell it out to them, since I think overall law enforcement is poorly trained in dealing with mental illness. Worse case, they might even shoot someone with mental illness, and I’m sure you don’t want that on your conscience. You are better off contacting a psychiatric crisis center that specializes in how to deal with these situations, I think. It also really depends on what state you are in, since the laws vary so much. That said, many times the system is fairly ineffective, and really the best case scenario is if her family and friends who are still close to her are actively trying to help her. Are you or your bf in touch with any of them? They may need to get some kind of conservorship over her. That may be the only long-term solution. She needs someone who care for her who has control (and legal responsibility) over her life affairs. The thing you need to realize is she is no longer like a full adult, and there needs to be another adult of is responsible for her. But since you say she is leaving the country a lot, I’m guessing her family is from a different culture, which make things even more complicated. Different cultures view mental illness differently. I had to deal with that with my ex-gf, whose family is from a different country. If someone can get her on the right medication, I bet you that will do wonders. The medications are powerful and do work 90% of the time. Blocking her is unlikely to do much of anything. It certainly won’t change the way she thinks. Social isolation actually makes these conditions worse, because it gives the person more time alone with their thoughts, which is the last thing they need. They need to have everything that is real in their life reinforced. Your boyfriend was a part of her life for a long time–7 years is a long relationship, and she likely was displaying some psychotic symptoms before she got diagnosed. Your boyfriend may not have recognized it. But regardless, he was a pillar for her during that time, and she probably doesn’t have many pillars in her life. That pillar got removed right when her illness was getting worse, and I think that she is instinctively trying to go back to the last time her life was normal. That is probably why she subconsciously clings to the delusion. She fell off the cliff when she was still with your boyfriend, and she is desperately trying to climb back up to what she remembers being normal, which was being with your boyfriend. She is desperate for a normal life, but does not realize what keeps her from the normal life is her own mind working against her. She cannot have a normal life until her mind is fixed, but her mind cannot fix itself. The only thing it can do is construct imaginary reasons for why her life is not normal, giving her false hope that she can return to normal by overcoming those imaginary barriers. Your boyfriend is now an imaginary construct in her mind to provide her comfort. The only way to psychologically get her to move on, without medication, is to get her to break up with the imaginary construct. She has to make the choice and feel she has agency in the matter. Unfortunately, that is now harder since she has now disassociated the imaginary construct from your real boyfriend.
    My ex-gf had an erotomaniac obsession with a friend of mine. After a very long time, I was able to get this obsession reduced by having him do the opposite of blocking her. Basically, I had him act in a way that would make her less interested in him, at times acting kind of like a jerk but never completely ignoring her. I guess you could call this reverse psychology. This is very tricky, and probably not worth trying unless you are out of other options. And ultimately it won’t solve her problem, because once she loses interest in your boyfriend, the erotomania will jump to another person.

  • ANN

    September 5th, 2021 at 2:02 AM

    I’m sort of struggling with this right now. I fixate on someone, always local but likely inaccessible , and then I become convinced they’re stalking me in some way like using their relatives on facebook to scope my profile or sending me messages through the song titles on the radio station. So far I haven’t done anything but make attempts to reach out. If they don’t respond (they usually don’t) then I back off, but then become convinced that they haven’t received my message or are too busy and keep me as an option in the future. There’s a constant dissonance between my rational side and this side but lately I’ve been surrendering to the delusion as harmlessly as I can because it serves as an intense motivation to better myself.
    I have a therapist but I am too embarrassed to mention something like this to her even though it causes me a great deal of distress.

  • TresFatiquee

    September 8th, 2021 at 10:39 PM

    I am very young, still in high school, and yet this idea of erotomania applies to me so much. But, I’m not sure where I go from here, because I worry that people or even a doctor wouldn’t take me seriously. For most of my life, it has always pestered me. It starts when somebody, literally any random person who is somewhat cute or smart in my classes, starts to give me signs they are into me. I especially notice that this person will sneak glances at me a lot or make an effort to stand near me in the hall. Except it happens so much that I get frustrated because it could be someone I never had any interest in who suddenly seems to be uncontrollably in love with me. And with time, every instance of this leads to me falling in love with them just because I think they are already obsessed with me. Except the thing is, it’s all in my head. There was one time that a boy had been glancing at me all the time during my history class. I was getting annoyed that he wouldn’t stop looking at me out of desire. Eventually, I told my friend, and she decided to try and see what was happening in class. So she sat next to me that day and observed the boy. As normal, I noticed him constantly looking at me, marveling over me, getting up to grab a tissue just to be near my table. By the end of class, however, my friend said the unexpected, “I don’t know how to tell you this, but he didn’t look even near you once.” I was very confused but ignored it because I trusted that what I see is what I see. But it carried on, (and these things carry on for like months), and so I developed a love for him, even though I would never like someone like that naturally in a million years. This is always happening, and it is SO FRUSTRATING. I can’t tell truth from delusions when it comes to love, and at this point I don’t know how I could ever love in a truthful way. I have had erotomania when it comes to boys, girls, or even one particular T.V. character who I couldn’t stop thinking about to the point where I had strong visions of being with this actor romantically. The strong urge to dream and fantasize is the most annoying part of it all sometimes because I can’t always help it. It has gotten better since I have learned and read up on erotomania, and now I doubt myself all the time, and reassuring myself that anyone is better as “just a friend” helps as of lately. Still, I just wish I could love and interpret love like anyone else. I don’t want to be spending my time uncontrollably obsessing over people that I may never even be friends with. I don’t want to deal with the frustration of misinterpreted signals and signs. I don’t want to be a crazy person, because I have always been a straight-A-student who fits in. And this is only part of my story with the chaos and mental frustration so far. I think I just came on here to share my story a little bit, but, advice? Who do I go to? How can I verify that I have erotomania?

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