Evolution and Delusional Jealousy

Pathological jealousy
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The three layers or grades of jealousy may be described as 1 competitive or normal, 2 projected, and 3 delusional jealousy. There is also a feeling of hostility against the successful rival and a certain amount of self-criticism for losing the object. Although it is called normal jealousy, it is not always entirely rational, that is, it is not based altogether on actual situations, nor is it proportionate to the real facts or under full control of the ego. It is also to be noted that in many persons it is experienced bisexually. Thus, a jealous man may not only experience pain in regard to the loved woman and hatred toward his male rival, but he may also feel grief in regard to the unconsciously loved man and hatred toward the woman as his rival.

Projection jealousy originates in both men and women, either through their own actual unfaithfulness or through impulses to unfaithfulness that were repressed. Projection jealousy has an almost delusional character, but it is amenable to analysis, in that the patient can be made to recognize the unconscious motives to the fantasies. The third form, delusional jealousy is more severe. It too originates on the basis of repressed impulse to infidelity, but the objects of its fantasies belong to the same sex.

In this section we will describe how the morbidly jealous individual probably differs from the normal in these domains. This should form the basis of a clinical assessment. Cultural and social aspects are discussed by Mullen,[ 4 ] Mullen and Martin,[ 5 ] Bhugra. Bhugra discusses different cultural aspects of jealousy. He also points out that both males and females are prone to jealous feelings and behavior, and hence, gender does not play a substantial role. He also says that as jealousy is the product of culture, and it can vary across cultures.

He also argues that individual factors such as childhood experiences, insecurity, inadequacy, dependence, and past experiences also play a key role.

Background

The classification of morbid jealousy by Mullen[ 8 ] is also of relevance here. Recent clinical studies in morbid jealousy are reported by the following authors: It is well-known that morbid jealousy is responsible for a great number of crimes of violence against women. Brierly,[ 12 ] as quoted by Shepherd, made a similar study over a two-year period and found that 54 out of murders in Cook County, Illinois, had occurred due to jealousy. Female insane murderesses exhibited delusions of infidelity in 3. Somasundaram[ 14 ] studied murderers of Tamil Nadu in Of the six youthful offenders below 17 years old, three had killed their wives.

Of the 20 murderesses four had killed their husbands, three had killed the paramours, and one had killed the co-wife. Even though there are no further studies reported from Tamil Nadu or other parts of India, it seems that delusional jealousy is fairly common in our country. It is worth recalling that a recent study from Sri Lanka, where De Silva[ 9 ] suggests that cultural aspects play a vital role in the prevalence of morbid jealousy.

Depending on the etiology of the morbid state, treatment should be considered anti-psychotics, anti-depressants, etc. In literature the pride of place is given to Othello, the Moor, as subject to morbid jealousy, which results in the killing of his wife, Desdemona, and his subsequent suicide.

There are good reasons why he should trust Iago more than Desdemona, and good reasons he should be uncertain of his place in her affections. His momentary loss of consciousness is evidence of stress, but not insanity. There are none of the other signs or symptoms that are generally found together with delusions of jealousy in people suffering from mental illness.

Another well-known reference is by Todd and Dewherst. It is somewhat surprising why our psychiatrists have not paid much attention to analyzing the characters in their own literature, comparable to their Western counterparts. Kalki is the pseudonym of R. He was a great personal friend of Rajaji. Pazhuvettarayar is a great warrior, who took part in many of the Chozha campaigns to enlarge the empire under his master, Emperor Paranthaka Sundara Chozhar. He was greatly respected when he skilfully changed the rout of the Chozha army at Thakkolam into a great victory.

He had taken part in 32 battles and received 96 wounds. He was considerably aged when he got infatuated with the beauty, youth, charm, and attainments of Nandini, when he sees her in the Pandiya territory and brings her to his Pazhuvoor palace in a covered palanquin, which becomes the sarcastic talk of the town. Her meeting with various handsome young men like, Vandiyathevan, Kandan Maran, and Parthibendran triggers flames of jealousy in the old man, but he controls his suspicions to a marked extent.

He is magnanimous enough not to allude to his feelings, but on one occasion when Kandan Maran is accompanied by Vandiyathevan, Pazhuvettarayar arranges a hireling to stab the former in the back. Kandan Maran suspects that that he was stabbed by Vandiyathevan and their relationship is strained forever. Nandini is the wife of the defeated Veera Pandiyan he is in hiding. When he is chased by the victorious Karikalar, Nandini with folded hands pleads for his life. The infuriated and excited Karikalar brutally beheads the King and carries the head.

