I can safely say majority of us have gone in psychotic overdrive with my friend corona passing by and after seeing a comment from another post, I though of putting this up. If it helps just one person, my job here is done.
They say if one is good, two is better and while that may be true for a delicious hot cup of coffee that is not always the case when it comes to our mental health. Our mental health is currently in overdrive and no one knows what they are doing. What can happen when close friends, loved ones, government or even corona start to affect the way we think?
Shared delusional also called psychotic disorder is a type of mental illness in which a person who does not have a primary mental health disease or disturbance comes to believe that the delusions of another person with a psychotic or delusional disorder are their own. Now corona is causing a stir! For example, a wife might come to believe the delusions of her husband, despite having otherwise good mental health. Shared psychosis previously termed folie à deux (French word) is now considered a subset of delusional disorder. It usually occurs in a person or group of people who have an affect on each other. Shared psychotic disorder can also appear as a group phenomenon, in which case it has been referred to as "folie a plusiers" or the "madness of many", which is what is happening with corona. The most obvious example of this is what happens in a cult, if the leader is living with a mental illness and transfers their delusions to the group. In a larger group setting, this might also be termed “mass hysteria.”
Living with delusions can have effects on the physical health of both persons with the disorder due to increased stress leading to elevated cortisol levels. Secondary mental health issues may develop such as anxiety and depression due to prolonged stress and fear. Due to the nature of the psychotic illness, both individuals may not be in touch with reality and struggle with aspects of daily living.
Generally speaking, both parties will act paranoid, fearful, and suspicious of others. They will also become defensive or angry if their delusions are challenged. Those with grandiose delusions might appear euphoric. The primary person in the relationship will not even recognise that they are making the other person ill.
Instead, they think that they are simply showing them the “truth,” because they have no insight into their own mental illness. In terms of the secondary person, that person may exhibit dependent personality traits, in the form of fear and needing reassurance.
What can cause this disorder or what makes one person more susceptible to it?
Social isolation of the primary and secondary person from the outside world (when there is no social comparison, it becomes impossible to tell apart fact from delusion).
High levels of chronic stress or the occurrence of stressful life events. Corona.
A dominant primary person and submissive secondary person (the secondary person may agree at first to keep the peace, and over time come to believe the delusion).
A close connection between the primary and secondary person; usually a long-term relationship with attachment such as family members, couples, sisters...
A secondary person with a neurotic, dependent, or passive personality style or someone who struggles with judgment/critical thinking.
A secondary person with another mental illness such as depression,schizophrenia, or dementia
An untreated disorder such as delusional disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder in the primary individual.
An age difference between the primary and secondary person.
A secondary person who is dependent on the primary due to being disabled physically or mentally.
Either the primary or secondary person being female. Shared psychotic disorder is more common among women and from what I am seeing this is fact based on experience.