Folie a Deux

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uppladdat: 2003-09-18
Per Ericsson

Per Ericsson 32 år

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"When you live in the shadow of insanity, the appearance of another mind that thinks and talks as yours does is something close to a blessed event" -Robert M Pirzig

Definition
Folie a Deux is the term of two persons sharing the same delusions. It means literally “Madness has two”, meaning that two persons are mad. The two persons are usually in the same family, but can also be close friends or live closely together. A popular opinion is that the agent pair from the X-Files has Folie a Deux, since they both follow the same paranoid “delusions” of conspiracies and aliens. Also some team serial killers have been known for Folie a Deux. Ian Brady and Myra Hindley were serial killers in Britain in the early and mid-sixties. Ian Brady has been recognized as the stronger of the two, and may have influenced Myra Hindley to join in on the homicides. Myra Hindley said after they got arrested and put in jail that Ian convinced her through blackmail to commit the murders. Myra was therefore the dependent person in the team, but they both seemed to have followed the same delusions that they were “superior humans” since they believed they were above the law and could perform these crimes without consequences (Partners in Crime, www.crimelibrary.com). The passive or dependant person is called a recipient, and the active or deluded person with a real mental illness is called inducer.

Possible Causes
Folie a Deux is not transmitted, communicated nor forcibly imposed, but adopted. The recipient may not get the delusions of the inducer unless there is some growing ground for them. Through delusions the inducer lose contact with reality (by definition a delusion), but with Folie a Deux the inducer can still have some human contact through the recipient. The isolation they put themselves in is self-imposed through the delusions that they have. Simply put, a person with small criminal tendencies may become a murderer when placed together with a person with larger criminal tendencies, if the inducer is the person with the larger criminal tendencies.

Statistics
One study indicated that around 1 out of 58 patients admitted to a mental health facility seemed to have Folie a Deux. But there seem to be no figures over people with Folie a Deux in the general population. People that might have Folie a Deux may not discover that they have it since there have to be two persons with the same symptoms for the psychological professional to see anything.

Treatments
For the inducer with maybe schizophrenia or another type of mental illness, therapy and/or institutionalization is recommended. For inducers without schizophrenia supportive psychotherapy has been reported successful. Fo...

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Per Ericsson [2003-09-18]   Folie a Deux
Mimers Brunn [Online]. http://mimersbrunn.se/article?id=2267 [2017-09-22]

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