The most revealing conversation and intimate feelings between Nandini and Adithya Karikalar are brought to the fore just before the assassination of Adithar. Nandini is told that she is the step-sister of Aditha Karikalar, born to the deaf-mute mother through Sundara Chozha. She tells him the secret of her marriage to Pazhuvettarayar, which is only a ruse to enter the Chozha palace and enjoy its luxuries and carry out her intentions to wipe out the Chozha dynasty.

Her various meetings with Pandiya conspirators in the palace rouses the suspicions of the old warrior, Pazhuvettarayar. Aditha Karikalar, unaware of their relationship had entertained tender feelings toward Nandini in their youth, which were discouraged by the Chozha family. Aditha recalled these happenings and suggested that they run away to a far off island. Nandini did not take to this suggestion kindly and suggests instead, that they could get rid of Pazhuvettarayar, imprison the king and ascend the throne.

The infuriated Aditha Karikalar shouts at her and tells her that she wants to live with Vandiyathevan. The intimate conversation between the two is overheard by both Vandiyathevan and Pazhuvettarayar. The latter rushes to kill Nandini with a sword. The insolvable mystery is enacted now and Aditha Karikalar is found dead in the bedroom of Nandini. It is not known who actually killed Aditha Karilkalar, although Pazhuvettarayar takes the responsibility on himself in the open court, presided over by the Chozha Emperor, and stabs himself.

The sexual jealousy felt by the old warrior toward his young beloved could be analyzed. It is clear that Pazhuvettarayar, like the other warrior Othello is not suffering from delusional psychotic jealousy. It could be considered as reactive jealousy in the words of Mullen. The old man is advanced in years and he knows it compares unfavorably with his youthful spouse. He cannot be an attractive person with 96 wounds received in 32 campaigns just like Julius Caesar.

It is worth recalling here that one of the causes of sexual jealousy mentioned in an old Buddhist text in Pali language is the old age of the husband, De Silva and De Silva. There are any number of provoking situations that add to the configurations of jealousy; the presentation of the ring by Nandini to Vandiyathevan to be used as an insignia in his perambulations in the Chozha courts.

Pazhuvettarayar is too great a man of honor to question Nandini directly about this happening. The confession of Nandini to Aditha Karikalar about her motive in entering the household of the old Chancellor is to wreck vengeance for the murder of her former husband Veerapandian, with no sexual motives. Throughout her stay with Pazhuvettarayar she did not allow any intimacies. The idea is rejected by Nandini who wants to stay back with Aditha Karikalar in Tanjavur and ascend the Chozha throne. The husband who is so far peaceful with Nandini has reached the brink of desperation and morbid jealousy leads to murderous violence[ 19 ], which has been in abeyance all these years.

This leads to the murderous assault when he throws a sword at her from his hiding. Nandini is not killed in the attempt.

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The last act is when Pazhuvettarayar confesses in the Chozha court about his killing of Aditha Karikalar. This great Chozha loyalist who has sworn allegiance to the Chozha family stabs himself in the presence of the royal court and subsequently dies. The domestic violence of murder and suicide so common in morbid jealousy, is thus enacted in the life of the Pazhuvettarayar.

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This approach is broad in nature, but necessary so as to provide adequate information that will aid in the possible reparation of a dynamic containing a morbidly jealous person. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. How our minds share actions and emotions. Westlake and Weeks presented this 20 year-old clinical case of pathological jealousy following a right brain infarction without any associated brain atrophy [ 28 ]. Psychostimulants, adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and morbid jealousy. Patient falsely, and spontaneously accused her husband of infidelity, despite the lack of objective data. Write a customer review.

It is not surprising that alcohol use and comorbid personality disorder are conspicuously absent in the story of the tragic warrior. It would be appropriate to conclude this article with an Indian touch. Bhugra,[ 6 ] mentions some unconventional marriages practiced in India in the past.

The majority of the population practiced one man—one woman marriages throughout the centuries. It must be admitted that there were and are many transgressions especially by the Royal households and the upper classes. Many a time chastity is a one way affair, insisted strictly only for the woman. Men did not tolerate weakness in the women folk in spite of being broad-minded in other ways.

