Health news
Health news top Health news

   Login  |  Register    
Health News Make AMN Your Home PageDiscussion BoardsAdvanced Search ToolMedical RSS/XML News FeedHealth news
You are here : Health.am > Health Centers > Mental Health > Mental Disorders > Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders > Shared Psychotic Disorder (Folie a Deux)

Shared Psychotic Disorder (Folie a Deux)

Shared Psychotic Disorder

Shared Psychotic Disorder (Folie a Deux)

Diagnostic Features

The essential feature of Shared Psychotic Disorder (Folie a Deux) is a delusion that develops in an individual who is involved in a close relationship with another person (sometimes termed the "inducer" or "the primary case") who already has a Psychotic Disorder with prominent delusions (Criterion A). The individual comes to share the delusional beliefs of the primary case in whole or in part (Criterion B). The delusion is not better accounted for by another Psychotic Disorder (e.g., Schizophrenia) or a Mood Disorder With Psychotic Features and is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., amphetamine) or a general medical condition (e.g., brain tumor) (Criterion C). Schizophrenia is probably the most common diagnosis of the primary case, although other diagnoses may include Delusional Disorder or Mood Disorder With Psychotic Features.

The content of the shared delusional beliefs may be dependent on the diagnosis of the primary case and can include relatively bizarre delusions (e.g., that radiation is being transmitted into an apartment from a hostile foreign power, causing indigestion and diarrhea), mood-congruent delusions (e.g., that the primary case will soon receive a film contract for $2 million, allowing the family to purchase a much larger home with a swimming pool), or the nonbizarre delusions that are characteristic of Delusional Disorder (e.g., the FBI is tapping the family telephone and trailing family members when they go out). Usually the primary case in Shared Psychotic Disorder is dominant in the relationship and gradually imposes the delusional system on the more passive and initially healthy second person. Individuals who come to share delusional beliefs are often related by blood or marriage and have lived together for a long time, sometimes in relative social isolation. If the relationship with the primary case is interrupted, the delusional beliefs of the other individual usually diminish or disappear. Although most commonly seen in relationships of only two people, Shared Psychotic Disorder can occur among a larger number of individuals, especially in family situations in which the parent is the primary case and the children, sometimes to varying degrees, adopt the parent's delusional beliefs. Individuals with this disorder rarely seek treatment and usually are brought to clinical attention when the primary case receives treatment.

Associated Features and Disorders

Aside from the delusional beliefs, behavior is usually not otherwise odd or unusual in Shared Psychotic Disorder. Impairment is often less severe in the individual with Shared Psychotic Disorder than in the primary case.

Prevalence

Little systematic information about the prevalence of Shared Psychotic Disorder is available. This disorder is rare in clinical settings, although it has been argued that some cases go unrecognized. Limited evidence suggests that Shared Psychotic Disorder is somewhat more common in women than in men.

Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders

Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders

Course

Little is known about the age at onset of Shared Psychotic Disorder, but it appears to be quite variable. Without intervention, the course is usually chronic, because this disorder most commonly occurs in relationships that are long-standing and resistant to change. With separation from the primary case, the individual's delusional beliefs disappear, sometimes quickly and sometimes quite slowly.

Differential Diagnosis

The diagnosis of Shared Psychotic Disorder is made only when the delusion is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance or a general medical condition. Differential diagnosis is rarely a problem because the history of close association with the primary case and the similarity of delusions between the two individuals is unique to Shared Psychotic Disorder. In Schizophrenia, Delusional Disorder, Schizoaffective Disorder, and Mood Disorder With Psychotic Features, there is either no close relationship with a dominant person who has a Psychotic Disorder and shares similar delusional beliefs or, if there is such a person, the psychotic symptoms usually precede the onset of any shared delusions. In rare cases, an individual may present with what appears to be Shared Psychotic Disorder, but the delusions do not disappear when the individual is separated from the primary case. In such a situation, it is probably appropriate to consider another Psychotic Disorder diagnosis.

Diagnostic criteria for 297.3 Shared Psychotic Disorder

A. A delusion develops in an individual in the context of a close relationship with another person(s), who has an already-established delusion.

B. The delusion is similar in content to that of the person who already has the established delusion.

C. The disturbance is not better accounted for by another Psychotic Disorder (e.g., Schizophrenia) or a Mood Disorder With Psychotic Features and is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition.

   [advanced search]   
Test you knowledge
Interactive Quiz:
I have a decreased need for sleep.
yes
no

Most Viewed:
Internet Gaming Addiction
Dependent Personality Disorder
Delusional Disorder
Antidepressant and Antimanic Medications
Brief Psychotic Disorder
Avoidant Personality Disorder
Antisocial Personality Disorder
Depression-Focused Psychotherapies
Light Therapy: Introduction, Diagnostic Indications and Contraindications
Psychodynamic Psychotherapies - Suicidality
Mood Disorders - Mixed Episode
Major Depressive Episode
Vaginismus
Erectile Disorder
Pedophilia
Transvestism
Premature Ejaculation
Gender Identity Disorder of Adulthood
Paraphilias and Paraphilia-Related Disorders


Mental Health Centers

  Mental Disorders

  Anxiety Disorders

  Psychotic Disorders

  Mood Disorders

  Personality Disorders

  Substance-Related Disorders

  Childhood Disorders

  Cognitive Disorders

  Miscellaneous Disorders

» » »

  Mental Disorders
      (- for profesionals -)


  Mood Disorders

  Anxiety Disorders,
  Dissociative Disorders,
  and Adjustment Disorders


  Sexual and Gender Identity
  Disorders


  Schizophrenia and Other
  Psychotic Disorders


  Personality Disorders

  Addictive disorders

  Internet addiction

  Dementia

Health Centers





Diabetes









Health news
  


Health Encyclopedia

Diseases & Conditions

Drugs & Medications

Health Tools

Health Tools



   Health newsletter

  





   Medical Links



   RSS/XML News Feed



   Feedback






Add to Google Reader or Homepage
Mental Health News, Headlines and Latest Stories on Health.am
Add to My AOL