What is erotomania and how is it expressed?

Erotomania is a romantic delusion towards a person with whom it is unlikely to have a real relationship. Know what the expressions of these love fantasies are.

Last update: September 12, 2021

We have probably ever had the idea that someone is in love with us. Interpersonal relationships are complex; sometimes, we misinterpret the "signals" that people give us. With that said, it's time to know what is erotomania and how is it related to falling in love.

First of all, it should be noted that this strange personality disorder is also known as "Clerambault syndrome", in recognition of the French psychiatrist Gaëtan Gatian by Clérambault (discoverer of this pathology). It is characterized because the affected person has the irrational idea that someone is in love with him or her.

It is about a detachment from reality that is becoming more and more intense. Thus, even when there is no evidence, patients have the conviction that they are romantically desired by someone else. What are its possible causes? How is it tackled? We will detail it below.

How is erotomania expressed?

Erotomania is expressed as an alteration of reality. That is, those affected idealize other people's feelings towards them. Because of this misconception, various complications can arise. Here we review some common problematic expressions.

1. Harassment

In these cases, the bullying is the product of delusion. Therefore, the stalker is not aware that his behavior is harmful to the victim. Constant efforts to establish contact are motivated by the intention to show the other person that the "feeling of love" is reciprocated.

The obsession that the person has with erotomania leads to harassment situations towards the desired person.

2. Reckless behavior

In their attempts to contact the desired person, patients act disproportionately. What is the same, they do not measure the risks. For example, they are capable of illegally breaking into someone else's property.

3. Depression

Failing to establish contact with the desired person, these patients tend to become depressed. For instance, after sending several direct messages on social networks and receiving no response. These cases occur especially when the people who are the object of the desire are celebrities.

Causes and risk factors

The delusions of this personality disorder can be a symptom of psychiatric illnesses. However, pathologies that involve cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer's are also involved. We are going to see in detail the risk factors that can cause this disorder.

1. Substance use

The consumption of substances such as alcohol or other drugs produce alterations in the central nervous system. Thus, patients with addictions of this type are at risk of experiencing delusions.

2. Fanaticism

Within this order of ideas, exacerbated fanaticism must be taken into account. In other words, people who tend to be infatuated with celebrities are a population at risk. In the movie "Misery" the story is told of a woman who kidnaps a writer with whom she had developed an obsession.

3. Low self-esteem

People with self-esteem issues tend to glorify others. As we have established in the previous case, fanaticism leads to obsession. Concretizing, a patient with low self-esteem may present romantic delusions towards the person with whom he has become obsessed.

4. Superiority complex

Contrary to what is usually thought, people with a superiority complex have low self-esteem. Therefore, they try to hide this fact by showing a markedly opposite attitude. Now, they often misunderstand the behavior of other people.

Therefore, they tend to think that they are admired or loved by others. In these cases it becomes more evident that there is a delusion involved. Usually these people are blatantly rejected and still maintain the idea of ​​being desired.

Treatment available

Treatment for delusional disorders is not straightforward. Affected people show strong resistance to the therapeutic process. The reason for this is that they do not know that they have a problem and take their delusions for certain.

In relation to the exposed problem, the best treatment is the one that combines psychotherapy with psychotropic drugs. Medication should only be indicated by a psychiatrist. In these cases, the psychologist plays a supportive role, since helps patients recognize their reality.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most used in erotomania. This therapeutic model is characterized by question the patient through Socratic dialogue. As the sessions progress, people are able to reach the most adaptive conclusions on their own.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is often used to support the treatment of erotomania. However, psychotropic drugs may also be necessary.

How do social networks influence erotomania?

According to some studies, constant exposure to social media intensifies Clerambault syndrome. This makes sense, since people now have a higher level of access to the intimate lives of celebrities. Consequently, a false sense of closeness.

Social networks offer the possibility of seeing the lives of celebrities almost in real time. Additionally, it is now possible to message your favorite celebrities, making cyberbullying easier.

However, since there is no response from the person who is the object of the desire, frustration ensues. In these cases, patients take refuge in their fantasies to ease the discomfort of being ignored by those they admire and desire.