The assistance rendered by Prof. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List Indian J Psychiatry v. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Mullen considered morbid jealousy to be associated with four features: Some people even believe that someone who is morbidly jealous might suspect that he or she is being drugged or given some kind of substance that might decrease their sexual potency, or they might even be under the impression that their significant other has somehow received a sexually transmitted disease from another person while the subject is unaware.

There is no known prevalence of morbid jealousy; currently there is no community survey tracking its existence in individuals. As of late, it is considered to be a rare occurrence. Some clinicians may never be able to treat this condition due to other dominating psychopathologies present within the jealous person that call for more attention. Men and women differ dramatically when it comes to morbid jealousy.

Men who suffer from morbid jealousy are more likely than women to use violence and also are more likely to harm or kill with their hands rather than a blunt object.

Evolution and Delusional Jealousy

Women on the other hand, when using violence, tend to use a blunt object or knife. For men the strongest trigger is sexual infidelity and with women the strongest trigger is emotional infidelity. If partner related violence does not stop infidelity from happening the male mate will sometimes resort to suicide instead. The final resort to stopping infidelity inside of morbid jealousy is to commit partner murder.

Women are much less likely to kill their partner, unless it is in self-defense. Morbid jealousy can occur in a number of conditions such as chronic alcoholism, addiction to substances other than alcohol i.

Organic brain disorders i. Also with schizophrenia, neurosis, affective disturbances or personality disorders. Alcohol and drug misuse has a well-recognized association with morbid jealousy.

Amphetamine and cocaine increase the possibility of a delusion of infidelity that can continue after intoxication stops. In an attempt to counsel or treat the morbid jealousy of an individual, proper and thorough assessment must be employed.

Psychological aspects of jealousy

This approach is broad in nature, but necessary so as to provide adequate information that will aid in the possible reparation of a dynamic containing a morbidly jealous person. To begin, a careful history should be taken of both partners if possible; separate and together. It is imperative that a full and detailed psychiatric history and mental state examination be recorded for the jealous partner; doing so may enable one to distinguish whether the jealousy is obsessional or delusional in nature. It is also possible that the jealousy may be the result of a thought that has been given too much importance.

Considering that jealousy is a very delicate issue, any reference made to it should be approached carefully and with tact. It must be kept in mind that the jealous individual may be displacing blame for their issues onto their partner and their alleged infidelity as opposed to their own behavior. If there is any history of relevant or related mental illness and substance misuse it should be noted as it may possibly be a contributing or aiding factor. In order to get the best grasp on the issues and begin positive progression, multiple interviews should be held to assess the marital relationship.

After completing the assessment, it is best to deliver information about risk with both individuals in the relationship. Due to confidentiality, the patient should give consent for this information to be shared unless there is a risk to another individual and it is serious and immediate. This is the only case in which confidentiality is invalid. The professional should ensure that all necessary steps are taken to guarantee the safety of a potential victim, keeping in mind that it is possible that authorities may have to be alerted regarding the matter.

If the professional has reason to believe that there is a high risk of harm to themselves or another person, the individual who is morbidly jealous should be admitted to hospital as soon as possible to prevent any negative outcomes for any parties involved. Morbid jealousy encompasses various psychiatric states and the best way to approach treatment depends on the symptoms that are observed in the individual. Therefore, prognosis and outcomes vary from person to person and depends on the situation and the complexities of the interpersonal relationships being observed.

Also, other issues that may exacerbate the negative aspects of the environment created by jealous behavior need to be addressed in order to begin reparations. For example, if alcoholism plays a role in the behavior of the morbidly jealous individual, treatment of their addiction can positively affect their progress in trying to change their jealous nature. While psychotherapy can be an effective method of treating morbidly jealous persons, it is not sufficient when the nature of their illness is more serious.

Certain behaviors such as, interrogation of the partner, repeated telephone calls to work and surprise visits, stalking behavior, setting up recording devices in the home or work, or hiring a private detective to follow the partner, are all common in trying to determine if there is truly infidelity or if it is just perceived. Suicidal thoughts are common in morbid jealousy, especially because of its association with depression and substance abuse.

Violence can occur in any relationship tainted with jealousy, either normal or morbid jealousy.

When a partner repeatedly denies infidelity this may provoke anger and extreme violence. On the other hand, the partner that is suffering may give up and give a false confession, which in turn most likely will provoke rage in the jealous individual.

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In the US a sample was taken of 20 participants with delusional jealousy. Of the 13 males, 9 actually attacked their spouse.